Transitioning Into Parenthood
By Angela Carstarphen Watford
I transitioned when I was pregnant with my first son. It was an easy decision for me because I never relaxed my hair every six weeks to begin with. And by this time in my life, I would only get a relaxer like two to three times a year. With my first pregnancy, a relaxer was out of the question! See it was my first, and I went straight by the book. If ANYONE said it was a no-no, I didn’t question it. I wanted my baby to be “perfect,” so I was a little crazy on the no-no’s. That’s how my transition journey began—with pure determination—relaxing was not an option, just like eating goat cheese and sushi.
The beauty of transitioning while you’re pregnant is that your hair grows so much due to the pre-natal vitamins that all the breakage doesn’t bother you as much, and you don’t mind getting the trims you need. I decided to take the long grow-out route, so I didn’t have to change my look too much—gaining 35 pounds and getting rid of the high heels I loved so much was enough change for me. So my transition hairstyles still consisted of blow-outs, Dominican-style, ponytails and twist sets. I wasn’t brave enough to do the big chop, but I did stop sweating the trims. I remember the days when tears would well up in my eyes over cut hair on the floor—my mother raised me to love my long hair. I was told my entire childhood, “Don’t ever cut your hair.” So I grew up cherishing my long locks. Now, a cut is just a cut, and with new healthy hair, it always grows back.
I would say my journey took about two years to transition completely, and I will never go back. I truly don’t miss the sore scalp and thin-hair feel after a fresh relaxer. I really don’t see why I ever relaxed in the first place. I can do so much more with my natural hair now: If I want it wavy, I wash it, put it in about five plaits, go to bed and take down thick curls for the next day. If I want it straight, I use my Chocolät
collection, blow-dry it out (or let a stylist blow-dry it) and go. If I want it curly, I take my big barrel curling iron and style my locks into my favorite old-school Shirley Temple curls.
My life into new parenthood and new natural-hair-hood was a trial-and-error process. But, thank God, we all came out beautiful!
HAVE A QUESTION FOR ONE OF OUR EXPERTS? ASK IT HERE.