Hair

Top Five Tips For Transitioning To Natural Hair

When one of my best friends recently called me informing me of her decision to stop being a weave junkie and start wearing her natural hair, I was ecstatic! She decided to make the change because she no longer wanted to be a slave to her weave and was so ready to embrace her natural hair texture. She lives in California and I live in New York, so I was basically “on-call” for all questions and I also forwarded her some of my favorite YouTubers who helped my through my own natural hair journey. While helping out my bestie, there were a few things that I realized were key for me in transitioning and also helped my friend greatly. Here are my top 5 tips:

1. Wait Till You feel Comfortable: While many women go for “the big chop” and shave off their head starting from scratch, many of us, including myself, were not quite in that boat of rocking such a short look. For me that meant growing out my relaxer slowly by wearing weaves an box braids ( read more about my journey here). I waited a full year and a half before I felt comfortable with the length and unveiled my hair to the world! The time seriously does fly and I can’t believe it’s actually been three years since my last relaxer! My point is to be patient and make sure you are fully comfortable with wearing you hair from weaves to natural because it really does take some adjustment in looking at yourself in the mirror with a completely new do, so make sure you are comfortable!

2. Watch Tons of YouTube videos/read blogs: There are so many resources out there with women from all over the world sharing their tips and regimens. I began watching YouTube videos and reading blogs well before I actually wore my hair natural and the more I watched and read, the more I got more and more excited about my hair and started to build my own regimen. Here are a few of my favorites:

http://www.curlynikki.com/

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE1432A4BD8AA0323

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6odQRlBElB00Nsr5LDjnHA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrFA-p6A-uIJ6jJbTFTAT9w

3. Experiment With Styles On the Weekends:  This tip was key for me in getting used to looking at myself with natural hair and testing out styles to make sure they held up before going to work, because any natural will tell you sometimes you will have your hair looking one way when you leave your house and have it be a completely different style by the time you get to work depending on the weather. Utilize the weekends to play around with your hair and get your signature styles down packed!

4. Have a Backup Hair Style: I found it to be pretty important to have a back up style so that if you try a braid out, twist out, or wash and go for the first time and it looks nothing like what you had in mind, instead of feeling self conscious all day, perfect putting it in a bun, or some other quick style you can resort. Even if you have short hair, by a bundle of weave and create quick easy styles. A backup style allows you to try out new styles without having to worry about it being a potential disaster. I even have to resort to backup styles sometimes when I screwup my braidout or twistout!

5. Find What Products Work For You: I always get asked what products I use, but honestly, everyone’s hair is different and what works for me might not work for you. As much as we all want every product we buy to work perfectly, there is no magic universal product and the only way to find the best product for you is through trial and error. See what other natural women are using and start somewhere. Trial sizes are great, just in case you don’t want to take a chance on the full size of a product. Refrain from going to the store and buying up the place and stick to a few at first and start to weed out the good from the bad!

I won’t lie, the process is not easy for everyone and there were definitely times when I was transitioning that I felt like I might cave and get a relaxer, but I got through it! One if the biggest benefits of going natural is the strong sense of self you get from it. It is such an overwhelming feeling when you first get complimented on your natural hair, completely weave free – biggest confidence boost ever!