Natural hair, the Journey

Before you even begin your natural hair journey, you need to have a plan. You and your hair are going to go through a serious transition. It’s almost like a 12 step program. If you do not have a plan to take you through this transition, sheer frustration (depending on your hair type) will send you running back to a relaxer faster than you can say natural. I say depending on your hair type, because some people can slap their hair into a ponytail and look presentable. If you have hair like mine, you have to learn how to tame her before she will do anything for you.

During your transition phase, you still want to look presentable, especially if you have a professional job. What you don’t want to do is rock the half relaxed, half natural look, like I did for a while. Or wear your hair in a head wrap every day.

Here are some tips on how to maintain your hair while growing your relaxer out.


Braids can be a lifesaver. You have the choice to braid your natural hair or use synthetic hair. You will never get bored with braids, because you can wear your braids in a plethora of styles. Everyone knows someone that can braid.

Hot Comb/Blow out

Although, this is my least favorite, some people tend to press their hair during their transition. Excessive heat can damage your hair. But on the other hand there are new and improved ways to press your natural hair today that can minimize the heat damage. If this is the route you choose to go, try to find a professional to press your hair for you. Also make sure to treat your hair. Get a really good deep conditioner to try to combat the damage that you may be causing your hair.


You can purchase a couple of wigs and alternate between them. Wigs are another resource. They come in every color and style imaginable. The opportunities are endless. During this time you should also be experimenting with different ways you may want to wear your hair when you are completely natural. Do your research; visit this site and other sites and magazines for the latest styles.

How long will it take to grow out my relaxer?

This is a question that I am asked a lot. There is really no cut and dry answer. What you’re really asking is, how long do I have to endure the ugly phase? Everyone is different. My hair is coarse and thick, and my new growth would surface quickly. Waiting 6 weeks to get a touch up was torture for me, because my new growth was in usually within 3-4 weeks. I would say within 6-7 months (if memory serves me correctly) I had enough new growth to cut off the relaxed ends. It really depends on how fast your hair grows.

Do I have to cut my hair?

Another question, people often ask all the time is, do I have to cut my hair? Again this may be on a case-by-case basis. I have never met anyone that has not had to cut their hair at some point during the process, but I have heard rumors that you can go natural without cutting your hair. As for me, I realized when it was time for the big chop, because my hair stopped growing, began breaking a lot and my ends became very stringy. For you it may be different.

I’ve also heard people say that they cut their hair as they went through the process, rather than cutting off the relaxed ends all at once.

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