Transitioning to natural hair can be an exciting and daring adventure for many women who are trading in their routine salon visits for caring for their own natural kinks and coils from the comfort of their homes. Some women, at the moment the relaxed hair gets cut off, are ready to celebrate. And for other women, they may elect to spend months or even years allowing the vestiges of their perms to fade away.
Which group has the best natural hair transition approach?
In simple terms, both groups are following a best practice for transitioning relaxed hair to natural hair.
Transitioning to natural hair is a very personal journey that should only be dictated by the person embarking on it. Sure, you will receive lots of unsolicited advice for ways in which you can navigate the peaks and valleys of transitioning your natural hair. After all, millions of Black women have made the journey and they have war stories that they are ready to tell. The key for you is to adopt the suggestions that work for you.
Now, we can't end the article here. We have our own suggestions that we want to share with you. So, without further ado, here are three things to think about before taking the plunge.
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Where do you work? In a corporate environment? At a non-profit? In a school? Are you in college? To a significant degree, your environment may dictate your hairstyle choices or options, for that matter. Although a few states have passed laws that prevent employers from discriminating or terminating you because you elect to be who you truly are, the fact of the matter is, we know that people may find other creative approaches for addressing it.
With that being said, you may find that you have a duty to promote natural hair responsibly. Now, this statement is not intended to sway you from being your authentic self. Instead, the goal is to help you start assessing the situation and begin researching hairstyles that will enable you to indulge in your cultural kinks without having to get someone in check about your hairstyling choices. If you work in a corporate setting, look for styles conducive to the boardroom or cubicle environment. If you are in the military, find those hairstyles that will allow you to remain within military regulation.
Natural hair is very versatile, and there are many styling options available to make your own. You can twist it, braid it, bun it, and create so many different styles. Your imagination is the only thing that might limit your options. Remember to keep it cute and stay away from struggle-bus hairdos.
Get on Pinterest, visit YouTube, join a forum and start building your portfolio of styles that will fit your lifestyle and workplace environment.
Some women when they Big Chop, which is to cut off all their relaxed hair, can sport a pixie cut or a closely cropped hairstyle and look like a model. Sadly, I'm not one of those people. And there are some women who feel uncomfortable with short hair. And that's fine. The key is to find out your facial shape and to see which styles would complement your bone structure.
Natural hair should help your feel and look your best. If you feel like doing the Big Chop and a close cut complements your face, Go for it! If you want to transition for a year or more so your hair will be longer to complement your face --go for it! Remember this journey is on your terms.
When some individuals go for the Big Chop, which is to cut off all their relaxed hair, those remaining inches of hair leave them looking like a model. For others, the Big Chop can reveal a few flaws that we might have missed about the shape of our head and face. Do not despair. All is not lost if you complete the Big Chop but are not in love with the vision you see in the mirror. Your hair will grow back. You have a few options, such as donning a wig until your hair grows out a bit more.
If you choose to avoid the Big Chop and instead decide to grow your hair out for some time, consider indulging in protective styles for a while. Braids, twists, and faux locs are excellent options for those who need a little more time to gain some length. Do not be afraid to switch things up by wearing a wig. Wigs come in multiple lengths, colors, styles, and textures. Have a little fun as you wait for your hair to grow.
Hopefully, you have a supportive group of people who will endorse your decision to join the natural hair movement. Ideally, if you are about to embark on this journey, you should not care what other people have to say about your hair. It's your head and your hair. However, you are human, so if you do have concerns, that's okay. Change is change. While natural hair is more acceptable in today's climate, there are still a few holdouts who will likely try to dissuade you or make you question your decision. Just remind yourself that it is your decision and what someone else thinks should not matter.
Everyone does not have to agree with your hairstyle. Take control of your emotions, love your hair, and get ready for an amazing adventure.
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