The most difficult decision in going natural is the transitioning process. In fact, this process can be so tedious that many women fail to maintain their new natural growth and revert to relaxing. Most women who have successfully transitioned will all agree that the first year is the most difficult when temptation is greater than ever. This is largely because it is problematic styling hair with two different textures. This article will explain various transitioning methods that help make the process much easier.
Option 1: “The Big Chop” or BC
This option is the easiest but is mostly implemented as last resort. It is a difficult thing for a woman who has had a full head of hair her whole life, to cut it all off. Little girls all over the world are taught that their hair is their beauty; therefore, parting with it suddenly can cause emotional stress. Some women wait a few months for new growth to appear before they decide to have the BC done. Others decide on a whim and shave from the root. In both instances, the relaxed hair is trimmed off leaving only the natural and unprocessed hair behind.
Option 2: Braids
Hair Braids provide a viable option for every transitioning woman. When correctly done, braids can provide protection for hair against damage due to everyday styling. However, it is very important to protect the hairline and edges that can easily be forgotten. Braiding styles such as micro braids offer much more versatility and styling options than cornrows do but they are not always the best choice as far as protective styling goes. With styling micro braids, the same amount of pulling and tugging at the root is applied as with everyday styling. Hair loss and damage is seen quite often with micro braids because of the amount of stress that is sometimes applied to the individual braids. Cornrows are a safer alternative as there is no movement and tugging at the roots, which are safely tucked away under the braid itself.
Option 3: Weaves
Hair weaving is a very popular option because the transitioning woman is comfortably afforded the option of limitless styling. This option offers the best protective styling as well as complete invisibility throughout the entire transitioning phase. Since Black women are notoriously known to spend a small fortune on hair weaves, it is the easiest and most fun way to transition without even thinking about it.
Option 4: Wigs
Like weaves, wigs cover the entire scalp area. However all wigs are not easily so removed. Lace wigs can be applied with a thin even layer of adhesive or tape to hold it more securely in place. Other lace wigs include just clips, combs, or nothing at all. The choice is largely up to the wearer, regarding which is more convenient and comfortable. With wigs, the hair beneath does not need to be braided in order to wear it. This option is more common with women who opted for a BC, and want a change in styling but do not have enough hair to braid or weave. With this option, the hair can be easily removed as often as desired, allowing the scalp to breathe in between wearing.
Option 5: Braid Out or Twist Out
For the women who have a difficult time with the concept of the BC, braiding the relaxed ends with the natural roots then carefully loosening them out is a better option. This is done by braiding wet hair in single braids from root to tip, allowing hair to dry, then carefully loosening out braids to create a curly effect. While this may seem like a whole lot of work for many women, some actually prefer to do this regularly until their natural hair has grown to a length that can be styled favorably without the relaxed ends.
Whatever route is more favorable, the best thing any transitioning woman can do is to surround herself with positive women who are experiencing the same hair woes as she is. Countless websites like BHM, blogs, and social groups offer support, tips, and styles that make the transition from relaxed to natural fun and easy. Join BHM today and enjoy transitioning naturally!