I was a ride-or-die relaxer girl. Every seven weeks on the dot, I was in that stylist’s chair experiencing that cool cream turn into a fiery paste as my coils were whipped straight. Fifteen years of relaxing was a tough habit to break. I had so many thoughts churning through my head when I first went natural that almost drove me straight back to the white stuff. But, I didn’t, and I’m thrilled with my decision and dedication to going natural. Here’s a list of some of the thoughts you might be having as a transitioner or a new natural and how you can break the cycle!
“My hair doesn’t look ‘perfect.’” When you have a relaxer, you’re used to every single piece of straightened hair acting and behaving just like you want it to, which is not at all the case for natural hair! Coils tend to have a mind of their own and that’s part of the beauty of going natural. Work on changing your perception of what “finished” hair looks like, and you’ll relax as a natural you, rather than with a relaxer.
“None of my products work anymore!” I bet they don’t! Chemically treated and natural hair have very different needs. There’s a chance that none of your favorite products used for your relaxed strands will work for your natural hair, and that’s ok! There’s a huge variety of products geared toward your unique texture on the market today. Do some research and figure out what works for you. Give old products away to clear up some space at home for your new natural hair goodies.
“I miss spending time at the salon.” Salons are a great place to catch up with friends and hang out for the afternoon. The good news is that there are lots of them out there, some of them geared specifically toward natural hair even! Ask around for recommendations to find one that you like and after your first straw set, you’ll have that salon-fix in no time!
“I miss spending money at the salon.” No you don’t and no you won’t. Stop that foolishness. If you really have money burning a hole in your pocket, I accept gifts year round.
“I need a perm because my hair still doesn’t look like Tracee Ellis Ross’!” Uh, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but only Tracee Ellis Ross is gonna look like Tracee Ellis Ross. Due to this biological miracle called genetics, we are all awesome in our own individual ways. One of the reasons Miss Ross’ curls always look so good is because she knows how to work her unique texture. What works for her looser curl pattern may not work for yours, so try to find some hairspiration as close to your texture as possible. Step away from the perm, take a deep breath and learn how to make your texture as fly as it can be!
“Now I’m the odd one out because all my friends still relax.” Lucky you! Now you’re the one who exudes the particular hair swagger and confidence only naturalistas have, and when they see how much positive attention you’re getting, fun you’re having, and that you don’t have grab an emergency trash bag to cover your ’do in an unexpected downpour—they’ll hop on the natural bandwagon too. Then this will all be a moot point.
“This. Is. Unmanageable.” I always told myself “manageability” was the reason I relaxed my hair. But then I thought about it: Who said that my hair was unmanageable? My mom when she was trying wrangle the thick hair on my tender head at 6 a.m. before going to school? That situation DOES sound unmanageable, but I figured that as an adult, I could probably figure out how to manage my own natural hair. The key in learning about natural hair manageability is that the more you work with rather than againstyour hair, the happier you’ll both be!
Carol’s Daughter knows that transitioning isn’t easy—that’s why the brand has founded TransitioningMovement.com, a site dedicated to providing the resources that women need to embrace their natural hair. This definitive online source on how to transition was founded on the idea that every woman should celebrate her own unique beauty. As women transition from relaxed to natural hair with protective styles, the big chop or long or curly grow-outs, we aim to support them as they brave the change with fun, informative and helpful features. Let’s get back to the basics of natural beauty.