My daughter has never had a perm, but I did! I had a perm for more than 20 years before I decided to transition my hair to natural in 2009. (My daughter’s hair inspired me to transition to natural.) I knew that if I could be patient and figure out how to manage her natural hair, I could certainly do the same with mine.
If you gave your little girl a perm and now regret it, or you've transitioned like me and want to do the same with your daughter, or whatever your situation maybe, I am going to share my transitioning tips and suggestions with you.
My suggestions are based on how I transitioned. I would use this same method on my daughter if I were in the situation of transitioning her hair. You can use this information for your daughter's and/or your transition to natural hair.
It is NOT going to be easy and the journey of figuring out what products your (daughter’s) hair likes is NOT going to be fun or CHEAP. I can't promise you that your hair or your daughter’s hair will look or feel cute to you during the process, but you just need to be determined to make it work no matter what!
What works for your favorite YouTube Guru may or may not work for you. The Natural Hair JOURNEY is exactly what it is. It is a journey to figure out what will and won't work for YOUR hair. Yes, try the methods that you see. Yes, try the products that you think will work for you. Just know that it will take a lot of trial and error to find what works best for YOUR hair.
You must have tons of patience in the process of transitioning. You are going to have a lot of up and down moments going through this process. You must be patient with your hair and give yourself a fair chance to figure out your hair.
3. Big (or Little) Chop
I chose not to do the big chop because I don't have the face for short hair and my husband didn't want my hair to look like his so I just simply let my perm grow out. That is exactly what I would recommend for a little girl. For most girls, the big chop is out of the question so how about doing little chops.
Little chops can be done by trimming the ends as the hair grows. For every inch or two of new growth, trim an inch. It may appear as if the hair isn't growing because you are trimming it often. In the long run, you are getting the same results as if you did the big chop; you are just taking smaller steps.
4. New Growth
Dealing with 2 textures isn't going to be easy, but it can be a smooth process. During this time with my hair, I chose to keep my hair in roller sets. For me, roller sets help to mask the 2 textures as my hair grew.
For a little girl, I would keep it in braids or cornrows being careful to make sure they are not too tight. Keep her hair moisturized and clean. Curlformers are a great option as well.
5. Demarcation Line
The demarcation line is where the new growth and permed hair meet. It is said to be the most delicate part of your hair where breakage is most likely to occur. When your hair is wet, you will notice from the root to the demarcation line your hair will be curly/kinky (that's your natural hair) when you see that the rest is straight, that's your permed hair.
It's up to you when you choose to cut the remainder of the permed hair off. When you do that, you will instantly become an all natural hair girl! For your daughter, I suggest you wait until her natural hair is at a length long enough that she will be comfortable wearing before you cut the remainder of the perm off. The amount of time it takes for her hair to grow will vary from head to head. Stay patient and enjoy the process.
6. Hair Products
I found it difficult to find the right hair products during my transition phase. That doesn't mean that you will have the same experience, but it was very frustrating for me. I would spend money on a product only to find that it dried my hair out or it made my hair to oily, or it didn't do what the label claimed that it would do for me.
Once I cut the last inch of my perm out, I was fully able to judge how my natural hair reacted to a particular product. Finding the right product was hands down the hardest part of the natural hair process for me.
I'm sure you have already heard about protective styles, if you haven't google it. It's mainly styles that require little or no manipulation (combing) of your hair for a set period of time. For example braids, twists etc.
I was careful not to use a lot of heat during my transition (aside from sitting under the dryer for my sets.) My other go to style was a wash and go ponytail. I wore that ponytail to death for a whole summer (May-August). Then I wore a wig from August-October. I'm not much of a weave person but if you are, that is another great way to transition. I can't give any tips on how to care for your natural hair in that state because I have no experience with weave (sorry).
One last thing, you may see a lot of ladies who are able to spray water on their natural hair and style it... for me a spray bottle of water was NOT my friend and still isn't. That made it very hard for me to do anything with my hair other than slap some moose on it and put it in a ponytail.
Try the spray bottle of water when you have absolutely no place to be that day so that if it doesn't work, you can start over. Oh and be sure to buy plenty of hats for bad hair days, trust me, you will need them!
Do you have tips for transitioning a child to natural hair?
You can follow Shaunic at @BrownGirlsHair and on YouTube.