Transitioning 101: Getting Started
This is going from relaxed or texturized hair, aka chemically-treated, to hair that is au-naturale. It grew out of your scalp that way!
Should I transition?
This is a completely personal thing. You should never transition for reasons outside of yourself. If you do, you may find you don't like the process, or dislike the end result. Transition or go natural for reasons of your own.
What's the difference between transitioning and going natural?
Well, one involves a period of growing out the chemically-treated hair to a certain length and then cutting it off to leave only the new growth: that's transitioning. Going natural involves simply getting a pair of scissors or going to the barbers and getting all the chemically-treated hair cut off - in one bold move!_
How to start?
Read, read, read! Did I mention read? Seriously though, there is a host of information out there: Youtube, hair forums, hair care websites, magazines, books....you name it! I recommend writing down your reasons for transitioning, then getting a little A6 book to document your findings. Alternately, you can just get a ring-binder file and print stuff off the net to put in! Start with questions on where you have no clue and go from there!
How to keep focused?
Have your list of reasons close by. Next, go online or check outmagazines and save, cut and paste lots of inspiring natural hairstyles into your folder. This could be ladies with hair like yours or completely different. It's the "mind-frame" you want to maintain. I had printed cartoons with natural hair on my wall to inspire me!
How long to transition for?
That is completely UP TO YOU! Some ladies, like myself, don't want to do the TWA (teeny-weeny afro) stage, so we go for long periods to grow the hair out. Others are just TOO excited to get to the all-natural stage. More power to them! Like I said above, research and keep your ears open to new tips, tricks and techniques that can make the transition smoother.
Be prepared to embrace your natural texture!
Do not go around thinking that your hair will look or act the same as someone else's you've seen. It is YOUR hair and that is THEIR hair! You deal with it as it sprouts! Love it, nurture it (with regular conditioning) and accept it! It's here to stay. Instead of obsessing over texture, start practising natural styles like braidouts, twistouts, bantu-knot outs and curly fros! This way, you get to grips with what your hair can do and what it likes!
How to deal with any negativity?
Honestly, toughen up! Some people will act like it's THEIR hair you've decided to do this to. Others may just think that you're trying to say something about their haircare practices. Let 'em know, "it ain't that deep".
You just want to discover your OWN hair and see how it reacts to different products, the atmosphere and your TLC. If all else fails, just bite your tongue and keep it moving! Be open-minded and never flare up at them. They'll notice when your hair is thriving and may just try it for themselves.
Remember, this transition is your idea. It is not to be taken lightly! And be ready to embrace your natural texture as it grows and grows!
I'm Lola - a hair obsessed doctor who stumbled into running long distances and baking all the cupcakes.
I blog about life, running and of course, hair! I'm an Altra "Team Red" Sponsored Athlete, so I will do the occasional running shoe or gadget review.
For business enquires, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not own the copyright to all the pictures so I will credit the source, where that is the case.