The Truth About Transitioning
by Trichologist, Dr. Kari Williams
Transitioning can be a very challenging process. The Internet is full of amateur opinions, and information that can be intimidating, inaccurate and out right confusing. It is incredibly difficult to decipher which techniques; styles and products will work best for your specific hair type. Many women who set out to transition to a chemical-free hairstyle get lost, feel defeated and ultimately-give up. I am going to outline 4 Truths about Transitioning to help women have a greater understanding of what to expect on their transitioning journey:
1. Straightening the hair with hot combs and flat irons on a consistent basis can cause the same amount of damage to the hair as a chemical straightener. Many women who have decided to no longer use relaxers continue to straighten their hair with a variety of heat styling tools. Using heat on a consistent basis will cause the protein bonds in your hair strands to break permanently leaving straight, fragile ends. Women who have started their natural hair journey may sometimes find themselves starting over again if they straighten their hair too often. My advice: If you want to straighten your hair to celebrate its versatility, do it on occasion and minimize the amount of heat you are using to straighten your curls.
2. You may have more than one curl pattern in your head. Lots of women have no idea what their natural curl pattern looks like. There are thousands of pictures and videos of women describing and showing off their curls. We begin to create images and even hopes of what our curls will look like once we shed the straight ends. Its important to remember that every curl is different and your hair may not fit into a simple 3a or 4b description. Due to genetics you may have a variety of curl patterns through out your head. These diverse curls will determine the styling and product routine you may need to adopt to create the style that makes you feel most comfortable. My advice: Seek the assistance of a professional who can help you understand your curl pattern and texture. Getting a realistic picture of what YOUR hair can do will help eliminate any discouragement you may feel when discovering your curls do not resemble Traci Ellis Ross’s.
3. Everyone’s hair growth cycle is different, so your hair can grow anywhere from ¼ of an inch to ½ an inch a month. It is so easy to get trapped in the maze of comparison. Your friend or colleague who started their transition journey at the same time as you may now have curls that stretch pass their chin and yours are still at the top of your ear. There are several factors that affect hair growth. Some of those factors include health, medications and hormones; but sometimes it is genetic factors that cause some women’s hair to grow faster than others. My advice: Monitor your hair growth cycle by approximating the length your hair has grown after a month. Protective styles like braids and twists provide a good way to measure how much growth you have achieved after 6-8 weeks. If you determine that you are not achieving much length or that your hair is not growing past a certain length, there may be other factors affecting your hair growth and you should consult with your Trichologist, Licensed Cosmetologist and/or Medical Doctor.
4. If you do not do the Big Chop, it can take 12-18 months to fully transition back to your natural curl. Depending on how much straight or relaxed ends you have to trim away, getting back to your natural curl will take time. This process of transitioning will be a big test of your patience. To help the transition from straight to curly go faster, protective styles are a great way to make time fly. Surrounding yourself with women who have gone through the process, are going through the process or who are big supporters of your process will also be a big help. Stay encouraged and don’t give-up. Rediscovering your natural curls will provide you with a great sense of freedom and accomplishment.
To get more information about Transitioning, download: “The Journey Back: How To Transition Back To Your Natural Curl.” Download your copy now at: www.drkariwilliams.com/books
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Download your copy at: www.drkariwilliams.com/books