So initially, I was going to do a long term transition. I decided to go natural on October 18, 2011. At that time I was about 2 months post relaxer. I thought I could transition for about a year to a year and a half, but after I did research on ways to properly transition (meaning preserving your natural hair and not frying it to match the texture you want to get rid of), I realized I may need to cut that time in half. As my natural texture grew in, I realized my natural hair was extremely dense and thick and my straight hair was fine and very stringy. I BC’d on May 20, 2012. In the process I learned some things, that many people would assume are implied, but to those that have had relaxers virtually their entire lives, some things don’t come as easy. Here are some things I learned while I transitioned to natural:
1. DON’T GO CRAZY BUYING PRODUCTS: Not every product that works for your relax hair will work for your natural hair. They are two completely different textures and it may appear to work on the surface, but you will have a hefty bill once your transition is over and then you are left with products that your natural hair hates. Stick to the routine you normally use but slowly break away from the sulfates and heat tools. The key is moisturize. Once you do that, you don’t need all the fluff.
2. GO THE EXTRA MILE TO SANITIZE: That means your face, tools, and linens. Now I know you all are clean people, but you definitely want to make sure you are ridding your surfaces of all the extra oils and products. In my quest to natural, I watched tons of videos and I don’t want to assume that going natural was the cause, but I noticed many transitioning women and newly natural women were breaking out in their video. You may throw some shea butter, jojoba, castor, grape seed, and coconut oil on your hair then get on the phone and it will go all over the phone, then you’ll hit the pillow and it will suck up all that oil and you do it all the next day. Be mindful of the surfaces you come into contact with and sanitize! Make sure you are also sanitizing your tools. Don’t let conditioner and curly hair dry up in your tangle teezers, Denman brushes, and clipping combs.
3. STOP TOUCHING YOUR HAIR: After I BC’d I couldn’t get my hands out of my head, but moving between your head and face will definitely rob your hair of the moisture and it will also take what you stole from your hair and plant it on your face. Can you imagine putting $8 worth of conditioner on your face!
4. SEARCH FOR DEALS: Black hair care is a booming business and we sometimes are financially taken advantage of. I did a post on this awhile back on ways to save money, but you always want to scope out deals whether it be ethnic markets, amazon, shop savvy apps, or making it yourself, get CREATIVE and FRUGAL!
5. IF YOUR SKIN ISN’T TOUGH, GET IT TOUGHER: You’ll face slack from everyone but Jesus about your journey, how you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it with it. Get tough and find someone to talk to, the journey is like pledging so you’ll need someone to discuss the up’s and downs.
6. DOCUMENT YOUR JOURNEY: Everyone says to do it, but making journal entries about a product that didn’t work or did work or how much you spent allows you to look at the bigger picture. It will bring you back to reality.
7. READ WHAT YOU BUY BEFORE YOU BUY IT: If that means spending extra time in the store, then do so, but you definitely want to spend the time to read the ingredients until you find your staples. Speaking from personal experience, you don’t want to leave the store with a bill and you get home and the products you bought are the complete opposite of what you should put in your hair.
8. HIDE THE HEAT: Give away or store your flat iron, “bevelers”, blowdryers, curling irons, and pressing combs. You WILL get tempted and you WILL regret it.
9. DON”T BE AFRAID OF YOUR DNA: Your natural hair is different and new, treat it like a long lost relative and get to know it.
10. MOISTURIZE: Everyone and their momma’s Youtube page and blog will tell you to moisturize. You need to feed your hair as you get used to it.
There are tons more things you’ll learn and that people will share. Good luck on your journey.
about 1 month natural