Let’s get honest: the big chop is scary! Transitioning to natural hair can be a challenging, frightening process. After all, as women, we invest a lot of confidence and sense of worth in to our hair, and cutting it all off seems counter-intuitive.
But transitioning has its benefits, especially when you have the help of a professional hair stylist and a friend. Ask anyone and you'll find that out of fear comes hope and ultimately, courage.
Coming to Terms with the Fear
Realizing When Enough is Enough
Women as a whole often feel as though they spend a little too much time, effort and a whole lot of money on hairstyles, haircuts and hair colors. CurlTalk member Rachel N says, “I've been dying my hair since I was 12 — at first, bright dyes over my natural hair, then bleaching and weaving as I got older.”
Lori V, another CurlTalk member, is no different. “ I have been dying it red from my original blonde.” Lori says, in regards to her hair, she began transitioning to natural hair a long time ago, and that giving up the dying was part of the process. The desire to dye hair often comes from a simple want for a little change, but dyeing can also be disastrous. “The last time I went to dye my hair, my hair stylist misjudged the dye and ended up dying my roots highlighter orange," Lori says. "Picture the original Oompah Loompas.”
MORE: Dying to color your curls? Find out how to dye type 4 hair.
Why you Should Go for It!
Transitioning Has Its Upsides
Rachel tried transitioning to natural hair and made some surprising discoveries. "My hair was a lot healthier after I stopped dying/weaving," she says. "It was also less brittle, more flexible, and I had fewer split ends” She even says that unless she keeps her natural look, the constant dyeing and styling “rapidly gets expensive. It's a commitment!”
Rachel points out that going natural is not just less expensive or healthier for your hair, it's also a lot less maintenance. Once you get over the product testing phase of transitioning, it ultimately becomes cheaper, easy to manage and helps you to lead and overall healthier lifestyle! Both Rachel and Lori believe natural hair definitely has its pluses. But going natural isn't always a simple process.
Transitioning to natural hair or “going natural,” as Rachel says, “was letting my roots grow out, then dying my natural hair color over the remaining weave/color.” But even though it took some time, that process allowed her a certain freedom while her hair continued to grow out.
Unlike the maintenance of dyed or styled hair, Lori thinks natural hair is simpler. “All I do is wash and brush it.” she says.
The differences between Rachel and Lori show that every hair experience is different. Even if the process takes some time, transitioning is well worth the effort, especially when you have a friend.
Read all about Tauri's transitioning experience!
Should you do the big chop or transition by growing out? »
In the Company of Friends
If you're still a bit worried about transitioning to natural hair, it helps to have someone alongside you for the ride?
A lot of people out there want to try transitioning alone, but having your hairstylist with you doesn't mean it's any less of a challenge. “The only person that messes with my hair is my hairstylist, and I give her free reign." says Lori. "I literally sit down and say, 'Have Fun.'”
A professional who is knowledgeable in natural hair care has the know how to see whether or not your hair is healthy, and how to make it stronger in the long run.
That's not to say you will or won't need some close friends on the way. A friend can benefit you by bringing a perspective that you may have not thought of. And when it comes to something as big as transitioning to natural hair, perspective is always important.
MORE: CurlyNikki explains how to choose the perfect stylist.
Hard & Fast Transitioning Tips
- Figure out why you are transitioning — dye damage, heat styling damage, etc. — and don't let yourself forget it!
- Focus on the positive aspects of transitioning: saving money, less hassle, less upkeep!
- Trek the road with a friend. When two people conquer their fears together, nothing can stand in their way!