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Written by T. Cole –

It may be that I’ve worked in a salon for nearly the past 10 years, or it could be that I have a wide network of friends and associates all over the country. From my hometown of Akron, to OSU, to the large church congregations I’ve been a part of, the clients from the salon over the years, to all of the people I’ve met through my affiliation with The FlyPaper — I know a lot of women. More and more of the women I know have stepped away from what Chris Rock’s documentary referred to as “creamy crack,” better known as hair relaxer and often called by the misnomer of perm to rock their natural textures.

It used to be few and far between that one would encounter a black woman with unrelaxed hair, but technology has changed that drastically. With the emergence of ceramic styling tools, hair products that make hair more manageable, and the growing popularity of varying textured styles, just about anyone with any texture of hair can find a style that works. So, whether you straighten your unrelaxed coif, or you let your textured tresses be as they are, here are some tips to help navigate the rough transitional waters.

First is the fact that once you commit to the process be prepared for some trying times. It’s a tough transition from relaxed hair to your natural texture. Some women try to just press or flat iron the new growth while still keeping the relaxed hair for length. The variance in the texture can be damaging to most hair textures and usually results in heat damage to the new hair and/or breakage to the relaxed hair. While this method can be successful if done professionally, most stylists recommend just cutting off the relaxed hair and starting fresh. READ MORE

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