My decision to transition back to natural hair instead of doing the big chop was made because I knew how to style my hair in general. I figured it couldn’t be that hard, just do what I’ve always done right?
Well, not exactly. You see, I had never allowed my textured roots to stick around beyond the 6-8 week mark before chemically relaxing them. Heck, I didn’t even know what my natural hair looked like when cared for properly. So here I was, faced with two different textures of hair.
I answered back by blow-drying and flat-ironing my roots to match the relaxed ends. For me, that was a huge mistake that resulted in a second big chop for me :-/
After learning that I should be caring for the hair I was keeping and not the relaxed ends I’d be cutting, I adjusted my game plan. From four months post-relaxer up until my big chop at eight months, I decided to keep my roots moisturized as much as possible, while styling my hair.
Obviously, this made the two textures apparent but I’ll tell you what this did for me. It allowed me time to transition my mind along with my hair. Since I never wore protective styles, wigs, or weaves, I wasn’t ready to begin wearing them. I loved to wear my hair out, so I got up each day looking at this ‘new’ or should I say ‘original’ type of hair that was growing out of my head and forced myself to deal with it.
I felt that if I hid it, I’d be putting off my acceptance of it. So, I had to deal with my own feelings about how I was changing, my family’s feelings about what I was becoming and of course, society’s jacked-up view in general. That wasn’t easy, but my quest for natural hair was in full motion and I wasn’t going to apologize for how I was originally created.
By the time my natural hair made it quite obvious that it was time to be the sole conqueror, I was mentally prepared and happily trimmed those relaxed ends away. That was one of the most liberating things I have ever done!
No matter how you choose to return to natural, I say that as long as you nurture your roots, no particular way is the wrong way. Find what is comfortable for you and what fits you. This is your journey!
Did you transition over time or big chop? How did your method help you become acquainted with your natural texture?