January 10, 2011

Confessions of a Transitioner - You've Got Mail!

"Dear Curly Chic,
I have been transitioning for 9 1/2 months and I am struggling!  Right now I wear my hair straight because I have yet to find a curly style that looks right because of my relaxed ends.  I am also dealing with some shedding and breakage. 

Top 5 Complaints about Transitioning
1.   Shedding
What does this mean?  Hair that sheds is hair that has reached the end of its growing cycle (see my old post here) and quite “naturally”, it begins to fall from the scalp.  Shed hair will be replaced by new hair.  *please note:  I am not providing a diagnosis here just a general overview.  Excessive shedding could also be associated with health issues (pregnancy, heredity.)

How do I know it’s not breakage?  If the hair does not have a white bulb at the root, it is safe to say it is shedding, not breakage. 

What to do?  There is nothing you can do and nothing you should do as this is a natural process.

2.   Breakage
Commonly caused by chemical processing, excessive heat, lack of moisture, improper handling, etc.
What to do? 
·         Limit use of chemicals (I am still pro-color!)
·         Decrease the frequency and amount of heat applied to your hair
·         Keep your hair conditioned and moisturized
·         Get regular trims
·         Wear satin bonnet or scarf at night or use a satin pillow case at night

3.       Trying to find a regimen that works
·         Keeping a hair journal of your experiences works best
·         Network with other transitioners
·         Check out my post on regimen building

4.       Finding a hairstyle
·         Check out YouTube for styling tips and suggestions
·         Seek stylist input
·         Experiment with different looks (twist outs, braid outs)
·         Check out my post on regimen building

5.       Dealing with two textures of hair
The point where the “old” hair and the “new” hair meet is the most fragile.  One of the reasons many chose to do the big chop is they don’t want to deal with the two different textures.  Typically the “new” hair will be its natural texture (coily, kinky, curly), whereas the “old” hair will be straight.  Obviously the two will not agree and will not respond to the same treatment and products.  During my transition, I went to my stylist more often and had my hair straightened more in the beginning and as more new growth came in, I began experimenting with more textured styles (most often I did wash and gos).  I was also much lazier at that time though and didn’t want to deal with twist outs and braid outs.

 Check out my previous NaturalView with Celeste!

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