So, one of your goals from doing our New Year’s Eve kit on pg.36 was to transition your hair from perm and heat to becoming completely natural. That’s amazing! Figuring out your natural hair texture and curl pattern is so exciting. You’ll be checking every washday for progress and just how slaying your wash-n-go can be. Though the end result is happiness, the journey to becoming natural is very difficult and confusing. So, to guide you through some of the process, here’s some helpful tips and advice for transitioning into the New Year.
Big Chop or Not
When deciding to transition for fully natural, one of the first questions to ask is doing a big chop or letting the chemicals and heat grow out. The big chop eliminates the growing out process and completely cuts out the chemicals. You become natural and maintain that for growth. If a chop is too drastic, you can grow the chemicals out, regularly getting trims and maintaining a half natural, half permed/damaged hair.
Everyone gives you their two cents about which is quicker, which looks better and which is easier, but realize this is your hair. The decision is ultimately yours and you’re going to be wearing whichever style you pick. So first, think about what you’re comfortable in. Can you picture yourself taking a drastic cut? Secondly, more important questions should also be answered. How much damage have I done to my hair? Do I want to immediately start a natural process, or let my hair take it’s course? These are important questions to ask yourself and to remember that whatever choice you make is going to be that style for a while.
While this is not our first point, this is our most important. Patience. Everything about the natural hair process is patience and take patience. When you make the big chop, your hair may not grow back as fast as your like. When that first year hits, your hair won’t be Nicki Minaj bundles. You have to be patient with the process and letting your hair grow at its natural pace. When transitioning without the big chop, patience is going to get you through the grow-out. You’ll see those beautiful natural curls emerge and then straight hair towards the ends. It may take a year, but patience is what you’ll need.
When you’re completely natural, you’ll try an array of products and styles to see what works well with your hair type. You’ll watch Youtube tutorials everyday and your bantu knots may come out as crap. Patience. You’ll eventually learn your hair type and be successful at your hair goals.
When you’re transitioning or even letting your hair grow out after the big chop, you’ll have a heat moment. The moment where you miss your length and long, straight hair. It was easy to manage. Or a heat moment where you just want to straighten your hair to see cause you’re tired of the curls. Our advice to you, don’t. All it takes is one straighten style from the flat iron and blowdryer to cause heat damage starting over the very process you’ve grown tired of. Try to stay away from heat and allow yourself to only get your hair straightened for trims.
So you’ve been going natural for a while and want to change up your look. We understand, natural hair is honestly more time consuming than chemicals and you can get bored with just throwing your hair in a bun (which isn’t good for your edges). Here’s a rundown of some styles you can wear while transitioning, or even after becoming fully natural.
Twist-Outs: Yes, you can start twist-outs during your transitional period. The key for letting your hair grow is to leave it alone as much as possible. This means doing a style that can last a week. Constant combing and pulling can result in the breaking, so natural styling is important. We know your natural roots will natural curl and twist, but worried about the ends? Simple. Take a flexi-rod, perm rods, whichever you prefer at whatever size. Curl the ends up until the area where the natural and perm meet and keep it in till your hair is dry. This will curl the ends with twist curls at the roots.
Braids: If you have a busy schedule, braids will be one of your best options. It takes minimal effort to style every day and can last a long time. You can oil your scalp down, even dry shampoo your hair to maintain a cleanse. With braids, be weary of one thing: your edges. Research who you are letting braid your hair before you make the appointment. Make sure they are not known for braiding tightly. This could break your edges completely off and result in hair loss. If your braids and head hurt days after getting them put in, TAKE THEM OUT. Listen to your hair and the signs.
Wigs/Weaves: Wigs and weaves are another great option. Although wigs and weaves sometimes may not look as natural as your real hair, they are a great protective style that allows you to use heat without damaging your real hair. There are many amazing styles for weaves, but also styles you should stay away from. We advise not getting a partial sew-in. You will have to blend your natural hair to the weave, which will require constant flat ironing. This can cause serious heat damage. Choose your style wisely and remember your ultimate goal.