I spent many years hiding my natural hair texture behind chemicals (relaxers). Like many women, I got my first relaxer at a young age.
Natural hair was something I never considered because, quite frankly, I never had the confidence to rock it.
I would always say things like…
1) I don’t have the right texture (We need to drop the mentality that you have to have a certain kind of texture to go natural. I don’t have shiny, defined, bouncy curls, but dern it, I’m going to learn to embrace whatever hair grows from my scalp!)
2) My hair is too thick (Some people would kill for thicker hair. After my hair thinned so much from relaxing I’ve learned to appreciate my thickness.)
3) I don’t have the right head shape (Hmm…. What’s the official head shape qualification for wearing natural hair anyway? How come no one ever says that about relaxed hair? I guess everyone has the right head shape for straight hair… even though that’s not how our hair grows naturally. It was just another excuse I made out of fear!)
4) I don’t have time to style my hair (Natural hair does take time to style, but it takes way more time if you plan to wear it straight everyday or you try to fight what your texture wants to do naturally. What’s interesting is now that I’m all natural, I actually spend LESS time on my hair overall.
Yes, wash days take several hours, but I can get two strand twists to last 2 weeks and then stretch the style another week with a twist out (see this video). So that’s 3 weeks with hardly any manipulation.
When I was relaxed I had to flat iron my hair everyday and wrap it up at night. So overall, I’m spending less time on my hair.)
Also, check out my wash-and-go puff that took me all of 15 minutes out of the shower.
Natural hair is more time-consuming if you are constantly trying to alter your texture. If I need a break, I wear my hair in its afro state. It’s so freeing to be able to accept my texture and not feel I always have to wear twists or a certain style that is more “attractive” to society.
5) Relaxed hair is just easier to manage. (That could be true depending on how you plan to wear your hair, but I don’t mind taking the extra time and learning something new if it means having healthier hair. Also, products have evolved so much over the years to help with manageability.)
So I was really just making excuses because I was afraid of how I’d look and what other people would think. And I know I’m not alone. I’ve had women tell me they won’t go natural because they are afraid of rejection by men.
What’s so interesting about that is I’ve actually had more men approach me since I’ve been natural because those that like it go out of their way to pay a compliment.
You can’t spend your life worrying about who is NOT going to like you because there will always be people who appreciate you for you.
Click here to get the above picture on a T-shirt and wear it with pride!
Be sure to read my article on dealing with critics of natural hair.
We Need to Stop the Excuses, Ladies!
Let’s face it. We have been conditioned to believe that our hair is ugly. I know it’s hard to admit, but we make excuses because we’re afraid and we think our natural hair is unattractive. I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but I made a lot of excuses out of fear.
And who could blame us? We live in a society where straighter hair is seen as “more beautiful” than kinky hair. Unfortunately history and society have taught many of “us” to be ashamed of our hair’s natural texture. Natural hair is often labeled with adjectives like “unkempt”, “ugly”, “unprofessional”, etc.
Speaking of natural hair being unprofessional, check out this conversation in the forums about natural hair in the workplace.
Imagine the impact those words have on children like me who hear this at a very young age. It really shaped the attitude I had about my own hair. To this day, I’m working to shed the wrong thinking.
Thank goodness times are changing (slowly but surely.) I know so many more natural ladies than I did ten years ago, and they inspire me. I’ve also noticed that commercials are now featuring more African American women wearing textured styles.
This is Bigger Than a New Hairstyle
This is much more than a journey about my hair. It’s a journey of confidence and setting my own standards for beauty. It sounds so cliché, I know, but it’s the truth.
It’s time for me to stop letting society dictate how I should look. My hair does not need to be fixed. It’s fine the way it is. I just have to learn how to take care of it.
Yes, there are people who don’t like my “new look”, but I am becoming less and less concerned with what other people think. Having said that though, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
In any event, here are some benefits of wearing natural hair…
1) No More Relaxer Countdowns
I am so excited that I no longer have to try and remember when my last relaxer was or wonder if I’ve scratched too much and have to postpone my relax day for fear of scalp burn.
2) I Can Embrace New Growth
With relaxers, it was like a catch 22. Of course I wanted my hair to grow, but at the same time, the new growth would hinder certain hair styles because of the two textures.
Usually around the 4th week post relaxer I would start not liking my hair as much because of the new growth. Now I embrace new growth 100%! Beautiful!
3) I Enjoy Wash Days
As a self-proclaimed product junkie I am loving the exploration of new products and seeing what they do in my hair.
Having a good detangler is also key. The Knot Today Conditioner (Leave-In and Detangler) has made combing and detangling a breeze and minimized breakage.
4) The Textured Ponytail
I hardly ever wore my hair in a ponytail when my hair was relaxed. Even though my hair was often long, my hair typically thinned out as it grew. So my ponytails would look skinny and lifeless unless I curled them.
With natural hair, I can get a textured/curly, full ponytail with little effort now that I am discovering products like the Kinky Curly Curling Custard and other curl defining products.
5) Long, Healthy Hair
My hair has always grown fast and long. I can hardly wait to see what it will do with no chemicals! By the end of my 18 month transition, the back of my hair was longer than my relaxed hair had ever been.
Natural hair shrinks up so much it’s hard to tell, but I was thrilled when I realized that. I’m retaining much more length because my ends aren’t constantly being combed and heated.
I always hear people say their hair doesn’t grow. That’s not true. Everyone’s hair grows, it’s about retaining length by preserving your ends. If you take care of your natural hair, you may find that your hair retains more length thus making it look as if it’s growing faster.
Read more tips about growing long, black hair.
6) New Style Options
I would always hear naturals say that you have more options with natural hair. At first I wasn’t sure I bought that statement because when I would think of natural hair, I would mainly think of wearing an afro.
Nothing wrong with afros if that’s the style you’re after. I’m sure I will wear them from time to time myself. But I certainly want to do more with my hair than just rock an afro everyday.
But thanks to YouTube, I have learned so much about styling and have more confidence that I will be able to do a number of things with my hair once it’s in its natural state. I plan to grow my hair long so I’m looking forward to the options.
7) No More Scalp Dryness
My dry scalp problem has improved tremendously! I was having some flaking near the edges, but found out it was product build up! Now that I clarify often with Kinky Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo my scalp is much happier. 🙂
Take a trip down memory lane and watch this video of my relaxer days.
I ment hair of course on my previous question lol..thanks in advance
I have been transitioning my relaxed her for almost 4 months and my hair is so thick. Do you have any tips on managing the two textures?
Sections, sections, sections. LOL I section my hair off prior to shampooing and detangle with conditioner and water. Styling my hair is always done in smaller sections. That will make it easier to manage and moisturize. 🙂
I have been transitioning my relax hair to natural for three months now but my scalp is so dry. Could you please give some advice on what to do.
Read this article. https://napturallycurly.com/2012/04/get-rid-of-dandruff-natural-hair/
Kelli B says
I just want to say thank you so very much for this article. I’m transitioning from relaxer to natural and was a little scared at first, but after reading this I feel more than ready to embrace my kinky coils.
Najha Smith says
Im back…as all of you know i am 16 still in high school wearing my first transtoning hairstyle going natral. i wore it to school. i must say confedience really is key to being natural. I did feel as if i wanted to cry at one point but then i realized. that my choice is exactlly what it is MY CHOICE. and the reason i am going natural is because i want to be happy. once i realized that …i held my haid high and proud. and when ever someone would comment i would just tell then “everyone has a opinion and you are intitled to it but it is niether desired nor required”. i will say that today i have never felt more beautiful. I Cant wait what the rest of my transition awaits me 🙂
Good for you! And yes, confidence is sooooo important because it’s something no one else can give you. You just have to learn how to appreciate you for you! Go girl.
I work at a hotel front desk, and I’ve planned on growing my hair natural a year ago, I finally started mid last year up until now. My main concern is wearing my thick, natural hair at work. I can;t style it and worse of all my co-workers are not supportive at all. I would love to continue growing natural as it has been damaged due to years of relaxing.
Najha Smith says
i was actually really concerned about my thick transitoning hair and how i was going to wear it at job intwervies and thing of that nature….but i realized that YOUTUBE is going to be your best friend in many situations. And people at my school even my own friends are kinda on the fence of me going natural…just remember:
1. is this for them or you
2. Why are you going natural
3. confidence is key. so if you love your natural look why should others influence your decision?
Think about that and i can promise you that it will make it alot easier
and natural is a process…there is going to be some douters just remember why you are natural and everything will be okay
What styles have you tried? I learned to style my hair by literally studying videos on youtube. They gave me inspiration. It takes time to learn but you can do it! Start with rod sets.
Najha Smith says
i am new to transitioning…i am 16 yrs old…my styles told me that its okay to get hot combs caus its still going natural….stupidly i listended….luckly i was not far in my transition…..do you have any advice for my and my shamless acton….did it differ my progress?
Hi, I’ve had my hair natural for almost 3 years. But I always get extension. I keep my extension for 3 month at a time. Give it a few days break & get it done again. I want to wear my hair natural, however, it is very dry, thick & it’s very difficult to maintain.
My hair is at least 9inc long when I flat iron it. My question is what the best conditioner shampoo & leave-in conditioner you would recommend that can help me manage my hair better. When I wash my hair, it shrinks to an afro!! I hate that I can’t do much with it. I think if I can find a great conditioner, shampoo & leave in conditioner that can help my hair become softer, I would definitely try & wear it natural all the time. And I’ve noticed my front hair is breaking & thinning!! Please give me more information to wear my hair natural.
I used Organics Olive Oil Replenisher but you have to experiment as I cannot tell you what products will work for your hair unfortunately. You also probably need a really good leave in conditioner you can use throughout the week. Giovanni makes a Direct Leave I that a lot of people like.
Your hair is probably thinning because of the extensions. All that pulling constantly will thin your hair over time. You need to give your hair a break. Plus when your hair is in extensions it tends to get extra dry because you may not be moisturizing like you would if it wasn’t. So when you take them out your hair is dry, thirsty and brittle. I would highly recommend taking a break for a few months from the extensions and try some of the transitioning styles mentioned under the hairstyles menu at the top.
Come get help at https://napturallycurly.com/forums
Hi lisa, this is Lebrra. You referred me to go to your forum, but unfortunately, I’m having issues signing up. What do “referrer represents. I put your name but it keep saying I have incomplete and/or incorrect information. Please help me sign in, I’m so exited about being a part of this whole ordeal. Thank you soooo much
You don’t have to fill that referrer info out. Did you answer the random anti spam question? That question is there to prevent automated bots from signing up.
I’m in the transitional phase, and the back of my hair will not grow at all. Is is probably 2 inches long. What can I do about this?
Is it breaking off or not growing at all? I get this question a lot and it’s hard to know. Our hair grows at different rates, for example, my back grows 2x’s as fast as my front. Could that be it?
Lebra Davis says
Hello Ms. Lisa, my name is lebra and I haven’t had a perm in five months and I am definately gonna go natural. Question,.., if I flat iron my hair once a month, will it still make me natural or not? I love the way my soft new growth feels. I use the egg, mayo, and olive oil. For deep cond. And for shampoo, I use white rain coconut and cond. I’m really gonna stick to this site so it can guide me of what I’m doing right or wrong. When I was seven, I remember having that long, thick hair and I miss it, but the perm gave me burnt scalps and thin pieces longer than other pieces in my hair. Thats all ppl say is wow, your hair is so thick and pretty(even though sides are nappy. I don’t know how to do the flexy rod, and I don’t own a overhead drier. My protective hair style is braids. Also, how can I make my 4b hair curly without rollers. Plz help me on my hair journey. I am totally new to this and I want to put time into my hair without EVER going back to a perm. I want to prove to my mom my hair can look as good without a perm. She feel like I won’t be able to make it without a perm. Plz help me sis, plz. What I’m doing right or wrong. What products I need in my cabinet. Thank you so kindly for your time. I will definately keep in touch. I’m so excited, I found a natural friend
As long as you use a heat protectant and don’t have the iron too hot, it shouldn’t harm your curl pattern. As long as you aren’t using chemicals, I consider you natural. Using heat doesn’t mean you aren’t natural in my opinion. I wouldn’t try to start making your hair curly since you are only 5 months into the transition. You can try spraying water and applying a curling cream/gel like Eco Styler, Taliah Waajid, Miss Jessie’s or some of the others but I didn’t try making my hair curl until I was already natural. There really was no point since my ends were still straight.
You should join my forum at https://www.napturallycurly.com/forums There are a bunch of ladies there who are so supportive and many are transitioning like you. You can post questions and interact with others there. I’m there too!
I just want to say thanx so much for this website. Im 26 yrs old and have been getting relaxers done since I was 9 yrs old. Im currently in my 5th month of transitioning still have about 6 or 7in of relaxed hair. (Dont have the courage for the big chop) I’ve been debating on going natural for about the past 3yrs. Never lasting more then 2months in transition, mostly because I didnt know that there were these many style options available for the natural look. I found ur website on youtube while searching for style options I ran n2 one of your videos and decided to check the website out. You may not know but me and you have been best buds since. My hair has always been very thick and curly even with a relaxer. I used to perm my hair every 4-5 weeks. Because my hair has always been thick the relaxer has never done obvious damage. However my hair has never been able to grow more then 2-3in past my shoulder even though its obvious that its growing it just wouldnt retain length. I had excessive shedding whenever combing it, when going to work and school I would have to come down my hair 1st then get dressed otherwise there would be hair all over my clothing. I also had really bad dry scalp, I would wash, dry, and grease my hair and within 24hrs flakes are everywhere. But now I am so happy to say that I have none of those problems anymore and thats thx to this you. Im on it almost everday sometimes looking at the same stuff over again. I’ve doing like you said and just rod setting it mostly. Could you give me a little more details on your co wash? Still trying to learn how to do these flat twist.. Thx for everything!!
That’s so great to hear!! I am so happy for you. Well, I just started co-washing as I was kind of against it previously because I thought my hair needed shampoo. Turns out, I had less flaking when I co-washed. Maybe because my scalp didn’t get dried out.
Anyway, I just section my hair off like I do when I shampoo and detangle a bit with water and leave-in conditioner before I get in the shower. Then I take a GENEROUS amount of a cheap rinse out conditioner and slowly work it through each section at a time. You will find that your hair is soooooo much softer and less tangled. Then rinse with cold water to bring out your curls more and give your hair some shine. 🙂
How often do you co wash b4 you shampoo?
Co-washing takes the place of shampooing. So you would do it when it’s time to wash your hair. But I don’t do it multiple times in a row because sometimes my hair needs shampoo to clean all the oils, products, etc. So I may alter between shampooing and co-washing.
I am beginning to transition to natural hair. The reason I decided this is because I am tired of getting sores after getting relaxers no matter how mild the relaxer is. My hair is semi wavy and kinda dry and frizzy. I am learning so much about the products you have talked about. I have only been relaxer free for 3 months. I am currently wearing a twist set and will be getting braids for a few months to allow the relaxer to grow out and allow me to be able to go to the gym and not have to worry about my hair. Your comments and videos have helped me not to be afraid of this new path in life I have taken. Kudos to you.
I wish you the best! Don’t forget to come hang out with us in the forums if you have questions https://napturallycurly.com/forums
Hi Lisa. My sister introduced me to going natural just a few weeks ago (my last relaxer was June 21, 2012). At my next hair appointment in a couple of weeks I’m only getting a trim (my hair dresser TOTALLY supports me). Because you are knowledgeable about this journey, my questions are: What do I do to give my hair the best start at the beginning? Is there a shampoo & conditioner you’d suggest? Can I continue to roller set my hair? I don’t sit under a hair dryer at home, I let it air dry on the rollers; however when I visit my hair dresser every 8 weeks I do sit under her hair dryer. Also, my 5 yr old daughter IS natural. Can I use the same shampoos/conditioners/cremes/hair styles on her? It would give me practice on how to do things.
I started with Giovanni products (Walmart). They are gentle yet effective at giving you moisture and softness.
You may be able to use the same products as your daughter but testing it will be the real way to tell. It’s hard for me to know — different products may perform differently on different people’s heads — even if you are related.
I did the BC today. Its Amber Rose short, totally liberating!!! cant wait till grows back and watch the transition.
Hahaa me too but, I can’t avoid it training for a marathon. I’ll have to play around with it my last relaxed was June 14, so it’s still straight at the moment. But I am def. going to try to go natural at lease until my race, and if I survive that, I’m in it for the long haul.
Do you workout? If so how do you handle your hair with the sweat?
I do but not enough to mess up my hair. I hate sweating. lol
A lot of new things going on for me. I have a goal to finish my masters by next december, training for my first half marathon this year, hope to complete a full marathon nex year as well. With all this running and since my stylist moving I’ve decided to go natural. Whats the best way to transition with all the running and sweating I’ll be doing? My hair is a little bit past my ears longer in the back by a tad but, but I do not want to cut, I don’t want weave or braids, I want to leave it how it is and let it grow for out for once without th chemicals. Glad I found this website!
You can do it Tiffany! I wish you the best.
Lisa, your site just gave me life! I am in the finicky stage of do I relax or do I go natural and I think I have made up my mind. I just want my hair to be full and healthy so when I get older, it won’t thin out as much as I have seen my relatives who have relaxed hair. I feel like I am a very conservative girl, however, my workplace is a lot more “inclusionary” so the rod set thing might work for me! I am going home tonight to try this. I have been blow drying and flat ironing my hair once week and I am so tired of this, I just forgot that I could wear it curly! Wish me luck!
OK, good luck Freida! 🙂
I did it and it looks cute! I went to work and received compliments from about 5 different people! Super excited, this I can live with, thanks for documenting your journey. Question though, do you ever straigten your natural hair? Just wondering how versatile we are talking about here.
I haven’t straightened yet but I plan on it in the next year.
Lisa, you might like this article, as may your readers. It’s so relevant. A redhead realized that she wanted to stop dyeing her hair blond after decades of damage, but her original color never returned! Such a lesson about other women’s natural journeys.
Wow, even though this site is really about accepting your hair’s texture, it’s a good point on how chemically altering your color can have just as bad effects. Thanks for sharing.
i have been transitioning since sept 2011 i have been just geeting my hair pressed i want to stop and just wear it curly do you have any sugestions
The rod set was my go to style for transitioning. Have you tried this yet?
Japonica Grant says
I been thinking about going natural for months now but the feeling of insecurity and fear is holding me back. How did you build up enough courage to just go for it?
I have to admit, it was tough early on, but once I learned how to take care of my hair and what my hair liked, some of the people who looked at me cross-eyed for going natural ended up transitioning themselves!! I really just had to personally redefine what “beautiful” is for myself and that it wasn’t just straight hair. Once you get used to your hair with its new look, you’ll grow into it. And if others don’t, that’s their loss. 🙂 One thing I learned for sure, going natural is not for people who are overly concerned with what others think. People will always have something to say, whether they do it to your face or behind your back… you have to do this for you and know that nothing matters more than the health of your hair. Your natural hair is beautiful and the more you get used to it and learn to work with it, the easier it gets to transition.
Girl, my hair was so damaged I had absolutely no choice. It was either go bald, wear wigs or try natural. I really had no choice unless I was going to wear wigs and weaves for the rest of my life. LOL
Jason Miller says
I think the real question for the title of this blog is ‘Why Not Wear Natural Hair?!’
I hope that more youtube channels and blogs like this which promote natural hair eventually result in more and more black women choosing to go natural or at least recognising that they do have an alternative option or the choice to. Keep up the great work with this blog. Thanks again for the insight.
Always great to hear from males encouraging women to go natural. Thanks Jason.
Annette Lewis says
I have decided to go natural. I want to say in march was my last touch up. I was a little nervous, but your website has really inspired me and it is so easy to understand. I am gray and I was wondering if my gray would change color, but then I realize it should be fine since no more chemicals will be in my head. I am new to this because in reality someone was always doing my hair so I never had to do my hair. I am loving how to do my hair, but I have to learn some styles to put it in. I bought rods, but I am scared of how my hair will come out. I also want to know what I can use to my scalp because it is really, really dry in the back. My sister told me to use keracare 3 from Target so I may use that. What are your thoughts on that?
I have dry scalp too and I do a jojoba / tea tree oil treatment before I shampoo. I use 2-3 drops of tea tree oil for every 1 ounce of jojoba oil. I leave it in for an hour. It really helps keep my scalp moisturized. I’ve always battled dry scalp so doing that and staying hydrated helps.
Claysie Woods says
Good Morning Ms. Lisa,
Love the hair as always.
Well, ladies, tomorrow is my 2 month anniversary since my Big Chop and I am loving it!!!! I transitioned for 4 months and have 2 months since BC. My hair is know 2 1/2 inches long, I should have 3 inches by May 11th 2012, will let you know. I am using VO5 Conditioner, Coconut, Olive, & Carrot Oil, Eco Styler for my twist, plain nice H20 water, heheehe. I am currently applying Okra to my hair, they said it makes tour hair grow longer, am I seeing any change, I think so, seems longer anyway, if not It cannot hurt.
Again, thanks a mil Ms. Lisa, for everything!!!!!
Whoo whoo!! Love your updates, Claysie!! So happy for you.
I love your hair. I’m only in month 4 and I’m terrified because I want to keep my length but seeing your hair all natural and curly makes me hopeful 🙂 my newgrowth is all dry and evil and I don’t know how to please it lol. Thanks for all your tips. One day I hope my new growth will hold moisture
You probably just have scab hair. It may change as you continue to transition. Keep deep conditioning and stay away from that direct heat if you can.
Tess Mccray says
I like the versatility that natural hair gives me. I also like to wear several different styles such as wigs,
sew ins ect as protective hairstyles. without the breakage many women have a hard time preventing the dryness and breakage that comes after wearing braids and or just mishandling of their hair. That is the focus of my newsletters to help women restore their hair to health. And by the way love the jazzy pics. Thanks for all you do.
Silver Fox says
I’m an over-50 Caucasian woman. A year and a half ago, I started the transition from coloring my hair to embracing my natural color: silver/gray. The issues are so similar! Hating my hair 4 weeks after my last color, scalp burn, damage from the chemicals, and, yes, disapproval from EVERYONE when I decided to go natural, and finding the right products to use on my now-natural hair. I am so glad I did it! My hair looks better now than it has in over a decade.
Lisa, I think you look BETTER with natural hair than you did with straight hair. You look cuter, hipper, younger!
All women need to stop letting society dictate how they should look!
My niece, who has gorgeous naturally curly hair, and her African American husband are expecting their first child. We don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl. If it’s a girl, I know my niece will want to embrace her daughter’s natural hair, so I’m bookmarking this site so she can see your product recommendations.
Wow! Thanks Silver Fox. Yes! We really do need to start defining our own standards for beauty. I hope this site will get more people to think about that. Thanks so much for the referral. I wish all the best to you and your niece’s family.
It’s been a minute since I’ve been on your site. It was time for me to return for some inspiration and to see what new discoveries you have. Thank you for the inspiration. I love the hair styles you are rocking’. Oct 2010 was my last relaxer. I did celebrate the anniversary. 🙂 My hair is growing and showing its stuff; thick, full, and soft like cotton. I tried the two strand twist, but I need practice on that. I’ve been rocking my fro and trying to get it back into a fro puff, but it’s not quite that long yet. In one of your videos you shared that you experience much less hair shedding during your transition. OMG, I couldn’t believe how little my hair sheds now. I have a few people who are not impressed with my natural look, but overall most are surprised by the beauty and softness of my natural hair. Even my mom is considering going natural and she was my #1 na-sayer. In the end, I say the only opinion that counts is mine. I love the natural beauty I see in the mirror. Now, I’m going to check out which product you recommend for two strand twist. Thank you for sharing with us.
I need advice! I really want to go natural, but Im afraid of how I’ll look. Im so tired of flat irons, and perms. My hair used to be so long & thick, but now it feels dull, dry, and lifeless. I dont know if I shoukmld chop it all off or transition my hair. I don’t know anything about properly washing and conditioning or weekly routines because ive always worn wigs & quick weaves…..help?
Sounds like you may need a dose of something I had to acquire…. confidence.
I totally get where you are. You’re hair is fried, thinning and you want healthy hair again but you’re afraid of what you’ll look like and what people will think. Here’s the honest truth. Your hair is not going to get healthier by just hanging onto it if it’s already damaged.
So you’ll either have to keep relaxing it and watch it get thinner and thinner, or take a bold step and cut it off. Yes, there are going to be people who are not going to like your hair and it will take you some time to get used to your new look. But after the “newness” wears off and you become more comfortable in your own skin, you won’t regret the decision. Going natural is a journey and it takes some inner strength.
I recommend finding a hair stylist in your neighborhood who specializes in natural hair. Ask a friend for a recommendation so they can assess the state of your hair. Perhaps you can get by with a good trim for now and find transitioning styles that you’re comfortable with (rod sets, etc.)
I wish you all the best!
Thank you! I do need encouragement. I last permed my hair August 2011. Since then Ive worn quick weaves. They are now in kinky twists. I will try to find a beauty shop to check out my hair. Would you more recommend chopping instead of transition? Ugh I know nothing about caring for hair, but Im willing to learn!
It’s so nice to read about all your tips!! I’m 16 and have been getting my hair relaxed since i was 5!!! I finally decided i want to let my hair grow out but it is taking FOREVER!!! It’s been a year and my hair has only grown out about 3 inches of new curly hair. I have been continuing to wear my hair straight because its in such an awkward stage where half my hair is curly and half is straight from the relaxer. But i CAN NOT wait to wear my hair big and CURLY!!!!! Any tips on what i should put in my hair that worked for you?!?!?!?
I bet your hair has grown more than that. What may be happening is that from the constant straightening, you may have a bit of heat damage so some of your natural hair is not reverting back to its natural curl pattern. So it looks like you have less growth than you do. Some of your hair that appears to be straight is probably natural hair that has heat damage and will no longer curl. Have you ever thought about doing rod sets/puffs to give your hair a break from heat. Transitioning with constant heat is not good for your hair.
Rod sets were my go-to style for the latter months of my transition because I could blend my two textures and keep it from looking awkward. I also learned to flat twist so I would wear those to camouflage the natural hair and then rod the ends.
Hope that helps!
I have APL length relaxed hair and will be big chopping soon. I have had a relaxed for 20+ years and ready for the change to natural. I am currently 4 months post relaxer. I made the mistake of telling someone I thought would be open minded enough to understand. However, I got the very opposite and had to justify why I was doing this and I should get it done this way. I don’t think getting to know my natural texture will be the issue, I think the nay saying are going to push the wrong buttons with me. It’s my hair! How do you deal with that?
That must be tough. I have to say, I’ve had very little negative feedback. I’ve gotten some silence (no comments at all) when people see my new do for the first time. So that could mean they don’t like it but I haven’t received hardly any negative comments.
I did have people ask me why I was doing it when I first started transitioning and I just simply responded that this is what I need to do get the healthy hair I want. 🙂 Trust me, when your hair is long, healthy and they see all the versatility, you will see people starting to think twice about turning their nose up to natural hair. I’ve already got a lot of people now considering it. Hang in there.
See number three is probably my biggest issue right now. I have maybe 3-5 inches of natural hair now (and about 6 inches of relaxed ends) and I’ve been transitioning for about a little over 10 months now. But my head shape isn’t like yours. You have an oval type shape which is good for almost any type of style, especially short styles. So me having a more round face, I just can’t bring myself to wear shorter hair as you have done because it simply does not fit my face. Plus, I’m sitting here with my dry hair and I’m just so discouraged and stuck. Last night I went through countless hours of trying to detangle after a wash and conditioner. I’ve never experienced so many knots and tangles ever during my transition. I use Organics Olive Oil Deep Conditioner (I think that’s what it’s called?). It just seems as if ‘the comb’ is my enemy! It just took me back to my childhood days when my mom would desperately try to get through my knapps breaking combs and everything. My enegry is literally drained. Please. Please. Help!
Now, the head shape analysis is interesting to me. Funny thing is I’ve always been very self conscious of my oval head shape and have always wished for a more round face because I feel those kinds of shape suit almost any style. When I was younger I wouldn’t be caught dead without bangs! lol But it goes to show how we all interpret our looks differently and often wish for what we don’t have. lol
Have you read my page on detangling? I wonder if you try those tips if it will help. https://napturallycurly.com/transitioning-from-relaxed-to-natural-hair/how-to-detangle-transitioning-and-natural-hair/
Hello. I am three months natural, and my hair is getting so big, i dont know what to do with it. i wear a funny Afro combed back. its hilarious.
its too short to style and i just took down my box braids. i am running short on ideas for my fro.
Hi Luly have you tried wearing a scarf as a headband or pinning up one side?
Thank you for your article. I decided to transition only 6 weeks now. I doubted myself and got a relaxer done and regretted it because I would have been 14 months into my transition and from my last relaxer. But that’s old news and I’m trying to find transitioning styles that I’m comfortable with. But you have been inspirational. The other aspects I’m researching and trying is a regimen of maintenance. Everyone thinks it’s a phase and I will change my mind when I get some growth. But, I hope not, so I’m trying to be patient with the knowledge I’m trying to gain. Without spending a bundle.
hey lisa your hair just looks amazing and i love ur accent. I have watched many of your videos about making websites and all. I want to make one too. Could you please tell me which website should i make which is the most basic one and that i could earn a little from that too. I am a university student and i am more inclined towards educational website but that would be very hard to make since i am a beginner and dont know a thing about website making. could you please help and guide me. I shall be thankful to you for a lifetime.
Hi Lisa, I’ve been Transitioning for2 months now and I cut off about 9 inches of the relaxed hair. My hair was so overprocessed and shedding even without combing it. I plan on wearing weaves through my transition period, what products would you suggest for very dry and brittle hair? And do you know of any Natural beauty parlors in Brooklyn it seems that majority of natural clients have locs.
Try Organics Olive Oil Replenisher and use as a deep conditioner weekly. Good luck on the journey!
I’m thinking of going natural; I must admit I am afraid of what my hair will look like during the process.
Thanks for the tips. I have been growing my hair for 15+ months now and debating whether to cut off the relaxed top. I appreciate your tips on transitioning.
What type of texturizer were you using & what was the purpose of using it?
Hi Theresa, I was using Motions and Silk Elements (I would alternate). The purpose was to loosen my curl pattern just a bit to make the hair more “wavy” instead of completely straight. I wasn’t comfortable going all natural at first so texturizing is sort of an in between alternative.
But it’s a very difficult look to achieve because if you texturize too much, you end up with straight/relaxed hair. Which is what happened. Most people have several different curl patterns/textures on their head so what happened is the top and sides got straight and the back barely took. So I ended up with all these different textures. A mess!
Lisa I just wanted to tell you THANK YOU for your site,tips,hairstyles,education and product suggestions.I browsed the internet for hours trying to find help..after 6mths of growing my hair out and not relaxing it not by choice but due to the recession I did not get my hair done or just simply couldnt afford it..me and my husband regained or finacial status and I was battling with myself should I get a perm or not?I did and I truly regret it the relaxer slowly but surly took my hair down to the new growth GONE!the stylist I went to tried to convience me it was not the PERM,but I know better than that.Im currently and forever natural and I am in the transition phase 1month in.I love the Jane Carter products you suggested, as well as the Giovanni.I truly have happy hair(I do have a problem area in the middle,as well but its even coming back after being thin for 2 years) very mositurized and my hair has never been so????happy:)I can tell the difference I really can.I am wearing falls and my natural looking curly/nappy wigs until i get to the length im comfortable wearing and im also taking a vitamin regimen of:Iron,Biotin,Zinc and a womans One a Day and Folic.Keep it up SISTA!!im following ya:)
I’ve been toying with the idea of going natural for about 2-3 yrs. It seems the older I get my relaxers do not last as long. I suppose I should mention that I live in FL as well. The humidity here could possibly be the culprit. Hmmmmm… I put my last relaxer in about a month ago and I already feel like I have a “foot of new growth”! I’ve been watching the journey of a few of my cousins and I’m so excited and happy at their commitment and can’t wait to get back to basics… I do however, have questions… Like, where do I begin? Should I slowly cut the relaxed ends off? Or should I just get rid of it all and go from there? Decisions, decisions…. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated… Thanks
I’ve been transitioning for 13 months and I’ve just been doing mini trims every month. It’s nice because I still get to keep some length but the breakage is minimal because I’m getting rid of any “bad” ends. Your hair will naturally become weaker as you transition, so trimming frequently will help.
It really is up to you and your comfort level. The great thing about transitioning is you can do what you are comfortable with. I’ve heard a lot of people say you can’t do a long-term transition and you have to cut it off. But I’m clearing showing that you can. If I had to cut my hair off I probably would have just kept relaxing because I was not confident enough to wear the short do.
Start by giving your hair a good trim (1-2 inches). Deep condition your hair weekly. Limit heat and wear styles like buns, weaves, braids, twists, and any style that requires little manipulation and heat. I cut out heat altogether (except for sitting under the dryer) and it’s made a HUGE difference in my hair. I wish you the best!
Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer says
Great site! I have been debating whether to go natural or hit my relaxer again. Although, it’s been over a year and half since I’ve had a relaxer I still think about getting one. I haven’t officiailly ruled it out yet – I guess. LOL. I love my curls and being free to literally wash and go. I look forward to learning more from your site. Thanks!!
Hi! I’m so happy to have found your site! I had my last relaxer in June 2010. I am soooo anxious to b/c but I’m afraid of the shorter length. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting such informative tips for styles. I think my hair is a lot like yours so I am copying you as I feel my way through this LOL:-)
Keep up the great work!
Hey Lisa . Your website is really inspiring . And I plan on transitioning but I’m 15 and my hair is a few past my shoulders and I’m not sure wear I’ll find all the products you use. I have the patience and determination just not the products. :/
I love the inspiring info you are posting. My daughter (13) was actually the voice who pushed me to transition. We both are two months in and it is so much fun. Her hair is shoulder length and we have fallin in love with rod sets. Thank you for all the tips and product advise. Keep it coming!
did u us a texturing in your hair and what the name of the product
I used Silk Elements. Wouldn’t recommend texutrizing though unless you have a professional or someone to help you. I kept overlapping and straightening the hair too much. So glad I just decided to go natural.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and allowing us to explore the world of transitioning with you. This is my 2nd time deciding to go natural. From July 2005-June 2009, I had stopped the relaxing. My hair was growing fast and healthy. However, I never experienced how my natural hair behaved because I kept it pressed the entire time. (Too afraid of the kinky, curly, nappy look). I went back to relaxing when I decided to trade the long tresses for Halle Berry (Boomrang) short tresses. I even made it to Fantasia short. There was no way I was going natural with my hair that short. Anyway, it has grown out to a very cute, relaxed Bob, and I want my natural hair back. So, tired of the chemicals and the salon. So, I’m transitioning. I’m ready to see the wonder of my natural hair; kinky, curly, nappy and beautiful. (Last relaxer: Oct 2010)
You are an inspiration. With all the na-sayers, I’m glad I found your site. (googled transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair)
Why air dry versus sitting under the dryer? Does sitting under the dryer damage the hair?
Glad you’ve decided to transition again! I only sit under the dryer on medium heat and for about 20 minutes. That way I don’t subject my hair to so much heat. I felt the “high” setting was just too much. I haven’t had any problems doing this.
Hey Lisa! I just wanted you to know that what you said about dandruff is SOOOOOO true! I have had a problem with that for so long and now that I am transitioning (22 months now) I hardly every see a flake. Now isn’t that something
please tell me what you did to help you last 22 months….im in month 4 and terrified 🙁
Rod sets, rod sets, rod sets! They got me through months 3-12. Then I learned to flat twist and started doing flat twists with the rod sets and rocked various headbands to jazz it up. I swear if it weren’t for the rod sets I would have given up. I have some posts on here with videos that show you how I did them if you do a search. Hang in there!
I’m in month four of my transition and I give up I’m going to BC next week. I have been amazed with the new growth, I have over 2 inches. The constant styling and manipulation of the 2 textures is just too much for me. In week 10 I got braids and I’ve worn them for 7 weeks I cut a braid to check length and decided then I WILL NOT FIGHT WITH THE CREAMY CRACK HAIR and just let my beautiful new natural hair WIN. Month four is a difficult one but hang in there.
Thank you for this great article! It also adds more inspiration to my heart on going completely natural with my hair as well. I currently have my hair out, but wear a wig when going out. The things you said spoke great volumes to me. We need to define our own beauty, but not force ourselves to love it, but do it by choice. Once we look ourselves straight in the face and say “Hey, I think you’re beautiful- hair and all, and especially hair.” then our lives will improve so much more. Our confidence will soar, and that confidence will embody into lighten our whole lives. As I wear my wigs, I plan on keeping my hair natural beneath and letting it grow out longer and longer using all natural hair products and healthy oils. Once it grows so long that I cannot even keep it tamed under the wig, then I know it’s time to wear my hair. Once again, thanks for this article. I also coincidently discovered on YouTube plus Google images the many natural styles there actual are asides from simply afros, and it makes me feel apart of something. Like I am not alone in this hair transformation thing. That there are others like me who want to wear their natural hair and let it do it’s thing- naturally. Your article helps me feel united with the natural hair community as well. It was very wonderful to read.
Yes Colette! That’s what I love about YouTube. There are not many places you can go where there’s a collective group of people embracing natural hair. I have found it to be a great place of support and I’ve learned so much! Stay strong, sis!
True and thanks very much! I will!
Nancy Koncilja Gurish says
“To thine own self be true” It never fails! Nancy