What to Expect in Your First Year Relaxer Free: Month One to Six

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Are you fed up with chemical relaxers that make your hair brittle and prone to breakage? Would you like to embrace your hair for it’s natural beauty? If so, you’re probably considering ‘going natural’. Natural hair, in the stylist-world, means hair that hasn’t been processed using a chemical relaxer.

If you currently have a chemical relaxer in your hair, you may be wondering how you can transition to natural hair. Luckily, transitioning is possible – without taking drastic measures like chopping your hair.

Since it takes about one year for the relaxer to grow out of your hair, I’ve assembled some tips on what to expect for the first six months when you decide to go natural. I’ll post a second blog soon on what to expect for months six to twelve.

What to Expect Months 1 – 3:

Big Roots 

Since most women relax their hair as soon as their roots start growing in, it can be a shock to see some “puffy” hair at the roots. To fix this, start using shampoo, conditioner, and styling products that are suitable for natural (not relaxed) hair.

Dry Ends

Also, as your roots grow in, the ends of your hair will get brittle and weaker. To fix this, get your hair trimmed – just a little! There is no need to take off too much length.

New Styling Techniques

Your old styling techniques will start to become ineffective in dealing with your roots and brittle hair.  I suggest switching to some new products. My favorite hair regime starts the Synergi Thermal Shampoo and Conditioner or the Hello Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner www.synergisalon.com . Once you’ve washed your hair, use the Restore Leave-In Conditioner on your hair while it is still wet. When your hair is dry, continue to use the styling products that you normally use  – but ONLY on your relaxed ends. Blow-dry your hair to ensure that the ends blend well with the roots.

What to Expect Months 3-6:

Unruly Growth

Your hair will have grown about 3 to 5 inches by this point and is probably thicker, longer, and seemingly more unruly than ever. At this point, you’ve come far enough that there is no turning back! It’s still a bit of an awkward stage, where you’ll find that your relaxed ends are thinner than your new growth. Continue to get regular trims to take care of breakage. How to know its time to get your ends trimmed http://curly2strait.com/trimming-natural-hair-how-to-tell-it-is-time-for-a-snip/

New Styling Techniques

With your hair getting longer and thicker, you’ll want to switch up your hair care regime again. My suggestion is to avoid using oil moisturizers on your hair before applying heat, if you’ve been flat-ironing. If the hair ‘smokes’ while blow drying or flat ironing, you’re damaging it. Continue to use Synergi Thermal Shampoo and Conditioner or Hello Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Then use Restore Leave-In Conditioner between salon visits.

Transitioning to natural hair can seem like a long process, but it’s well worth the effort. Good luck and stay tuned for my next blog post where I cover what to expect during months 6-12.

(Written by guest blogger, Karen Coleman, owner of Synergi Salon!!)

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Event Alert and New Blog Series!

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Hello to all my followers!

It has been a few months since I last posted here, but it was all for a few great reasons!  First, the Columbus Naturalistas is hosting (for the 4th year in a row), the International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (INHMD) on May 30, 2015.  This is the most widely attended natural hair event in our city because we are committed to making it a memorable, informative, and empowering event for all.  We have some amazing things in store for the event to make it even better than the year before!  (Get your tickets HERE) Obviously, I’m swamped with planning, promoting, and managing the event details.

Second, I am starting the process of becoming a small business owner!  That’s right, I’m following my dreams and turning my passion into profits (more on that later).

During the process of planning the INHMD event, I began developing a relationship with Karen Coleman, owner of Synergi Salon, one of Columbus’s most well-known and respected natural hair salons.  Karen has been a hairdresser for 30+ years and started Synergi Salon to help women fall back in love with their natural hair (I love that!).  Not only is she joining me for the INHMD event on our panel, she is a blogger as well!  Beginning this month, I’ll be featuring some of her blog posts, which will focus on transitioning from relaxed to natural and all the things you can expect along the journey (excellent information for all of us!).

Here is the first installment:

6 Common Mistakes Naturals Make When They Go To A Salon

The modern natural hair movement has been exciting for women who want to kick the chemicals and celebrate their natural kinks and curls. However, going to a salon as a ‘natural’ – especially a new natural – can be confusing. A lot of the information can be questionable or conflicting. I’ve assembled my top hair tips here to help women unpack natural hair myths when they visit a salon.

Here are 6 common mistakes ‘naturals’ make when they go to a salon:

1. Following a trend because “everybody’s doing it”

Have you ever heard of jumping on the bandwagon? There is a lot of pressure to try out a new technique because it’s new and popular. Every month there is a new trend: co-washing, no-poo, baggying, Tangle Teezer, and so on. While these techniques can work for some women, it’s better to stick to tried and true techniques. Look for styles or products that will address your unique hair needs – and leave the fads at the door.

2. Participating in hair typing

While it’s nice to feel like you’re part of a group, at the end of the day your hair is as unique as you are. While your curls can look like someone else’s, it doesn’t mean that they will behave like them. Try to break free of hair typing and learn what works for your unique gorgeous locks.

 3. Putting length on a pedestal

There’s a tonne of pressure to have long hair. And even more talk about how to make your ziggly, spirally and or coily hair appear longer. But why should length be the goal? Short hair can be just as beautiful as long hair. In fact, short hair can be fierce and fashion-forward. It’s time we stop setting restrictive beauty standards and realize that beauty comes at any hair length.

4. Fighting the frizz

Simply put: embrace your frizz! Telling women to de-frizz their hair is basically telling them to shave their head. Hair gets frizzy – it’s just part of life. The sooner we embrace it and celebrate it, the better. What I recommend for my clients is the Synergi Glaze and Mousse http://www.synergisalon.com. It truly helps to contain the frizz.

5. African American hair requires specific products

If you think that African America women require products that are marketed for their hair, think again! Hair is hair – and your hair may have more in common with a woman who is not the same color as you than a woman who is. Embrace curly hair and give a variety of products a try. Don’t limit yourself. Hair is hair!

6. Assuming natural is hard to manage

Sure, we all have our bad hair days. But natural hair doesn’t have to be hard to manage. Natural hair definitely has its learning curves but it’s a journey that will save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run. Natural hair means no unnecessary breakage or split ends. If you keep your hair regime simple and consistent, you’ll soon be wishing you made the switch to natural years ago. All hair textures have their advantages and disadvantages, and their benefits and their challenges. Embrace your natural hair and celebrate your style! Check out our new hair calendar to see where you are in the process.

Learn more about Synergi Salon: http://synergisalon.com/newsite/new-hair-care-calendar/

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BHM Blog Series: Those We Lost in the Natural Hair Movement

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During 2014, we unfortunately lost three important women known for encouraging us to embrace our beauty and accept our curls. They each had their own unique style and way of inspiring us based on their personal experiences as Black women. Without them, 2015 will not be the same.

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BHM Blog Series: National Attention on the Natural Hair Movement

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Last year was a monumental year for the natural hair movement.  I don’t remember seeing as much media attention on natural hair, TV shows focused to the topic, natural hair products in stores, or social events dedicated to natural curls.  Yet, the movement boomed and reached what I believe is a tipping point last year!

Here is how the movement made national headlines in 2014!

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BHM Blog Series: Top 3 Natural Hair Celebrities of 2014!

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It gives me such joy when I can turn on the TV and see women who look like me and have hair like mine, wearing it proudly.  They have such power when they walk into a scene or on the red carpet with the pride that comes with celebrating your true self.  From YouTube series like Hello Cupid, to Olivia Pope and Viola Davis showing their natural curls on prime time, 2014 was a year where women with natural hair become more common on the small and big screen.

Below are some of my favorite celebrity Naturalistas who rocked natural locs in 2014!

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Natural Hair at the NAACP Image Awards

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Award season is here!  This year I’m looking forward to seeing all the amazing natural hairstyles from some of my favorite celebrity naturalistas.  On Friday, the 46th NAACP Image Awards aired on TVOne and the various natural hairstyles on celebrities from Ava DuVernay, Tracee Ellis-Ross, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw left me in awe!  It is official, this is the year of celebrity natural hair!

Take a look at some of the beautiful celebrity naturalistas who graced us with their fabulous hair!

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