donts

Image Source: @naturallycurly, of @souda.mk

If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s unwarranted advice. But like it or not, I definitely could have used a present-day me way back when I started getting back to my roots’ roots.

Transitioning into anything is difficult—even more so when there’s so much about it you can’t control. So for everyone that’s where 2007 April is, this one’s for y’all.

Obviously, this advice is all pretty subjective. But if I could go back and tell high school senior April this, things would have gone much more smoothly.

Do: Go full fashionista!

I’m not a morning person.

If it’s between that extra 15 minutes and doing my hair beyond a twistout, 9/10 times that snooze button is going to WIN.

But you don’t need to live like me.

Take the time to figure out finger waves, Bantu knots, and where to place that Niecy Nash flower everyone loves in your TWA. Believe me, the extra attention you pay yourself will build confidence, and keep you strong and extra cute as you make the switch!

If you don’t feel your best, pair your new styles with something a step above your usual when you go out. Sundress and Docs? Add some fun tights and a blazer to the mix. Live in sweats? Do classic bootcut jeans and tees for a hot minute. Already a Louboutins and fancy pants type? Ballgowns.

If the office asks questions, say you’re dressing for the job you want.

Your new natural texture is an elevation! Until you feel like it’s your normal, bring the rest of you up to match!

DON’T: Stockpile “someday styles”.

When I was younger, I thought that pinning pictures of thinner women to my vanity would serve as motivation to lose weight.

It didn’t.

It just made me miserable, even as I made fitness progress worth celebrating, because reaching the pictured level was taking (the correct amount of) time.

Probably didn’t help that they were all unrealistically proportioned anime girls either, but that’s another story.

Hair growth is much the same way. You can make healthy decisions that help it along, but ultimately, progress will be made in months and years, not days. Not only that, but you need to commit to a lifestyle if you want to keep your progress.

Stockpiling motivational styles shoves all your joy into the future and saves you no happiness for the here and now. Newsflash...the present is where you actually live.

Focus on the fabulous things you can do with your ‘do in the moment, and let future-you take care of those future inches.

DO: Get a hobby!

Ever hear the phrase ‘A watched pot never boils’?

That’s not technically true of course, but standing around waiting for those first bubbles on the stove gets TEDIOUS. And so does constant monitoring of your hair growth with nothing else going on.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I began throwing myself into making simple beaded jewelry around the time I 2nd big-chopped in high school. It gave me something to do with my hands that wasn’t constant length-checks, let me wander in and out of very soothing meditative states that warded off the re-RE-relaxing temptations, and as a bonus, the constant back pain from spending hours hunched over ensured that I didn’t wait until my more advanced years to take active interest in protecting my spine!

If you don’t already have an interest that you can throw yourself into, find one! Think about what you like to see in the world most, and work forwards from there.

If you’re really pressed for time/money/patience, try audiobooks and podcasts! Libraries carry them, and so do several online services, some of which are totally free! Yours truly is currently enjoying old-time radio mystery series, ‘The Saint’, starring Mr. Vincent Price, while doing housekeeping.

Finding something to occupy your mind in spare moments will give you something besides your hair to focus on and look forward to. What’s under your scalp is just as important as what’s on top of it after all!

DON’T: Get critical.

Unless you’re cutting corners on maintenance, or actively cutting an inch off your hair every two weeks, slow growth isn’t your fault.

Coily hair spirals, and even pulling it out with your hands isn’t always a good indicator of how much growth is actually going on—especially since different portions of our hair grow at different rates.

I used to think of myself very unkindly as ‘Trapezoid Head’, because my nape’s growth was so much slower than my crown’s.

Nerdy insult, I know, but the point is, self deprecation wasn’t what I needed—and it’s not doing you any favors.

Don’t allow yourself to be guilted, and don’t put yourself down either. Even if you’re admonishing yourself for being impatient, or frustrated, be nice to you.

Coily friends and family, you and your hair are BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL.

If you’re going for a lot of length after your transition, there will be moments of frustration, pain, struggle, and more. But rest assured, there WILL be joy.

What helped YOU during your transition? What’s helping you now? Share the love in the comments!