Tell us about yourself.
> Hi Guys :), My name is Niaya. I was born and raised in NYC. I am a currently a first year graduate student, and I love, live, and breathe all things fashion.
How long have you been transitioning?
> I have been on my second hair transitioning journey for approximately 7 1/2 months, and I have to say that I feel pretty good about the second time around.
What influenced you to go back to your natural state?
> I vividly remember seeing my new growth and curl pattern forming three months post-relaxer. It was then that I saw the endless possibilities of what my hair could be. It was as if I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment! In this moment, I realized, like anything you want in life, you have to invest the time and energy into it to reap the success. So from that day on, I decided that I would no longer cheat myself out of the possibilities with my hair and what it could potentially be.
What has the most difficult part of your journey been thus far?
> The most difficult part of my journey thus far has been finding the right products for my two textures, and most of all, having patience. There are times where I get this rush of wanting to big chop, and get it over with. There are also times when I am doing a style and it takes me a while to complete. This is mainly because I’ve never done these styles before, and I want to redo every section to make it perfect.
What have you learned about your hair since transitioning?
> The number one thing I have learned about my hair since transitioning is MOISTURE! I’ve noticed that my hair loves to be moisturized. It is as if my hair comes alive with doing so. Lastly, I have discovered that the curls on the top half of my head are much tighter than those in the back of my head.
Do you think you’ll get tired of transitioning and big chop?
> Now that I have a new focus, and a new found love for my hair, I do not think I’ll get tired of transitioning. I tell myself every week when I wash my hair that I have made it this far, and I can and will continue. I know that good things come to those who do not give up so I will continue my journey because it has taught me so much about hair and myself.
What are some of your favorite products so far and why? (3-5) what are some of your favorite hairstyles?
> Herbal Essence Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner. I love these products because I find that the shampoo does not dry my hair out as other shampoos have done. I love the conditioner because it has a great amount of slip and it makes my life easier when I am detangling my hair whether it’s finger detangling or using a wide tooth comb. Next, there is the Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner Repairing Cream. This product leaves my hair soft, hydrated, and shiny without weighing my hair down or making it feel super oily. Following that is the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque w/ Sea Kelp & Argan Oil. This product leaves my hair feeling refreshed and stronger after each treatment. I have seen improvements in the elasticity in my hair and the reduction of breakage. Lastly, I adore the Olive Oil Eco-Styler Gel because, unlike other gels, it does not make my hair extremely hard, it does not flake, and it is very light on my hair.
On this transitioning journey, I have been extremely lucky and successful with the results of the hairstyles that I have attempted thus far. Some of my favorites would be flat twists, bantu knots, flexi-rod sets, roller sets, and my go-to buns.
What are your hair goals?
> My short term hair goal over the next couple of months is to not apply any heat to my hair. I will also continue to clip my ends every four to six weeks. For my long term hair goal, I want to grow my natural hair out to about nine inches in the next 10 months. Luckily, I already have about four inches!
What would you tell someone who is interested in transitioning?
> I would tell someone to transition when they are good and ready. During this journey, you will discover a lot about hair and yourself. It will not be easy! For the first three months you will be in complete bliss with your hair and all the possibilities. However, in the following months, challenges will begin to surface. Some challenges may influence you to big chop or relapse and relax your hair. Nonetheless, if this is truly your time to experience this journey, you should not give up on your hair and see it through. There may be some associates, friends, and family members that may try to deter you from transitioning and state that relaxing your hair is the only way to go. It is in those moments that you will need to find your own self-strength. Do not listen to these people; I repeat DO NOT LISTEN! This journey is for you and what you want for yourself as an individual. You don’t have to assimilate to society’s standards of beauty. Just as people wear their faces that God gave them, you are on a journey to grow and wear the beautiful hair that God has given you. You shouldn’t have to hide it or feel ashamed about it because it is who you are. Embrace this new journey of discovery and wear it proudly. For all you know, you can be someone else’s support or inspiration to start their journey.
Until next time,
Are you, or do you, know someone who is transitioning? Do you have any questions for Niaya about her transitioning journey? If so, comment below!