Length of transition (start to finish):
Why I went curlie:
I didn't actually go curlie purposefully. Quite a few years ago I gave myself a really nasty burn when perming my hair at home. The side effects were the onset of migraine headaches, and a very sensitive scalp. It took a few months of increasingly painful headaches for me to see a specialist, which is where I was told that a severe chemical burn could have caused my migraines to begin. After making the connection, I tried to perm my hair less often (and definitely stopped doing it at home), but my sensitivity to almost all hair oils, shampoos, hairsprays, gels and other styling products, resulted in me doing less and less to my processed hair. As it grew out, I found new ways of 'coping', never really consciously committed to going natural, but knowing that I could not go back to processing my hair all the time, and that I had to discover a healthy - and practical - way of living with my hair.
Since my hair was cut into a short style to begin with, before I knew it I had a head full of natural hair that I 'chiney bumped' and twisted; promising myself I would braid it as soon as the back was long enough, and then toying with the idea of locking my hair after that. I never did do any of the above, which I am happy about because it caused me to reach out and ask questions, pay attention to different creative hairstyles I saw other ladies wearing, and to think of and treat my hair as a healthy and beautiful extension of myself, rather than a burden to be dealt with.
Transitioning products and current products:
As a result of my sensitivity (which persists), I use olive oil and shea butter currently to moisturize. I have been told by another Canadian Curlie that shampoo is not something I should be using in my hair, so I will be looking into more natural products for caring for and styling my hair - I am always open to suggestions. I recently tried Olive Oil Eco Styler hair gel (courtesy of my dearest cousin), and I love the definition it gives and the fact that it does not irritate my scalp.
Since I was continually experimenting with products while my hair was processed, the products that I was not allergic to was the line of Elasta QP hair care & styling products, Dove Shampoo (only), as well as the Aphogee line.
The best part of now being curlie:
Aside from the health benefits, which are extremely important to me - my migraines have drastically reduced (if not disappeared) and my scalp, while still sensitive, is much healthier - I love my hair in a way that I never did before! I am a very low maintenance kind of girl and the focus of my hairstyles has always been practicality.
Being a realtor, always on the go - quick and practical styles were a necessity. I always thought that low maintenance natural hair was an oxymoron, only to discover that not only can it be extremely low maintenance (disclaimers needed here lol), my hair's potential is only bound by the limits of my imagination. The best part about being curlie for me is expanding my imagination. I have fallen in love with the versatility of my natural locks and I must admit that I feel a sort of connection to all the sisters out there that I see, wearing their hair like mine. My husband loves my hair, my friends do, and most importantly - I do! I am so glad to have been introduced to Canadian Curlie - I am looking forward to expanding my imagination =0)