5 Things to Know Before Transitioning to Natural Hair
"When it comes to the whole growing-out process, everyone is like, 'I want it now, I want it now,' but hair averages only about half an inch of growth per month," says
2. Your Vision of Natural May Not Match Your Reality
"A lot of the women in my family have gorgeous spirally, big curls," says Shorter. "I assumed my hair would look the same when I went natural, but it's kind of frizzy and bushy with no definition—not what I was expecting."
3. You Should Plan on Lots of Little Trims if You Don't Do The Big Chop
"Trims should mirror your hair growth," says Shorter. "For every half inch to inch that grows out, cut off a half inch to an inch of the relaxed ends so you're not stuck with a weird growing-out shape."
4. Your Hair May Be Drier Once You Go Natural
It sounds counterintuitive since natural hair is chemical-free. In fact, though, when the hair shaft is straight, your scalp oils can go directly from root to tip, according to Cynthia Alvarez, Dove Hair curl expert. "With curly hair," she says, "they never reach the ends." Regular moisturizing is essential. Smooth on a few drops of oil (try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Nourishing Treatment, $12; drugstores) in the morning or apply a leave-in treatment (like Motions Nourish Leave-In Conditioner, $10; drugstores) to damp hair when you get out of the shower.
5. While You're Waiting... There's no need to sacrifice style during your transition period. Here are a few chic ways to deal with a head of hair that's half curly, half straight.