I've been toying with the idea of transitioning for about 6 months now. My fascination with natural hair began before that while watching Mane and Chic transition. Her hair was goregous and she didn't use braids, sew-ins or big chop (well she did BC but after a long-term transition).
So when I started stretching my relaxers, I noticed that my NG was easier and easier to deal with. And when I would get relaxed my hair was too straight for about the first month. I couldn't wait for my NG to come back.
Of course, being on LHCF with so many naturals was an influence as well. The encouraging thing is that there are quite a few naturals who wear their hair straight most of the time. So I started stalking, I mean, looking at various posts about natural haircare, transitioning and transitioning hairstyles. I saw some hair I liked and quite frankly, some I didn't. So I was a bit conflicted as to whether or not transitioning would work for me.
The main concern, however, was what in the ham sandwich would my natural texture look like? I received my first relaxer at 5 years old....I've literally been relaxed my ENTIRE life...LOL
The only pictures I have of my natural texture are when I was a little girl, a toddler really. I do know that when cared for properly, my hair can be thick. But how that translates into the natural world, I'm not so sure. I suspect I'm a 4 hair type (kinky coily), which can be a beast to straighten.
So many things to consider: shine, slip, ease of combing, finding a hairstylist that can deal with my transition and my natural hair, texture, FRIZZ, etc. I have thought, thought, pondered, weighed the options, counter argued and I can't seem to shake my desire to transition to natural hair.
The stars aligned this past Thursday when Mane and Chic did her Thursday Transitioners post. It gave a list of questions to think about, products to use, things to consider when going natural. Considering over half the things on the list I either own or are techniques I currently do, I pretty much realized that the decision was made...
Sooooooooo, as of May 1, 2009 I will stretch my relaxer indefinitely (LOL @ giving myself an out).
Now not to alienate any of my other soon-to-be natural sisters, but I will not "forget from whence I've come" and become the Natural Nazi. Relaxers (when cared for properly) gave me many good years of great hair. And I love relaxed and texlaxed hair. So for my relaxed sisters out there, don't think I'm going to all of a sudden flip the script on you. Beautiful (translation: HEALTHY) hair is beautiful hair, no matter the texture or whether it's achieved via relaxer or in its natural texture.
Mane and Chic gave some questions to think about when making the decision to transition...below are my answers.
How often can you wash?
2-3 times a week
Are you going to trim, how often?
I'm not 100% sure, but no more than 4 times a year. There is a transition where you gradually trim relaxed ends, I may end up doing that.
How often do you want to deep condition?
2-3 times a week, essentially everytime I wash. That's what will keep my new growth manageable.
Are you going to straighten, how often?
Yes, I'm going to straighten. Mostly with rollersetting, but I'm not above flat ironing my roots. LOL
How will you straighten if you decide to do so -- roller sets, hot combs, flat irons, etc.?
All of the above, even the etc. LOL
Are you going to do protein treatments, how often?
Monthly when I clarify.
Will you use shampoo or just conditioner, apple cider vinegar or herbs to wash?
Wash with diluted shampoo whenever I feel my hair has product build up. Clarify monthly. Co-wash in between times. I want to try ACV rinses as well.
Are you going to protect your hair when you sleep?
Yes with satin bonnet and/or satin pillowcases.
How will you moisturize your hair?
I don't know, that's one thing I need to figure out. I do know I will more than likely seal with castor oil.
Are you going to pre-wash your hair?
I usually DC on dry hair, but I will probably now add a pre-poo with EVOO (olive oil).
Are you going to do scalp massages, how often?
Yes, when I remember.
What are your go-to styles going to be -- braid-outs, curl former sets, buns, etc.?
Figuring that out too, but more than likely rollersets. In the next couple of weeks I will try flexi-rod sets and perm rod sets. We'll just see what happens from there...
So that's that folks, I am among the women who are transitioning. I will do my best to post as regularly as possible with updates, styles, inspirations, etc. I will be as balanced as I can with the styles, although for a few days it may be a little natural hairstyle heavy as I am now compiling my inspiration pics.
I have a myriad of emotions, uncertainty, nervous, excited, impatient (wish I could be natural tomorrow). Should be an interesting journey. I'm glad I have my blog friends and family to walk with me...