How to transition to natural hair without a big chop

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Most people ponder and think it is best for them to cut off their relaxed hair to grow new natural ones but I say it is not the best option. To me, I feel it is a waste of time and energy. In order to go from relaxed to natural hair, you have two options: Transitioning or The Big Chop.

Which one you choose is entirely up to you. There is no right way or wrong way to start your journey.
It’s all about what is going to make you feel comfortable. Each method has its own pros and cons that you will have to weigh out to determine which one is the best fit for you.Related image

TRANSITIONING

Transitioning is the process of eliminating chemical treatments and allowing the hair to grow out while gradually trimming the chemically processed ends.

PROS OF TRANSITIONING

You have the time to learn about your particular hair type.
If you are not comfortable with short hair, then you can avoid that adjustment period, and avoid the wait of growing your hair back out.
During transitioning you have the time to perfect your hair styling skills.

CONS OF TRANSITIONING

The texture of your hair will not be consistent: which means if you decide to wear your hair in a twist out or braid out style the root of your hair might be curly while your ends will be bone straight (To avoid this simply roll the ends of your hair with rods or rollers).
The process of transitioning takes longer than if you just did “the big chop”.
Does this seem to be up your ally?
Here is how the process works:

 Stop using chemical relaxers
To begin the process give up the creamy crack completely and stop-using-relaxers

Give up all forms of chemical hair treatments
Color-treated natural hair options- this includes texturizers, keratin treatments, and permanent hair dyes. All of these products alter the structure of your hair and will prolong the transitioning process even further. They can also add extra fragility to your hair which is something you don’t need.

Avoid heat usage
You want to avoid heat usage (flat irons & hotcombs) because your hair is already in a fragile state and because if you encounter heat damage this could also potentially permanently straighten your hair, which is what you are trying to avoid.

 Strengthen your hair with protein treatments and frequent deep conditioning

Where your relaxed hair meets your natural roots there is going to be some weakness in this area due to the texture differences. This is pretty much unavoidable, but what you can do is keep your hair in tip top shape by deep conditioning with every wash that you do, and doing protein treatments every 6 to 8 weeks.

Moisturize your hair with water or water based products daily, then seal in with an oil

Shea Moisture’s Transitioning Kit,You may be uncomfortable with water, as growing up we were taught it’s our enemy but this is so actually far from the truth. Water or a water based moisturizer is the best thing you can use, you can also use an oil to help seal in the moisture you are putting into your hair.

Wear low manipulation or protective styles
wa4A low manipulation style, is simply a style that does not require daily styling and maintenance, hence less strain on you hair. A good example of a low manipulation style would be a roller set, twist out, or braid out. Being that you texture is not going to be consistent while you are transitioning you will probably like the results of roller sets better or combing twists with rollers on the end (this way the ends of your hair will look nice and curly)

charity yarn braids

A protective style, is a style in which the ends of your hair protected by being tucked away and the style doesn’t require daily maintenance other than moisturizing. Good examples of protective styles include buns, box braid extensions, or even wigs!

Trim as little or as much as you want until you are fully natural and your hair has reached a length that you are comfortable with scissors

How long the transitioning process will take will depend on the current length of your hair. If your hair is shoulder length or longer and the majority of your hair is relaxed it could take up to a year or more before your natural hair reaches a length that you are okay with. You don’t have to rush into a big chop, that’s the beauty of this method, but you must have patience!

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THE BIG CHOP

The Big Chop is for those who want to be natural now. It entails cutting off all of the relaxed hair and wearing a TWA (teeny weeny afro).

PROS OF THE BIG CHOP

You have a consistent hair texture as opposed to transitioning where you have to deal with two.
There are no long waits to go natural; your hair is returned to its natural state as soon as your relaxed hair is chopped off.
With a big chop you have a fresh start no chemically processed hair and no split ends.

CONS OF THE BIG CHOP

Waiting to grow your hair longer
Learning to deal with an entirely new texture on the spot
Coming up with new short natural hairstyles.

Brave enough to go for the big chop? See what you should know before getting started.

Get a professional cut for the best results
Go to a professional and have them cut all of your relaxed chemically processed ends off to have a more desirable result. Remember you may be dealing with only 1 to 2 inches of hair afterward so if you think you may feel uncomfortable with this consider the transitioning process.

Remember hair is not everything
For those who are not use to having a short cut the first thing many of you will feel is that you don’t appear feminine enough. It’s silly but true. Many of us are taught to associate short hair as being masculine. When it really isn’t all about your hair, it’s the way you present yourself. To feel more girly wear larger stylish earrings, try soft subtle makeup and dress to the nines. And come on, we all know of women that rock their hair short and look flawless.

Moisturize your hair daily
Kinky-Curly-Custard-Product-ReviewThis is great for wash and go’s or finger coils. This product works best when used on hair that has been saturated with water or after a fresh wash. Moisture is going to play a key role in having a more desirable look. Depending on your hair type and how well your hair retains moisture, you may only need to moisturize every other day but in most cases every day is a good starting point. What you need to use is a water based hair product. Oils, pomades, and greases alone will not moisturize your hair. You will need to use a water based product first and then oils/pomades can be used to help seal that moisture in. When I went through my short hair phase at the time what I found to be a useful moisturizer was the S Curl Activator spray because it also helped with curl definition. Too bad Shea Moisture or Kinky Curly wasn’t out there and popping otherwise I would have used those products as they are really moisturizing and help to define curls.

Feel free to cleanse your hair as often as you like
At this stage tangling is not an issue, so you can wash as often as 2-3 times a week if you like. As your hair gets longer once per week is more realistic because it will be more of a process. I know it sounds funny especially if you have been relaxed most of your life, but this only helps to keep your hair moisturized. Also since you will be moisturizing daily you will need to remove product buildup so your hair can receive the moisture you are putting into it. To avoid dryness after washes use shampoos that do not contain sulfates. Using conditioner only (co-washing) instead of using a shampoo can also alleviate dryness issues.

Styling
In the beginning depending on how short your hair is, you may not have too many styling options. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This means all you have to do is moisturize your hair with a product that will help your coils pop and just go.
You can as well try finger coils. Finger coils are one of the more easier styles that can be achieved on shorter hair lengths and they give you awesome curl definition.

So feel free to make your choice, Ririeye cares!!!

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RiriEye Fashion House

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