You’ve been relaxed all your life, but now you are to the point where you are seriously thinking about going back to your roots and ditching your relaxer. This can be an exciting thought but also scary.
Now that mainstream media portrays a lot more women wearing their natural hair, more regular women are ditching their relaxers and going natural.
I went natural not because it was cool, but because my hair needed it. First time I thought about it, I changed my mind. But now, knowing there’s a huge community of natural hair women out there ready to give support, definitely made the decision of ditching the relaxer much easier.
I made the decision to go natural 5 months ago, and this is the best decision I could have made for my hair. It could be the same for you. Just know that if you are currently thinking about ditching your relaxer just like many out there, there are a few things you should know before doing so.
Going natural is a journey of trial and error. No matter how much you think you know what’s on the other side, chances are you really have no idea. This post will give you some guidelines before ditching your relaxer. Whether you’re a young girl or a more mature woman, you will be able to know what to expect and how to deal with certain situations before you even encounter them.
In honor of you going back to your roots, here are 7 things you should know before ditching your relaxer and joining the natural hair community.
- Transition or big chop. What method do you think will work best for you: transition or big chop. This is something you really need to give some thought to. Transition means you stop relaxing your hair and allow your natural hair to grow out out for a certain period of time all the while trimming your relaxed ends over time. Some people decide to transition for a few months, a year, two years etc.. The length of time you transition for is totally up to what you’re comfortable with. Big chop simply means that you cut all your hair off to start over and allow your natural hair to grow without having to deal with two different textures: natural and relaxed. If you’re not sure which method to use, read this article, it will help you make an informed decision.
- Hair porosity. Knowing your hair porosity level will help you understand why your hair reacts bad to certain products and better to others. It will save you the trouble of spending a load of money on products that won’t work for your hair. If you go into this journey blind and start buying products without knowing your hair porosity level, you will eventually grow very frustrated when you don’t see any progress. Hair can have either low porosity level, high porosity level, or can be right in between. Learn about hair porosity levels here.
- Hair type and hair texture. Hair type ranges from 1 to 4. Type 1 is straight, type 2 is wavy, type 3 curly, type 4 kinky/coily. Which category do you fit in? You should educate yourself about that. Your hair texture can be anywhere from thready to silky. Understanding your hair type and your hair texture will help you in creating the right haircare regimen. It will also help in choosing your go to hairstyles. At las, it will also help in buying the right products for your hair as well. Read more about hair types and hair textures here.
- Create a haircare regimen. A haircare regimen is basically the steps you take to care for your hair. From pre-poo to detangling, washing, moisturizing, scalp massages, etc… and the number of times you complete these tasks. You read a lot of information on the internet about what works and what doesn’t. You should know that not two heads of hair is the same. So what works for one won’t necessarily work for the other. Use the information you collect from blogs (such as this) and youtube as guidelines to create your own haircare regimen, but don’t expect your favorite naturalista regimen to automatically work for you.
- Products. After ditching your relaxer and going natural, you will need to learn about which products work for your hair and which don’t. This part is usually trial and error and it’s pretty normal. But remember, if you take the time to learn about your hair type and texture and your hair porosity level, finding the right products for your hair won’t take too long. Try not to become a product junkie like me. When you find something that works, stick to it. Keep in mind that because the product cost more doesn’t mean that it’s better than the lower cost ones.
- Health vs. length. Focus more on achieving healthy hair versus growing long hair. Yes long hair can be beautiful, but long unhealthy hair is not the business. Who cares that you have long hair if it’s unhealthy and looks weak. If you take good care of your hair, length will come with time. It all goes back to creating a haircare regimen that works for you.
- Time. Natural hair requires time. Plan your hairstyle ahead of time unless you are doing a wash and go. There is no way you can accomplish a braid out or twist out in one hour and be out the house to handle your business.
Learning about your hair is not complicated, but it can be a lengthy process. So if you are planning on ditching your relaxer to join the natural hair community you need to learn everything you can about your hair. As I mentioned before not two heads of hair is the same, but you can take the information you learned here and elsewhere and use it as guideline into creating the perfect scenario for when you go natural.
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Is there anything you would like to add to this list? What do you wish you knew before ditching your relaxer? Share with us below ⇓