Mey’s tips for transitioning
Transition– (noun) the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
As far as Natural hair is concerned- it is the process of growing out your natural roots and removing the chemically processed portions of hair leaving only your natural textured hair.
Demarcation line-the boundary of a specific area
In other words, the visible (but not always even) line that clearly separates your hairs textures. Above the demarcation line are your natural strands, below this line are the chemically treated hairs.
I stress the fact that it’s visible because, in my experience, it did not matter if I wanted to flat iron my hair during the transition-this line was visible. My roots reacted to my environment (humidity) while my ends remained flat= not a cute look!
Since the ends are weaker than your natural texture or your roots, the ends are more susceptible to break off with tugging. This is not necessarily bad for me-since the ends were gonna come off anyways. But if you are choosing to keep length-take special care of your ends.
My focus was caring for the demarcation line.
DISCLAIMER: in most cases-Please be prepared to have shorter hair at the end of the transition period. Even if it is technically longer (once u stretch the hair) the appearance may be shorter than what u r used to due to shrinkage.
Transitioning can be done in 3 ways-I did all 3….kinda. I will describe my experience below.
1. You can transition w/out adding any hair (extensions and weaves)-but u may get frustrated dealing with 2 almost opposite textures frequently.Styling options would be Bantu knots or knot-outs, twists or twist-outs, braids or braid-outs and buns. For me, this method was easy to deal with only until month 4 or 5 in my transition. My textures were too different; my roots were too pronounced to “blend” at this point. Protective styles can also be done to transition until your natural hair is at the length you desire and then remove the permed ends. This was also a great option for me since I didn’t enjoy spending time adding hair (extensions) but I still had to deal with the 2 textures. I would choose a protective style to have during the work week to hide (protect) my hair.
2. Extensions & weaves can be added in order to leave your hair alone (you will definitely see the importance of this during the protective style post). Adding hair will allow your natural hair to grow/transition with as little manipulation as possible. Your hair won’t be as manipulated as if you were styling weekly. The line of demarcation is rarely touched with these styles, only when getting them put in. In this fashion you do not see the growth or slow growth. You do not frequently deal or detangle the ends of your hair which are now skraggly and your styling is quick and easy in the am, no need for prep in the pm. I added hair to “hide” my own around month 5 until about month 10
NOTE: When u choose to add hair and “hide” your own-this may be a good time to slowly BC (Big chop). Before you re-do the style cut another 2-3 inches-then hide your hair again for a few more months. By the time you have transitioned for the length of time desired-you may only have your natural hair to deal with.
3. The quickest, easiest way to transition would be to BC it (big chop it) ASAP. You will be dealing with your own hair quicker and it may even grow faster since it does not have dead weight. You can pay special attention to your true texture, its needs and challenges. If I could go back December ‘09 I woulda cut it all off! I chopped off what was left of my straight ends Sept 29/10. This is when I truly noticed my texture, and how thin the individual stands were.
In a nutshell those are the ways I transitioned between Dec 1/09-Sept 29/10.
The best advice I received (or read on curlynikki) was that u don’t know what your natural hair will look like until all of the permed ends are cut. With that dead weight hanging on your ends you won’t see the natural spring in your curl or the volume it may produce. Personally, I did not know I had this much shrinkage! That’s what surprised me the most.
As the transition was happening I thought my hair would “hang” down off my shoulders….but to my surprise the minute the permed ends were cut, my hair seemed to grow upwards rather than along my shoulders. At first it was frustrating but now kinda neat!
I found a great link for some more tip for transitioning….at Naturallycurly.com
great, informative site….