Going natural is possibly one of the biggest life changing decisions that you’ll ever make. I say that because it’s a major commitment and requires a lot of love, time, and self-confidence. I began my transition early on in 2012, cutting the remainder of my relaxed ends and becoming fully natural on New Years Eve of 2013.
I transitioned for a little over a year and can admit that it was especially trying at times, but oh so rewarding in the end. I’ve come up with five mistakes to avoid when transitioning to natural hair that will help all the transitioners out there.
#1 Touching Your Hair Too Much/Over Manipulation
Obsessing over your hair while transitioning will ultimately make you miserable. Your hair is especially prone to damage and breakage during the transition phase, so try not to over style. It’s best to create low maintenance styles such as twists, buns, and braids to keep your hands and scissors out of your hair.
#2 Comparing Your Hair to Other Naturals
This is a big no, no! We all have natural hair crushes (mine was Whitney aka Naptural85.) I obsessed over her length and curl pattern, praying that mine would be similar to hers. It didn’t turn out that way, but now I absolutely love my hair!
With Instagram and other forms of social media, there are plenty of natural hair pages with images of gorgeous curls. These pages are amazing, but can also be a deterrent to naturals in the early stages. We’ve all been there, when you want more than anything for your hair to look like the ladies or men you see. Believe me, when you finally see your hair in its natural state those gals and guys won’t have anything on you!
#3 Being Too Hard on Yourself
Twist-outs and braid-outs were not my friend while transitioning, they just wouldn’t hold for some reason. It made me so mad when I would follow YouTube vloggers’ steps exactly and my hair would never turn out as beautiful as theirs. My advice is to find what works for you and stick to it.
Simple is always best during transitioning. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Trial and error, ladies and gents, trial and error.
#4 Avoid Heat
Heat always seems like the easy route. When all else fails, we go to heat. DON’T! There’s nothing wrong with using heat occasionally, but too much heat can cause damage. To make matters worse, damage to your new growth will only extend the transitioning process.
#5 Don’t Let Others Discourage You
This final tip may be the most important of them all. Never, and I mean NEVER, let anyone discourage you from going natural. Don’t let your momma, daddy, boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever discourage you. Your hair is yours! Embrace it!
As I stated earlier, it’s a life changing decision but it’s so worth every single tear and 100% worth the struggle. Those who try to discourage you don’t know what you’re fighting for and that’s okay.
Find what works for you and in no time you will have your own techniques to show transitioners who are in the place you are now. Remember that you should always love yourself first and your natural hair will follow.