Updated: Jul 6, 2020
First, I want to say that if you are just starting your transitioning journey take ALLL of the pictures!! I thought I took more than I actually did. Even on your bad hair days, take pics because your progress will amaze you!
Honestly, I thought about transitioning for about a year before I actually did it. I just got to the point where I didn’t like my hair straight anymore and I wanted to change that🤷🏾♀️.
TIP 2: Make sure that, like with anything in life, you are doing it for yourself. Don't do it because it's "in" right now or someone is telling you you should. At the end of the day it's your hair and transitioning is FRUSTRATING at times. You'll be dealing with that frustration, not someone else, so it has to be your choice. If you don’t want to, you won’t and you don't have to.
People typically say that transitioning isn’t easy, and I’ve definitely said that before, myself. But I don’t really think it’s hard. I think it just requires commitment and patience.
I experienced frustration,and laziness but I also experienced so much support! From other naturals on Instagram, from my friends and family,and strangers on the street. Your support group matters. I give props to those who went natural before social media and YouTube. How sway? I would not have known what to do at all if it were not for tutorials and product recommendations.
I love this picture. This is literally me, on January 5, 2018 going natural lol. That night, after work, I went to Target and picked up the only (and cheapest) natural hair brand that I knew of.
This Shea Moisture Maunka Honey & Mafura Oil shampoo and conditioner- to this day I still don't know what Mafura Oil is lol. This is before I knew what a leave-in was (I went 6 months before I discovered leave-in conditioner, unfortunately.) I paired this with a hair cream by Cantu, which is a brand I don’t even use anymore. 🤷🏾♀️
But see, if it wasn't for Instagram, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to navigate my way through transitioning. Tip 3: Use your network!
Start talking to the people you follow on Instagram, subscribe to on Youtube, etc. I promise you, if they’re in it for the hair and not just the followers, they will be more than happy to answer your questions! One of the best tips I ever received came from Curlysoph_. Honestly, Soph can easily take like 50% of the credit for getting me through transitioning, especially in the beginning because I started transitioning in January 2018 and starting hitting her DMs with questions in like April 2018 and haven't stopped since! 😂
Tip 4: Is actually one that I'm passing on from Soph.
I had a HUGE problem with not being able to maintain my styles. Once I woke up the next day my hair would be flat and my curls would be, all but gone. I mentioned on my story that I wasn't able to maintain a style and that the pineappling method didn't work for me.
What did Soph say? “Put it in 4 pineapples instead” like sis, thank you, it changed the game for me and my styles started to last longer. I didn’t have to restyle everyday. Not sure if she knows how much that helped me but it did, so much. Thank you Soph!
Tip 5: Don't introduce your hair to too many products in the beginning.
I knew that my hair was getting ready to go though a tough journey and that was going to be a big enough shock. I didn't want to add a bunch of different products on top of that.
For the first 6 months I only used that Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner and that Cantu curling cream. That wasn't the best choice, if I had to do it again, I would use just a single line of products and make sure that it included a leave-in.
Tip 6: (but really a 3-in-1) tip, and I KNOW you're tired of hearing it, but transitioning requires PPC.
This is the first braid-out that I did. Like, is this even a braid-out? I only know because that's what I wrote in the caption when I posted it on Instagram. Otherwise, your guess would be as good as mine as to what kind of style this is lol.
My point is that, it takes time to get this right and it takes time to get your hair to a point where you start to see progress. For the first few months I didn't see drastic change, but I did notice small things, like my hair didn't smell pressed anymore when I wet it (if you're a hair presser then you know that smell.)
If you're thinking about transitioning, you have so much information, right at your finger tips. Make sure you take advantage of it and give your hair the time it needs!