Thursday, August 7, 2008

How to Transition from Perm to Natural?

Everybody is rocking their natural and its a beautiful thing! However, so many of us are afraid to make the transition because we just don't know how. Here are some tips that helped me make the switch from the "creamy crack" perms to natural headed bliss:

1. NO MORE PERMS! The obvious first step to making the transition is to resist the box. Ya'll know what box I'm talking about (i.e. "Just For Me", "African Pride" and such. Oh and No sista, you cannot put some perm on your edges to make your edges lay down! Relaxers are chemicals that change the natural state of your hair. When your natural hair is altered, there is a StRoNg chance your hair will be damaged at some point. Just say no.

2. Wear styles that allow you to leave your hair alone and let your natural hair simply grow out. For example, when I transitioned from a perm to a relaxer about 3 years ago, I wore weaves. I wore a full head weave or a full partial weave (meaning a small amount of my natural hair was left out to conceal the extension wefts). I would leave the weave in for about 2 months, take it out wash and deep condition my hair (this is essential), trim the ends of my hair (i.e. trim the perm ends off), and reinstall my weave about 2 weeks later. I repeated this cycle until my hair grew down past my shoulders (I'll elaborate on weaves later in another post). I also wore braids and that is another great way to let your hair relax for a while (make sure your stylist braids gently. Very tight braids will pull out you hair and we don't want that.)

3. Research Natural Hair styles. In order to feel confident about rocking your natural, it helps to see others rocking hot natural styles. Check out Essence Magazine's hair gallery or Khamit Kinks salon gallery. There are wonderful, unique images of various natural styles that are glamorous, sexy, high fashion, corporate and fun and these styles will help you figure what looks great on you.

4. Find a Natural Salon in your area. ESSENTIAL!! If you do not know how to do your own hair, its essential to locate a salon in your area that SPECIALIZES IN NATURAL HAIR. If your stylist specializes in perms and color, she may not be as knowledgeable about Natural Hair styling. There are so many great Natural Hair Salons sprouting all over the country and they are wonderful at encouraging you to stay natural throughout your transitioning process and beyond! (For those in the Washington, DC area, message me for private home salon appointments).

5. Find products made specifically for Natural Hair. If you've discovered this blog, chances are you have aready covered this tip! There are so many great product lines for natural hair and the list continues to grow. Products made for natural hair usually focus on accentuating your natural curl pattern, moisturizing your hair using creams or oils and more. Check out my products, Donna Marie Handmade for quality natural products for natural hair!

6. Love your hair! This is also essential. You have to absolutely love your natural hair regardless of the negativity and backlash you may receive from rocking your hair in its natural glory. People are going to say things that will hurt you, for e.g. "When are you gonna do something to your head?" or "Girl, your hair looks a hot a$$ mess!" or "I love your hair when its straight." When you hear the negativity, block it out. Trust me, there were many days when I made guilt trips to the Beauty Supply in an attempt to buy a Mizani relaxer. I had to tell myself "DON'T DO IT GIRL, DON'T DO IT!"

23 comments:

Olivia said...

Those are good tips. My hair is growing back, its thicker & curly. My hair is growing out as if its beginning to stretch. I'm thinking that coils/twists would be a good style for my hair during this stage. My constant style is washing and applying coconut or carrot oil & I'm good to go.

Anonymous said...

ebony
i would like to find a person in my
area ((Norfolk va,virgina beach elizabeth city n.c., or hampton va.))that can do my natural hair
can you please help me if so
ebony00@hotmail.com

QuEen_dEe said...

hey! love the site, I'm currently long term transitioning and about to get weaved up for a while. Can you recommend any of your natural products that would be good to moisturize my hair under the weave?

QuEen_dEe said...

Hi! Love the site! I'm currently long-term transitioning and getting a sew-in weave in a couple of weeks. Could you recommend some of your products that would good to use on my hair underneath the weave? I've been searching for a good daily moisturizer as well. Thanks!

Ayanna~The Product Mixtress said...

Hey Queen! Thanks for the love! Two products that I reccomend is the Goddess Growth Remedy oil (for the scalp) and the Spiral Smoothie daily moisturizer (for the extension hair). The Spiral Smoothie will help keep the hair moisturized and minimize tangles (extension hair is often prone to tangling). Check out the website www.beautybydonnamarie.com for full product descriptions!

Luce said...

hey I live in the dc area and need a good trim for my natural hair. I'm not sure how to "message" on here so maybe there's a way we can get in contact with one another?

Chanelle said...

Hey,

I live in the DC area and just started transitioning, I haven't had a perm since July. I'm looking for a stylist to help me (mine wants to keep me as a client, but I know she doesn't know a thing about natural hair lol). i can't figure out how to "message" so pls, pls, pls get back to me. i love your style pics. congrats on your engagement!

Ayanna~The Product Mixtress said...

Chanelle!! I'd love to help! Unfortunately, I could not email you because your profile wasn't available. I must admit, I am super busy making products these days so my hours for hair appointments are limited, but you can call 202-203-0636 to discuss hair styling options and possibly set up an appointment.

Postiveglow said...

i have cut off my hair so that i may go natural. however, i cut it in a low style so i have about 1 1/2 straight hair in the front and from mid to back i have about an inch natural growth .is there any way i can style my hair while i wait for the rest of my straight hair to grow out .?

Anonymous said...

im currently transitioning from perm to natural, i have just about enough natural hair to cut off the perm and rock a small-medium fro but i dont feel ready yet, ive always loved short hair so idk its hard for me to just cut it off, eventually i know i will, i cnt wait to be 100% natural

Donna J said...

I'm currently wanted to transition from perm hair to natural. I have an appointment set up in about 4 days to get kinky twists put in my hair to help me with the transition process because my last perm was on Nov.7,2010. My hair with a perm is thin, and even tho' I have a decent amount of new growth, I scared that my hair isn't thick enough to support the kinky twists, and I feel that if I get them, it will resort in my hair falling out. Can anybody help me out with some advice that has transition with thin hair, and the route that they took, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, some of the products that you used and the steps you took , thanks ! :D

Donna J.

Anonymous said...

Hi Im 17 years old and i respect my parents with all my heart. so when my dad told me to stop wearing braids and perm my hair i did. but now that my hair is relaxed i no longer feel like myself.i miss my old natural hair. i dont want to wear braids anymore out of respect for my dad but i need tips on how to grow out my hair without braids or extensions i would be sooooooooooo grateful. thanks God bless

S_pey said...

Hi, Thanks for this post. I thought there was an easy way out. Back home in Africa students used to "coke" (wash their hair with coke) to get rid of the perm because perm wasn't allowed in school. I don't know how well it works and I wouldn't recommend it. Anyhow, I've been wanting to go natural for a long time, I guess it's about time. Natural Hair rocks!

Anonymous said...

Transitioning is really tough! I haven't had a relaxer in almost 4 months and when I saw how happy my hair was without it I decided to just start the transition. I want the beautiful curly fro as my finished product but I know its going to be a long way to go. I have my hair in cornrows now and occasionally treat my hair with olive oil but idk if this is going to be enough.. I don't know if I can do the this but I do know that I will never get another relaxer again.

MJ said...

I was natural a year ago and kept it natural for at least a year. I ended up breaking and perming my hair. Now I have made up my mind to go natural and stay natural, especially since I just got my first sew-in, Aug 2011. I fee that sew-ins will definitely help aid like you said in my transition. Realy talk...as black women we dont need perms or any other type of chemical in our hair. I'm definitly going to stay strong and will committ. ~MJ

MJ said...

I love that I found this blog because I made the decision to go natural. I just had my first sew-in Aug 2011 and kept it for at least a month and a half. I love it, minus the itching. Like you said it helped my hair grow and bypassed weeks of me actually putting heat or touching my own hair. A year ago, I was natural for a whole year and then ended up perming it. the transition back then was easier and faster because I kept cutting it to my chin...I am as of NOW committed to having natural hair...especially after seeing so many Vlogs and Blogs...for example, http://shamiamglam.com/...I love her!!!!

kristen_b said...

This is my second attempt to "go natural". I feel more confident this time. It has been 9 months since I had a perm. I recently trimmed about 2 inches of permed ends off. I think in about 4 months I will be 100% natural. I just don't want short hair so I am trimming a little off at a time. The transition stage is hard but I have been able to wear it straight. My local dominican shop straighten it for me every 2 weeks. I am looking for something for my edges that won't be greasy or oily. But I want it to lay down. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I have worn a wave nouveau for many years. During this time, I also wore braids. I have been wanting to go back natural, but just couldn't think of what to do during the transition. I've been looking at braids, wigs or perhaps wearing a weave. I'm not sure which is better - weave sewn into my hair or a wave cap. Somehow I feel no matter what I do, I will lose most if not all of my hair. That's the real reason I haven't changed in all these years.

Alex D said...

Hello,

I have wanted to go natural for a long time! Im not afraid of the natural state not looking neat, Im pretty much just afraid of chopping it all off... I cut my hair very short recently but the longer parts toward the front still had perm in them. I want to know how I can deal with the two different textures until my curls/waves get longer. let me know if you have any suggestions:)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been transition every since September and its very thick off in there. What can I do to keep it soft and lay it down. I have been tempted to start putting a perm in every six months like I was doing before I started this transition. Please help. My email is stephanie_cmrn@yahoo.com

Asher-Lee said...

Your blog is very informative because I've been thinking about going natural for a while now but didn't know how. I really dont like wearing weaves are there any other option without cutting of all my hair?

Anonymous said...

Hi im 14 and ive been inspired by my cousin and aunt to go natural. ive been perm free for about 2 months. during these 2 months ive been putting individual twists in my hair, braiding it , and moisturizing it. ive been using the olive oil shampoo and conditioner. is that okay ? im getting new growth and its thick but the rest of my hair is thinning. about 2 years ago i had a BAD perm. or i didnt take care of it. ever since then i had kinky twists. my hair was thick and grew alot . about 4 or 5 months Ago i finally got another perm. i had another one 2 mnths ago as i said b4. i just feel like whats the point of having unheathly medium lengthed hair when i could have had uncombable short hair? (when not relaxed , my hair shrivvels up terribly) im trying to be as detailed as possible to get the best advice. I WANNA GO NATURAL WITHOUT CHOPPING MY HAIR OFF , WELL I WANT IT TO THICKEN AS WELL ! please help :) imagine the old me with a nappy tightly shrivveled afro and then the nappy straight hair then the bone straight hair now the thinning hair. >.< ughh i hope im not overexplaining it. just help me. p.s. it feels like the front of my head isnt thinning. the sides of the front and the back is , but not the center front. its still quite thick.

Quessa said...

Hi everyone! i had recently got a relaxer a week ago and decided to transition to natural i was thinking about setting my hair with perm rods and just continuing to do so but i was wondering what other styles would be ok for my hair.