Friday, 9 May 2014

Transitioner Checklist : Things You Need To Know Before Transitioning [Part 1]

If you're thinking about going natural or have recently started your transitioning journey you'll probably have a million and one questions, concerns, and be super excited and nervous all at the same time! 

Having tried my hand at transitioning for two years, I sat down last weekend and took a trip down memory lane which led me here to this post! I thoroughly enjoyed my transitioning journey but I can't say it was a walk in the park! I wish someone had told me some of the things I only came to discover half way down the line or in some cases, once fully natural. So in light of that I've put together a little something from me to you to help you prepare for your journey… 

Things You Should Know Before Transitioning

Texture Wars
If you're a bit of a hair nerd like myself you're most probably familiar with the term 'line of demarcation' a.k.a the point where your chemically treated hair meets your new growth, otherwise known as the 'breaking point'. After a few months of being "chemical free" you'll most likely be fascinated by your new growth and its texture, and this is the best time to be because your hair needs all of the attention it can get. Moisture, moisture, moisture! Your hair needs to be kept moisturised! The point at which both hair types meet is very fragile and it's important to ensure that both hair types get some TLC i.e. frequent Deep Conditioning and keeping your hair moisturised. Although you may be getting rid of your chemically treated hair at some point, it's important not to abandon it as this will cause it to break off and leave you with a head full of uneven strands. 

But it's not all so bad, it gets better! There comes a point during your transition when your hair grows out enough and can better handle the weight of your chemically treated hair, which means by this time not only have you better mastered your transitioning regimen but your hair is also less susceptible to breakage.

Heat Temptation
If you've enjoyed the most part of your hair journey rocking super straight hair then there's no denying that you may want to stick to what you know and wear your hair in a straightened state for the most part of your transition. Whilst that is possible it's definitely not a good idea. I would advise steering well clear of heat for the most part of your transition because this weakens the protein bonds in our hair, leading to easier breakage at the 'line of demarcation'. If you are craving heat then at least wait a few months so that you have an understanding of what your hair does and does not take well to. Plus don't forget you can achieve sleek looking hairstyles using flexi rods and by rollersetting.

Up Your Protective Styling Game
This is a great way to fight the urge to use heat on your hair... Braids, wigs and properly installed and maintained weaves can help you fight the heat urge and are also great for putting your hair away during the colder months, or when you simply want a new look. Of course take note: overdoing it with protective styling can also do more damage than good. Give your hair a break between styles, a few weeks or a month is usually good and means you can give your hair a good treating before your next protective style. Here is some inspiration from my good old transitioning days! [Creta Girl Wig], [Braids], [Lace Wig].

Just Too Many Opinions
Whilst my natural hair has been embraced by pretty much everyone in my social circle I know that this may not be the case for everyone. The comments and opinions of others can so easily alter our mindsets and have us forget what we know to be true. No one is to blame for this, it's simply a matter of taking charge and surrounding yourself with positivity and with people who can better help you achieve your "hair goals'. So block out the noise and get active on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook groups. The haircare community is huge and there is always someone that wants to have a good chit chat about their transition or natural hair experiences. Here are some of my favourite "haircare talk" spots: CareForYourHair , WITJ, Curlbox, Hairlista.

Get Ready To DIY
I'm a huge supporter of salons and stylists I really am, but one of the reasons for this and why most of my salon experiences end well is because I know my hair well enough and get quite vocal when someone else is looking after it. This has only backfired on me once! My point is try and get to know your hair before putting its care into someone else's hands. There aren't many stylists who are experienced in dealing with transitioning hair so it's best you get to know your hair before they 'attempt' to. Personal Tip: Youtube and haircare blogs are great places for haircare advice and tutorials.

The Three B's
Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Beautiful. The first step to successfully transitioning begins with a change of mind. How do you define beauty, is it solely external or internal, are celebrities your benchmark? I hate to get psychological on you but it's something worth thinking about. Transitioning is definitely a brave step, and not something that should be played down, stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult but once you do and you overcome your stereotypes, only then can you move on to the second B… Be Bold. Now that you feel more confident about your decision to go natural embrace it and show it off, transitioners can have so much fun with hairstyling too! Don't believe me? See for yourself [1], [2], [3].  

Finally, be Beautiful. This one should be easy because no matter you think, it's what you are 'fearfully & wonderfully made'.

Love Always,


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