The Transition Experience

of Nicole Moore

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All my life, I had been convinced that I could never wear completely natural hair.

My mother started getting my hair professionally relaxed at 5 years old. Relaxers were all I knew for 35 years. One day, shortly after turning 40, I noticed the texture of my hair was changing. It was becoming dry and brittle. I was told it was probably a chemical imbalance and to just trim the ends. After about 2 months of trying to stop the breakage, I literally woke up and almost all of my hair was gone. The individual maintaining my hair at that time, completely over processed my hair. I LOOKED AWFUL! I had two options: 1.) Finish cutting my hair to the scalp and start from scratch OR, 2.) Put a weave in and let the chemicals finish growing out.

So long story short, I was forced into the natural process. Neither choice was really overly exciting. Again I had no clue what my natural hair was. My only reference point were pictures from before the age of 5 and my mother, who always claimed I had unmanageable natural hair.

So with two very unfamiliar options, I learned about Shassity Stevenson, a lady known to SLAY a weave. Shassity saw my hair and felt bad for me. I showed up for my appointment a month early, and instead of sticking to the set appointment, Shassity told me to sit and she would figure it out because she was not letting me leave looking the way I came (all I saw was her facial expression).

She and I started talking about my goals for my hair. I told her I wanted to grow my hair back and put a texturizer in it for manageability, while Shassity started talking about transitioning to natural hair. I thought she was crazy. Never EVER had I wore my natural hair because again, my hair was unmanageable.

Shassity remained vigilant that I could wear my hair natural, and she promised she could change my opinion. So for two years, she would take my weave and braids out, and wash my hair... All I would see is a big ball of mess and hair that couldn’t be combed. Shassity enforced patience during this process and maintained that I would love my hair once all the chemicals grew out.

Fast forward to two years later. The weave is out, and it is 100% natural and I love it. My hair is full, thick, and at a comfortable length for me. It's NEVER been healthier. I admit that a relaxer requires less time, but I feel more secure with my natural hair.

My advice to anyone contemplating the situation: Find a professional that you genuinely TRUST and LISTEN to them.