the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
We’re not programmed to be static- we must constantly undergo change because staying in the same position won’t get you to the finish line. And that’s exactly how I think of transitioning from damaged, chemically processed hair to beautiful, hydrated curls.
I think we’ve all been through the whole “I want to dye my hair blonde” or “I think it’s time to go red” stage. I know I definitely have. My hair has been naturally curly all my life and I didn’t appreciate it until my freshman year of college, and I still didn’t appreciate it that much because I made it an obligation to blow dry my hair every weekend. The sad part is, I felt inclined to add heat to my hair so often because “curly hair is messy and informal.” Now, those who drilled that belief into my head are desperately trying to transition. And that’s cool- sometimes we laugh, then we copy.
Luckily, I broke out of that ignorant mentality and began transitioning almost two years ago. I found myself constantly looking at old pictures in which my hair was curly and I thought to myself, “Wow, you have nice curls, you should definitely work on restoring them!” A few weeks later, I decided I was going to grow my hair out and abstain from coloring it. And so I did- I started cutting my ends every month or two and I started seeing a difference when I washed my hair.
My roots were super curly but my ends were straighter than my face when Donald Trump won the presidential election. I knew I had two options from that point forward- either continue cutting my ends periodically, or just do the “big chop.” I wasn’t quite ready for the big chop so I continued to cut my ends until I realized I was so close to that finish line I mentioned earlier.
It was late August, just a few weeks before I returned to college for my senior year, and I remember telling my mom, “Okay. It’s time. Just cut all the straight ends, even if I’m gonna look like I have a pixie cut.” She asked me if I was sure and with no hesitation, I handed her the scissors. Literally seconds after she cut my hair, it bounced back! Like for real. I was shocked and relieved because for a moment I also thought my hair was going to punk me and say, “Psych! I ain’t gonna curl for you anymore!” But it behaved, and that’s when I knew I did the best thing a person with damaged hair could do.
Although I wasn’t too comfortable with my cut at first because it looked like a microphone, I still sported my curls everyday because I knew it was that awkward hair step I had to go through. I still had a small amount of split ends, which I cut overtime as well. I received so many compliments that first week at school which I was kind of shocked about because my hair was under construction but people seemed to look past that.
A lot of people who begin to transition often find themselves taking a step back in the process because they feel their hair is too short and don’t know how to style it. They then begin to add heat to it again, and boom- they find themselves upset because they have to start all over again.
Life is all about taking loses- it’s about how you bounce back that matters. Fortunately, this loss can only last a few months and can even be turned into a win if you let go of the cursed flat iron!
Don’t get me wrong- this post isn’t about bashing the use of heat; it’s about minimizing it and using safer measures to straighten your hair. It’s now August and I haven’t straightened my hair since March. This is the longest I’ve gone without blow drying my hair and I’ve never felt so free and comfortable. Some people have even asked me, “How do you do it?” and I just tell them I’m comfortable with my hair so I don’t really think about it being straight.
When I add heat to my hair I always use thermal spray to protect it from the heat and I get rollers done and get in the hair dryer. I then use a blower to straighten out my roots. Just writing about it makes me relive all the fire I went through- seriously.
My mom used to always get annoyed when I would ask her to blow dry my hair at inconvenient times but luckily, she doesn’t have that problem any more (neither do I!) The best part about curly hair is that you can just wash-and-go and not worry about it getting ruined in the rain. Although the rain and humidity can make it frizzy, there are products like Ouidad’s Advanced Climate Control “Heat and Humidity Gel” which put an end to that problem by sealing your curls and protecting them from the musty weather. I actually like frizz so my bottle of that product is still full.
I honestly feel my life has been more convenient since I started appreciating my natural hair. From the compliments to the looks I like to pull, it’s amazing. The crazy part too is that I didn’t transition because it was becoming a “thing.” I simply did it because I opened my eyes and remembered there was a gem under all the straightening and coloring. Fortunately enough, a lot of women also started transitioning around the time and the natural hair movement literally blew up!
And I love every single part of it.
Something I once thought was impossible actually became my reality and I am so proud of how far my hair has come. I’ve met great people through this journey and I have the pleasure to help those who are embarking on their own. The best part of it all is all you have to do is grow your hair out and that’s it. There’s no modifying anything, just you and your crown.
Always remember this about transitioning- it can be a long and difficult path, only if you keep putting yourself in situations to promote that belief. If you are concerned about the big chop- JUST DO IT. Don’t think about it. Eventually you’ll become comfortable with your hair and learn how to style it. I’ll be honest- I made a few curly hair mistakes when I was first transitioning- I washed it every single day because I didn’t know how to properly wrap it for bed and I would literally wake up looking like a clown. I washed it to make it look fresh and somewhat longer. When my hair started growing more, I learned how to style it and wrap it in a pineapple before bed. I literally knew nothing about curly hair care when I started my journey. Up until this day, I am still learning how to manage my hair. I recently just learned one of the most obvious tips- always let your hair air dry! Your curl definition will be impeccable, I promise you that.