|Patience is a Virtue!|
- To BC or not to BC, that, is the question?...The answer to this question varies from person to person. There is no need to Big Chop (BC) if you don't feel comfortable with short hair. There are styles that will aid in keeping the length you have and as your beautiful new growth begins to flourish, the relaxed hair can be trimmed 1/4 inch at a time every 6 weeks. Our hair grows 1/2 inch per month so make sure you give yourself a reasonable and realistic time frame to obtain your transitioning hair length goal prior to cutting off the relaxed ends.
- If you decide to BC know what your styling options are prior to having it cut. Believe it or not there are quite a few options you have if you decide to rock the Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA). Decide if you will do the BC yourself or have a stylist assist in the cut. Also research products before hand. This way you can order sample sizes and used various different products until you find what works well with your hair type and the style option you choose. This will cut down on purchasing products that are not compatible with our hair or style of choice. It will also save you a ton of money.
- For non BC'd transitions its important you protect the place where the relaxer ends and new growth begins. This line is called the Line of Demarcation (LOD). Protective styles like box braids, individuals, cornrows, sew in weaves (I don't recommend a sew in if your hair is recovering from damage caused by relaxer treatments or scalp damage.) bantu knots, twist outs, flat twists, braid outs, wigs, plaits, and loose protective buns, will keep the LOD in tact and reduce uneven breakage. You don't want your new growth to have split or broken off ends and you just got started. Scarves, slouch beanies, and hats are also great for the transitioning, even if you BC'd or for anytime you are in between styles. Try to factor in the season you will begin transitioning as styling options vary per season. You don't want to rock a wash n' go in the middle of winter...smiling. Just know there are many different options out there.
- Research, research, and research some more! I am so happy YouTube exists. I, like many other Naturalistas benefit from the tutorials given, product reviews, and natural hair styles shown. Going natural does require some amount of self maintenance on your part. If you are or have been totally dependant on others to care for your tresses, prepare to transform that part of your hair care as well. Join discussion forums like Long Hair Care forum and start blogging...here at LUV MY KYNXX you will get all the support you need to make your transition to healthy natural hair a joyous and freeing learning experience!
- Most Salons are for styling not hair care. Natural hair requires hair care first and foremost. Yes we all want to look good. However looking good to the external eye doesn't equate healthy hair underneath the style. By taking your hair care into your own hands you can go to a stylists and be a part of the process. By taking your hair care into your own hand you are able offer suggestions on products you KNOW work for your hair type and the current state your hair is in. You can also bring products that you KNOW work well for your hair to the appointment with you. Be aware of the proper tension with braiding and sew-in weaving if you go that route to transition. Improper tension can result in the reverse outcome you thought you would achieve. Breakage and scalp damage are the only results you will get from weaves and braids that are installed too tight.
- Discuss your decision to transition with family and your significant other. This is very important. People closest to you can sometimes be the most difficult to understand your decision to go natural. My approach would be to educate your loved ones on the health benefits of embracing your natural hair . Do not try to convince anyone to agree with your decision as you are free to do what you want anyhow. When you focus on enlightening others minds to the truth you do two things. You focus on the positive instead of any negative reasons that may be thrown your way by nay sayers and you aid in learning more about what transitioning entails by doing research on the benefits of natural hair.
- Last but not least, DO NOT COMPARE YOUR HAIR TO ANYONE ELSE'S! We are all uniquely made in the Divine image we were meant to have. I see so many woman who have hair I would love to have, however I make a conscience effort to keep my adoration's in perspective. What I am seeing is the end result of the Naturalistas achievement. I can achieve the same results by giving my hair the optimum care it needs to reach my personal hair goals. Its okay to admire another persons hair. Just remember that is their hair. Genetics, geographic location in which the person resides, product knowledge, patience and many other elements are a part of the end result you see in any Naturalista with a beautiful healthy mane so always keep that in mind.
Happy Hair Growing (HHG) Ladies!