Wednesday, October 2, 2013

5 transitioning tips for transitioners

By Tenisha Mercer

Relaxed hair transitioning to natural
A family member is transitioning to natural hair after years of relaxers.

I don't want to pry or pretend to be the Miss Natural know it all (I'm there for questions, but I don't want to give unsolicited advice) but here's my advice to anyone considering going natural.

1. No one's curls will look like yours. Your curls are unique. Sure, there are some that will mimic or even closely resemble yours, but virtually no one will have the same curl (density, texture, curl pattern, hang, volume, etc.) as you do. So don't try to make all-or-nothing comparisons. Your hair will most likely not look like hers. Get over it.

2. YouTube vids are great to get new style options, but your hair will not look like hers (see #1 above). It's so easy to delude yourself into thinking that your hair, when fully transitioned, will look just like name your favorite YouTube star. It won't. It will look like your hair.

3. Wig it or weave it. It's not all or nothing. You will have some effed up hair days, to be sure. It's OK. Throw on a wig or a weave (preferably a natural one) and keep it moving. Just be sure to moisturize, condition and take care of your natural hair underneath.

4. Breathe. Be patient. You are just getting to know your hair. Hair forums, websites, YouTube videos and natural hair Instagram stars are great, but we all have different, unique natural hair journeys. Try to embrace yours. Your natural hair won't grow in overnight, and neither will your knowledge of hair care products, what works and what doesn't work, and even hair styles. Each state of your hair may be different. It's a learning process. You will get there.

5. Forget curl typing. Many natural swear by this, but curl typing means little to me. Sure, it's good to familiarize yourself with the concept, but keep in mind that products, density, texture and porosity play a much bigger role in the condition of your hair -- not if you've got type 2, type 3 or type 4 hair -- I don't care what the products say.

What tips would you give to new or transitioning naturals?

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