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FEATURES Oct 9 2012 6:51PM
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Billi's Top 10 Tips to Transition From Relaxed to Natural

Summer has come to an end, and  by the time you read this entry, it will officially be fall. Fall is my FAVORITE time of the year because it’s the season of CHANGE!  Warm days and cool crisp nights, leaves falling, the smell of campfires in the air and oh, the beautiful colors!  Somewhere in the world, there’s a cluster of chipmunk and a herd of deer meeting in the forest, making preparations for the cold months ahead. They’re running through their lists (and checking them twice) making sure everything is in place to have the smoothest transition into the winter season as they possibly can. 

As I sit here writing, a thought came to me:  what if that was me & my curlfriends in Sherwood forest & they were asking me how can WE make a smooth transition from relaxed to natural? What would be on my checklist?
  Well these are the TOP 10 TIPS Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Bambi and I came up with ;-)


Prepare For the Interview – The “interview” is the 20+ questions you will be asked once you go natural.  I’ve gotten everything from “Is everything Ok?” to “Are you mourning?” to “How did you find the courage?” Some people will never understand your decision, while others will embrace you on sight! Both groups, though, will be curious, so share your story defenselessly & go on your curly way!
 

2.   Change Your Status – If you’re currently single, you can go ahead & change your Facebook status to “in a relationship.”  Your transitioning journey is going to require you to nourish it with the same goodness you would a new beau – patience, care, commitment, understanding, flexibility, spontaneity, forgiveness & most importantly love. “It’s complicated” will be your new status if any one of these are missing along the way…
 

3.   Girlfriends to Curlfriends – Like any major change in your life, you’re gonna need the support & advice of loving people who can relate to what you’re going through.  Some of your girlfriends may not understand, so you might have to add some new CURLfriends to your circle! There are oodles of natural Facebook groups & online sites with hundreds of other curly girls waiting to connect with you.  Join in & make a friend!
 

4.   Keep Your Receipts – You’re probably gonna try 20+ different products in your search for the perfect curl or protection while transitioning. The good news is most beauty & haircare items can be returned to the store, so keep your receipts so you don’t end up with an overstuffed bathroom cabinet of “trial & errors.”
 

5.   Experiment – Now that you’re aware of tip #4, you should feel comfortable experimenting with different products & styles to find what works best for you & your locks.  I was always afraid to “venture out” when I had a relaxer for fear of damaging my already fragile strands.  Now, the sky is the limit!
 

6.   Find Your HAIRSpiration – I often hear people say “What’s the big deal…it’s just hair?” That’s true to an extent, but I also understand that our hair is an extension (no pun intended) of who we are. Angela Davis's magnificent mane was an outward symbol of her inner strength & pride. And who can forget the majestic flowing curls donned by Claire Huxtable. Whoever or whatever it is, find something that inspires & encourages you to complete this journey!
 

7    When in Doubt, Twist it Out – The two-strand twist out is by far one of the easiest & cutest natural hairstyles that works for all textures & lengths. It is my “go-to 'do” when I want a change from my TWA.  Jazz it up with jeans or be dashing in a dress!
 

8.   It’s a Wrap – I spoke with The Great Curldini & she predicts bad-hair days are in your future. Ahh, but wait! She sees a solution…HEADWRAPS! If your crop is acting up, wrap it up! Head scarves are an accessory necessity…get some!
 

9.    It’s Easy as 1-2-3 – There’s NO WAY my top 10 list cannot include Carol’s Daughter’s Transitioning 1-2-3 Kit! It was the first set of products I tried as a naturalista & it has NEVER failed me. These three little gems make my scalp & hair feel soooo good! Seasoned naturals have the tendency to offload the hair regimen they’ve mastered over the years, but that can be overwhelming for a newbie.  The 1-2-3 kit simplified that process for me & can do the same for you!

Do YOU, Boo Boo! – Last, but most certainly, not least… BE YOU!  This journey is personal, and everyone’s path is unique. Don’t let anyone “define” what natural is for you.  If deciding not to chemically relax your hair opens your mind to other aspects of healthy, natural living, go for it!  But if you wanna rock your locks with 10 freshly manicured tips eating a McDonald’s double cheeseburger with blue contacts, that’s fine too!


Until next time,

Daria’s Daughter

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