Ok, so Cris has been asking about natural hair posts for a little while. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'll just talk about my journey and I'll link to a bunch of other helpful sites and/or people to ask questions that I can't answer. I'll post a few pics too, to describe what I'm talking about so you all won't have to draw pics in your head. This should be fun. So it's official, it's natural hair week. Hope you enjoy it.
Today we'll discuss transitioning from relaxed/permed hair to natural hair.
I can't talk to you about what anyone else did, so I'll just tell you how I did it. Other folks who are completely natural or transitioning, please feel free to share your journey in the comments.
November '06: Decided I pay too much money every 6 weeks to get a relaxer, only to spend another 3-5 hours getting a roller set and/or straw set (curly/textured styles). I might as well save some dough and wear my natural curly/textured hair style. (Thummyb made the decision right before me in October '06). Also in college someone from Soft-Sheen Carson came to the school and without disparaging her hair care products let us know that African American has is actually the most fragile of all the races and that relaxers make it more fragile (hence, the constant breakage most permed sister have). I'm sure that background knowledge also played a part in my decision.
December '06 to November '07: Wore a lot of cornrows, roller sets and straw sets minus the perm.
November '07: Was feeling Rihanna TOO TOUGH and got a fly little bob. I wore it for about a month.
December '07 - February '08: I have no idea what I did with my hair during this time. I think I wore a TON of head wraps. But I was getting REALLY sick of my hair tangling in the shower when I washed it and fighting with the 2-3 inches of permed tresses left on the bottom of my hair.
February '08: Let those last couple inches go! Got a major WTF from Big Mike.
That's pretty much it for my transition.
A few things to note:
For folks who transitioned using weaves or microbraids, when you take your hair out and it looks a mess, don't be alarmed. It's going to be like that for a lil bit. It hasn't seen the light of day in weeks! Might I suggest taking a Friday off work and letting it breathe all weekend and use the time to experiment (I have photos, how-tos and resources coming up later in the week). You may also want to transition in the summer time when you can leave the house with your hair wet (that way you can try more styles without catching the flu).
Also for folks holding on to the permed and/or texturized ends, so long as you have two or more textures of hair in your head, it's going to be hard to manage. It just is. There's nothing wrong with having more than one texture to transition, clearly I did it. But perms and naps DO NOT get along, so there's always going to be a fight at the line where they meet. I don't know if it's going to be a school girl scuffle or a Rodney King beating, but violence will ensue. (I'm trying to tell you the truth out here). Don't give up on natural hair just because you can't comb through it when you have permed edges.
And as far as combing through it in the first place...[Side note: I'm not talking to people who always wear their natural hair pressed]. If you're trying to comb through natural hair while it's dry... STOP DOING THAT. You're not supposed to do that. Your mom wasn't supposed to do it back in the day before you got a Just For Me kit and it's still not alright. Natural hair is not permed hair. You have to take care of it differently.
Questions/Comments/Concerns? Holla atcha gurl.
Coming up this week:
Tea's Favorite Natural Hair Styles
Tea's Favorite Products (for natural hair)
Natural Hair Resource Page