I didn’t plan to go natural.
One day though, as I ran my fingers through the hair close to my scalp and felt the ridges and bumps that were the telltale signs of that dreaded “new growth,” I started thinking.
Why exactly did I need to chemically straighten it? I never could maintain that straight-from-the-salon style more than a few days, and my hair ultimately found itself under a baseball cap or in a scrunchie for the next six weeks… and let’s not even talk about breakage.
I’d had enough. I decided that day I wasn’t going to relax anymore, but would simply blow dry after washing, press or flat iron my hair, use a few rollers or a curling iron for volume and call it a day.
But a funny thing happened on my way back to the press-and-curl lifestyle. As my natural curls grew and I continued to cut off my relaxed hair, I started to appreciate the look and feel of my curls.
What if I decided not to straighten at all? It was a bold and scary thought, but seeing how I didn’t really like wearing my hair straight anyway, I decided to try it.
I had no idea what I was doing was called transitioning, but since I’ve been through it (and have never gone back) I know there are a few ways it can be accomplished.
Transitioning can take place over a period of time by cutting off inches of relaxed hair periodically, or one could opt for the “big chop” and cut all the relaxed hair off at once.
Here are some tips for both methods:
For a gradual transition, extensions, weaves or wigs can give your hair a uniform look while letting your natural hair grow underneath. When the natural hair starts to grow out you have to focus on the frizzy root area and work on blending the straighter ends (and extensions or weaves) with the tightly coiled roots. Use a generous amount of CHS Extenzz™ on wet hair at the root area to achieve this. Then add CHS Curl Keeper™ from roots to ends and do a lot of extra scrunching to imitate the curls at the root area. Make sure the natural hair is moisturized with CHS Pure Silk Protein and don’t go longer than 2-3 months without redoing your extensions or weave.
Using CHS Treatment Shampoo at this time will help provide much needed strength to damaged hair to make your curls healthy again.
You can also transition by putting your own hair in styles that require little manipulation and no heat. I used braid extensions during the first part of my transition (3-6 months), but later began wearing more loose buns and ponytails. Other times, I braided or twisted my wet hair and then undid the braids and twists when my hair was dry. To achieve these looks, I conditioner-washed my hair every 2-3 days (this worked best for my texture), styled while wet and used a styling product to shape my curls – natural and manipulated. I cut off the last of my relaxed ends a year after my last relaxer.
A big chop sounds simple enough — cut the relaxed hair off and enjoy a cute natural short style that can also grow long. But some women might be frustrated if they don’t immediately get the look they want or struggle with a texture they haven’t managed in years. When the hair is soaked, it makes it much easier to control. Apply CHS Curl Keeper™ from roots to ends, on wet hair and simply let dry naturally. This will allow you to enjoy your new natural short curly hairstyle with total frizz control.
Make sure to have CHS Pure Silk Protein, a good rinse-out conditioner, creamy leave-in and a styling product, CHS Curl Keeper, as the main pieces of your hair arsenal. Practice styling techniques with your wide-toothed Bone Comb, Root brush or other tools.
If you become frustrated with your curly hair or new look, don’t go back to relaxing if you want to remain natural. Some women who’ve big chopped have used extensions for a few months to get through a busy time at work or school, and then returned to experimenting with their hair a few months later. There’s no wrong way to do it as long as you treat your natural hair with a good dose of TLC.