You’ve decided that you’re done with the relaxers. Congratulations! You’ve joined the worldwide community of naturalistas. So now that you’ve finally made the decision to ditch the chemicals you might be asking yourself, “How do I go from the left to the right picture?”
There are 2 ways:
The Big Chop (BC)
The BC can seem like the most daunting thing to do as it involves either chopping off all your relaxed hair so that you’re bald, or growing out your natural hair a few centimetres so that you when you do cut off the relaxed hair, you’re left with a teeny weeny afro, aka TWA. Understandably, this route may be filled with a level of anxiety as you need to be confident about exposing your ‘naked’ face and head to the world. Having said that, once you’ve done the BC you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you’ve just gone ahead and got the deed done. You are now fully natural.
This process involves growing your natural hair while gradually trimming away the relaxed hair bit by bit. It can take as long you want to reach the fully natural state, whether it be 3 months or 3 years – it will take as long as you see fit. It does however involve dealing with 2 hair textures, the relaxed ends and the natural new growth, at the same time. For some women this can be a somewhat challenging experience as the the 2 textures won’t necessarily react to product and styling methods in the same way, although with a little research and You-tubing there are plenty of styles that can assist with keeping the 2 textures healthy without driving you crazy.
Whichever method you choose is okay. The main thing to remember with both is to stop using chemicals immediately. That’s an instant way to ensure that the new hair growing from your scalp stands a fighting chance to be as healthy as it can be.
On the one hand I want to say, “Just do it. Go natural. What are you waiting for?” But I do understand that some women may not be ready for this, whether it be for fear of acceptance in your community, the workplace or perhaps fear of acceptance by yourself. Maybe you’re just not ready to face the natural you in the mirror quite yet. Again, that’s okay. If you’ve been wearing your hair in a relaxed state since a young age it’s completely understandable that you might become anxious at the thought of showing your natural tresses to the world. Women of colour with natural hair is still underrepresented in mainstream media so it stands to reason that you may feel uncomfortable with the notion as you don’t see it portrayed that often. Be that as it may, once you realise the potential your own hair has and what it can do for your own self-worth, it won’t matter whether you see it in the media or not. You’ll just wonder why it’s taken you so long. So remember to do it your way. Your hair is unique to you, and your natural hair journey will be too.
Love your hair!