Transitioning from relaxed to natural is not as hard as some would assume. Most claiming how hard it is are individuals who haven’t tried it or did not have the right resources to make it a successful transition.
Either way, if this is a path you choose to take then have no fear. Aunty BHI is here to shed some light on the process, the terms, and the highs and lows.
Now that we have that out of the way…congratulations on deciding to go natural! It is a big step but a positive one and as I have shared in previous posts like 6 Tips For Older Women Considering Going Natural. The key is knowing this is what you really want to do and seeing it as a positive step in your life.
Chances are if you are not sure and you approach it with a pessimistic attitude, all you will be able to see is negatives which will most likely cause you to backpedal and totally fall off the wagon.
Going natural is much more than just growing your relaxed hair out. This is changing a major part of your life. No, I am not trying to scare you, I am just getting you prepared for a journey that is so worth the effort and time you will need to put into it.
Step one – Choosing which path to take for your transition from relaxed to natural.
Going natural is a personal choice especially since you will be the one working with your hair. The first step is deciding which route you will take in this journey. There are two ways to go about going natural and they are very different.
Big Chop (BC) – Cutting off all relaxed hair immediately and starting fresh with only natural hair. This method allows you to use products for one type of hair (natural) and most women start with the TWA or Teeny Weeny Afro.
Understandably, this may be a daunting prospect if you have never worn your hair cropped before but many ladies have described the experience as freeing so if you are brave and impulsive, this is the path for you.
Long Term Transitioning – Allowing the relaxed hair to grow out for a while before cutting the relaxed ends off. Here, you will be left with two textures to work with (relaxed and natural) for the duration of the transition.
You have the option of putting your hair away while you allow it to grow with wigs, weaves and braids. These are viable options but remember that going natural means learning your natural texture so it actually helps to eliminate the wigs, weaves and braids to learn more about your hair texture and what it responds to.
You will find that the best styles to use for this transition will be curly styles that blend both your natural and your relaxed texture. Go with styles like using flexi rod sets, rollers sets, braid outs or twist outs.
Side note: I am not trying to discourage anyone from wearing wigs, weaves or braids but many women who do wear them when they first go natural find themselves stuck and dependent on them as they have not familiarized themselves with their own hair. I would suggest learning your hair by working with it on a day-to-day basis whether you BC or transition. Once you know what your hair’s needs and how to work with it then go ahead and wear wigs, weaves and braids as a style option.