A dedicated Transitioner takes the time to learn whether her hair favours Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil or maybe one of those beautiful butters she has the pleasure of choosing from. She doesn’t resent her new growth but, loves it no matter what texture it is, giving it the love and affection it desires.
Having to deal with people trying to ‘keep it real’ about how they feel about her new hair is not rare for the Transitioner. They may catch her of guard at times, but she remains composed and lifts her head high because she is confident in her decision to go natural – this isn’t a fad, to please the next person, and definitely not a cry for help (I hope!).
Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics
You’ve somehow been introduced to the natural hair world, whether it was through your stylist or perhaps you admired the way a close friend rocked her bold afro with such confidence; either way your curiosity was piqued. That curiosity turns into the decision to take action and so the journey begins.
Stage 1 – The Dive
You make the decision to “go natural”. You dive right in, head first, literally, with the big chop or proceed subtly by transitioning. You’re excited because it’s the beginning of something new yet apprehensive because of any preconceived notions you may have about the process.
Stage 2 – Still Unsure
If you’re transitioning, you’re dealing with multiple textures, finding the right products through process of elimination which also means elimination of lots of cash, and looking forward to the day when those relaxed ends are persona non grata! If you big chopped, in addition to similar frustrations of a transitioner, you are contending with the stark contrast from your normal look and no longer hiding behind your hair.
Stage 3 – Arrived ….ehhhh?
You’ve finally arrived, no more relaxed ends and it feels great, but now what? Your big chop has now become its goal length (whether that’s a twa or longer) but you haven’t quite discovered your mane’s true personality. There’s a whole new head of hair to get familiar and bond with and you can quickly get overwhelmed. You take to the blogs and vlogs for more information than you even know what to do with and continue the business of figuring it all out.
Stage 4 – Seasoned Vet
After some time of experimenting and self matriculating, you are that unapologetic natural girl that everyone confers with, the one to whom new naturals look to for guidance and inspiration. Have you mastered all things natural? No, there are always lessons to learn, but you’re a lot further than you were a few years ago and even more comfortable in your own skin. It’s when you learn that starting any journey can be taxing and frustrating and contained in those frustrations are possibilities of awesome results.
*Note – these are my experiences, coupled with testimonies of other naturals I have interviewed. Of course, not everyone goes through these stages in the same order and some phases may be combined and/or omitted.
Source: Curly Nikki
by Bennii Blast of The Culture Pine
I often see a lot of transitioners appearing to be at their wits end when they reach that point in their transition, where the call to reach for the box of relaxer is looking like it is about to be answered. Although I have surprisingly not had the itch to go back to relaxing yet, I have had this dream, well nightmare, where I accidentally relax my hair. How one accidentally relaxes their hair I do not know, but I remember being pissed in my dreamworld and waking up feeling for my hair to make sure everything was as it should be. That sigh of relief I tell ya…pure madness! It just reminded me of how much work and patience goes into transitioning, and how mad I would be at myself if all that commitment went to waste. It confirmed that going back to the creamy crack is a definite no no for me right now!
Anyways…I wanted to be of aid to those who have reached this point in their transition and may just need some encouragement to keep moving forward with their journey:
#1 Don’t spend HOURS looking at photos where you were relaxed
There have been moments where I catch myself looking at old photos and I have to remind myself to keep it moving. If you are experiencing a weak moment, don’t torture yourself further by bringing out those old photo’s where you were still relaxing. This could stir up emotions you felt at the time of the picture where you may appear happier, and because your hair happens to be relaxed in the picture, you may wrongly connect the two an make an irrational decision. Instead, start collecting new photo’s of your transitioning hair (especially when you have successfully pulled of a new style from that YouTube tutorial!) so that you can look to those for encouragement to keep going!
#2 Try an alternative
Instead of making such a drastic change as returning to the use of chemicals, why not try something less permanent such as flat ironing occasionally or roller sets? This may help you to overcome this part of your transition without having to give into that urge!
#3 Reward Yourself!
Transitioning can be a roller coaster of a journey and requires more patience than some of us even knew we were capable of having! So instead of focusing on the negatives, try celebrating the positives by rewarding your accomplishments so far. Acknowledge the efforts you have put in already, and allow yourself that new lipstick you have had your eyes on!
#4 That ‘Good Hair’ documentary
As cheesy as it sounds, watching this documentary was the kick up the backside I needed to finally start my transition, and I know I’m not alone in that! When you are at a low point, watch the documentary and hopefully it will stir up those emotions that made you want to kick the relaxers out of your life. Remember the coke can? Sheeesh!
#5 Spend time looking at naturals and fellow transitioners
Happiness can be infectious! If you spend some time surfing the web reading the testimonials of those who have been in your shoes and are now completely natural, seeing how happy they are with their decision will no doubt rub off on you and remind you that this thing is not impossible. Collect some pictures of smiling naturals whenever you feel that relaxer urge coming on!
#6 Write a list of all the reasons why you decided to transition
As you get further into your journey, the reasons why you started it in the first place may become blurred along the way. This can make you question whether continuing to go any further with your transition is really necessary. For those times where you feel you may be reaching for that box of chemicals, make a list of all of those reasons that you decided to start transitioning. This will keep your goals fresh in your mind and motivate you in achieving them.
Feeling like you are ready to go back to relaxing does not make you a terrible transitioner! We all have our weak moments and sometimes just need some encouragement to keep the wheel spinning. At the end of the day, you have to remember that doing what is best for you is what is most important!
Happy Transitioning =)
Source: Curly Nikki
How do you stay motivated during your transition?
Tips and tricks for making the transition to natural hair easy and affordable.
Don’t Opt For Expensive Cons
Transitioning on a budget all depends on what works best for you. There are many expensive hair products marketed towards transitioning to natural hair, but most drugstore brands work just as well and cost more than 50 percent less! That being said, try all of the affordable products before you work your way up the cost scale. As long as you know what you are looking for and follow a couple of guidelines, the cheaper products will work just as well as the expensive products.
Don’t be a product junkie!
For hair types 2, 3a, and 3b, a good clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner should definitely be on your list. Pricing for both items can be as little as a couple dollars apiece. Often times, transitioning to natural hair calls for a remedy such as a deep conditioner. An easy way to enhance a cheaper conditioner is to add special oils or ingredients to make it even richer. Try adding oils such as rose oil or coconut oil.
Type 3C and 4 hair will require a bit more maintenance, especially after a chemical relaxer or straightening treatment which can cause excessive damage to your hair. Many women recommend braiding, twisting, or adding extensions to your hair while waiting for it to grow out. All of these work, but you need to be gentle since kinkier hair has more of a tendency towards breakage. Be sure that you are deep conditioning often, and either reducing the amount of time you wash, going with the no-shampoo method.
Convenience is cheap!
There are plenty of easy, inexpensive, homemade hair treatments that you can make simply using what is already in your kitchen. One great treatment for your hair is a homemade hot oil treatment. All you need are essential oils including extra virgin olive oil. Heat up a quarter of a cup of oil in the microwave until warm and work it through damp hair.
The real question is not whether it will work (because this remedy will), but the price in comparison. It really depends on every person’s experience with transitioning to natural hair. A decent bottle of extra virgin olive oil can cost between $7 and $20. However, you aren’t using the whole bottle for your hair, and you can still use it for cooking. Pre-made conditioning products, on the other hand, can cost $2 or more.
Regardless of your hair type, it’s important to not only deep condition, but to also do a deep conditioning and hot oil treatment for your hair.
When you do this, wet your hair first. This will help to seal the moisture in the cuticle, strengthening the hair and causing less frizz.
Most importantly HAVE FUN with it. Experiment with different products and styles to find what works best for you and your hair. And last but not least don’t forget to Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
Source: Naturally Curly
Preparing for the big chop comes down to who you are.
Curlies with perms and those who use relaxers often find that committing to the big chop is a worthwhile solution to going natural. The big chop can be done in two different ways. One being an immediate ridding of all chemically treated strands, and the other being a process of growth. Both options have their pros and cons, but either way, the big chop is all about cutting off all your hair that has been treated with chemicals and allowing your natural hair to grow out.
While there are a couple of different methods for getting a big chop, you should know that this is a real commitment. The grow out period may take some getting used to, but in the end, the natural, thick, and full head of hair that you will wind up with will turn heads and expose your natural beauty.
Literally, THE Big Chop
Curlies who wish to go all natural immediately choose to big chop by cutting all the chemically treated hair off at once. This is done by cutting the hair within a couple inches of the scalp, leaving only the natural hair behind. Depending upon how much natural hair you have, you can either cut it or shave it. This is a very drastic change, and you should think it out carefully before making this leap.
You can either cut your hair yourself, or have a stylist do it for you. Either way, the results will be immediate and will last a while, giving you ample opportunity to play around with short, curly hairstyles as the grow-out process begins.
Slow & Steady
For those curlies with perms or relaxers who don’t want to make such a drastic or immediate change, there is the transition method. Growing your hair out without adding more chemicals will allow you to perform the big chop without losing as much hair all at once.
This method will allow for longer hair, but you may have hair that has a very different texture on the top than it does on the bottom. However, as with anything else we curlies decide to do, there are ways to solve this problem. Headbands, braids and ponytails can be used to mask the differing styles of our hair.
Some people who choose transitioning to natural hair will then do the big chop when their hair is long enough for comfort. Some will go for a shorter style in order to rid themselves of the chemically treated hair sooner, while others will wait until their hair is longer before deciding to cut the chemically treated strands off. All in all, it completely depends on your comfort level with shorter strands.
The thing to remember about the big chop is that it’s all about your personal style.
Give careful thought to this while weighing the pros of saving money at the salon, time in front of the mirror, and an overall sense of freedom with the cons of having shorter hair for a time or having to cover up a two-tiered style.
Have you already transitioned or done the big chop? Tell me about your experience, and why you chose the method you did?
Love You Much, Sunshine
For the NaturallyCurly bunch, going natural is something many have worked for and many have achieved. For the rest of the population, it’s an up and coming trend to look for. Numerous studies have shown that 65% of the world is naturally curly, but should embracing that texture really be something that we consider a trend?
Going natural can be a long process that takes many months to get adjusted to. It’s a big decision for many people, especially for the women who are worried about what the men in their life will think of their new ‘do.
So what’s the rave about going natural? “Glamour” magazine did a recent article about the benefits of going natural and it has generated a lot of natural buzz.
You’ll Cut Back On Trips To The Salon
The less heat you are applying to your hair, the less you need to go to the salon to get your ends trimmed. If you are a curly who goes for a routine color, you can also cut back on how many times you go in for a touch up. Keeping your hair curly helps to hide roots that are peeking through because of the lift you have throughout your hair. What’s the newest way to save money dedicated to salon trips? Go natural!
Styling Is Fast
Curlies are often told that they have it easy because being natural doesn’t require much work. While we all know that isn’t true, for myself, styling is much quicker. I don’t depend on a hair dryer or straightener any longer. All I really need are my fingers for scrunching and a microfiber towel. My two styling tools are extremely simple and especially cheap. Going natural means you can take all of those styling tools out of the bathroom to make room for your new product!
Going Natural Is Better For The Environment
No, really! I knew being natural was much better for my hair, but who knew that it actually improves the environment? If you pass on the blow dryer every day for two years, you have basically planted a tree! Two years might seem like a long time, but if you typically blow-dry for 30 minutes consider it only taking one year.
Many celebrities have been rocking their natural looks at red carpet events lately, making going natural look like a new trend. While it is awesome that so many people are going natural and sporting curly ‘dos, don’t let the idea that this is a new trend fool you.
Going natural is a commitment. You have to decide that showing off the real you is exactly what you want to do, because it is no easy task. You will spend lots of time on trial and error simply because you have no idea what ingredients your hair really loves.
Deciding to go natural is more like a lifestyle change, but once you decide to flaunt what you’ve been given, you will never go back! It will be exhilarating and the first time you get a compliment on your natural hair, you will be on cloud 9 and remember why you did this in the first place.
Need some help deciding if going natural is right for you? Check out these transitioning blogs to see the struggles other women are going through during their decisions, as well as how they are overcoming them.
Source: Naturally Curly
So for the past 5 months I have been transitioning from relaxed hair. My last relaxer was February 2012 and I plan to do the “BC” A.K.A Big Chop on August 4, 2012. I honestly have been enjoying the experience thus far and I can’t hardly wait to FULLY see my natural curls. I actually have a girlfriend who has been natural for 10+ years who talked to me about her experience of going natural. One thing from our conversation that still rings clear in my head is when she told me,
“Once you get into it & fully go natural. You are going to ask yourself, What took me so long?”
And she is so true. I am Soooo In Love with my hair! Even my Sweetie says he loves my hair better natural. Who Knew? So to all the transitioners and the ones who are considering going natural this post is for you.
10 Tips For Transitioning To Natural Hair
Want to go natural with or without doing the Big Chop? Transitioning to natural hair is a simple process of growing out your natural texture before cutting off the processed or damaged ends.
But don’t set a time just yet. You don’t have to know when you’ll rock your 100% natural hair right away! Give yourself about 4 months. By then you should have enough growth to get excited.
2. Find Your Go To Transitioning Style
The goal is to blend two VERY different textures of hair into one. Try a bantu knot out or a natural girl’s favorite: the twist out.
3. Detangle When Hair Is Wet
Always detangle when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner with a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up.
You’ll have to do some experimenting, but cleanse your scalp anywhere from every 2 days to every 2 weeks.
5. Keep Your Hair Moisturized
Dry hair breaks. Nothing beats water when it comes to moisturizing hair, but you can also add your favorite natural hair products on top to seal it in.
6. Get Use To Deep Conditioning
Hair masks are no longer a special treat! Naturally curly hair usually doesn’t lack protein, so stick with deep moisturizing treatments.
No need for a blow dryer or flat iron any more. Try air drying all of your styles instead.
8. Protect Your Edges
Avoid transitioning styles that put too much tension on your temples and the nape of your neck. The hair there is usually finer, thinner and more delicate!
9. Be Gentle!
The point where your natural texture meets your straight hair (it’s called the line of demarcation) is THE weakest part of you hair. Take your time when you detangle and style your hair.
Depending on the length you had to start with, get a good trim each month. Remember to use hair shears and not regular scissors!
Remember: NOT all hair is created equal. What may work for me may be different for you. Use different hair products and styles until you find something that works for your hair type and texture. These tips are designed to nurture your naturally curly hair, because in the end, THAT is what you’ll be keeping. Good luck and congrats on going natural! I’m here to help!
Source: Naturally Curly