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

Hair journalThe benefits of natural hair are far reaching not least of which is that you get stronger hair that grows long easier along with a genuine sense of freedom from never having to get touch ups again!

A lot of women however give up early in their transitions and here are some of the top reasons why this happens:

1. Failure To Plan

Whether you want to transition for a few months or a few years, you must have a plan for you hair including: How long you will transition for, how you intend to style it during the transition, what products you will use and when you will chop of the relaxed hair.

The only way to prepare yourself for what is to come is to do plenty of research. YouTube, forums and blogs are excellent resources and by seeing other women’s successful journeys from relaxed to natural hair you will know exactly what to expect from your own hair during and after the transition.

2. A Lack Of Determination

There is little point in going into a transition half-heartedly because you are doomed to failure. If you know exactly why you are transitioning for example; you have been unable to grow your hair long while relaxed and want to try the natural route, you want the thick hair that your natural texture will deliver or you simply don’t want to use chemicals any more, either way you are more likely to succeed when you have a concise reason why you want to go natural.


3. Not Accepting Your Texture

Loving your hair texture will either come immediately or it will grow on you. Now if you have never done a long relaxer stretch, prepare to be shocked, even taken aback by the sheer volume of your natural hair compared to your relaxed hair especially if you have been growing it for a good few months.

Expect to be surprised as to how much length is actually hidden by shrinkage and don’t expect perfectly defined ringlets especially during the transition phase, your curls won’t pop until the relaxed portion is gone. And if you don’t have any curls, well then you have gorgeous kinks. It’s all good hair!

4. Impatience

Hair takes a while to grow and it may take months, even years for you to get a length of hair that you feel comfortable with. Just bide your time and keep your eyes on the prize. The transition itself will go by much faster than you think, and the results are so worth it!

5. Comparing Yourself To Others

This goes hand in hand with not accepting your natural texture. If you feel the green eyed monster coming on every time you watch a YouTube video of someone with longer, curlier, shinier or hair that is somehow just better than yours, then don’t watch videos any more.

Just concentrate on your own hair, take lots of pictures throughout your journey and only compare yourself with yourself. There’s nothing as inspiring as visual confirmation of your own progress!

Take Away Message

If you have tried to go natural in the past but was not able to for whatever reason it’s not a failing in your character or confirmation of the fact that “natural isn’t for you” it’s likely that you were just under-prepared for the process.

You can still have a successful transition if you avoid the top 5 mistakes listed above.

 

Originally posted 2014-01-16 12:50:44.

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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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Comments

    1. 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.

  1. Ebony Shelby
    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.

  2. Yolanda Bella
    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.

  3. Jamila Kelly
    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 😛

  4. Carolyn P. Gregory
    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?

  5. Karin Brumfield
    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!

  6. 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.

  7. Micole Spicer
    Micole Spicer

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

  8. 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 🙂

  9. Tasha Neri
    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…

    1. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Cathy West
    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.

  12. fonda12

    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….

  13. 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 🙁

    1. 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 🙂

  14. Georgia Branch
    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!

    1. Kathy

      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.

  15. Dovie Moore
    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 .

  16. Cherisha Christman
    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?

    1. 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.

  17. Candi Ballard-Zolicoffer
    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

  18. Hixie Carr
    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.

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