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Curly Nikki

Tara’s Transition Story

By January 27th, 202119 Comments

Tara's Transition Story

by Tara Hunter via Three Naturals

So we’re still early in the new year, a time when a lot of people like to make resolutions, changes and new commitments. Have you been thinking about going from relaxed hair to natural? Well now is as good a time as any to start! You can start the new year off by diving right in and cutting all your hair off or you can hold on to your relaxed ends while letting your natural hair grow in for a few months before cutting the ends off and sporting a TWA (Tweeney-Weeny Afro). You can also chose to transition over a longer period of time, which is what I did.

Tara's Transition Story
Last Relaxer

I applied my last relaxer in February 2009. Although I had contemplated it many times, it wasn’t until the end of March that I decided to stop relaxing my hair. I was tired of my thinning and breaking ends from constant hair colouring and flat ironing and wanted healthier hair. I’ve worn short haircuts in the past but this time I wasn’t ready to part with my length so I kept my relaxed ends, trimming an inch or so off every few months as my hair grew out. I experimented with different hairstyles: twist-outs, braidouts, puffs, wigs and weaves. By May 2011, I got to the point where I could barely tell if I had any more relaxed ends so I was finally done transitioning and became a full-fledged natural! Now, after a trimming another inch or so off in November, I have reached BSL (bra-strap length). My hair is actually longer than it was when I started my transition in 2009.

Tara's Transition Storyone year in!

Was it easy? No! It was hard dealing with two different textures. At the beginning I wanted to relax it, after about a year I wanted to cut it! Thanks to YouTube videos, blogs and websites similar to Three Naturals I found a lot of information and confidence to keep going. Did I get some discouraging remarks? Yes! “Your doing what? Why?”, “But you hair is nice the way it is”, ‘”You’re going to wear an afro?”*side-eye* ‘, “Hmmm (long pause)…really?” and “Don’t do it!”

Tara's Transition StoryWas it worth it? YES! My hair is the healthiest it’s ever been and I love the versatility. I feel like I have a lot more styling options. As an added bonus, I get lots of compliments from friends, family, co-workers and random people on the street! I don’t mind the occasional “can I touch your hair?’ but the sudden hand-in-hair from strangers and the blatant weave-checks, I can do without.

Things to remember while transitioning:

  1. Try to deep condition often, weekly if possible. You may need to alternate between protein and moisturizing conditioners. After a while you’ll be able to tell what your hair likes and needs.
  2. Water is your friend. Keep your hair moisturized with water and then seal the water in with an oil and if you’re trying to retain length, focus on sealing and protecting your ends.
  3. Be patient and gentle while detangling. Two different textures makes this process more difficult. The line where your new growth and your relaxed hair meets is very fragile.
  4. If length is important to you may consider a long term transition beneficial: If you BC (Big Chop) after only a few months you may find that you will be trimming your natural ends while trying to maintain a particular shape or while still getting used to styling your ‘new’ texture, taking away from your length. When you transition over a long period of time, your natural ends and length are protected while only cutting off the relaxed ends, slowly, over time..
  5. Get support: Start your journey with a friend and keep checking with Three Naturals for tips and encouragement!

19 Comments

  • hunnybun says:

    keep it up hun your hair looks gorgeous and your transitioning styles are a hell of a lot better looking than mine were lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey ladies!!! I am so far about 5 months into my transition. This is is actually my 2nd attempt. The 1st time i was 21yrs old and it was extremely difficult for me mainly because i had no idea sites like this existed lol. It lasted for about 1yr. I did do a big chop right away and wore braids/weaves until i had a little more than a twa. Then i started to wear it out it braid outs. Loved it!!! But got frustrated and gave up going back to the "creamy crack". Now i have so much more motivation. I have a 2yr old little girl who has beautiful natural curls who i want to be an example for in loving your natural hair. Currently, i have box braids which i will take out in a few weeks and begin wearing my natural curl. No big chop this time simply a long trasition so i can really embrace and appreciate the journey. I would love any support and tips so feel free to reach out. Wish me luck

  • Christina Kcee says:

    I have been saying i wanted to chop off my hair (BC) for a while! 2012 came and i finally did it at the end of January. I RLY WISH I HADNT:(. i still consider myself a transitioner because im not confident enough to wear my hair out. i wear full lace wigs most of the time or lace fronts. do you think i should just relax my 1/2 inch of hair so that id be able to track my growth better? and what are safe styles to do besides wigs? i definetly dont want to relax because i love my curls but i dont want to damage my natural hair either?! HELP!!!

  • Jami Martin says:

    This is me all the way! Acutally today, I began to plan when I would possibly get a relaxer. I have been doing the long transition for a year and 3 months now. The main thing that bothers me during this process is first the fact that I live in HOT Alabama, then beauticians will not even touch my hair, above all I just don't know what to do with it anymore between the frizz and slight 2 different textures. Glad I ran across this. This will at least help me hold off on getting a relaxer for a couple of months

  • Tara Hunter says:

    Thanks for all your comments ladies!
    @ Anonymous 10:35 – It will get better!
    @ Anonymous 10:49 – So right about finding a go to hairstyle! Curly Nikki's Twist'n'curl was mine!
    @ Quaneasha – Yes, I started using henna pretty often during the first year of my transition but found that it made my relaxed ends more straight and harder to blend with my new growth. I still use henna a few times a year now.
    @ Anonymous 11:51 – some of the transitioners I watched were baby22phat, maneandchic and others no longer making videos.

  • Anonymous says:

    Loved this story!

  • iriediva says:

    im currently transitioning, about 6 months in and blogging my journey. i agree with the person who said you need a go-to hairstyle. mine is currently the braid out but i am frustrated that it really doesnt last long so im going to switch back to flexi-rods or else ima big chop!!! i just did a youtube of my go-to braid out, you can find it on iriediva.com

  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous 11:51 Longhairdontcare is another YT who did a long transition and her hair is gorgeously thick.

  • keishabradford2006 says:

    I was a transitioner, but I didn't last two years.I transitioned for 11 months,cutting 1-2 inches off every other month. The last and final chop was March 2011.I was going to the Bahamas and was like,"screw it." I cut the rest off and I had a pretty decent sized fro. I wore a wash n go the whole time. It was great. I'm now almost a year totally natural and I love it. Best thing I could've done. Also,the texture you have while transitioning is totally different than when you're all natural. If you can make it thru transitioning, you will love your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Alodia80 has some great transitioning styles and included her big chop in her channel

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anon 11:51

    Naptural85 has some great videos that show her transition and ways to style etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have been transitioning for almost a year and youtube has been very helpful. Does anyone know of any good "youtubers" who have transitioning videos or tutorials. I currently watch NinaPruitt.

  • Neda says:

    Beautiful!

  • Quaneasha says:

    Wow, she has gorgeous hair! I can see a bit of red in her hair in that first pic (it may just be the flash from the camera or the lighting in the room though) and I can't help but wonder if she hennas her hair.

    Congrats to her for reaching bra strap length! I am 2 years 1 month relaxer free and the VERY back of my hair is almost there but I think I need a trim so I'll need a few months before reaching that length. Ugh!!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous at 10:35 Im in my 5th month post relaxer also. What I find a key to make this process easy is to FIND A GO TO HAIRSTYLE! I use dry roller sets, what works for one person wont work for everyone else. Those twist outs were piece-y on me and bantu knots outs work also but didnt last and my hair began tangled. So I will continue rolling my hair with stain sponge rollers until I have grown out enough new growth to try something else. I have no plans to big chop, retaining length is more important to me then becoming fully natural in one day (big chop).

  • Anonymous says:

    I am in my 5th month transitioning, and I have been so frustrated with my hair, the two textures, and trying to find a decent style. I work out 3 times a week, so I have to wash/co-wash more often. I'm not that great at styling my own hair (I just learned how to do flat twists lol!) I recently had the strong urge to big chop after seeing so many success stories (but again, I can't do half of the styles those ladies do), so I'd rather keep my length. But now I feel encouraged. I feel like it will get better, and that I need to be more patient. This post was SO needed. Thank you so much!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this transition story and I want mine to be like hers: transition so long that my relax hair evidentially grow out, not much cutting. And, to me thats what I call a transition, and by my calucations correct she tranisitoned for almost 2 yrs.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Nikki-
    I know that I am suppose to leave comments relevant to the topic however I don't see how to contact you otherwise…so here goes… I want to host a natural hair party and I was wondering if you could help me with how to begin..my email is [email protected]
    Thank you, Tamara
    I have several questions for you.

  • BP says:

    I am transitioning and I had the strongest urge to relax my hair this week….I needed this post! Thanks

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