Not every transitioner really KNOWS just what they are getting themselves into when they decide to go natural. I know I thought very hard before I decided. In fact, the year leading up to the decision is included in that time of contemplation. However, even the most prepared may find themselves caught out at the following hurdles. See if you have encountered any of these.
Your hair was never "that bad" with a relaxer
By this, I mean ladies with well-maintained relaxed or coloured hair. Your hair grew long and may even have been quite thick with the chemicals in tow. So you may not feel the need to "put up with" the extra thickness of your natural hair. You may not want to take the time to "tame the beast" each styling session.
If this is you, re-evaluate why you are transitioning and find more reasons to keep yourself motivated.
Examples include - Discovering you own texture. Being you. Free of chemicals.
Okay, we never said they would throw you a party to celebrate your decision. And we never said some people wouldn't feel like your impending transition chop is a ticking bomb above them. You need to understand their perspective too. This is how they have seen you all your life. The change will take time for them. Don't take any of their misguided and misjudged attempts at swaying you from your decision affect you too deeply.
Bottom line is, it's your hair. If you like the end result, who cares what anyone else thinks. Just don't phrase it like that out loud....lol!
"When are you getting your hair done?"
This is a phrase I heard many a time. And to consider that the lady giving me this has a TWA until her early twenties! It's funny how quickly people become used to the status-quo of relaxed hair.
Just smile and keep it moving. Now, people touch my hair and are surprised by "how soft it is" and "how versatile it is". You are the best example for them so just keep your cool and keep looking good.
This is not a license to go out with un-styled (unkempt) hair. That is never cute!
Not being down with "shrinkage"
If you are still hung up on seeing length, you may not be able to finish this transition. Or worse, you may finish it, only to return to the chemicals again in a few months.
If this is you, you may not be ready for the natural stage of your hair journey. If you still want to be natural, you may want to research using heat sparingly to show your length. By sparingly, I mean once every few months. This way, you satisfy that part of you that wants to see length.
You could also try heat-free ways to stretch your hair before styling. Check out this post on "Shrinkage" for more details. Here are videos on Curlformers and African Braiding - two styles that stretched my hair wonderfully!
Improper /Incomplete Research
Count the cost before you set sail. You need to be able to make the round trip. I printed off several pages of information on any new product or technique and gave each one a few weeks of trial before accepting or discarding them. This is what you must be prepared for in your transition.
Furthermore, your hair will change as the transition lengthens. You will find that certain products won't work as well anymore. Neither will certain techniques (my most shocking was needing to detangle in the shower).
Be ready to roll with the punches and always run back to the drawing board - hair forums- for more information whenever you hit a wall.
What have your transitioning stumblingblocks been?
I'm Lola - a hair obsessed doctor who stumbled into running long distances and baking all the cupcakes.
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