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Taking the Plunge
When you decide to stop relaxing your hair, the first question to ask yourself is: Do I want a supershort cut (in transitioning parlance, a Teeny Weeny Afro, or TWA)?

YES? Then it's time for the Big Chop (BC). Many women cut off all their processed hair in one fell swoop to avoid dealing with two-texture hair. After the BC, some keep their TWA; others grow their hair out.

NO? If you want to keep your length, it will take six months to several years to grow out your processed hair, depending on how long it is. (Bridgett Davis clocks her complete transition at four years.)

Here's a Timeline of What You Can Expect:

Month 3: You have about an inch of new growth. For uniform texture, use the comb attachment on your hair dryer to smooth your roots, says hairstylist Anthony Dickey, owner of Hair Rules Salon in New York City. Apply a heat-protecting product, and be gentle where your natural hair meets your relaxed hair, because it's prone to breakage. Trim an inch of relaxed hair every six to eight weeks.

Month 6: With two to three inches of new growth, you can now see your natural curl pattern. To achieve one-texture hair, hairstylist Tippi Shorter recommends using roller or rod sets to get an allover curly look. Go to a salon every two weeks or curl at home and use a low-heat bonnet dryer.

Month 9: Your natural hair is long enough to try braided and twisted styles. To keep your hair supple and shiny, incorporate your styling routine into your shower routine, working olive oil through your hair when it's soaking wet, then combing in styling cream or conditioner with your fingers.

Month 12: If you're happy with a bob, you're likely at the end of your journey. Trim away the last inch or two of relaxed hair. Fabulous!