New Transitioner

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New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 26th February 2011, 12:57 am

Hi there, my name is Autumn, and I am transitioning.

I stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago, a few weeks ago, I didn't even know women like me, could transition to their natural hair and be successful at it. Suddenly YouTube became even more resourceful watching tips and hair styles and hair journeys. I was pumped! I thought yes, I can really do this! Thoughts of transitioning started when I saw the movie “Good Hair”oddly enough. I've never been familiar with weaves, extensions or braiding. Braiding was a memory of elementary school years, other than that, I've always had my hair relaxed, never knowing an alternative. My hair was really damaged while in High School, due to lack of proper care and attention. When I got my first job, taking care of my hair became easier, as I could go to the salon and have some one else do it. I've been having my hair washed and set, blow dry-ed out for 3 years straight. It was not until 2 years ago that I spaced a relaxer for 8 months, and did it again after the next one. So, stretching is not a problem, but how I took care of it is probably hurting me, as it was always the blow dryer every two weeks straightening my hair. I stayed away from flat/curling irons and hair coloring, got regular trims and conditioning etc. I find myself here now, because I've realized that I don't even know what my natural hair looks like. Or really, why do I need to get relaxers in the first place? There are other ways and I promised myself I would try this transitioning for at least 3 months, to see if I can handle it. I've been 'properly' transitioning for a week only, and its the hardest thing I've done. Braid outs are not my strong suit, as I don't even know how to do them. For the first two, my sister had to braid my hair. I tried Bantu knots, and the results we're better the second time, as I hadn't realized how much hair I actually have. Its both frustrating, informative and exhilarating, this transitioning process. But I need help, my hair is breaking a lot more, and Im worried that I may doing something awful to it. A big chop is not an option right now, as shoulder length hair has always been a familiarity. After reading the stories of so many women here, I felt compelled to share with you as well, and I hope that I can continue learning with you on this journey. Thank you if any advice can be provided, and I'll continue reading about all of you beautiful ladies here.
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by mahoganytresses on 27th February 2011, 10:40 pm

welcome autumn! long term transitioning seems like it will be the best bet for you since you are attached to your long hair. I have been transitioning almost 14 months now, and it has definitely been a challenge to say the very least, but rewarding and exciting at the same time! Styling your hair gets easier as you go. Particular styles worked better for me at different points of my transition. If the beginning I wore alot of loose buns, banana clips, flexirod sets. Midway, I still did flexirod sets but experimented with twistouts/braidouts and I would style them all kinds of ways with hairpins. For a few months I wore twist extenions as well. Now that I am nearing the end of my transition, I've been wearing two strand twists pinned in various updos and a curly wig. I plan to bc soon. Maybe in march or early april. Good luck with your journey!
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by tpayne22 on 28th February 2011, 1:55 am

Hey Autumn89,

Welcome! When I started to first transition I had a lot of breakage to. One thing that helped me was some protein treatments if your hair is not protein sensitive. I also re-learned how to handle my hair. I didn't use a brush almost the first three months. I combed my hair during wash days and under running water which helps me loose less hair. You don't have to follow that but you might want to rethink the tools you are using that could be causing some tugging and pulling at the hair. I agree with mahoganytresses but especially about the loose buns, bananaclips and so forth. Those styles shouldn't be tough on your edges and you can be more successful in transition if you can do alot of curly styles. I wish you the best of luck!
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 28th February 2011, 4:26 am

Thank you Thank you! Im glad too know Im not having this kind of trouble alone. Bantu Knots are probably my main protective style now, as I have done them a few times thus far and seem to be easier for me than braid outs. I have definitely been looking in to protein treatments and recently switched my leave in conditioner to Cantu Shea butter leave in, which im really fond of. I have been wearing loose buns and bought a banana clip yesterday, so I should be trying a few styles with that soon. Flat twists are the next protective style im going to try. Thank you so much for your advice, and the best of luck to the both you as well!
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Peachtree on 1st March 2011, 12:41 am

Welcome to the board! The ladies gave you some great advice. I transitioned in 2003 and chopped 18 months later. I have pics in my album (with detailed advice) if you want some visuals.

While reading your narrative, I was reminded of my journey. The best advice I can give you is to stay focused on the reason"why" you embarked on this journey. As a long time transitioner, you may experience both highs and lows... it will get easier... Smile
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 1st March 2011, 3:19 am

Thank you for your advice Peachtree, might I add you have beautiful hair, which im sure you hear all the time. Ive been experiencing quite the rough patch, but i hope to continue on! Thanks again
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 1st March 2011, 2:37 pm

Hey Autumn! Welcome!! I'm still sort of in the beginning of my transition as well so I know how you're feeling. I don't want to overwhelm you so I will tell you the three main things that I feel have helped me.

1. Water is your friend.
2. Perfect one style so you always have a go to.
3. Be patient.

Good luck girl! Just keep at it.
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 2nd March 2011, 2:36 am

Thank you much! Im learning that water is definitely an asset and patience is another aspect i will have to apply to my hair. What my main concern is right now is the breakage, just running my fingers through my hair results in pieces.
Im worried that the methods of transitioning Im doing are not good, or if this is just something that happens while transitioning?
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by naturalmimi on 2nd March 2011, 9:25 am

I'm a new transitioner also!! eeee about 3 months post relaxer.

I'm not an expert but I'm learning to keep my hands out of my hair. I'm learning to treat my hair with extreme care, yet at the same time I don't get overly stressed about breakage, it will happen but I can minimize it.

I'm learning that moisture is indeed your friend...I've created an aloe vera/ distilled water spritz that I use daily and for my braidouts and it has transformed my hair!!

My preferred style is the braidout, if first you do not succeed, try it again, I find it to be the easiest style for me.

When I gave up relaxing I gave up on the every hair in place perfection, I'm a work in progress and I'm enjoying learning about my hair and becoming the master of my hair fate. I do NOT miss going to the salon!

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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Russet on 2nd March 2011, 7:10 pm

Hi Autumn! Co-washing will definitely help you with your transition. Moisturizing is the key to a successful transition as well as patience! You should begin taking pictures of your new growth/length every couple months to track down your progress. Looking back at them will definitely encourage you to continue with your transition and not lose focus! Since you mentioned stretching for 8 months at a time, the first few months shouldn't be that bad for you.

How long do you plan on transitioning for?
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 2nd March 2011, 8:32 pm

Well consider this. The hair at your line of demarcation is the weakest. This is where the permed hair and your natural hair meet. I had a little breakage at first too. I did a protein treatment and it was pretty much put that to a halt. You may want to consider doing one to help reinforce your hair if its that brittle. Afterwards you'll need to taking extra steps to keep your hair moisturized. Also try to keep your hands out of your hair unless styling or washing, this will lessen the wear and tear on the hair. Reducing the amount you use combs and brushes also helps. You'll see less breakage and less shed hair. As far as your protective styling, I suggest trying things that don't require a ton of manipulation or pulling. Nothing sounds wrong about the styles you're using to me... How often are you doing your hair?
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 3rd March 2011, 3:44 am

Thanks for the ongoing advice!

Currently, im not too sure how long i plan on transitioning. Once i figure out my hair type and have enough of new growth i suppose, as i still have a a lot of relaxed hair left, that is, if i can make it that far. lol. My last relaxer was last August.

Protein treatments are my next step for sure, ill be picking up something this weekend. As for combing, i only do that when de-tangling, other times only my fingers. As of the last two weeks bantu knots are my protective style as i STILL haven't gotten braiding down yet, and, the bantu knots i do every night finger comb/style in the morning and such...any suggestions for a protein conditioner? i dont think ive ever used one.

Thank you again, you have no idea how much i appreciate your tips, stories and encouragement!
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 3rd March 2011, 3:16 pm

Here are some cues for protein containing products. Things that say reconstructer or restructurizer almost always contain protein. Aphogee has a 2 Minute Keratin Reconstucter and a 2 Step Protein Treatment (that's heavy duty though). Both are very good products! If I think of anything else I will let you know. I know some ladies just use some conditioner and an egg. You may want to try and space out the amount of times between redoing your BK's and see if that makes a difference. Lol, girl I can't braid or twist to the scalp so don't feel bad. I can only do like plaits and loose twists. I have never taken the time to figure out my hair type. I will one day I guess. I agree with Russet though. Take lots of picks to help you track your progress. They'll be very useful when you start convincing yourself your hair is not growing, lol.
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 4th March 2011, 3:56 am

Ambitious Tiff, thank you so much for your help, every one really. You guys are pretty much all ive got on this journey. lol. It came to mind that doing Bantu knots each night can be a contributing factor to the breakage, but is it that you suggest spacing out any protective styles or just the knots? Im not too sure what to do with the hair, when not in a protective style.

I have seen and heard of the Aphogee products and have considered them in the past, though perhaps i should start off with a basic, familiar protein conditioner for now....? Also, im so glad im not the only one who struggles with braiding. A plait is a braid though right?!? (See what i mean, i don't know a thing) I love the way your hair looks, btw. Thanks Again!
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 4th March 2011, 12:39 pm

Very Happy You're welcome! We all know what its like in the beginning, lol. Yes, I suggest spacing out any style that you do. It'll reduce the amount that you are manipulating your hair. For instance, I will do my twists and curls on Saturday or Sunday, let them "marinate" for a day or at least overnight, unravel Monday or Tuesday, wear them out the next 3 days, put them in a puff over the next 2 days and wash again on the weekend. This varies with my activity levels through the week but you get the point.

A protein conditioner might be a good option. That 2 Step is no joke, lol. LOL! No you're not alone in the struggle to braid. Plaits are the loose braids that are not to the scalp like cornrows. My hair is so fine, it doesn't look right in plaits or twists. They look scalpy as all get out! Thank you for the compliment!! That's how my hair turns out after doing twist and curls. I like it b/c its out and my hair is off my shoulders. Hhhmmm... Have you tried roller sets? That may be a good option for you too.
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Re: New Transitioner

Post by Autumn89 on 4th March 2011, 2:08 pm

LOL. Im going to pick up a protein conditioner this weekend. And will try to space out the BK's this weekend as well, as all im doing is working. As for roller sets I was gonna try those sooner or later, as I even did them when i was relaxing frequently, just didn't know how they would fair with all this new growth, I just have so much hair.....I will definitely keep you posted how this weekend goes with spacing. Thank you again!
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