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Transitioning To Natural

by Angel

“I just found this site and I absolutely LOVE it. All of the sisters on here are beautiful and all of the cute natural hair style’s I’ve been seeing are making me want to switch up my hair even more! i currently have a perm, and I’ve been contemplating going natural for a long time now. I crave a beautiful full natural head of kinks but I don’t want to have to cut off all of my hair to get it. Do you guys have any transition advice you can give me, or any ideas about how I can go from perm to natural without that dramatic change? Any help or advice you guys could give me would be great!” – Kashmir

thanks kashmir, i’m glad you like the site! my goal is always to inspire and provoke women to achieve their best and to believe that their hair is just as fly as the next chic’s so welcome to the family!

not everyone who goes natural big chops. i didn’t. the way i got around the big chop was by wearing a sew-in weave. i washed my hair every week and added oils and butters to my roots to seal in moisture. i let my hair dry overnight and repeated this process for about a year and a few months before i big chopped. my hair was healthy, vibrant and collar bone length when i finally cut the relaxed hair off.

big chopping isn’t for everyone and it was not for me at that time in my life. i will say this though, if i could go back and do it again, i would have big chopped and wore my twa with pride. the reason i did not was because there were not as many naturals at that time nor was i as confident about my kinky hair as i am now. there was no curly nikki, afrobella when i went natural, and kisforkinky was not even a blip on my radar yet, so i was trying to figure things out on my own and getting past the hurdle of “not having the right kind of hair to big chop” was my major one. but you live and you learn.

my suggestion for you if you don’t want to big chop is to wear healthy, no too tight, sew-ins and or wigs and wash your hair every week. the key here or at least for me was to have my cornrows as small as i could get them within reason because they washed easily, rinsed clean and dried fast. the key is drying because you don’t want your hair to start to hold on to smell and dirt which can turn into mildew. i also redid my cornrows once a month religiously, no fail. i deep conditioned, re-braided and re-weaved. the reason i was able to do this so much was also because i wore a curly weave so i didn’t have to have a “perfect” install of my weave since i basically wore an afro that covered my scalp. i also did everything myself. and that’s what worked for me.

before yous start wearing sew-ins or wigs you can also do twist out hair styles like flat twists, do braid outs, straw and rod sets and pin up styles. with less than 6 inches of new growth, these styles are easy to do and will also help you blend your two textures of hair. your hair will get a point though that you will need to either chop or weave it up because if you don’t the point where the new growth and the relaxed hair meet are going to drive you nuts!

if you are need specific products for transitioning, my number one tip is is to look for products that contain glycerin to help with keeping your new growth moisturized. my staple glycerin-based hair product during my transition was Care Free Curl Gold. it kept my roots soft and supple as well as the rest of my hair. Carol’s Daughter also has a transitioning kit that comes pre assembled and ready to go if you want to stick to one line of products.

there are no rules of engagement to going natural. just have fun with it and learn as you go. enjoy the process and enjoy your newly transformed hair.

shop HAIR PRODUCTS to create a smooth transition to natural hair

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THOUGHTS? HAVE YOUR SAY!
  • Renee

    Hi…I’ve been natural again for a little over 2 years….I agree with everything Georgia said, LOL. My experience and sentiments exactly…love my TWA, but trying to grow it out a bit to get even more styling options. If it doesn’t work out, I can cut it down again and be FREE with my TWA!! :)

  • georgia khoury

    hi i just did the BC and i have gotten more compliments about my short natural hair then any weaves braids curls that i have ever had styled to my hair! i was told that the natural hair showed off my features and that i look even more attractive then when i had hair!!!! can u say a confidence boost! i love my natural hair i have a curly texture hair and i love the way it curls up when i put conditioner and even just water i am just so much more in love with me!

  • Markia

    I’ve debated a long time about going natural and I finally started the process, going on 5 months now, but the problem for me is I was told my hair was too relaxed to do double strand twists and a few other “transitioning” styles so I was recommended to get kinky twists. Now my hair is really weird, the back is broken off something terrible , from what I don’t know, and the breakage started moving up to the middle of my head so I assumed that the kinky twists would help my hair grow back since I wouldn’t be putting any chemicals in it nor brushing/combing it. That was a big mistake! My hair has fallen out even more and just looks rediculous. What hairstyles do you recommend for the transitioning stage? I just took the twists out last night and now that I read your “how to moisturize” blog, I will be doing that tonight, but I do need a style to wear to work.

  • MercedesNechelle

    I’ve been transitioning since june. I thought this transition would be easy mainly because I did all the research. You can do all the research in the world and it still wont completely save u from either the hair you will lose from shedding/combing or cutting because of how frustrating it can get. I have mbl permed hair (in some spots lol) and where the natural hair ends and the permed hair begins literally mats up like a dread. I can comb it and add oils before washing it and my hair still dreads (by the way my natural hair has spiral curls which I believe is one of the hardest textures to deal with during a transition). I just put my hair in box braids to give myself a break and when I take these down in January I will do my bc and install some more box braids, after taking those out I’ll rock my twa for a minuet. I am a lil hesitant about rocking my twa I cannot even remember when my hair was shorter than sl but I’m excited about where this new journey will take me.

  • folamix

    I just did the BC and I must admit I am slowly adjusting to it. I shaved my head over 30 years ago so its not a new thing to me. But I had been wearing a perm for the last 25 years. A lot of my friends didn’t believe I would do it. But one thing I am conscious of is the different types of textures of hair. The hair on the top of my head is fairly soft with little curl, whereas the hair on the sides and back has a definite, tight curl to it. My stylist suggested a texturizer but what was point of cutting my hair?

  • TSB

    I did the BC and was so glad I did. My hair is really thick and I think doing the BC allowed me to get to know it and learn how to work with it a little bit at a time. I don’t think I would have been able to manage going from perm to 6+ inches of natural hair. I think it would have been overwhelming. Plus when do the BC, it forces you to see you, and the confidence you will gain is priceless.

    • Renee

      I agree and is why I did the BC….It’s a scary place when you start messing with half-permed hair.

  • CSI

    Whatever you do don’t put a texturizer in it. I did that some years back only to find out that it’s a relaxer with the same ph balance. you will never be natural with a texturizer and you will never see how beautiful your hair is. Now that I’m 20 months post relaxer I can’t believe that I have the hair I always wanted and just didn’t know it. My hair is WAY better than that texturized hair. What happens is that when you have relaxer and your new growth comes in it feels so hard and brittle but it’s so far from reality. Once it was all gone (the relaxed ends) I couldn’t believe how soft my actual hair really was. Whatever you do think healthy hair otherwise you will set yourself back a bit. I did the BC and am so happy I did. I think it helps your hair to actually grow faster too and the appreciation at each stage is worth experiencing :)

  • TJ

    I did the BC and loved it. It was fresh and new, gave me a clean canvas to work on. It was the best thing for my hair. I rocked my baby fro, lol. Honestly do what you are comfortable with. There is no right way or wrong way. Smooches Curly Q’s

  • MoreKinkyThanCurly

    I would not BC. I transitioned for a year. I wouldn’t BC because my head is too big to carry short hair. I was also scared of my texture because it felt a lot rougher than what I was used to manipulating with a relaxer. The people who BC I applaud them bc of their confidence. I transitioned with braids and cornrows with extensions. Every time I took them out I cut off the same amount of new growth. Whatever you do…good luck!

  • http://www.agrlcanmac.com AGrlCanMac

    I grew my relaxer out for 7 months and then did the BC. Because I cut my hair in the winter, I wore crochet braids all winter and by the summer I started wearing my hair in mini twists. My hair grew like a weed my first year natural. These days my hair is much longer and I try to wear protective styles during the week (like buns and up-do’s and wear it out on the weekends. This seems to be working well for me.

    You have to just keep experimenting till you find what works for you.

  • Anonda

    I’ve bc’d twice and once I did transition for almost a year.
    I definitely preferred transitioning. I got my hair done professionally for quite some time (round brushed) for my transition and then just wet sets at home when I had some healthy new growth. When I got too annoyed with the straight hair, I just cut it off.Transitioning is not really so difficult unless you are dedicated to bone straight styles.

  • Gen

    For the first year I just did braid outs using a lot of moisture and conditioner. Besides that I would straighten my hair a couple of times a year, wore buns, loose though, and ponytails. I wasn’t creative as others.

  • http://napfrocurlzgirl.blogspot.com napfrocurlzgirl

    No BC here, but I did decided last year to grow out my hair. I take my queues from the men who grow their hair out…no manipulation. I dc w/a steamer and wash/cond and twist once a week. Keeping my hair in twists about 6 months out of the year has netted me two feet in length in just a year’s time. I use organic products I make myself, except for conditioner (still tweaking my recipe) and oil my scalp once a week w/JBCO. I don’t brush my hair and only comb it to detangle. If I wear a twist out or bantu knot out, I don’t do anything to it other than shake it out and go (my curls last from week to week). I’ve noticed that men grow their hair out super fast because they’re not product junkies and aren’t always playing in their hair like women are. And so far, it’s working for me.

  • http://maybesomaybeno.wordpress.com Brownbelle

    I transitioned for 10 months, and if I could do it all over I still wouldn’t BC. I’m not a person who likes change–I wore my hair the same way from freshman year of HS all the way up until my junior year of college! But transitioning and cutting my hair off 2inches at a time allowed me to get used to working with my hair on my own, and by the time I cut it I was acclimated with my new texture and thrilled to be all natural.

    Tips: keep your hair moisturized and deep condition at least once a month. If you decide not to BC, roller sets are a great option to give your scalp a rest in between braiding & weaving.

  • http://facebook ERIKA

    if you have a fear of the BC, try texturizing your hair instead of getting it bone straight. this gives you the ability to manage your hair, develop your curl pattern, and start out on your natural hair styles all while getting length. Start treating your as if your natural. As less heat as possible, lots of moisture with water and or oils. grape seed, shea butter, olive oil.

  • doc

    when i was thinking about going natural; i flat-twisted my relaxed hair at night and that gave it a wavy look the next day.
    when i decided to go natural, i cut my hair off to about 1inch all around and then wore braids for a couple of months. when i took the braids out, it was pretty much the same length so i just did itty bitty twists and wore it like that.

    you just gotta find what works for you. i’m glad i experienced the really short length now but i remember being in shock that my hair was gone so i understand you wanting to wait a while. i’ve seen other transitioners rock straw-sets/rod-sets to conceal the two textures. i think the one main “rule” i hear other recommend is not to use too much heat with your two textures. try searching for transitioner videos on youtube?

  • DyDy

    I chose to not do the BC too. I made sure to keep my hair moisturized to keep my hair from tangling. That was the one thing that perms used to help with, but I realized by keeping my hair moisturized that too prevents the tangling. http://www.facebook.com/entwinecouture has really good hair butters to help keep natural hair healthy. I started using things like natural shea butter mixed with olive oil, but graduated to natural hair butters. I also started wearing wigs just to give my hair a break and prevent the weather from severely damaging my hair while I was growing my perm out. As far as washing your hair that completely depends on the texture of your hair. Washing it every week for some black woman can be damaging. An Aveeno Natural Hair care stylist told me for my hair, I should wash and condition my hair one week, the next week I should just wet and condition my hair. Repeat this on alternating weeks. Another great thing to invest in to keep hair healthy is a hair steamer. http://www.behuetiful.com/ You can use it every other week, but at least use it once a month. If you spend a lot of time outside in the elements, you may want to use it once a week. They keep the hair soft and manageable. I love mines!



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