Question: How Can I Deal With Two Different Textures During My Transition?
I've been transitioning to natural hair for three months now and it's starting to get really hard dealing with the new growth. My natural hair is VERY coily and I don't know what to do with it. Help!
Frustration is often the biggest reason women ditch transitioning and just big chop or return to relaxers instead. However, not everyone wants to cut all her hair off or go back to the chemicals. It takes a lot of patience to transition over several months; some women go even longer, so knowing what you're in for before you make the decision can help a great deal.
Even if you've tried hairstyles that work for transitioning, maybe you're getting bored or your hair isn't yet long enough for some of the styles. Also, depending on the texture of your new growth, it may be so different from your relaxed lengths that you really can't expect the two to work together or blend well at all.
If you're determined to continue transitioning, you'll have to find ways to deal with the texture issue. Besides wearing styles that combine the two, routinely clip your relaxed ends. Once or twice a month, snip off anywhere from one-quarter to one-half inch. You're planning on being completely natural one day anyway, so there's no need to hold onto processed hair. Besides, regular trims aren't the same as a major cut, so try and be calm about this instead of worrying over losing millimeters of hair.
Condition more often. As you've probably already discovered, natural hair can feel drier than relaxed locks. Plus, you may be dealing with scab hair as well. Deep condition at least once or twice a month and always follow a shampoo with a moisturizing conditioner designed to fight dryness. The more you keep your hair well-moisturized, the better it will look and feel, making it easier for you to style day to day.
Pressing during transition isn't the best way to go about it because you're moving into a more natural look; straightening with heat just mimics a relaxer, which defeats the whole purpose of transitioning. In-between styles should play up your new growth instead of beating it into submission. Even short hair can look hot if you choose flexi-rod sets or bantu knots. Some women worry about this stage if they work in a conservative environment, and this is a valid concern. You want to look professional and your hair needs to look "done." Wet sets (on flexible rods or rollers) are office-friendly and easy enough for almost anyone to style at home. However, don't forget about accessories like headbands and pins. A skinny elastic headband in a color that matches your hair or small pins that hold tresses out of the way are discreet enough to wear anywhere.
Finally, sometimes just putting your tresses up and out of the way cuts down on the aggravation. There's nothing wrong with wearing extensions if coping with different textures has you contemplating returning to chemicals. This can be anything from braid extensions to weaves. The important thing is not to get too dependent on your hair additions. Remember they're tools to ease you through your journey from straightened tresses to your natural hair. They still need proper care which includes regular shampooing and conditioning.
Your hair may not be growing as quickly as you'd like, but it's growing. While transitioning takes patience and perseverance, stick it out and one day, you'll have that fluffy afro or lengthy look you've always wanted.