This is a continuation of Part 1’s tips (below). So carrying on…
6. Learn how to do your hair girl!
In my honest opinion, there is no reason why any woman can have a legit excuse for not knowing how to do her hair. For those of you who are a slave to the salon so much so, that you have no knowledge of your own hair and how to do it….well, shame on you. Think of this period as a time where you can learn. The easiest and healthiest route for your hair is to find any style that blends your relaxed texture to match your new growth. Do braid outs, twist outs, or (what was my personal favorite) bantu knot outs to help you achieve this. If done right, these styles won’t damage your hair and are aesthetically pleasing. Look to Youtube for tutorials. Then practice and eventually, you will get the hang of it. I can admit that when I was fully relaxed, I didn’t really do much to my hair. I flat ironed it, curled it, ponytailed it, bunned it, blah blah, etc, etc… the usual styles. But I received soooo many more compliments on my hair during my transition period and I credit my styling creativity for that. Doing your own hair will also save you a grip of $$ and you can’t ever be mad at that!
7. Change your products
Okay so some transitioners claim that their hair still responds well to the products they have always used since when they were relaxed. And if this is the case for you, then keep doing you boo. My transitioning hair demanded alot more from me than when I was fully relaxed. And I thought my relaxed hair was a diva! Here’s an analogy I’ve created for transitioning hair:
- Think of your transitoning hair as two kids that you have to take care of. Your relaxed part of your hair is your 17 year old child: You have experience raising it, and it doesn’t have to be looked after much since it will be leaving the house soon (the house meaning your head, lol) but it still needs guidance from time to time. Your new growth on the other hand, is your 3 year old toddler: It loves to be babied, needs attention, and to be fed (with water) constantly, and has a mind of its own. So when you have to take care of the toddler and teen together with their different needs, it can be chaotic. The whole point is getting both to live in harmony without driving yourself up a wall…
Your toddler is going to need more from you than your teen. Your teen may respond well to products with a clogging mineral oil ingredient, and you toddler may have a tantrum over it. So the best solution is to find something that works for both of them. Step your product game up. Check out online beauty stores like Curlmart, that have healthy products for your hair. Read the reviews. Then look on Youtube to see if there are any reviews on the products of your interest. Maybe you made some mistakes when raising your teen in the past, but hey, at least you can learn from it so you can raise your toddler better!
8. Trim, trim, trim
It is vital that you come to a point where you trim your hair every month. Trimming is important for transitioners because your hair in this state is liable to break off easier, so trimming your hair often is a good way of preventing this. If you don’t, trust and believe when I say any raggedy or split end you have will travel up the hair shaft and will reach your new growth and split that too- which means by the time you cut the relaxer off you will have to cut your new natural hair shorter as well! So if you want that hang time come BC time, TRIM. I started trimming around the 5 month-post relaxer mark and did it every month since then. And quite honestly my hair didn’t get drastically shorter. Hair grows at a rate of a quarter to a half inch every month, so you can do the math on that. Also, the less relaxed hair you have attached to your new growth, the easier (and shorter) your transition will be.
9. Release the expectations!! (Important!)
This was one of the biggest challenges for me during my transition. I hadn’t seen my natural texture since I was 7, so I was definitely nosy enough during my transition that I would cut random strands of my hair at the demarcation line, just so I could get an idea of what it’d look like come BC time. Even though which each day that passed, I knew I was getting closer to that big curly hair I dreamt of, I had to realize that my hair was probably not going to end up like some of the girls in the pictures I looked to as inspiration. And it didn’t. It didn’t look like Taren 916 or Amel Larrieux (love!) and I had to accept that. Who knows how your hair will turn out? This unknown may freak you out sometimes because you don’t want to have blind expectations of what your hair will be just because you want it to be a certain way. So think of this transitioning process not only being for your hair, but for YOU- to get acclimated to a mindset more accepting of whatever your hair will become. So with that being said…
10. BC when YOU want to
I was inspired when I looked on a forum or blog and saw that someone BCed. Sometimes the inspiration created more of an urge to BC earlier than I did. But I did it when I was ready and you should too. Don’t let anyone pressure you, because at the end of the day YOU have to do your hair everyday, NOT them. This may sound dumb, but the last thing that you want, is to BC and regret the time that you do it. You should rather feel the liberating, freeing experience like others and myself, than being consumed by thoughts of wishing you would’ve waited. The way I saw it, after BCing I planned on being natural for life, so I didn’t see the need to rush. I did it when I was good and ready…and ladies, you should too!