HOLY CANNOLI! I totally did not realize that it has now technically been more than 1 year since my last relaxer (May 4, 2013). Man, I’m a little sad that I forgot…oh well! Over it! I’m just excited that I lasted this long, because let me tell you, I didn’t think I would *pats self on back*.
Goal number one: Make it a year without a relaxer. Check!
Okay, okay enough with the silliness! But seriously, that is the only goal I had. I know–that’s bad. But I honestly didn’t know what to expect and I really just wanted to see how my hair would do.
I’m not going to do a length check or anything just yet because I don’t exactly have a base. When I started this journey, I had a lot of hair (still do). I didn’t have the same problem as a lot of naturals did with relaxers, such as thinning and/or no hair growth. My hair was pretty thick and it reached my shoulder blades. My problem, as I’ve mentioned a million times, was the burning and bleeding of my scalp. So my primary focus was to let my oh-so-sensitive head heal.
I know a lot of vloggers and bloggers say you should have a plan, but this is as far as mine went: Let my hair grow out to the point I’m comfortable with, then cut-off the relaxed ends. I didn’t set a date to big chop and I couldn’t decide if I was going to do frequent trims to gradually decrease the amount of relaxed ends or if I would BC at a certain point. I’ve gone back and forth on the issue and sometimes I will go months without a trim, and sometimes I trim in successive months. *shrug*
With shrinkage, it’s difficult for me to tell just how much new growth I have, but I definitely still have a lot of relaxed ends left (didn’t trim that much after all). The transitioners I’ve come across either BC’d somewhere after 1 – 2 years post relaxer, but most seem to be around the 18 month mark. I’m not following any hard and fast rules (primarily because there are too many out there to keep track of and keep sane), but I will be monitoring my hair’s progress every 3 or so months to see how I’m feeling about a BC. What I am sure about is that I am definitely not BC-ing right now.
My main strategy over the past year has been protective styling (with braids) while keeping my hair moisturized. Occasionally, I let my hair come out and play. I figured that this method provided the least amount of hair manipulation, while getting the needed moisture to my hair. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about matching my two textures while my hair was in braids. I spent a lot of money getting my hair braided, and (after getting tired of stylists trying to convince me to go back to relaxers) recently decided to start doing my hair myself (about 3 weeks ago).
I would love to hear stories of how your first year went and whether you transitioned or did a BC. Sound off below!
Here’s to adventures!