Hey, you! Did you Check out the Natural Hair Journey Page? If not you might want to.
Above is a video I did about transitioning. I mention the key points below:
1. You will have to cut your hair
2. If you do a big chop go to a barber
3.Find a protective style
During the transitioning phase it’s important to protect your hair from breakage. Any style that keeps you from combing you hair daily is good. Any type of braids, bun and donuts, and straw sets are all examples. Above are the styles I used. I liked the sew in the most because it’s versatile and popular style but I did damage the parts of my hair that were left out and flat ironed.
But Alyson, why do I need protectives styles? Why can’t I just flat-iron my hair? Why? You dare question me??? Well that’s okay because I’m going to explain. Relaxed hair is weak and puny, that’s why. Okay, not really, but where natural hair meets relaxed hair is a very weak point and there your hair will be most likely to break. This area must be protected if you want to maintain your length. You could flat-iron your hair, you may have to with sew ins, but you increase your chances of breakage and the chances that your new coming curls or coils will be permanently straighten from heat damaged.
The first time I transitioned I didn’t know what to expect so I combed and flat ironed away. Within the first 6 months the hair on the back half of my head had broke off so badly that it was too short to style. I cried as I felt my long relaxed hair at the crown of my head and the short new growth at the back. That was that day that I tearfully got my 1st BC ( big chop) It’s important to me to share my experience because I never want anybody to feel force into a BC before they are ready.
4. Section transitioning hair BEFORE wetting.
This is another thing that helped me a lot! Detangling is difficult as anatural but it was even more difficult while transitioning. Think about it. Combing wet natural hair? That’s when its most malleable. Combing wet relaxed hair? That is when its most fragile. Something’s going to have to give and if you’re like me you’d rather detangle you natural hair while its wet than when it’s a tangled dry mess and likely to get damaged. You must be careful though, that’s why I recommend sectioning it first. I even do this fully natural. Sectioning the hair before washing and shampooing and conditioning each section one at a time may be time consuming but it will be much easier to detangle and keep detangled as well as decrease breakage. Your blow dryer’s teeth will thank me!
5. Blackstrap unsulfured molasses helps stop breakage.
This stuff works. It’s messy but it really cut down on the amount of breakage I had. I don’t know why or how it works but I think it’s a big reason my second transition was 2x as long as my first. You can read more here.
6. Curl pattern
So many new naturals ask me how they can get their hair to curl. Curl patterns are pretty much something you are born with but anybody in the TWA (teeny weeny afro) stage may not be be able to get a good idea of their curl pattern type. My hair had to grow out a few months before I was able to see a curl pattern while wet and a few more moths before it began to show while dry. Curl enhancing products like the ones here help but these shouldn’t be used until after you have cut off your relaxed ends.
7. Find some hairspiration
Every now and then when I look at the stuff on the top of my head and say “What is this” I like to look at my hairspirations. Its important to find hairspriations with hair like yours. Nothing motivates me more to keep moving forward than coming across a beautiful hairstyle or a chick with brastrap length coily 4a hair. See my hairspirations here.