If you transition by growing your hair out, you will basically wear protective styles until you natural, unprocessed hair reaches the length that you want and all your relaxed hair is trimmed away.
You will have some time to prepare for your natural hair
During your transition period you can collect pictures of styles that you would like to try once your hair is natural. It is a good idea to get pictures of styles of various lengths.
You will learn about your hair type(s)
Different styles look a little different depending on what your hair type is. As your hair grows out you can look and see how the new natural hair is behaving. You can get an idea of what it does when it is wet. You will find out whether your hair is wavy, curly, coily or kinky. Once you figure that out you can look for styles that will work with and complement your hair type.
You can experiment with natural looks
Who says transitioning has to be boring? If you are thinking about growing locks, why not try nu locs/yarn lock. Youíll get an idea of how you might look with locks.
Kinky twists are truly a natural look. They will give you an idea of how your own double strand/two stranded twist will look. (NOTE: Be sure to read the section on types of extension hair. You do not want to get the type that will tangle in your hair.)
If you really want to be adventurous (depending on where you work) get the true feel of an afro with an afro weave. You could do a full weave or just the back with cornrows in the front.
But if you want to play it safe- and there is nothing wrong with that Ė you can stick with braids and cornrows with or without extensions.
There is not initial shock Ė for you or your friends and family.
Unless you have been growing out your perm for a while your hair will be very short even after a month or two of transitioning. If you have worn your hair medium length to long, the change could be shocking.
Wearing short hair of any style takes a certain type of self-confidence. If you are still uncertain of your decision or are not really comfortable with short hair period, donít do the big chop. Ditto if you donít have friends or family members who support your decision to go natural. No need to bring on needless criticisms unless you really donít care what they think.
Growing It Out: The Cons
Those are the pros of growing out your hair. Here are some of the cons:
* It will take patience and time
* You will have to deal with two distinctly different types of hair
* You may have to depend on someone else to help you style your hair until it is completely grown out.
* You may end up paying more than you are used to paying to have your hair done.
* Your hair will shed and may break off. That may be traumatizing for you.
It will take patience and time
If you want you hair to be say Ė six inches long Ė it will take anywhere from six months to a year, depending on how fast your hair grows. You should ask yourself if you are willing to wait that long.
You will have to deal with two distinctly different types of hair
If you are not a fan of messing with you hair this can be frustrating. If you already like playing in your hair and donít mind adapting then this is a non-issue.
You may have to depend on someone else to help you style your hair until it is completely grown out.
If you plan to wear protective styles and donít already know how to braid, cornrow, flat twist or do wet sets, youíll need help. This means that you will have to work around someone elseís schedule.
You may end up paying more than you are used to paying to have your hair done.
This Piggy backs on the last point. Unless you know someone that will do your hair for you, getting extension can be pricy. Expect to redo cornrows at least every 2 Ė 3 weeks and braids every two months.
Yes people keep them in for months longer. They usually have to fight with their hair to get them out. Plan regular re-braiding into your budget. In the end you will save time and your hair.
Your hair will shed and may break off.
No matter how hard you try you will get breakage. It just comes with the territory. Iíve read of many people who have experienced this, thought their hair was falling out, and went back to relaxing ďto save their hair.Ē
If you know you canít stand seeing hair in the comb ever time you comb, consider getting it over with and cutting it off all at once.