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What I Love About Transitioning

December 14, 2010

“I want to know my hair again, the way I knew it before I knew that my hair is me, before I lost the right to me, before I knew that the burden of beauty—or lack of it—for an entire race of people could be tied up with my hair and me.” – Paulette M. Caldwell

A clump of strands of my hair, now 10 months into my transition. Look at the difference between the natural and relaxed part!/photo by intreegme

It just dawned on me that though it’s been 11 months since my last relaxer, I love transitioning. Okay when you think about having to mesh the  textures of 4-5 inches of coily new growth attached to 9-10 inches of straight relaxed strands it doesn’t sound that fun. But honestly, having my hair the way it is right now is more interesting than when I was relaxed.

Like I’ve stated in a previous post, the first time I transitioned, was not a walk in the park AT ALL. It was my senior year of college and it was the year I was going through a lot of changes. I was constantly trying confirm and re-confirm that I had enough credits to graduate on time, had unexpectedly broken up with my boyfriend, worked a part time job, had nerve-wrecking feelings about my new “adult” post college life of bills and rent and oh yeah–what I was going to be since I was now considered a grown up, and just wanted to live it up with my friends for our last year. So adding trying to get rid of my relaxer, the only texture I could remember having and introducing myself to this new hair God blessed me with was the overwhelming icing to the cake. I was simply doing too much. I didn’t have the patience to deal with the conflicting textures, nor the knowledge about them. I thought the only way I was supposed to grow my relaxer out was to flat iron the new growth consistently to keep my texture uniform and to keep trimming every so often until all the relaxed hair was gone. Man was I wrong.

Enter the internet world of the natural hair. From the beloved blogs I check religiously, to forums, to Youtube videos and channels dedicated to styling natural hair, there are just so many options for women who choose to transition out of their relaxer nowadays. Most of these blogs didn’t exist my senior year in college, so maybe it’s a good thing I chose to try again now.

Lately, I’ve been having urges to do my big chop. But it has been kind of fun trying to find what other styles I can crank out before my set BC date of June 2011. Pushing my boundaries and thinking out the box creatively has been refreshing in a way it has never been when having my hair relaxed.

Sure I’ve done different things to my relaxed hair style wise. I’ve created braid outs, roller sets, and worn it bone straight. I’ve had light brown streaks and have dyed it my favorite hair color, jet black, only to find out my hair hated black dye and broke off. I’ve had intricate cornrows, long braids, and full weaves. I’ve used my 3 barrel waver countless times to create texture and volume, as well as my crimper, and curling iron (not at once of course!). But not once did I ever imagine that I had all the volume, waves, and crinkly texture I needed already growing out of my scalp ready to be unveiled.

To say the least, I’m excited. You know how I can tell?

Well I’ve already cut a few small strands of hair in random places on my head just so I could get a feel of how my texture will be. After I wash my hair I have a serious case of hand-in-fro disease on my new growth…shoot, I can’t even lie, I just had a case a minute ago…

The main reason I can tell that I’m excited is because I am growing more and more appreciative of my hair. It may not blow in the wind, or fall at bra strap length like it did when I was relaxed, but it feels thicker and healthy, and is way more intriguing to look at now. My standard of beauty has changed completely. I remember that I used to feel unattractive if I was unsuccessful in masking my new growth when it was time for a touch up…like my whole look was messed up! Now looking back I realize how extreme I was..lol. But on the real, it’s gotten to the point where if I’m out and about, I don’t even notice a girl’s hair unless it’s natural. It’s like I have this natural hair radar or something that I didn’t have before.

Just recently I went to my friend’s house party in Brooklyn and walked in scanning the room to see if there was anyone there that I knew. Instantly I saw two girls with huge, curly shoulder length hair conversing with each other. I’m talking straight up hair porn to be envious of! I instantly went over to them and complimented them on their hair which led to a conversation of products and transitioning.

And it’s weird, because for the first time in my life I am more biased towards natural hair than relaxed, almost to the point where I don’t see the beauty of relaxed hair like I used to (unless it’s freshly done from the salon). Now instead of frowning at my new growth, I’ve been looking at my relaxed ends in disgust. Maybe it’s because I’m finally realizing the beauty in the texture growing out my scalp, or because the relaxed ends look limp, weak, and thin compared to the same spiraly, coily strand it’s attached to. But the complete reversal of my opinion has just shocked me.

 At times I marvel at my new view of hair. I feel like a blindfold has been taken off my eyes and now I can finally see an aspect of my beauty that I’ve never acknowledged before because I wasn’t exposed to it. It feels like I’m now part of some sort of secret society that sees the beauty in natural beauty. And like McDonald’s I’m lovin it. 🙂

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Someone permalink
    December 14, 2010 8:29 pm

    MEEEE TOOOOO

  2. January 6, 2011 8:28 pm

    Your natural texture is absolutely gorgeous! I think we are hair twins…from what I can remember about my natural texture. I can’t wait for my hair to grow out enough to really get a feel for it and know for sure. I’m only 4 months into my transition right now, but I hear it goes fast. Good luck with the rest of your journey! =]

    • January 9, 2011 8:31 pm

      Thanks so much Vanessa! I had no clue my texture would even look like this. The more my hair grows the more I love to play with my new growth..lol..Hang in there with transitioning. It’s tough, but it will be well worth it in the end!

  3. L.Hassell permalink
    February 5, 2011 2:42 pm

    I LOVE THIS! Its very inspiring, I will definitely forward to my niece, who is 13 and has been getting perms since elementary school. She is convinced that her long, permed hair makes her pretty. But I say she’s beautiful regardless!

    You should post some pics of your transition hair styles.

    • February 8, 2011 8:46 pm

      pictures of my styles are in the works and so is video!

  4. October 1, 2012 12:18 pm

    Omg, I’m 10 months (almost 11) transitioning and the bck of my head has a texture just like tht! I wonder what type it’d be classified as…? Anyway, I’m loving my natural textures too & seriously thinking about big chopping next salon visit…. Ready for my twa!

  5. Tai permalink
    January 19, 2014 3:48 pm

    I’m only 4 months transitioning and my new growth looks just like that…

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