Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hairstyles for Transitioning to Natural Hair (1-5 months)

Last year I opened up about my decision to take a break from my monthly relaxer. Since then the biggest challenge has been how to style my hair.

I know some styles for relaxed hair and I know some styles for my naturally thick and curly hair. However I needed to learn styles for the two textures together.

So here's a sneak peak of what I've been able to do since I began my relaxer break last summer.

 1- 3 Months

The first month or two when my natural roots were short and exceeded by the relaxed ends, I mostly got my hair pressed straight (at least once a month). But slowly I began trying some natural hairstyles.

Curly Qs!
The first thing I tried as the roots grew out were Bantu Knots. Applying Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion to damp, freshly washed hair, I twisted the hairs into little knots and used both air drying and blow dryer to set the style.

I really liked this look because it concealed the two different textures quite nicely. It also looked corkscrew curly to me (which I like). One downside is the style can become frizzy. I  put some serum in it and try not to pick out the curls too much.

I also did a goddess braid that wrapped around my head. This is my favorite style because it is a quick and easy look that I can put together before heading off to work.

Another quick style is the tiny bun  (see the picture above). I definitely needed to stretch and gel the natural hair down for this style. While the end product was too cute for words, I think this style can increase breakage. So I only did this style one or two times

4-5 Months

Headed out to a concert!
Breakage and gradual cuts left my hair a lot shorter so I couldn't do any braided styles.

Again I styled my hair into Bantu Knots. With shorter hair, the Bantu Knot made my hair look boyish but I liked it a lot. This time I picked my hair quite a bit to get more volume.

Lastly I choose a few mornings to just go with the fro. (Mostly because I was too tired do something elaborate or I tried something and it didn't look right.) Although this is probably the easiest style, it felt like the most risky to me.

Before going natural last year, the last time I wore an afro I was in middle school and I remember feeling really insecure about it.

Rocking a fro as an adult was really scary because I want to look good (of course) and look professional. I also felt wear the afro meant that I was really committing to being natural and that was a huge step.

Shrinkage of the natural hair makes this style possible. My biggest frustration, however, was the way my relaxed ends just stuck up in air. But you can take care of that by simply patting the ends down or curling them with perm rods. 

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