As discussed in part 1 of the Going Natural Series, the Methods, transitioning is a gradual modulation from chemically altered to hair in its natural form. Matriculation presents multiple challenges; however, when armed with ample artillery, those challenges can be met with optimism and confidence.
One of the major challenges of transitioning is how to style your mane. How do I maintain my fly while crossing over? Treating your multiple textures in the same manner as when you are actively applying chemical relaxers will yield less desirable results, as such, it is important to alter your styling habits. Choosing looks that will aid in blending the textures of your coils will not only give a more pleasing aesthetic, but will also do wonders for handling the line of demarcation. Here are few common ones that can be mastered with practice:
• Twists or braids/cornrows – two strand twists or braids are a great option to display the versatility and individuality natural hair presents. Both can be sophisticated and simple or elaborate and intricate and serve as a means of protection at the same time.
• Twist outs or braid outs – two extremely popular styling methods which provide a bold look with as much or as little definition as you prefer. Perfect for playing up the natural texture and blending the old with the new.
• Weave/Wigs/Extensions – many transitioners find that this option helps ease the transitioning process. All of these can be appealing protective styles, minimize manipulation and give your coils a break.
*Honorable mention to flexi rod sets, bantu knots and updos.
Styling is limited only by imagination.
It is also important to note that the hair in its natural state, particularly during the transitioning phase, is extremely fragile and vulnerable to breakage and shedding and should be handled with extreme care. Eliminating or limiting heat exposure, minimal manipulation and maintaining moisture levels are imperative to a healthy mane.