Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bigga is 3! || My 3 year naturalversary

Today marks my 3 year naturalversary and as I stroll down memory lane I remember that fateful day one of my best friends did my big chop in a hotel bathroom.  Sounds sketch, I know, but the short story is that I was moving cross-country from VA to TX and had made an appointment at an upscale natural hair salon in Atlanta (which was on the way) to do my big chop.  Well, I missed that appointment and could not wait another minute to chop off my hair, so I asked my friend to do it.  We went to Target a few days later, picked up some hair shears, and went to chopping.  At first I was ecstatic, and then fear set in.  Even though I transitioned for a year, I had no clue what to do with my hair.  Like ... couldn't buy a clue.  I thought my hair would automatically look like something out of a magazine (a' la Tracee Ellis Ross on the March cover of Essence).  I thought a wash and go was actually a wash and go ... not a wash, condition, rinse out, deep condition, rinse out, apply LOC, rake, shingle, fluff, clump, gel, shake like an exorcist, and go!  Lies... I tell you!  I was completely lost and totally unprepared.  But how is that even possible?  I transitioned for an entire year, read on an almost daily basis, and studied YouTubers MahoganyCurls and Naptural85 like my life depended on it.  So all that "work" and I wasn't putting it into practice.  The first 6 months of my transition I continued to flat iron my hair and the last 6 months I wore my hair in a bun almost every. single. day.  In my mind I was saving those tips I learned for when I became fully natural.  Little did I know I was kinda setting myself up for failure.  Practice makes perfect they say, so looking back on it, here are few things I wish I would have done differently during my transition to prepare myself for my big (or little) chop.
Twist out a month after my chop - May 2012

  • Deep condition regularly - My hair was in pretty bad shape before I started learning how to properly take care of it, so deep conditioning is a must.  Make it a goal to do this at least twice a month.  Transitioning hair needs the moisture to prevent early breakage. 
  • Use hair products designed for curly hair - just because the majority of your hair is straight doesn't mean you can't dip your toe in the sea of curly hair products out there.  Especially if you plan to transition long term, try to figure out what you hair likes early on.  This may change later on as your hair begins to "mature" but go ahead and get familiar with how certain products work and what ingredients do and do not work for you.  
  • Put down the flat iron - Continuing to flat iron your new growth puts you at risk for having heat damaged curls.  And then you'll be back to square one. 
  • Experiment - This is a good time to experiment with curly hair styles like a twist and curl, bantu knots, perm rods, etc.  With a little manipulation, straight hair can curl too ... So get out of your comfort zone and get to it!  And while you're at it, learn to flat twist and braid your hair if you don't already know.  
April 2012                       April 2014 

Hope this helps someone! 


p.s. I named her (my hair) Bigga ... cuz every year she gets Bigga and Bigga! lol!


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