Friday, March 28, 2014

Transitioning: the big chop!

I've been getting relaxers on my hair for years. I want to say from some point since 13-14 years old. That's a very long time of adding chemicals to my hair to make it straight. I don't recall why my mom decided to start giving me relaxers and she honestly doesn't know herself. Maybe peer pressure? Or for easier manageable hair?

imageAs a baby I had nice soft curly hair. Even at 3 years old I still had the same texture.  Fast forward to 5 years old. Then 11 years old and I have no idea what happened to that nice soft curly head of hair I once had. I want to blame it on the Caribbean sun but yea, that doesn't fly easily with most people. Hahaha. A very vivid memory I have of the first time I ever blow-dried my hair was at 10 years old. My cousin did it for me while my mom was working and oh boy did we get in trouble. My mom was not having it. Yet I loved it! My hair was so long. If my memory serves me right it was half way down my back. I felt in love with straight hair ever since then. 

When it comes to relaxing my hair I also like to think that the reason why my mom did it was because she couldn't handle my hair. I do remember it being extra puffy when air dried. But I don't recall ever having seen a curl on my head. So I never paid much attention to why I would get relaxers. What I do remember is loving the look afterward. 

All through middle school and high school I struggled with styling my hair. If it wasn't relaxed I never knew what to do to it. My go to hair style was the low messy bun. Sometimes I'd do it high too. Do you remember that hair-do? Did you ever try it? In high school I also learned how to crunch up my hair to make it curly. Thank God for friends! And ever since then the only way I knew how to make my hair really nice in curls was after a relaxer. Which makes no sense because relaxers are meant to straighten your hair not curl it. But anyways. After high school I continued with relaxers and as the years passed the time in between relaxers got less and less. It started with six months apart (when I first started getting them) to two months apart after high school. 

About 24 months ago I changed hair stylist and she would ask why I got relaxers. She said that I didn't need them. But I was so hooked on them that I was on denial. Nine months later I decided to try her method of no relaxers and see how it went. Worse case scenario I didn't like my natural texture and I would go back on getting relaxers.  Since then it has been 15 months since I got my last relaxer and guess what I found out guys??? I have curly hair!!!! 

Notice how straight my ends are

Ignore my super tiny ear in this picture. It's really not that little in real life.

Yes. Curly hair. Can you believe it! 

Earlier this year I made the decision to officially transition my hair from relaxed hair to my natural texture. From what I've seen it looks like I have curly hair. Right?. I don't know for sure what type of curls I have. It'll take some time for that. But since my BIG chop (about 3in of hair) four weeks ago I've noticed a big change in my curls. Meaning there's more bounce to it. I guess since I had so much dead ends it was weighing down my curls and by cutting a chunk of that hair it gave my curls room to breath and a bit of a break from all the pulling down. 

I've also made the decision to not apply heat to my hair while I'm transitioning, unless absolutely necessary (like wedding events). I think that's the hardest part of all because my hair is not quite how I would like to see it. It's still damaged from the relaxer chemicals and all the heat over the years. The only reason I decided not to apply heat is because I want to keep my hair as healthy as possible and to help it transition better. I'm not using gels, mousse, or hairspray either, again personal preference. Also when I went for the big chop I was so worried of how I would look with short hair that I think  my hair stylist got a bit scared and she didn't cut off all of my relaxed ends. There's still about 1-1.5" of relaxed ends. I'm thinking on going back and chopping off the rest and just worry about getting my hair healthy from this point on. The length will come in due time, there's nothing I can do about that but be patient and cut my ends regularly. 

For now I'm focusing on finding ways that I like to style my hair. I've tried curling my hair using the Bantu Knots method. I recently did two side braids and after taking it out the next day it didn't look bad at all, it gave my hair a wavy look. I'm thinking of doing more braid outs. I'm dying to try the curl formers method but haven't yet because that's a bit more pricier. Since I'm in the no heat challenge and Afros are not my thing I'm finding it hard to style my hair. But using heatless curls are not as bad and it's getting my hair used to having an S shape I guess. 


This is one wild journey and I cannot wait to see real results. I read that even after getting a big chop you won't see your natural texture of hair for about another 6-9 months. I'm thinking if everything goes well by the end of the year I'll have a decent length and my natural curl texture. Eeeeekk!

I plan on documenting this journey so stay tune for product reviews, hairstyles, and updates. Also, If there's anyone out there going through the same journey or who have dealt with transitioning their hair whether is from relaxers, perms, colors, etc I'd love to hear your story, what worked for you, and what products and style you tried. 

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