1. Do dust/trim- it grows back. After my first stretch attempt I dusted, trimmed and cut a lot (maybe more than necessary) but I really just wanted to maintain the health of my ends to prevent damage to the new natural hair that was coming in.
2. Do stay encouraged when things don't work for you. Just because it works for everybody else doesn't mean it might for you. Some products may not work well for your hair but that's the beauty to experimenting and getting to know your hair. While I was transitioning I tried to mimic what other ladies were doing on their journeys. I incorporated a lot of different elements from these ladies regimen; one in particular I remember was tea rinses. I was doing this every time I wash my hair but soon proved to be a lot of work and made my hair feel like banana chips.
3. Do be patient. Stressing over your hair wont solve the problem. I was frequently stressed and frustrated after my first stretch and sometimes cried over the state of my hair. I suddenly realized how unhealthy it was for my hair and also for my health.
4. Do deep condition. You do not necessarily need an expensive deep conditioner (DC). On some blogs, bloggers encourage readers to have a quality DC. I believe a quality treatment can even be made in your own kitchen. Ingredients such has yogurt, mayo, banana and pumpkins are packed with nutrients that are essential to hair care and maintenance. (However, to each his own)
5. Do expect breakage. While transitioning you will experience breakage, but there are ways to minimize it. Using protective styles can help to minimize breakage and this will give you a break from doing your hair often. Deep conditioning with a protein treatment at least 1x every 2months will also help with managing breakage. As well as keeping your ends moisturized.
6. Do leave your hair alone. Sometimes your hair just wants to be left alone. I'm a firm believer of protective styles as it makes transitioning somewhat easier.
7. Do remember the more your hair grows out the little more care it needs.
8. Do detangle gently- starting from ends to root
9. Do journal your process. Keep note of which products worked well, when you clipped your ends and used heat for example. This will help to keep track of your progress.
10. Do accept your natural texture. In my earlier months of transitioning I thought that my hair looked ugly and that made transitioning very difficult.
11. Do research. Join forums, visit blogs and chat will other ladies who have transitioned and are transitioning. Knowledge is power.
12. Do adapt new detangling tactics during the 6th, 8th and months beyond.
13. Do learn to become your own stylist. Not everyone will be gentle with your hair as you are.
1. Do not compare your journey with another person. It might be pretty innocent but in the long run it will make you frustrated and disappointed in your own hair achievements.
2. Do not immediately shampoo your hair after removing braids. You'll be left with a big tangled ball which will result in major damage while combing out.
3. Do not relax because you feel unattractive. Sometimes you're going to find that your hair wont corporate and you just feel like relaxing it. Those days will come. Get some braids or a crochet wig. You'll be fine
4. Do not expect everyone to support your decision to go natural. For the truth is not everyone will.
5. Do not break your pocket on products. There are many diy natural treatments that can help to make detangling easier. 'Natural relaxers' (one example yogurt) can help the transition process as the lactic acid (temporarily) loosens the curl pattern. Helping with detangling and overall maintenance.
I transitioned for 3 years and wanted to share some tips that I've learned.
Did you transition? If so how long?