One of the best decisions I made in 2014 was to go natural. I know, I was late to the scene, but I was never one to do something just because everyone else was doing it. In 2012 I noticed my hair was not as thick as it once was prior to my first relaxer in 8th grade. I spoke to my beautician about it – I only went to her for relaxers – she told me that my hair would be too thick to manage. I naively believed her. I also had no idea how to do natural hair, so in went the relaxer.
In 2014, I noticed the thickness of the hair was not improving and started researching people who decided to go natural. Wow. I was blown away by how easy it looked to style natural hair – YouTube was my favorite channel; and I learned the importance of doing your own research. I read blogs and articles about the damaging affects of relaxers, including an NIH article that concluded relaxers have adverse effects on hair, including frizz, hair loss, dandruff, thinning and weakening of hair, split ends, and grey hair. Another article concluded that relaxer use increases risk of uterine leiomyomata aka uterine fibroids or non-cancerous tumors. After reading those articles I decided that it was time to go natural.
I researched the difference between a big chop (BC) and transitioning and decided that transitioning was the best choice for me. I had hair down my back and a BC would be too drastic for me. So I stopped getting relaxers and bought all these curly hair products, that I later learned I didn’t immediately need, because in the first few months of transitioning I could continue to roller set my hair without worrying about breakage. Around four months post relaxer (post) is when I started doing heat-less braid outs, which became my staple hair style. Transitioning was tough. Seriously, it was extremely frustrating. There were moments when I was about to cut all of my relaxed ends off with only inches of natural curly hair on my head because I could not get a comb through my hair. Sounds crazy, but trust me the struggle is real.
One year and three months post and after my mini BC (I cut my hair into a bob, leaving about 4-5 inches max of relaxed hair) at 10 months and full BC at 14 months, I am crazy in love with my natural curly hair and would go through it all again if I had to. With that said, I learned a few things throughout transitioning, that I wish someone had of told me, that I want to share with you:
- Blow-outs look great, but murder my curl pattern and result in heat damage — not cool!
- Limiting heat is a great idea, but low-heat is actually better to help my low porosity hair lock in moisture from my leave-in conditioner.
- Curly hair products are addictive, seriously limit the products you try and know that once you transition, you may need to try other products because your natural hair has a different texture. For me heavy creme products worked well in the early transitioning stage, but once I big chopped lightweight cremes worked like magic for my hair’s porosity! Click here to learn more about curly hair porosity.
- Patience is a must. Transitioning is tough, hang in there! Venting helps.
- Cut your hair whenever you feel like it. I’m not saying to cut it yourself (although I did trim it myself in the beginning…), but trimming it every month helps to balance the ratio of relaxed and curly hair, which helps during detangling. BC anytime you feel the time is right, and do not look back! 🙂
- Detangle your hair or it will be frizzy, period. My fingers were the best while transitioning and the Denmand brush works like magic now.
- The LOC method works. Liquid (water or leave-in conditioner), Oil, Creme (styler).
- Anytime you lay down use your silk or satin bonnet, or your hair will dry out.
- Anytime you take down your style or fix it the next day, have oil or pomade on your hands to prevent your skin from stripping your hair’s natural oil.
- Your hair style will probably not look like the YouTube video you watched, but I’m sure it will still look good! We all have a mixture of curl patterns, and no one curly head is the same. 🙂
Please let me know if you are transitioning or decide to transition! Best of luck and be well! 🙂