Transitioning to natural hair does not have to be hard. If you arm yourself with the right knowledge and give 100%, you can not only succeed but actually enjoy it.
So many “naturals in the making” are happy to have finally taken the plunge but there are still many who are afraid or have tried and failed.
Many times it’s over not knowing what to expect. Sure allowing your natural hair texture to grow is a big change but don’t let that stop you. Keep in mind there are sites like this one ready to give a loving hand.
As I have said before, there are two ways to go natural. You can either do the BC (Big Chop or Long Term Transitioning.
Big Chop (BC) – Cutting off all relaxed hair immediately and starting fresh with only natural hair. This method allows you to use products for just one type of hair (natural) and most women start with the TWA or Teeny Weeny Afro.
Long Term Transitioning – Allowing the relaxed hair to grow out for a while before cutting the relaxed ends off. Here, you will be left with two textures to work with (relaxed and natural) for the duration of the transition but you will have the benefit of keeping your length until you are comfortable enough to cut the relaxer off.
There is no hard and fast rule on how long you need to transition. I actually spoke with a woman who was still transitioning after four years! That’s an extreme case but if I were to garner a guess I would say one year to a year and ½ should be long enough length for most people to achieve a wide range of natural hairstyles.
Now, you can stop your transition and BC at anytime and many do but don’t feel you have to be on anyone’s timetable but your own. How successful you become at working with two different textures will probably determine just how long you will transition.
There are certain types of women who choose to long-term transition over doing the BC.
► Loves length – There are many women who are ready to go natural but they already have long relaxed hair and are not ready to sport or rock short hair. The BC is too drastic of a step for them.
► Hates short hair on her – There are plenty of women who hate really short hair on them. Let’s face it, we have to feel beautiful about how we look if we want to make the transition successfully. Also depending on your shape of face, you may feel that short hair does not suit you so if you cannot stand a short hairstyle on you then the the long transition is your route.
► Needs time for adjustment – If you are not completely sold on going natural then a long-term transition is an ideal way to go. You can allow the perm to grow out while you feel if this is something you truly want to commit too. This is an ideal way to transition if you have a significant other who is not crazy about you going natural and needs time to ‘get used to it’.
► Wants to practice on styles – Do you love trying new styles and want to play with the natural styles you see already? Then slowly transitioning will give you that opportunity. Twists, twist outs, braid outs or straw sets are always more fun with length so go crazy and have fun. You are learning as you are growing so enjoy.