Transitioning is a beast. When I transitioned, it was stressful, frustrating, time consuming and an extra job that I hated clocking in for. It is normal to experience these emotions. You are learning how to take care of a hair texture that is foreign to you and this “in between stage” will not last forever.
Transitioning can be particularly difficult for women who are in school. I began my transition when I was a junior in college. After 6 weeks, my kinky roots made their presence known. Natural hair is proud and refuses to be hidden. I felt like I was about to relapse. I managed my hair the best way I could but I felt like my hair never looked good anymore. The same year, I decided to run to be the queen of my college and we were required to compete in a pageant. My first thought was, “Not with these edges”, so I relaxed. I think a big part of me was looking for any reason to relax again.
Clearly, I wasn’t ready to commit. 6 months later I decided to try again. There would be no more relaxing. I knew I wanted big, kinky hair. I had to learn how to endure the awkward phase. One afternoon, after class I began talking with a classmate, Co Co, who was transitioning. Her hair looked great and she had been transitioning for longer than I had. I wanted to know what her secret was. She told me she relaxed her edges and allowed the rest of her hair to grow out. She stated when she got about 5 months away from her big chop date she would stop relaxing her edges to give them time to grow out. I thought that was genius! I began relaxing my edges only and it decreased my stress level. All of the hairstyles I did looked so much better. Transitioning was a breeze. Before long, I stopped relaxing my edges and began wrapping a scarf around my edges at night after applying a leave-in conditioner and gel. To my surprise, my edges laid flat all day. I think we all have the notion that our hair is the “nappiest hair ever” as we transition. You will be surprised to find that all textures are manageable.
I had goals in sight and nothing was going to stop me. The key is to be confident in your decision to go natural. Don’t find a reason to quit like I did the first time around. Transitioning can be compared to childbirth. The labor seems unbearable but once your kinks are birthed and you’re rocking a head full of natural hair, your labor pains will simply become a distant memory.
Chime Edwards is an extremely popular YouTube vlogger with over 145,000 subscribers. Chime was also featured in Nikki Walton’s (Curly Nikki) book, ‘Better Than Good Hair.’