My transition from relaxer to natural took one year. During this time I re-discovered my natural texture that I had not styled since childhood. This process was not easy and dealing with two textures was annoying at times. However despite the struggles, shedding the relaxer was the best decision for me and at the end of the transition my hair had grown in to a kinky fabulous crown, my afro was re-born!
Check out some of my tips below to help you through the transition stage.
1. My number one tip is to avoid using heat on your hair as much as possible. The line were the relaxed hair meets the natural hair is extremely weak and can break easily. So adding heat to the mix is a recipe for disaster. Also you want to minimise the risk of getting heat damage or changing your curl pattern. There also needs to be a mind-set shift of wearing your hair in its natural state, you will gradually become more comfortable in your own skin and begin to showcase your kinky or curly crown. If you need to wear your hair in a straight style you could try stretching the hair by plaiting or using the African threading technique.
2. Do not rely on protective styles using extensions and braids all the time whilst you are transitioning. If you do not become comfortable whilst transitioning you will find your hair difficult to manage once you are fully natural. You need to experiment and find out what works for you. Are you a braid out kind of chick or do you love a simple bun? Experiment and have fun with it.
3. Some days your hair will just look like crap. Sorry it is unavoidable. To reduce the self-consciousness, awkwardness, and on the days when you are not feeling on point you should read a blog for encouragement, speak to fellow naturalistas or if all else fails put you hair in a puff.
4.Whilst transitioning you might find that your hair texture will change, this is due to the relaxed hair elongating the natural hair and giving the appearance and feel of a different curl pattern. Once you are near the end of your transition and have removed all of the relaxer don’t be surprised if the curl pattern is different.
5. There will come a time when your relaxed ends will look stringy and unhealthy. Be brave and cut it off! By getting rid of the old relaxed hair this will minimise the chances of breakage and you will no longer need to blend two hair textures making styling a lot easier.
6. The transition stage is the time where you can experiment with products to establish a hair care routine. Certain products you used when relaxed might still have an amazing effect on your hair, whilst others will have no effect at all. Try different products and find out what works for you. To save money try swapping products with friends, your hair might really love the product even if it did not work for them. Stick to the LOC (liquid, oil, and cream) method in the early stages for simplicity.
7. Document your hair journey with photos. This is something I did not do and I regret not doing so. Look back and see how your hair has grown and how it now looks all kinds of fabulous.
8. Above all else embrace the natural you, the coils, the kinks, the thickness, the frizz, the versatility. As your fro begins to flourish you will realise being natural is amazing and you will wonder why you did not go natural sooner.
Let me introduce myself, i'm Caron a London based blogger.