Now that more and more teenagers are transitioning to natural hair, I thought I’d create a page dedicated to the subject and offer some encouragement and advice.
Going natural was not something anyone was doing when I was in high school, but I can tell you now that I would not have had the confidence to do it.
So I applaud those of you who are considering or going through the journey.
Even though I have no experience with what it’s like to go through high school with transitioning or natural hair, I can tell you what I’ve learned about people that will help you stayed encouraged.
It Takes Strength and Confidence to Look Different
For the most part, teenagers just want to fit in. No one wants to be the person who stands out or gets made fun of because they are different.
Can you relate?
That’s why so many teenagers are terrified of going natural. It goes against how most young girls wear their hair — especially today when so many girls are wearing long, straight weaves.
I commend you for putting your desire to go natural and having a healthier hair regimen over trying to look like everyone else.
And let me tell you, when your natural hair is long, healthy and able to do so many funky hairstyles, I guarantee many of those people who tease you will wish their hair is as healthy as yours.
My hair journey has inspired so many people who told me they never even considered going natural. I bet this will happen to you!
So I encourage you to stay strong. Yes, some people don’t like natural hair, but it’s only because we’ve been programmed to believe that straighter hair is more beautiful. Don’t make someone else’s opinion your problem.
And if someone has something to say about your “nappy hair”, you can just casually remind them how freeing it will be to know that your hair doesn’t have to be processed for you to feel beautiful.
Don’t stoop to their level with insults, just confidently reply with a smile, remind them it’s their opinion and keep it moving! 🙂
Transition Hairstyling Ideas
So what do you do while transitioning? After all, that’s the most challenging part of the natural hair journey because you are dealing with two different textures.
Plus, you’re probably busy with school and other activities so you don’t have enormous amounts of time to spend on your hair, and you want it to look nice. So here are some styling options.
Many teens transition by wearing braids or weave because it’s low maintenance. I don’t have an issue with this, as long as you give your hair a break for a few weeks between getting more hair sewn/braided in.
Also make sure you get them done loosely and they don’t pull your edges. This can cause breakage. And if you are already losing hair because of traction alopecia (hair loss around the edges, crown, etc. from pulling) then I would strongly recommend some of the styles below.
2) Flat Twists
Flat twists are great because you can learn to do them yourself (I learned on YouTube) and it’s a good way to blend the two textures at the edges where your hair grows out first.
I wore flat twists a LOT during my transition. It took me about a month or so to learn how to do them properly, but once I learned this was my go-to style often. My favorite style was flat twisting my sides and doing a rod set on the rest of my hair.
Just like extensions, make sure you don’t put them in too tight or they can break your hair.
Here’s one of the tutorials that helped me learn how to flat twist…
And here’s one of my favorite flat twist transitioning styles…
You have to be careful with rod sets because you don’t want to look like somebody’s grandma. 😉 The key is to use small rods and roll your hair in a spiral pattern so your curls are spirally. Plus, the smaller you do them, the longer they will last.
Also make sure you separate the curls completely when you take down the rods, to give your hair a fuller. You can young-up a rod set by adding a stylish, large headband.
I loved rod sets while transitioning because they lasted a little more than a week with little maintenance. I always used the white and blue plastic rods (from the beauty supply) because they are smaller and made my curls last longer.
See my article on rod setting transitioning hair.
4) Bantu Knot Outs
This is another popular transitioning style. It’s ideal because you are twisting your hair to the root, which is good for blending textures.
I never did bantu knots when I was transitioning, but you can see a video of my first bantu knot out style while fully natural. You can still use the same technique.
What’s great about this style is you don’t need to add perm rods because you will automatically curl your ends when creating the knots.
Mom Says “No Way!”
I come across a lot of teens who need advice because their mom is completely against natural hair.
At one time natural hair was in (60’s, 70’s, etc.) Then in the 80’s and 90’s it became all about the relaxer — the straighter the better. So if your mom grew up in a time when natural hair was not in, she may have a very negative attitude about it.
Times are changing. YouTube has revolutionized the way we think about and style our hair. Also, products have come a long way so detangling and overall management have gotten so much easier.
I was doing my hair in front of my mom once and she said, See, we didn’t have access to all the knowledge and products you guys have now. She said she didn’t remember my texture looking the way it looks now, but my texture hasn’t changed.
The products (conditioners, cremes, etc.) are making my hair more manageable than when my mom used to do my hair. She didn’t have access to them when I was younger so the only thing I remember about being natural was tangles and heartache! (I used to hate wash days!)
So if your mom is against natural hair, take her to YouTube and school her on the way natural hair management and styling has evolved. Find a woman whose hair is thriving and has a similar texture to yours.
YouTube has encouraged many people to go natural simply because prior to its popularity, lots of people were unaware of what is possible with our natural hair. The videos are inspiring because they show how versatile our hair truly is.
Another reason some are so against natural hair is because they’ve seen poor examples. Obviously if you don’t take care of your hair, being natural can be a disaster. However, with some TLC and patience, your hair can really thrive and the styling options are endless!
Below are some pics toward the end of my 18-month natural hair transition. My hair was mostly natural by this time. I started falling in love with how many styles I could do since my hair was so thick.
And if your mom is still against it, you might just have to sit her down and tell her how you feel. Explain to her that the relaxers are ruining your hair (if that’s the case) and you’d really like to learn how to embrace what your hair does naturally.
Tell her it would mean the world to her if you could have her support. Remind her that she doesn’t have to like your hair, but the support during the transition would make a big difference.
Remember, some people just don’t like natural hair and you can’t change their minds — but that’s not your problem. It only becomes your problem if you let people’s opinions bother you. Stay strong and do what’s best for YOU.
Discuss Your Transition With Other Teens
Sometimes it’s hard to find people who support your transition so you may feel you are in this alone. There’s a thread in the forums created by a teen looking for support as she transitions. Feel free to join in. Also check out this discussion where a mom hates natural hair.
Decided to transition? Here are some tips to help you get started.
Okay so I relaxed my hair about a year ago and through out that year I relaxed it two more times. It damaged my hair and so i quit right. They had to cut some of my hair from the damage of using a curling iron. It has been a year since then and my hair has grown back but in the back of my head my hair is at least an inch shorter then the rest. How can i help it grow back? Do you know of any good products?