1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Latisha Rivera. I’m DMV resident, finishing my last year of law school and cannot wait to change the world of Immigration Law one International Human Right at a time!
2. How long have you been transitioning?
So, today actually makes 80 days exactly! Yes, I have a countdown tracker on my phone haha. That means I’m almost 3 months post relaxer—11.5 weeks to be exact.
3. What influenced you to transition?
Around November of last year, I decided to ombre my hair. The bleach was a bad idea, especially since I was relaxed! From that moment on, I decided to start profusely cutting/trimming away the ombre ends and got serious about a healthy hair journey. In a sense, I was transitioning from the bleach and heat damage on my hair. From November 2013 till May 2014, I saw my hair flourish and thicken up like crazy! In May, while battling with the DC humidity, I decided that it was time to take the plunge and get serious about this healthy hair journey. What better way than to begin my transition to natural!
4. What has been the most difficult part of your journey thus far?
Hands down, the thickness of my hair. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my big hair and, being Puerto Rican and Jamaican, relaxed or not I have always had a LOT of hair. But, now that I’m transitioning, my hair has gotten even thicker as it grows and I’ve had to begin washing my hair in sections. 4 sections to be exact. Without sectioning my hair, there would be parts of my hair that would be slightly damp after shampoo and conditioning my hair. No bueno.
5. What have you learned about your hair since transitioning?
I’ve learned that my hair is extremely thick. Thicker than I’ve ever thought possible. I’ve also clung tighter to the belief that there is no “good hair” stereotype. Being biracial, I was raised being told that I had “good hair” but when I was growing up and didn’t know how to take care of that hair, all I saw was split ends and heat damage. I kept waiting for the day that I would get this “good hair.” I’ve learned to stop waiting because good hair is HEALTHY HAIR. No matter the hair type or the texture or the race, that “good hair” stereotype is simply HEALTHY HAIR.
6. Have you ever thought about big chopping?
Yes! I LOVE love love to trim my hair. In between trims, I dust my ends as well. For that reason, I know that I’ll only last so long with transitioning. I plan to big chop once I’ve reached the 15 months mark (around August 2015). If I’m not ready at that point, however, then I won’t push it. But, if I am, then snip snip!
7. What are some of your favorite products so far? (3-5)
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Transitioning Milk
Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo
Crème of Nature 7 in 1 Leave In Conditioner
Nancy’s Kitchen Products Silk Buttercream Deep Moisture Masque
Homemade Flaxseed Gel
8. What are some of your favorite hairstyles?
Wash and go’s, buns, and curlformers! Soon I’ll start to experiment with flexi rod sets and bantu knot outs but for now, those three are winners! As I’m in my last year of law school and soon to enter the world of DC lawyers, those three hairstyles can still be professional (for my age).
8. What are your hair goals?
Simply, to have healthy hair. I want my hair to get as thick and healthy as it possibly can. In terms of length goals, bra strap length would be perfect.
10. Any advice for new transitioners?
As I’m pretty new myself, my advice can only go so far haha. I will say, however, be confident and be open minded. I say be confident because there will be people that will be open to your transition and there will be people that aren’t open to your transition. And, some of the people that aren’t open to your transition could be close family members whose opinion actually means a lot to you but remember this journey is for you and YOU only. Stay true to you! Be confident.
I say be open minded because you’re going to want to try a lot of new methods, techniques and hair products. Don’t go overboard but be open to products and styles that you’ve never tried before!