When I transitioned in college, my friends Crystal and Nads were transitioning simultaneously. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have friends who were also navigating their way through this confusing and complicated journey. If I didn’t have that support, the journey may have turned into a never-ending voyage with constant relaxer relapses.
When you transition from relaxed to natural hair, it’s beneficial to have a friend, classmate or co-worker that’s transitioning at the same time. Why? That person will be the best source of support since they’ll be enduring the same trials and obstacles that you’re facing. This person will be a shoulder to cry on during those bad hair days, motivation to keep going when you get the itch to relax and someone to just vent with. And, what better person to share this journey with other than your mother?
Some women automatically dismiss the idea because they believe their mom will never stop using relaxers. I’ve found that many women who were in their prime during the 70’s and the Black Panther era have more of an opened mind to afro-textured hair. During that time period, you were the flyest of the fly if you rocked a gigantic ‘fro. But I’ve also heard women say that afros were reserved only for that time period—it’s old school and it should stay in the past. When you talk to your mother, explain why it would be a good idea for the both of you to transition together. Here are a few suggestions:
1. As women age, they become more concerned about the condition of their health. Explain how the chemicals in relaxers are unhealthy for the body and doctors still don’t really know how dangerous they are even though relaxers have already been linked to fibroids.
2. Tell her it will be a great bonding experience for the two of you. You both will have transitioning in common which will always give y’all something to talk about. Sharing products, regimens and hairstyles will be enjoyable. These positive moments and experiences together will continue to build on the relationship you and your mother already have.
3. Let her know you need support. She’s always been there for you and she’s the perfect person to hold hands with as you undertake this transitioning journey.
4. Show her pictures of beautiful natural women her age. This will be inspiring and motivating for her to see the potential of what could be.
If your mom still refuses to transition, lead by example. She may criticize you after your big chop but once your hair grows out she’ll soon be asking for product recommendations. Good luck having “the talk”!