3. Watch That Demarcation Line
This tip is crucial if you are planning a long transition. The region where natural hair meets relaxed hair should be your top priority. Ensure that it is well conditioned and be careful when detangling or combing this particular section.
Breakage will normally start at this point which is something you need to avoid until you are ready to do the big chop. If your natural hair has a lot of shrinkage, try to minimise this as much as possible by gently stretching out the hair for styling (any of the styles discussed in tip 1). This will help reduce the force required for the comb to pass through the demarcation line.
It is time to start accumulating your styling arsenal. Simple things like scarves, headbands, pins and flowers will help you during your transition and the early years of your natural hair. If you are planning a long transition, headbands and scarves can be used to cover natural hair instead of using heat styling. Later they can be used to accentuate your new shorter hair. Hair pins and flowers are useful tools for both helping to control hair as well as helping to save you from a bad hair day.
Many naturals will attest to the fact that when you are a new natural and struggling to style your hair, sometimes refocusing your energy to another part of your beauty routine such as your outfit and make up or even earrings and shoes can help give you a lift when you are unsure about how your hair looks.
5. Prepare Yourself and Others
We often talk about the practical aspects of managing natural hair but in truth one of the most difficult parts is the mental transition. The take home message is that there will come a day when you will be fully comfortable with all aspects of your hair but how long this takes is variable.….instantly, days, weeks, months or years.
You can prepare yourself by immersing yourself in the natural world. Look at all textures, not just the one you think might look like your future natural hair (or would prefer your hair to be). Watch videos, read blogs and visit forums to see how different naturals manage their hair and take note of any key similarities regardless of hair texture.
For the people around you, talk and tell them that you plan to go natural. Some will support and some will criticise. You do not need to defend your corner, all you need is to assess how ready you are to hear these opinions and either absorb or ignore them depending on how much they help you. Keep working and building your confidence to be able to not let negative comments dictate how you feel about your hair or what you do with it.
Ladies, share your transitioning tips!