“I am not my hair,” said the singer India Awrie; however, for me, my hair is a representation of me and as such, I want to present my best authentic self every time I do my hair.
The last time I permed my hair was in June/July 2017. At the time, I had noticed my hair starting to thin out and my ends were very straggly and unhealthy looking. I decided that the chemical perms I was using every 2-3 months were damaging to my hair and that if I wanted my hair to get back healthy again, I would have to make a change. I chose to let my hair grow out natural and I was determined to not do a big chop. Instead, I trimmed about an inch off of my ends every few months and in February of 2020, I cut off the remaining 2-4 inches of the damaged perm hair and officially became all natural.
The natural hair journey for me has been filled with ups and downs and a lot of trial and error along the way. I’d like to share some of my personal tips with anyone who might be considering a transition from perm to natural as it’s not easy.
TIP #1: Don’t Do a Big Chop
I know this tip is not that popular, but I strongly believe that I had a lot more flexibility and options for styling my hair since I still had my hair length. You also won’t have such a traumatic experience when you just cut a little of your hair off at a time. It was one less new thing I had to adjust to, and it worked very well for me.
TIP #2: Don’t Use a Comb or Brush Frequently
Ok, let me explain. I noticed that every time I washed my hair and detangled my hair, the comb would always cause more of my hair to come out than when I would just finger comb my hair. If you are not doing a big chop and you want to keep the most hair for the longest amount of time, learn to love finger combing your hair most of the time. All it takes is a little bit of patience and your hair will thank you for it.
TIP #3: NO HEAT!
During the transition period, your hair is very fragile and heat will only cause the permed hair to break off and even worse, it can damage your natural curl pattern that you are finally letting grow. This is the perfect time to learn to stretch your hair without the use of heat and the AviZodi hair stretching tools are a perfect substitute for the flat iron or perm. I only wish I had hair weights available when I was just starting my transition.
TIP #4: Use Hair Products With A Natural Ingredient Focus
Everybody’s hair is unique and requires different things; however, everybody can benefit from using less products with a chemical focus and using more products with a natural ingredient focus. My experience, when I was transitioning, is that my new growth was not reacting well to the products I had been using on my permed hair and it was making styling my hair very challenging. I was more focused on making sure my natural hair was healthy so at the time I found some products that had natural ingredients like my favorite argan oil serum which made both textures feel so nice. If you are in search of hair products with a natural ingredient focus, then you should try the AviZodi hair care line which includes the Herbal Aloe & Shea Shampoo, the Curl Enhancing Conditioner, the Moisturizing Detangler and the Styling Cream.
TIP #5: Embrace the Protective Hairstyles
If you don’t remember anything else, this tip is probably the most important to implement as your hair is so fragile in the transition state that constant manipulation and fussing with your hair will only increase the rate at which the permed damage hair will fall out. My favorite protective style was a tie between med-sized box braids and wigs. Yes, I loved me some wigs! I highly recommend anyone who is transitioning to find a protective style that works for them and do it as this is the best way to let your new hair grow and to slow the rate at which the damaged perm hair will break off. Just be sure to keep your hair moisturized and conditioned to prevent breakage.
For more information on Avizodi hair stretching tools and their new hair care line, visit www.AviZodi.com.