There are many girls out there making the switch to be completely natural. Giving up the familiarity of a relaxer can be frightening, but trust me, it’s worth it. Even though the natural hair journey is rough at times, it is a great way to make your hair healthier. Here are some of the steps that have helped me along the way.
This is for the ladies who are not ready for the dramatic change that comes along with the big chop. I decided to stop getting relaxers about four years ago. My hair was a disaster! It was very thin and damaged. I camouflaged this by using bendy hair rollers. I also pinned my hair up a lot. This stage didn’t last very long for me.
The Big Chop
I actually did the big chop twice! The first time was when I got fed up with how dead my hair looked during the transition phase. I had a TWA (teeny weeny afro), which wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The second time I big chopped, my hair was damaged from using dye. So this time I did an even bigger chop… with clippers! Don’t be afraid of the big chop. It just gives your hair a fresh start, and I promise it will grow back. Tip: Earrings and lipstick were my best friends in this stage.
These are my absolute favorite! Braids and twists are a great way to be versatile if you get bored with your fro. Not only does it give you a break from hair maintenance, but it also protects your hair from harmful weather, especially heat. I was always hesitant to get twists because they have pulled my hair out before (but that was when I was transitioning). Now that I am completely natural, protective styles actually help with growth so I highly recommend them.
Growing out my afro has been pretty empowering, but sometimes I still want my hair to move and have bounce. After I’ve worn a protective style for a few months, I like to get my hair straightened to get a better idea of my progress.
The most important thing I’ve done since going natural is developing a routine. 1) I wear a protective style for a few weeks to give my hair time to grow. 2) I take the braids or twists out and make an appointment to see my stylist. She washes, straightens, and trims my hair. 3) I sport my afro for a week or so (sometimes I shorten or skip this step). I am working to get my hair to a certain length and it’s so exciting that I’ve gotten this far.
The natural life is not for everyone! If your relaxed hair is healthy, that’s great! It’s all about what makes you feel the most confident.
PABPG Collegiate Ambassador