ABC's of transitioning

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ABC's of transitioning

Post by aprilj90 on 28th March 2011, 1:42 pm

A- Acknowledge the fact that transitioning means not only transitioning your hair, but transitioning your mind. For many people, this is the first time they will see their natural hair, it can be a shocker!

B- Buy products sparingly. It's so easy to become a PJ (product junkie) but take your time, and buy 1 or 2 products at a time. Over time, you'll learn what works for you and what doesn't.

C- Cast away your fears. For some, this could be a rough period. Just know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (and so is your hair).

D- Detangle your hair gently. Your hair is weakest at the line of demarcation (where the curls meet the relaxed hair). Many people like to use only their fingers or a wide tooth comb.

E- Experiment with different styles! The best part about going natural is that you have so many options on how to wear your hair!

F- Forgive and forget. Some days your hair is going to look fabulous, other days that same style that you tried, using the exact same products is going to look...busted. Accept that hair has a mind of its own and don't let it get you too down.

G- Get to know your hair. Sure, going to a stylist can be easier, but if you never play in your hair yourself, you'll never learn what it likes and doesn't like.

H- Hair texture will change. Some people have one hair pattern all over their head, others have 3 or 4 textures. Just realize that however your hair looks now as you are transitioning, it will probably change after the relaxed ends are removed.

I- Ignore negativity. Some folks may not like your hair and won't have a problem letting you know that. Momma, daddy, great aunt Betty and cousin Leroy, WHOEVER! People might come with the insults and you'll need to make a decision. Either let them get to you or dust the dirt off your shoulder and live your life.

J- Jealousy is not becoming. You may not have the hair you thought you would have. You may not have the hair you want. But guess what? It's your hair! Your attitude determines your happiness. Being jealous of another person's locs will only hurt you in the end. Admire yes, desire no.

K- Keep your head up. "This too shall pass" remember that. Not saying it's easy, but when has anything worth having been easy?

L- Look into making your own products instead of buying them. There are many homemade recipes for protein treatments, deep conditioning treatments, etc, and many of these ingredients are already in your cabinets.

M- Managing the "new growth" can be tough. I realize many people will be tempted to just blow-dry and flat iron it so all of the hair is uniform. But those same people need to realize that heat (regardless of using a heat protectant, but especially if you don't) will eventually lead to heat damage. Point blank. I suggest using heat sparingly or not at all.

N- Natural hair? Why? Why do you want to wear your hair natural? The answer is different for all of us, but I guarantee you, the answer is what will keep you going strong when your hair is your nemesis and you're looking at a box of Soft & Beautiful with love in your eyes.

O- Oils seal your hair, most of them do not moisturize your hair. One of the many ways curlies use oil is to apply either water or water based conditioner to their hair and then apply an oil over it to seal in the moisture.

P- Protect your hair. This could mean sleeping with a satin bonnet or pillowcase. It could mean only wearing your hair in twists. It could mean wearing wigs/weaves for the duration of your transition. Whatever it means to you, just make sure you take care to prevent the breakage that could occur.

Q- Questions are good! If you don't understand something, we are all on here to help!

R- Regimens are good. Experiment with products and techniques to establish what works best for YOUR HAIR. Most regimens consist of : when to wash/condition, when to do treatments, when to moisturize, when to detangle and how.

S- Style. Choose at least one "go to" style that 1) you know how to do and 2) the results are somewhat predictable. On days where you just don't have the time, this style will make life easier. This could be as simple as a bun, or as intricate as a twist-n-curl or roller set. Do you.

T- Trial and error. Get used to these words.

U- Use large teethed combs! Don't you dare whip out a fine tooth comb and proceed to detangle your hair, you'll be asking for it.

V- Vegan diets, running 20 miles a day, and buying every supplement known to man, will not help you. In fact, if you change your lifestyle drastically just to improve the health of your hair or help it grow longer, you will probably get sick of it fast and jump off the wagon all together. Here's the truth: 1) If you're smoking you should stop, not just for the health of your hair but for the health of your body 2) eat healthy! Fruits, vegetables, protein, carbs, we all had the health class in high school, we know what we need to do 3) Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water 4) Exercise often! You'll look and feel better.

W- Water is your best friend. I suggest getting a spray bottle and using it daily to moisturize your hair. Nothing beats water.

X- Examine the ingredients list on whatever products you buy. Certain ingredients are not good for your hair such as petroleum and mineral oil. If a product contains this, put it back, about face, and walk away.

Y- Youtube has many videos on how to create styles. For those who are visual learners, I suggest you add youtube to your favorites list.

Z- Zeal. Go ahead and be excited, today can very well be the first day of the rest of your life.
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Last edited by aprilj90 on 28th March 2011, 3:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: ABC's of transitioning

Post by Ambitious_Tiff on 28th March 2011, 3:09 pm

I love this! You should submit it to CN to go on the homepage!!
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Re: ABC's of transitioning

Post by NappilyNatural on 28th March 2011, 3:36 pm

I love it !!! Thank you !!
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Re: ABC's of transitioning

Post by Jo Somebody on 29th March 2011, 9:15 am

What a wonderful post! I love it!
I would add in something about recording your progress through Fotki or whatever so you can see the change and aren't disheartened. My hair has started to get past it's normal 'this is where I end' place that it had when I used to relax (that length that it never seems to grow past!) and it's new to me. (unfortunately, I happen to find it highly irritating because it's tickling parts of my neck and back that aren't usually touched!)
Also, maybe a diary as well/instead to keep track of what you used and what worked in order to help learn you hair and keep the junkism at bay. This is another great idea that I'm too lazy to actually do though! Lol!

I might print out this list! Do you mind if I do?
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Re: ABC's of transitioning

Post by aprilj90 on 29th March 2011, 11:15 am

Not at all! and thanks for the suggestions!
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