The pressure surrounding going natural in 2013 has mounted to
unprecedented proportions. When I first went natural in 2004, I don’t
remember any of the hype and propaganda that is present today. As easy
as it is to say “it’s just hair,” we all know it is much more than that
for many ladies. Our hair can be representative of ourselves. And for
some people, especially those who may have never seen their natural,
unprocessed hair, it can be a scary decision to make. Here are a few
tips I want to share with those who are contemplating the journey.
1. Overcoming Fear
Fear is a big factor for many ladies when the topic of going natural
arises. There is fear attached to many concerns: not knowing what your
hair is going to look like, being misunderstood by your family or
friends, worries of not being found attractive by the opposite sex, not
having long hair to fall back on — the list goes on. A lot of the fear
people have is self-induced. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re wearing a
relaxer, a weave, natural hair or no hair. You are capable of putting
that fear aside and going forward with what’s best for you. Once you get
over the fear and the what-ifs then you can move to the next step.
2. Get a Big Chop
If you are no longer fearful of the what-ifs, and you’re ready to dive head first into going natural, you can opt for the Big Chop.
I understand this can be scary because, as women, we’re used to
associating long flowing hair with being feminine and attractive. Going
against the grain is becoming easier thanks to the many beautiful ladies
embracing their TWAs in public settings. It’s no longer taboo to cut
your hair down to an inch or less. In fact, it’s become a powerful
symbol of strength and courageousness. This clean slate offers a chance
to nurture your hair from teeny curls to luxurious locks.
So you think you’re ready to go natural, but not quite ready to jump
into cutting your hair? Transitioning is a great option, but what most
people don’t realize is that transitioning to natural hair
is a much harder, much more committed process. It can be difficult to
deal with two textures, especially while your new growth is flourishing.
Many ladies often find that once their new growth has reach a certain
length that it’s much easier to just cut off the relaxed ends. The best
advice I can give transitioning ladies that may be scared to reveal
their true textures is to experiment with styles that mimic the way you
will be wearing your natural hair. This way you will learn techniques
that will benefit you once your hair is completely natural.
The bottom line is that it should be YOUR decision! I don’t know of
any other way to say it. It is not up to anybody else but you. Once you
have your mind made up, the best thing you can do is to educate
yourself. There are many reputable forums within the natural hair care
community, and they are there for people just like you. It’s helpful to
ask questions of friends, family and fellow naturals, but it’s
ultimately your decision. Don’t let people sway you one way or the other
or you may end up regretting your decision. It’s easy to get swept into
product and ingredient discussions too, but just remember to keep it
simple. Simple regimens and simple ingredients are the easiest to keep
up with, especially while you’re learning about your newly natural hair.
I hope this helps and good luck along your natural hair journey!
I used to have beautiful thick hair curly hair at the age of 10 (although, at the time I thought it was horrible) and my (and my mother's) frustration with my hair led to getting relaxers for the next 8 years. Now, at 18, I'm fed up with my limp, and damaged hair and I have decided to go natural. I'm excited, and a bit nervous, but I hope that in a couple years I'll have my luscious, sexy hair back.
I read a million posts about natural hair care before I decided to start transitioning. My hair was pretty healthy and retained length when I was relaxed and I hate change so it took me a while before I decided I wanted to stop. I couldn't make it past 12 months though, i'm in awe of women who are able to transition for longer than that 'cause it is not easy.
i was going natural and I didn't even know it. It staretd back in 2004, I was setting my hair everyday and rocking curls. I stopped blowdrying my hair. Then in 2009, I got a blow out and saw how much my hair had grown. Then I just continued to grow my natural hair. The one thing that I did was i didn't chop off my relaxer. I let it grow out. I also had highlights as well and that grew out as well. So in my opinion, you don't have to cut out the color or the relaxer. As long as you condition or hair you should be fine. It worked for me.
The decision to go natural was one of the most liberating experiences of my life. I can say it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I did transition & it was difficult at times but sooo worth it! I've been natural for 3 years now & don't regret it at all. To those on the fence, def do some research & discover if going natural is the right decision for you too. Good luck in your journeys!
I'm in my 16th month of transitioning and I can honestly say that my hair has tangled less now than when relaxed (perm since I was 9 yrs old, I'm in my mid 20's now). I've also cut down my wash time, as I have learned how to pre-wash and wash my hair in sections. I have had no problems with split ends or at the LOD. I only have 4 inches of new growth and recently got two inches cut off. I have over 10 inches of hair in my head so I have a little ways to go. I think the end of '13 I will just cut the remaining relaxed hair off, but thats only if its like two or three inches left of perm. If not, I will just transition some more since I am a LTT. The only problem that I have had is determining my hair type. I've looked at countless picture charts and sometimes it looks like its a 3 or a 4. Who knows? I will be glad when the relaxer is out of my hair. I refuse to have a "European" style of hair ever again cuz I wasn't born with it naturally. Straight doesn't always equal "Good" in my book. JMO.
I'm 4 months into my transition and I'm loving my natural hair although it's been a tough journey. I know it will get easier the more I learn about my hair. 🙂
When I went natural I KNEW I was ready. I didn't have any doubt in my mind. Even though NO ONE wanted me to cut my hair off I didn't care. Just wanted to be free! One of the best things I ever did.
I remember telling my hair stylist I wanted to go natural, but wanted to wait a year until I did. Thought I had to get my nerve up. That same year I dropped my son off to college (and thought I wasn't going to live through that). When I woke the next morning and realized I was alive, I big chopped. So freeing! I can chuckle now 11 months post, but I was scared to death. What was my hair going to look like? Would I look like beetlejuice? What would I do without my relaxer? Would I still be cute? I'll NEVER go back to the relaxer. I LOVE the fact that my natural hair is TRULY me. Each day it's different, beautiful, not perfect and full of imperfections.
Let's just put it this way, the BC freed me. It's like nothing i've ever experienced, just complete liberation and I love the natural me 🙂
I'm in my 26th transitional month and I love it. I'm learning daily and I end it when I hit three years.
I did not transition to natural or big chop to natural I was always natural but chose to stop heat stying and my hair learn how to style my natural curls.
I decided to transition instead of doing the BC. I love that option. I am now 8 months and will continue to transition till I am comfortable to BC. I am enjoying the journey so far. I make sure I document everything I learn and I use sites like this and also YouTube to learn more about being natural.
I did the big chop 2 yrs ago and loved it, I still wear my hair short to this day as I don't want massive amounts of hair all over my head, that look doesn't suit me. I also don't do twists and the such as my texture is fine and twists would unravel. It's the best thing that I ever did with my hair, I'm loving it!!
I BC'd years before I ever heard the term. While I probably won't do it again because I have a weird head shape (:P) that I don't think is really conducive to super short styles. I think the BC is good for you mentally. It really challenges you to make a big change, and to challenge your beliefs about your perceptions of beauty and your perceptions of yourself. I'm so glad I did.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I'm new to this website, and so far I'm loving all the tips and inspiration!
I just decided almost a month ago to go natural, and I couldn't be more excited!
I decided to take the transition route, but I'm looking into the BC option, so I may just change my mind.
I actually have a Brazilian Keratin treatment in my hair now so it's still way too straightened out to tell what I'm really dealing with, but I'm using this time to prepare my future routines, experiment with styles and get my hair healthier and ready to transition!
if anyone's interested, I did start my own blog to document the journey from the very beginning!
thanks soo much for all this positive advice and feedback, you'll be hearing more from me!
I'm with Bobby, no Big Chop for me! I love length and plan to trim only as needed, and very little at that. Been transitioning for 7 months and have had very little issues with hair texture. It's all about how you manage it!
Transitioning baby, 10 months in now and loving it!! I will never big chop, Im just going to continue to allow my relaxer to grow out! I cant and wont cut my hair off just to go natural, there are too many options these days other then the big chop!!