My name is Diane, I am a 22 year-old girl from the Ivory Coast (in West Africa), fashion lover but currently studying finance in California.
What’s funny is that my transition to natural was kind of unexpected and unintentional at first. I’ve been relaxed for pretty much most of my life and I didn’t have a problem with that, but I wasn’t taking care of my hair the way I should have. I loved to dye my hair and I would basically dye it every 6 months. Added to the relaxer, it caused my hair to be pretty damaged. In 2011 I noticed all the breakage I had, so I decided to stretch my relaxers to have some growth. My last relaxer was in January 2012 and my plan was to wait 6 months and then relax it again.
But during the summer I started watching YouTube videos of natural ladies, and I fell in love! Their hair was so beautiful, and long! I mean, I never thought that we could have such long, healthy and versatile hair (which probably sounds stupid but yeah… Haha)
That’s basically how it all started. I started educating myself on natural hair and how to take care of it. I thought I was kind of lucky because I didn’t have to start from scratch, I already had 6 months of growth, so I just took better care of that “new” hair. I loved playing with my coils, I was like a kid discovering something for the first time! After 10 months of transitioning I BC-ed on October 01st, 2012.
I’ve always been a fan of colors and I loved to dye my hair back when I was relaxed. I knew that even by being natural this is something I would do, so this time I made a lot of research before dying it (especially because I wanted to bleach it and this can be damaging if not handled correctly). I bleached my hair twice (the first time in September last year, I picked some strands from different parts of my hair, the most recent one was in February and I bleached the whole front) I haven’t had any breakage or damage yet because I am very careful with it.
There were not really any negative reactions regarding my choice to be natural. People were pretty curious as to why I decided to stop relaxing my hair but nobody really criticized me. I actually inspired some of my family members to start their natural journey as well My friends are also supportive
My routine is really simple. I deep condition and co-wash every week, moisturize and seal every day (or couple of days). I also do protein treatments from time to time. I really love Shea Moisture products, I use a lot of them. I also like Cantu Shea Butter and the Eco Styler gel. As my hair is not that long, I mostly do twist outs and protective styles. My goal right now is BSL, then we will see. The most important for me to be honest is for my hair to be healthy.
What is learned the most on this journey is that patience is everything. You cannot expect your hair to grow from TWA to BSL in a couple of months because it won’t. I learned to love my hair as well, not that I didn’t love it before but it felt so different from what I was used to, so it took me some time to fully enjoy it. If I could do it again I definitely would, my only regret is that I wish I’d started sooner.
Any new natural or transitioner, the advices I could give you is BE PATIENT. As I said before, don’t expect fast growth in a short time, it won’t happen and you’ll just be disappointed. Don’t focus on length at the expense of health. What’s the point of having long hair if it’s going to have split ends? It will break off eventually and you would have to start all over again. Take your time, love your hair and love to take care of your hair, everything will just follow naturally
I do have a blog (http://dee-vineanonyme.com) but I don’t talk about my journey over there. It’s more fashion-related. However, I’m thinking about adding more post about it. However on my Instagram page
(http://instagram.com/deevineanonyme) you will definitely see my hair a lot !
Forever Asia: Thank you so much for sharing your story. I love the colors! I was thinking of doing some color but I’m too afraid to bleach my hair again but seeing your purple coils is really making me reconsider. Your hair and style are awesome and I love the pick earrings super cute! Thanks again & Happy Hair Journey!❤
p.s. – what kind of camera do you use? your photos are so nice o_o