Whether you big chop (BC) or long-term transition, there are survival techniques that need to be mastered for the journey to be positive, smooth, and damage-free.
Most women who BC start with a teeny-weeny afro (TWA). Now, if you’ve recently watched TV or movies you already know the queen of the red carpet Lupita Nyong'o. She has brought the TWA back to life when so many have found it limited, unfeminine, or boring. She thinks outside the box to ensure she stays fashionable and sexy.
Pretty soon we’ll begin seeing more women either doing the BC instead of long-term transitioning or doing a second BC just to sport the now popular looks Lupita in rocking effortlessly. In order to achieve this there are some tips that need to be implemented to ensure you’re always looking your best.
Moisture is key for natural hair anyways but to ensure your hair has minimal damage or breakage, you should use products that are water-based and will not create a barrier between your hair and what it needs. Botanical (plant based) products are best and steering clear of non water-soluble silicones, sulfates, and parabens are crucial to keeping your hair properly moisturized, especially if you are a newbie. Check the first five ingredients in any product to see if water is first, as it is essential. Moisturize daily, but if not daily then often.
Get a spray bottle (or two)
Since my hair was much dryer and required frequent pick me ups during my BC days, it was difficult to manage without a spray bottle. Spray bottles come in all shapes and sizes. You can keep one in the bathroom and even one for your purse. Some variation of filtered or distilled water, a carrier oil, an essential oil, and glycerin should all be in there. It should be mostly made up of water with just a few drops of all the other ingredients to help sustain the moisture.
Protect your ends
No, you don’t have to worry about your hair brushing up against your clothes but if you want those ends to stay around for a while then they need to be protected. That just means sleep with a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase. If you are not air-drying, then dry with a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt. They work like a charm! Seal your ends with a great carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, olive, or grapeseed to protect the ends from splitting.
If you are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair then your hair is fragile due to the line of demarcation and scab hair. The line of demarcation is very weak because it is the area on the hair strands that separate the two textures. Scab hair is an unscientific term to describe the virgn hair that is extremely dry after one stops chemically relaxing.
Step outside the box and embrace your inner beauty
Beauty is not obtained through a certain hair length. It’s found in you. Embrace your TWA, nurture it, love it, and accessorize the heck out of it with some earrings, makeup, headbands, scarves, and even your own bare shoulders! As it gets warm, think of adding fun hair clips, a bold color with hair chalk, or even wear a tiara! The choices are bountiful so be fearless, fun, funky, and free with yourself and your TWA.