Have you always wanted to transition to natural hair yet did not know how? When we first published Girls Guide: How to Transition to Naturally Beautiful Hair a few years ago, the natural hair movement was exploding in the Unites States. Shortly thereafter, it became a global phenomenon. Attitudes and behaviors have changed for the better and younger generations now see natural hair as the norm.
In sisterhood, we support our sisters in their hair transitions. The following post is an excerpt from Girls Guide: How to Transition to Naturally Beautiful Hair by Angela D. Coleman:
“How do I transition to natural hair from a relaxer?” is one of the most commonly asked questions from naturalista newbies. The answer to that question is that it is not that complicated. The hardest part is getting started. Instead of calling it a “transition,” I like to call it the “transformation.”
Like the butterfly that must first molt as a caterpillar, natural hair will transform you. This chapter will help you with your molting stage, the most important part of your metamorphosis.
You are at odds with yourself and will feel strange because now your outside (hair) does not match your inside (new, natural mentality). Now you have two totally different textures growing on your head simultaneously, almost fighting each other for dominance. When your hair is relaxed, you may be tempted to straighten your new growth to match the older hair texture, but don’t! It will just delay your progress.
In an exclusive interview with Girls Guide, natural hair expert Taliah Waajid says, “Through my many years of servicing clients, I have found that the most comfortable way to transition is through wearing a braided or weaved style until the new growth hair is the length that you feel most comfortable wearing without extensions. That length has usually been four inches or more.”
Ultimately, to move forward you will have to cut off the dead, relaxed hair. If you really love it, you will set it free! How long you wait to cut your hair depends on your comfort level. For example, many women who want longer natural growth will grow out the new, natural texture first using braid or twist extensions. I am not a big fan of weaves or extensions and you can grow out your hair without them, of course.
I believe that the most important part of your transition is to play! That’s right; playing with your hair after the cut is the best way to get intimate with your hair texture. Hair texture is like a fingerprint — it is unique to each person. The more familiar you are with it, the more comfortable you become with yourself and the hairstyles that suit you.