Transitioning 101: 5 Reasons Why You May Fail In Your Transition To Natural Hair

Transition To Natural Hair

Years ago I worked in an office. It was the standard office job environment; taking lots of phone calls, filling in paperwork, hating the manager, you know the usual. After a year of working there management decided to move our offices a few miles away into a building that the company had recently acquired.

We had all been made aware of the move months before so we were all prepared when the time came. On move day we looked around the new office building most of us could see that it was a huge improvement over the old one. The air conditioning worked better than the old one, the lighting was better, the kitchen facilities were better, even our desks and chairs were brand new.

Still there were murmurs of discontent among some of the staff; there was more traffic in the new route to work, the cubicles appeared a bit smaller and the ladies room was on a different floor. These were all minor problems, if you could even call them that, but we very much enjoyed making the office manager’s life hell for the first week about every little thing that we didn’t like about the new building.

Change is hard for us humans, even when it’s good change. And it’s no different when it comes to our hair. The idea of being able to achieve some of the wonderful natural hairstyles we see all over social media and YouTube can be very tempting to the average lady who is not completely satisfied with her hair.

Still how many of us have decided to transition to natural hair, practically shaking with excitement at the thought of being a natural sista, only to end up relaxing a few months later in a blind panic?

Not many relaxed ladies are brave enough to chop off all their hair and start again from scratch with shaved heads or TWA’s (Teeny Weeny Afros). For that reason transitioning slowly is the most common choice that ladies make to swap relaxed hair for natural locks but this road is long and is often strewn with the carnage of women who didn’t quite make it all the way.


While there is nothing wrong with relaxing your hair if that is your personal choice, it would be great to give the natural hair thing a fair try before dismissing the idea altogether.

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About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

About Alma Ruddock


I’m Alma Ruddock, the founder and editor-in-chief of Blackhairinformation.com. I stumbled on a hair care forum back in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair, and quite possibly my life, forever! I immediately started to transition to natural hair and started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to help others achieve their dreams too. My three passions are hair, art and entrepreneurship and I love to be able to bring my unique view on hair growth and successful hair journeys to our readers. I am an eternal optimist and workaholic. In addition to BHI I have founded quite a few other websites and businesses including Elongtress Hair Vitamins and Urban Gyal which all fall under the umbrella of my company Coils Media Ltd.

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Hixie CarrCandi Ballard-ZolicofferTracienaturalThee Anjel MaloneDemi Recent comment authors
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DahOnly Le Johnson

Not even da same girl

BlackHairInformation.com

No it’s not, it just stock images used to make the point 🙂

Stephanie R. Thompson

I transition for 6 months and Could not take it anymore !! So I big chop …I have a twa!!

Sherry Miles
Sherry Miles

Same here… Planned to transition longer but grew weary of both textures. I have a TWA and finally figured out a really cute styling technique. I suppose I’m just preparing for the next phase now.

Renotta Brown

I already did fall for it started my transition in October

Ebony Shelby

I think you have to have a plan before you start transitioning to natural hair. I started my transition back in July and it’s going great.

Yolanda Bella

Planning and patience makes the transition successful. I did a big chop, as soon as my hair grew out I braided it and wore sow-ins for a year and four month and I’m still going strong. It can be done but again with planning and lots of patience.

Royesna Boom

Thanks for this Yolanda… I am also struggling with the transition period.

Jamila Kelly

Reason number 1: I’ve had relaxed hair for 20yrs and the thought of having to.deal with my super kinky natural hair drives me crazy 😛

Carolyn P. Gregory

I am going thru the transition again for the second time and for some reason this time I am struggling with the process. I haven’t permed since November of last year but I have a short cut. I don’t know what to do with it. Too short to do a weave. Suggestions please?

Karin Brumfield

Im in the same boat as you Carolyn. Did the bc in Nov 12 and have a short style now and trying to grow it out. Still too short for weaves or braids at this point. Bout to get a wig and call it a day. Want my long hair back!

Michele Fedupwitu

At Carolyn find you a great wig that’s what I done… And it’s great

Eve

I am one of the people who searched the internet (Especially Youtube) for ways to transition to Natural. I searched until I found someone who had the same texture as mine. Then I watched all of her video’s. Saw her fails and triumphs. Made some changes according to my environment. Everything is not for everybody. Work with why you have and you can do it. Found the things your hair drinks. Jojoba and olive oil are a treat to my hair, try some and it is in I love my natural hair. Loving trying new things with it. Also did the BC in 2005.

Micole Spicer

I started transitioning from relaxed to natural hair in August 2013. It has been going well. I am trying new styles.

Gabrielle
Gabrielle

I’ve been in transition since October 2013 and I’m not ready to cut my hair yet so I’ll been doing straw curls to my relaxed hair… if that helps anyone 🙂

Tasha Neri

I failed transitioning into natural and panicked. Ran to the store and got some creamy crack and now I wished I would have just kept going. Sigh…

Demi

When your ready it will happen. Depending on your hair type a relaxer only last but so long before your natural hair starts to come in.try again. For me I am learning how to take better care of my hair no matter what state it is in. I love all the oils and being aware of the cones and sulfates that deplete moisture and absorption. I have whipped my Shea butter mix and made my flax seed gel…it just goes on and on. What ever state your hair is in health is # 1

Porter Novelli

At that point now, not giving up.

erdath
erdath

About half a year in I was ready to cut my hair off because I was so fed up with the two textures, but after a year of growth it’s becoming easier to handle. I’m hoping to more successfully protect my ends this year and leave my hair alone for longer amounts of time so by the time I cut off my relaxer I will know what I need to do to retain length. I think hair type (and overall length from a styling standpoint) play a big part in terms of frustration since tighter coils will be drier, more fragile, and less cooperative. I used to bun and ponytail a lot with my relaxer, but stretching all my hair back nowadays is an ordeal because of how my natural hair shrinks so much so quickly. Loose styles are also a bad idea for me. I basically stick to twists. I’m guilty of wanting looser curls, but I’m starting to get past it.

Cathy West

I was doing fine with braid outs and Afro; but since I broke my arm I’m in too much pain to do my own hair. Now I’m stuck with a flat iron because other people don’t want to deal with natural hair.

Stacie Hart

Can I use kertain on natural hair?

Thee Anjel Malone

Yes. It’s an replenisher

Fonda Nesbitt
Fonda Nesbitt

I started my journey to nature hair in May 2013.I’ve cut about 3 inches of the relaxed hair and I have about 4 more to go.It’s hard to style may hair some days ,my hair is thin and short so I can’t do high buns and I do not wear weaves nor braids..So I am taking one day at a time,this is more work than a relaxer,try to find the right products and styles….

Shamika
Shamika

I’ve been transitioning for almost three years and my hair is pretty long. Almost Bsl. My hair is so kinky and shrinks so much that I just keep wearing extensions because I just don’t know what to do with it. I’m almost ready to give up and get a relaxer 🙁

Tracienatural
Tracienatural

Shamika, I want to encourage you to stay on your natural hair journey. Three years is a long time and a lot of investment. Besides, your hair has grown to almost BSL! That’s wonderful! Maybe you need to cut off the relaxed ends so that you can have some fun with your hair. Try a new style, like doing twists or flat twists with your own hair, or even trying out buns for a while. How about a fierce twist out or braid out? I would bet money that if you go and relax your hair, you’ll regret it a few days later! I’ll pray for you 🙂

Georgia Branch

My Baby Is Two & I Really Dont Know What To Do With Her Hair It’s Very Uneven & Her Sides Dont Seem To Be Growing In As They Should Be I Want To Cut It Off Like Really Low & Start Over Like I Did Mine But People Are Advising Me Not To Cuz She So Young Anybody Have Any Advice I’d Truly Appreciate It!

kurleegirl
kurleegirl

If she is only two, I would advise you to leave her hair. Just style it the best that you can. Her hair is basically still transitioning from baby hair and needs to catch up. It sometimes takes years to do so. My daughter is now 6 and when she was 2 we barely had anything to work with…at 1 we were still using a baby brush. I just continued to oil her hair and style it the best that I could. Today she has below shoulder hair that everyone admires.

Dovie Moore

I have been natural for 2 yrs and I think the key to surviving transition is to find a hairstylist who can do, will do , and know natural hair .

Cherisha Christman

I don’t understand transitioning. your hair grown from the root and it grows out natural just cut the relaxer off and let it grow out. why hold on to it?

Demi

Everyone does not want a twa. Also some of us have long hair to begin with and you have to start from a place of comfort.

Erin Pearson Johnson

pretty either way

Carol Cummings

FAIL? How do you FAIL to grow your own damn hair?

Candi Ballard-Zolicoffer

I transitioned for a year and a half it was difficult at first but after a while I got the hang of it and now 10yrs later im still glad that I went natural

Hixie Carr

I transitioned for 18 months and never did big chop. Patience is a must it is the best decision I’ve made. My hair is healthy and I never knew I had beautiful curls since I relaxed my hair all my life. It’s worth the journey.