"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!
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.