Have you made the decision to transition?
Making the choice to go from chemically treated to natural hair is easy for some, and very difficult for others - but regardless, I've found that the process requires creativity, patience, and acceptance. I've had people ask me, "how long does the transition process take?", but the answer is ultimately an extremely personal one. For me, the 'transition' itself continued long after I grew out and cut off all of my relaxed hair, so everyone will have a different perspective.
For my ladies who are looking for some quick tips and tricks on how to navigate the transitioning process, read on for Part 1!
Short-term or Long-term?
Once you've decided to put away the relaxer and embrace your natural hair, you have to figure out how you're going to get there. Do you pick the quick, no muss, no fuss road of cutting off all of the relaxer and rocking a TWA (teeny weeny afro)? Or do you take your time and allow your hair to grow out until you reach a length you're comfortable with? I took the long-term road, and let my hair grow out for a year before cutting off all the relaxed ends. Honestly, I was scared of the short 'do and just thought it wouldn't suit me at all. I was also nervous about dealing with my natural texture so soon - I needed time to research and learn, which is my usual process with most decisions :) One of my co-workers, on the other hand, said "To hell with it!" and chopped her shoulder-length relaxed tresses off into a Solange-style and rocked it fiercely. For her, she simply didn't want to wait. She was looking for a major change, and that was it! Are you ready for a totally new look? Or do you need time to ease into things? Think about it, and dive in!
Tomorrow, I'll talk about more about long-term transitioning and what that entails, but for today, I'll focus on my brave, big chopped ladies!
So, You Chopped It All Off. Now What?
Whether your goal is to keep your hair short and sweet, or if this is just the beginning of your natural growth journey, taking care of your hair is of utmost importance.
- Keep your hair moisturized! Find a regular co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only) pattern that keeps your hair clean, but full of moisture.
- Take care of your scalp. If you have severe dry scalp or dandruff, it can be more visible on shorter hair. Castor oil is a great scalp treatment. Warm some up in the microwave and give yourself a hot oil massage!
- Get your curls on and poppin'! Find a hair gel with low alcohol content that won't dry out your hair - IC Fantasia and Ampro gels have been two of my favourites for creating sexy curl definition. Looking for a natural alternative? Aloe vera gel will have your curls shining and soft!
- Experiment with colour and go all the way with your new look! Definitely ensure to keep your hair protected from damage, but my TWA'd ladies are almost in the best spot to play around with colour. If your hair does get damaged, what's the worst that could happen? You'll have to cut it again?
- Put your best face forward - with short hair, your beautiful facial features will be on display. Pick your favourite feature and let it shine! Amazing eyes? Gorgeous lips? Work what you've got!
- Don't forget what some great accessories can do - earrings and necklaces can add that extra POW to your outfit and give you some versatility.
Have any of you done the REAL "Big Chop"? Are you currently debating it? For my ladies who are rocking/have rocked the short 'do, what are your favourite styling tips? What did you NOT enjoy about the look? Post your thoughts below! And for my long-term ladies, your post is on the way!