Every hair journey is a commitment. Whatever your hair goals are, they play a part in what kind of hair journey you choose to embark on. When I made the decision to return back to my natural hair from a relaxer, I had two options: big chop or transition.
Transitioning means growing out your natural hair while cutting your relaxed or damaged ends in increments, so that it stretches over time. Depending on the person, transitioning can last anywhere between a few weeks to a few years. I am currently a year and a half into my transitioning journey, and below are some pros and cons about long term transition for those who may be considering it.
Is Long Term Transitioning for You?
Better for people that don’t want to commit to a big chop
The thought of cutting all of my hair off in the beginning of my journey made me nervous. I was still new in my journey, and wanted the ability to ‘revert back’ to a relaxer if I didn’t want to deal with my natural hair. Most people that wind up transitioning for reasons like this (myself included) wind up falling in love with their curls and can’t imagine using straightening chemicals anymore anyway.
Get to cut hair at own pace
When a transitioner finally decides to cut their ends off is up to them. Like I said earlier, transitioning can last from weeks to years. The amount of hair that gets cut off and the frequency are personal discretion as well. Some may cut 1″ every few weeks, while others may cut 2″-3″ every 6 months. Personally, I try to cut at least 1″ or more every 6-8 weeks.
In my opinion, this is the WORST part of transitioning. The more your natural hair grows in, the more time is added to wash day and detangling. The hair is very gentle, especially around the line of demarcation. The line of demarcation is where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet. The hair can snap while washing, detangling, and handling, so it’s important to be careful. ALWAYS TRY TO FINGER DETANGLE!
My relaxed ends are thinner than my natural strands. I can feel the difference when I touch my hair, especially when I straighten it. If I straighten my hair and it gets wet, my natural hair turns into a giant frizz ball while my relaxed ends continue to hand straight.
Relaxed Ends Don’t Curl
Every time I sit down to try a cute, low manipulative style like a braid or twist-out, I always get frustrated and want to cut my hair. Literally EVERY time. The relaxed ends don’t curl when they get wet. Those ends will be permanently damaged. In order to achieve styles like those I said above, I have to use styling tools like flexi rods, perm rods, etc. The definition of these styles in my natural hair is amazing, and it makes me lust for a pair of scissors!
Everyone has to decide for themselves what kind of hair journey they are going to embark on. I plan to transition for at least another year, which would mean I big chop next January. However, we never know what life has in store for us, so it might come sooner than that.
Did/ are you transitioning or did you big chop? Why?
Until next time… xoxo