You do not have to cut all your hair off to go natural!
Making the decision to go natural can be an emotional and scarey one. You may think to yourself how am I going to go natural after all these years. You may have been told that if you stop relaxing your hair, your hair will being to break!
The truth is that when your hair begins to grow back, the part of your hair whereby your natural hair and the chemically altered hair connect is extremly weak. Therefore you have to take extreme care when looking after your hair. The two textures on your hair will require different care which many people find difficult. For example, natural hair craves water in order to moisturise itself. Relaxed hair does not respond well to water. Therefore you need to find the correct hair care methods for your hair and this really does require some trial and error.
Treating all of your hair as natural hair
As your main aim is to achieve a head full of natural healthy hair, it is important that you focus on the health of your natural hair as your relaxed hair will only be cut away. It is helpful to begin to start wearing your hair in more natural hairstyles in order to help you re-adjust to the newly natural new. This includes doing braid outs and twist outs in order to wear your hair in curly hair styles without using heat. The pictures to the right show some pictures of my hair in a braid out when I was transitioning. This is the best curl definition that I could achieve with my relaxed hair without using heat. I used head bands and scarfs to disguise my new growth.
Short Term and Long Term Transitioning
Short term transtioning means exactly what it implies. You transition for a short period of time. This is what I did. I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair on my birthday 22nd August 2009 (my last relaxer). I waited 3 months until the 19th of November 2009 before I did my big chop and cut all of my hair off. This was a very short term transition. There are people who transition for years and continually get regular trims until eventually, all of their relaxed ends are cut away from there hair. This method requires a lot of diligence and patience. In order for this method to be successful, it is important to refrain from using heat on your hair on a regular basis as this will result in breakage. It is also important to wear your hair in protective styles. This simply means styles such as buns, twists, braids, head scarfs etc. Hair styles that do not require a lot of regular manipulatuion and alow your hair to have a break from constant styling which can lead to breakage.
During your transition, you may experience some frustration with regards to being unable to wear styles that you are accustom to. This is completely normal. My advice to you is to keep your eyes on the goal. A head full of healthy natural hair.
Here is a video I made about styling advice and boosting your confidence during your natural hair journey. I hope that you find it usful and I wish you all the best on your transition!! xx