|Taken first year natural|
1. First things first, to state the obvious - stop getting relaxers. :) That's the only way to go natural!
2. Do your own research. Take responsibility for your own hair. There are TONS of resources out there. I found most of my support online because most of my friends at the time were not natural, and if they were, they hadn't transitioned so they couldn't help me with that part. I found lots of help doing google searches on natural hair, and on sites like MotownGirl.com and CurlyNikki.com.
3. Be PATIENT (yes, patient!) and learn to love YOUR texture, whatever it is. Many times we decide to go natural and stare endlessly at other women's hair hoping we have that texture, when ours may be nothing like that. The whole point, in my opinion, of going natural (other than wanting to stop putting harmful chemicals on your scalp and hair) is to accept your hair as it is. Don't wish for what someone else has, love what YOU have. It's beautiful no matter what texture, trust me. :)
4. Figure out if you want to transition (let your hair grow out and trim periodically) or BC (Big chop = cutting off relaxed hair to leave just the natural hair). There is no right or wrong answer here. It's totally up to you. Some things to remember when transitioning: Try to stay away from direct heat (blow dryers, flat irons, straightening combs, curling irons) as much as possible or significantly reduce your usage of those items. Indirect heat (hooded dryers) is a better option if necessary to speed up hair drying. Learn styles to do while transitioning like twist outs, roller sets, braid outs, etc. Heat damage is real and irreversible. Some people's hair can take more heat than others, but you never know until it's too late. For that reason, it's better to be safe than sorry. It would suck to grow your hair out for a year only to have to cut off most of it b/c it won't curl up due to heat damage. Ya know?
5. Have fun with it and reach out to other naturals, but NEVER depend on someone else to have your answer. There will be frustrating times but remember WHY you made the decision to go natural in the first place and stick with it. You CAN do it and all I can say is it was the BEST hair decision I've ever made :)
If you have additional questions please feel free to ask in the comments section!!