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!"