Going Natural When Inspiration isn’t Enuff-How to Transition Successfully

*This is a follow-up to this post  from last week.  Enjoy!

I’ve heard people say that going natural brought them closer to their roots and God, or that they wanted to love themselves completely. Some people just wanted a change.

What prompted me to take the lunge into going natural?  For me, it was part necessity, part practicality.  I lived in a suite with six amazing girls one summer, and one had natural hair.  It was thick and healthy, and I was wowed. She tried to convince me that I should go natural, and my response was “My hair is too nappy.” Although I admired her hair, I knew that my hair would never look like hers, so I continued relaxing my hair.

….until  I started to notice that my skin was acting really weird. Lotions and facial products that I used religiously seemed to be turning against me, including my relaxer. Not only was my hair thinning (and I have REALLY thick hair), but I had a bald patch on the back of my head. A noticeable one, and it wasn’t a good look. I was alarmed that my skin was becoming hypersensitive, and I had no idea why.  I had to reevaluate and change the products I was using, which meant getting rid of relaxers. Besides, most of the time I wore braids, so going natural was the best option for me.

I have to admit, I wasn’t particularly excited to go natural. I knew that my hair was super thick and coily, and I thought it was going to be a burden to maintain. But, the health of my hair surpassed having bald patches and scalp issues.  Being newly natural, I had the slightest clue what to do with my hair, so I googled “natural hair” and did some research.  Here are some other suggestions that were helpful for me:

  • I sought out friends that were natural and asked for their advice and regimens. Luckily my girl Vene (Check her out here! ) was not only natural, but had a very similar texture to my hair. Having a friend who’s already “there” helps a lot, especially if you’re hesistant about going natural.
  • I visited sites such as Nappturality , LHCF , Youtube,  and Motown Girl, for information. These sites are great! I can’t forget the natural hair mecca lol, Fotki.  Fotki was (and still is) a GREAT forum for support, product recommendations, and overall awesomeness :). There are a TON of great sites out there now- a few are listed in the “Blogs I love” section.
  • I also transitioned by wearing braids for a few months before doing the big chop. Other styles to try are braidouts, twistouts, weaves, and wigs… or whatever suits your fancy : )
  • Another thing I wished I did while transitioning was to seek a natural hair care salon. A good salon/stylist with experience in dealing with natural hair can provide invaluable advice.

What made you transition? If you’re relaxed, have you ever considered going natural? Any other tips for transitioners out there? As always, feel free to leave a comment!

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