The beauty of natural hair is fashionably in and is all the rave. But getting to the point where you can enjoy your naturally curly tresses takes more than just the desire to just look good — naturally. In fact transitioning to natural hair is a three-phase journey.
I like to call this phase destination natural because it is the decision point at which you determine your path and how to style your way to natural hair. Before you make your choice, think carefully of what you are capable of managing during this transition period. Do you big chop or do you take the gradual path to natural hair?
Ways to transition:
- The “Big Chop” (BC). This is the fast path to natural hair. The big chop is simply cutting off all of the chemically processed hair. The result is the teeny-weeny afro (TWA).
- Twists. Not quite ready for the BC. With twists you can gradually cut out chemically processed hair and retain the length of your hair. It is also a low maintenance way of transitioning to natural hair.
- Braids. This cultural heritage of women of African descent is a low maintenance style choice that will allow you to slowly grow into your natural hair.
- Weaves and wigs. Looking for greater versatility while transitioning. Weaves and wigs can give you the stylish versatility you want while transitioning to natural hair.
There are no limitations to the number of transition styles you can try. In fact trying several different options can make the transition process a little easier until you reach your goal of chemical free hair.
The second phase (natural discovery)
The real learning begins here because it is the beginning of your all-natural chemical free hair. During this phase you learn how to properly care for your hair. A few elements are critical during this stage.
- Establish a good hair care regimen that allows you to nurture and maintain healthy natural hair.
- Determine which products are best suited to your type of hair.
- Learn how to style your hair without damaging it.
During this phase there is no one-stop shopping and no easy answers. Every discovery is a result of trial and error and listening and sharing. You will quickly learn that what works best for someone else does not necessarily work for you. This is a phase of natural discovery.
Styling challenges and triumphs are the hallmark of this stage. Experimentation is key to finding the right look for your hair. You Tube tutorials may be your best guide to figuring out how to style your hair. Since natural hair has become popular in the media and advertising take a few styling cues from what is already in the media.
Here are a few methods for styling your hair:
- Roller set. This is not the easiest way to style natural hair. But once you get the hang of it the results are amazing. You can roller set using cold wave rods and then dry your hair under a hair dryer for quick drying or just air-dry. These curls will last for days.
- Twist out. You can play around with different size two strand twists. You can do a dry twist out or a wet twist out. Once you release your twists just style and go.
- Accessorize. Scarves, hair beads, and stylish hair pieces can add a nice and funky twist to any hairstyle. When your style just does not come out as planned, accessorizing can help you get through any bad hair day.
Trying different styles and techniques can help you get through the difficult phase of transitioning to natural hair while giving you some versatility as you learn to manage your own natural hair. Each phase of transitioning to natural hair is a learning curve of styling, product use and maintenance. But keeping in mind your reason for going natural will be the key to your success in remaining chemical free.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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