If you currently have relaxed or chemically straightened hair and are considering going natural there are some things you should consider before embarking on this natural hair journey.
You can either transition gradually or do the big chop. So what does this mean practically?
Transitioning involves stopping the use of chemicals on your hair and waiting for your natural hair (or your new growth) to reach a length that you feel comfortable with before trimming off the ends of your hair that are still chemically straightened. Transitioning can take as long as you want and will depend on when you feel ready to cut off the rest of the chemically straightened hair. So this can range from a few months to even a couple of years.
- Transitioning is a gradual process and enables you to learn about your new growth of natural hair slowly.
- It is a preferable option if you are not comfortable with short hair as it enables you to retain the length of your hair.
- Going natural can be a very emotional journey and you need to be mentally ready for it. Transitioning can help you get your mind ready for this journey.
- Transitioning involves learning to deal with two different hair textures i.e. the chemically straightened ends and the new natural growth.
- You have to learn to adopt styles that incorporate the two different hair textures such as bantu knot outs, twists and braid outs.
- Some people try to have their natural hair blend in with their chemically straightened ends by using heat which damages the natural hair
- It feels like a waste of money to spend on products to use on the chemically straightened ends that you are going to chop off anyway!
The Big Chop
This involves cutting off all your chemically straightened hair straightaway without going through the transition and starting from scratch.
- You get to learn about your hair texture straight away.
- You only have to deal with one hair texture.
- Short hair is low maintenance.
- Its very liberating and is a fresh start!
- You have to learn about your hair texture from the get go – its like being thrown in the deep end especially if you have had chemically straightened hair since you were young.
- You may feel unconformable with having extremely short hair.
- There are fewer styling options for super short hair.
- You may become impatient with your new short hair, have some regrets and become impatient with the time it takes for it to grow to the length you feel comfortable
Whatever path you decide to choose for your natural hair journey is up to you. Choose whatever path makes you feel comfortable and fits into your lifestyle – there is no right or wrong way to go about it.