Transitioning Talk: Decision Made

Do you remember in junior high or high school when you were voted “most likely to…,” “best smile,” or “most friendly?” It’s graduation day and I’ve been voted “most indecisive, fence straddler extraordinaire.” Welp I’ve finally made up my mind.

I started stretching my relaxer to give myself time to decide whether I would transition to natural to support and cheer on my mother who is natural but isn’t a fan of her natural hair. Being this far along in my stretch (10 more weeks until I hit the 1 year mark) I was ready to say “just do it,” but my mother’s excitement when I told her I was committing to joining her journey sealed the deal. She was just over the moon. I was a little surprised at her reaction but I should’ve known. I’m an only child and my mother LOVES ALL mother-daughter activities, so going natural and growing my natural hair out with her is right up that alley.

My biggest goal will be getting my mother to feel comfortable wearing her curls out in public (she’s been natural for about 9 years but wears wigs). I’m pretty sure I might cry when she does lol!

What does going natural mean for my relaxed content?

Well, nothing. I will still love healthy, relaxed hair just as I’ve loved healthy, natural hair while relaxed. While the bulk of my posts and responses are based on my experiences, a huge percentage of them are applicable to both natural hair care and relaxed hair care, e.g. moisture, detangling, hot oil treatments, shampooing tips… you get the point.

Will I abandon my relaxed readers now?

Heck no! I will still continue to post tips and respond to questions that pertain to maintaining healthy relaxed hair. HEALTHY HAIR is the goal around these parts, be it relaxed or natural. All walks of readers and hair story submitters have always been welcomed and will continue to be welcomed. #healthyhairhugsallaround!

Will I transition long term or plan to big chop?

No chopping around these parts. It’ll be a long transition, while gradually trimming (just like I did when I made the switch to texlaxing my hair instead of relaxing bone straight). I’m nearly a year post relaxer and plan to transition until my natural hair is at least mid-back length, straightened.

How will my regimen change while transitioning?

Only time will tell, but for right now it won’t. The regimen I’ve been using for a very long time now — pre-poo, shampoo or co-wash, tea rinse, deep condition, leave-ins and then detangling, with the sort of recent addition of stretching out my hair via tension method — will be what I follow until I have to adjust out of necessity. My regimen works… “and if it ain’t broke…”

“Transitioning Talk”

I’m going to do a “Transition Talk” series from time to time on what’s working, what isn’t, and tips so be on the look out for that!

Even though I’ve typed up this wordy post on transitioning to natural, it doesn’t really feel like my universe has shifted haha. Same ol’ Jen, same ol’ basic outlook on maintaining the health of my hair: moisture + a little protein + low manipulation. Same ol’ JGA… just with the addition of more texture, curls & kinks popping up.

And speaking of which, it’s been really fun to see how my texture varies across my big head. Like the tight curls that live at the left side of my nape.

To the looser texture that lives at the right side of my nape.

To the looser texture at my crown that just waves in some parts and can’t be bothered to even curl.

Is anyone else starting a new journey? Or on a long-term relaxer stretch?

Update: Thank you everyone for the outpour of support!!!! ((HUGS))

60 Comments

  1. I’m 11 months post and will be big chopping in April. I can’t wait because I’m tired of dealing with the two textures and the shedding! the shedding, omg! I’ve truly enjoyed seeing the new growth and learning about my hair throughout these months. I can’t wait to fully embrace and love my natural texture.




  2. I am so happy to have found this blog! I am currently 10 months post relaxer! There have been ups and downs, but I'm determined to be natural. The hardest part for me is drying my hair. I just can't seem to find a 'healthy for my hair' way to do it without it looking a hot mess. Looking forward to any tips and tricks you post about!

  3. Hmm well as an onlooker I must say I feel disappointed. Irrational I know and you can make your own decisions but you were one of my relaxer role models. I know that I am not suppose to hold anyone as a role model and a woman can change her mind, but before you, I never really knew it was possible for someone with hair texture like mine to grow long hair. I feel sad that you're going natural but I wish you luck on the journey. xx

    1. I kinda feel the same although for me, its the fact that the internet is already filled with ''natural'' blogs and vlogs but relaxed/texlaxed blogs are almost inexistant and the few ones that exist seems more focused on trying to sale their personal hair product line.

      When I started my hair journey, I searched so hard for the perfect texlaxed blog so I was thrill when I found this blog. Im not disappointed because I have learned so much from this blog and my hair has never been healthier! I will continue to lurk around this blog because im at a 7 months stretch until my next relaxer and I find the transitioning tips to be really helpful. Good luck for you and your mom! 😉

  4. Yayyyyy! So exciting! Congratulations on making up your mind! Currently transitioning to natural as well (10 months post), so happy to have you as a transitioning buddy !!!

  5. yaaaaaaaaay!! congrats on ur decisionnn im soooo excited to have another transitioning buddy:) your tips helped me soo much with my texlaxed hair so im excited to start this new chapter along with u…im 37 weeks post and planning on transitioning until i have at least BSL natural hair so long term it is! woohooo!

  6. Ahh Jen I'm going to miss your relaxed hair. I'm switching from relaxing to texlaxing my hair. I have no interest in going natural into I'm a little old lady. I love wearing my hair straight and relaxers are best for my 4c hair. Congrats on your new hair journey. And thank you so much for not abandoning us relaxed girls–it's disappointing when someone with healthy relaxed hair transitions to natural hair and then "forgets" that their hair was healthy in both states.

  7. Congratulations Jen! I wish you the best and I look forward to following your progress on your journey.

    I had a birthday this week and I decided I was going to transition to natural too. I'm only 24 weeks in but I'm committed to getting it done. I also don't have plans to big chop so I'm settling in for a long term transition.

  8. I'm going to do this with you Jen! I am nervous and excited at the same time! I am 4 months post….except I relaxed my edges like last month :-/ anywho I think our textures are similar, I stay playing with my little coils at the roots! LOL…You are better with your hair than I am so IDK how long term transitioning will work for me, but I am going to try to go for it. My motivation is my daugther, she is 9 months. By the time she is 4, I want both of us to have hair to the floor! LOL…Or roof, since our hair grows up! LOL

  9. Jeni I am so excited for you! (and jealous)! ha ha! i did my longest stretch ever for 7 months trying to decide and I ended up texlaxing and regretted it soon after. I guess i wasn't mentally ready for it, but maybe your official transition will motivate me to get there one day. Congrats on your new journey and wishing you all the best! 🙂

  10. *Squeal* Jen I just silently stalk here but gotta say EEEEP!! I'm excited to watch your transition. Long term transitions aren't that bad. People make it much harder on themselves than they need to. Meanwhile I'm over here deciding whether to get a touch up or just transition back to natural. ::sigh:: And whether to grow back to hip length or just keep it short for a few years. Decisions decisions. Glad you came to one on your hair!

  11. OMG! Congrats on making that decision! Hope this journey continues to be amazing for you…Selfishely though…I must admit i am sad i won't be seing anymore relaxer updates! Good luck Jen! JGA will continue to be my cyber hair bible though <3

  12. All the best with your transition! You have been such as inspiration as a relaxed haired girl and I know you will be as a natural haired too! Will join you in the not so distance future.

  13. You already have beautiful curls. I love what you say about natural and relaxed hair, it is still hair and you still have to treat it the same.

  14. YAY you made your decision! I've been transitioning for 1 yr and 8 months. Its been a bumpy ride, but the curls make it all worth it 🙂

  15. Congrats Jenny, I'm happy you've made your decision, I'm still gonna maintain my texlaxed hair till it's waist length then I'll go natural to encourage my children later. Lots of love. God bless

  16. Wow great decision, im a natural as of two years but i still read ur blog about hair care as it can stilapply to ANY type of healthy hair as you say. Good luck with transitioning x

  17. I'm so happy for you! i really enjoy your blog and i tell anyone who is looking for simple tips for healthy hair about your blog! i recently just decided to transition to natural myself and i am so excited about my journey. I look forward to your tips and other ladies comments as well. This post couldn't have come at a better time!!! I am 9 weeks post and i can't wait to get to that 1 year mark and see how much overall growth i have !! Happy Hair Growing Jen !!!!

  18. I'm so excited for you! I'm currently 16 months into my transition | last relaxer was 11.27.12| I must say it's been one exciting (albeit trying) ride! I wish you all the best and I look forward to reading your "Transitioning Talk" posts. I think I decided to transition the day I decided to try self relaxing. It was actually just an edges touch up that didn't take at all…basically it was an epic fail. Your blog turned me on to healthy relaxed hair and that in turn pushed me to go natural. You've always been an inspiration to me. Congrats again and I hope you and your mom have an awesome hair journey!

  19. Congrats on coming to a final decision. I think it is just so sweet that you are supporting your mom, I think if that what it was up to for me, I would transition too. I'm looking forward to watching this new phase of your hair journey. Congrats again, and happy Hair Growing!!

  20. I was with you and went from shoulder length to MBL. I am with you now. Let's do it!

  21. I can't tell you how excited I am. I found your blog when I started my healthy hair journey and it really made it easy for me. I recently decided to transition so imagine how giddy I am that one of my favourite hair bloggers is doing the same. Big ups Jen!

  22. Yyyyaaayyy! You're the poison whose helped so much in my transition to not only texlaxed but also in my natural journey. I can't wait to see how yours goes.
    You know I'm 14.5 months post. 3.5 months to go then I'll see you on the other side of this thang.

  23. Hilow!
    Congrats on your decision. I look forward to your transitioning journey. Big grin*

  24. Hey… congratulations! Having also emerged from indecision, transitioned incognito for a while then chopped off all of the non-coily out of sheer impatience… (falling in love with my hair in the process), I can relate. No smooth sailing but oh so worth it.

  25. Congrats on your decision, Jen! This is my 2nd attempt at transitioning and I'm going strong at 48 weeks post. 4 more weeks to 1 year, WOO HOO! My plan is to transition for 36 months. I'll definitely be visiting your blog more often for tips and motivation. It's exciting because I feel that I have a 'transitioning buddy' now since our last relaxer dates are only a few weeks apart.. LOL

  26. Yay for reaching a decision! I'm still very much in the place of "iono what I'm doing except protecting my hair" but I will certainly be following along as always!

  27. You have such a beautiful texture Jen. It'll be cool to see your journey to natural hair x

  28. Congratulations!! I've been visiting your page for healthy hair tips ALOT and recently decided to transition as well. I'm also going to be taking the journey with my mother. I've officially become her hairdresser as she is still skeptical, I'm determined to make her a believer. Love JGA x

  29. Holy Moly, congratulations Jeni!! So looking forward to seeing your journey and how your approach the challenges that you face. You are totally going to be the ultimate hair guru (do people still say that?). From long relaxed to long natural. Lol, all the best of luck. On another topic, my mum also wears wigs all the time and I would probably cry too if she ever wore her natural hair out. Still all the best in you new journey!

  30. Thats so exciting! I've been fully natural for years now but I still follow your blog so it will be great to here some more relatable posts. Good luck!

  31. Yay! I'm excited that you're transitioning as i get to follow you on your journey. I'm currently one year post relaxer and i'm hoping to transition for one more year before chopping off my relaxed ends. Although, i've gotten rid of 75% of my relaxed hair already

    xo Stephanie

  32. Jen, you were a big inspiration when I started my HHJ Jan 2013. After my first texlax early that year I fell in love with textured hair. A few wks after I decided to transition and I'm almost 1 and half year post. I plan to transition long term also. I love your blog and I stalk it daily haha. As you said it is all about healthy hair…in whatever form.
    Its going to be very interesting to hear about your transition!
    All the very best! Holland girl

  33. I'm really happy you decided to transition. I'll be one year post on June 6th so we're on a similar schedule. You've been such an inspiration so far and I can't wait to hear more of your tips. Thanks to your techniques I'm almost waist length (claiming once I take out my senegalese twists.

  34. Best news of 2014, even though im natural I love your blog because it promotes healthy hair. It seems like you and I have the same curl textures. I have the tight curls in some areas and got the looser wavy texture in other areas. All the best with your transitioning, I also transitioned for almost 2 years, no BC around here also.

  35. I am 34 weeks post and my hair is still very managable. I'm a bit too nervous to fully commit to calling this a transition. So I'll just continue to do what works and worry about labeling it later.

  36. You don't know how happy this makes me. When I tell you finding your blog was the reason I started my relaxed hair care journey. I recently been debating about going natural also. My last relaxer was Jan 1, 2014, it all started with just a 6 months protective style challenge, but now I just be debating transition to natural taking it month by month once I get to 8 months I wont be turning around. To know you are going to be going through this transition (well pretty much been going) makes it a lot easier. It kinda to soon to tell, but my hair textures kinda looks like yours in some areas.

  37. I am practically transitioning side by side with you. lol It is almost a year since my last relax as well. I am also planning on a long transition so I will be looking forward to your transitioning tips!. I wish you best. 🙂
    And tell me about the different textures. I have so many on my head as well.
    Growinglikeivyhair.blogspot.com

    1. Author

      Wishing you the best as well Ivy. Congrats on nearing the year one mark!

  38. Heyyy…. I told you that if you transition, I'd do it right along with you…. I'm three months behind you girl.. almost 6 months post…. We'd have to cheer each other on cos it's rough around these parts.

    1. Author

      Are you stretching or transitioning as well?

  39. Wishing you the best on this new journey 🙂

  40. Whoop Whoop! I'm so excited to watch your transition, but honestly I figured you would have since your wash days are stressfree and your new growth has been co-operating. I love bonding moments and its awesome your are sharing this with your mom. I see myself transitioning probably in 5 years thou but we will see what life has in store for me

    Btw your texture is beautiful!

    1. Author

      Thanks TE! I'm so thankfully my hair has cooperated. I hope it lasts!

    2. i knew you would eventually go natural 🙂 great tips and advice

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