For my nat­ur­al hair jour­ney, I chose to tran­si­tion for a year and half before cut­ting my relaxed ends for sev­er­al rea­sons. I cut my relaxed ends in Jan­u­ary of 2012.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair transitioning

Tran­si­tion­ing Hair: Braid­out

In the begin­ning of my hair jour­ney, my main focus was on restor­ing the health of my relaxed hair. I began doing research using YouTube and found prod­ucts, reg­i­mens, and tech­niques that were great guides for my own per­son­al hair jour­ney. While research­ing, I found out about a tech­nique called ‘stretch­ing’. This was the term used to describe wait­ing longer peri­ods of time in between relax­ers. So, instead of relax­ing every 6 weeks, I began wait­ing 8 weeks or 12 weeks, etc. For my last ‘stretch’ I want­ed to chal­lenge myself, so I set a goal to relax my hair in 6 months. Dur­ing this time a cou­ple of things hap­pened. First, as my nat­ur­al roots began to get longer, I began falling in love with my nat­ur­al tex­ture and did not want to go back to relax­ers. It was also dur­ing this time that I found out I had Alope­cia Area­ta, which is an autoim­mune con­di­tion that caused ran­dom bald spots all over my head. Although I was treat­ed for the Alope­cia Area­ta and my hair began to regrow, I still felt self-con­scious. So I made the deci­sion to con­tin­ue tran­si­tion­ing until my hair was long enough to cov­er any remain­ing bald spots.

Also, from what I can recall, my hair has nev­er been short­er than ‘ear length’. So, to be hon­est, a more vain rea­son I chose to tran­si­tion was because I did not want wear my hair super short and I felt like I would not know how to style or care for a twa.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair big chop

Pic­ture above: 1 month post “big chop”/cutting relaxed ends

I have no regrets about tran­si­tion­ing instead of doing a big chop because it offered a cou­ple ben­e­fits. I think this approach allowed me to learn more about my hair and how to take care of both my relaxed and nat­ur­al tex­tures simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. It also allowed me to prac­tice dif­fer­ent hair­styles that could be used while I was tran­si­tion­ing and when I was ful­ly nat­ur­al. I also enjoyed the perk of hav­ing more hair to ‘work with’ after cut­ting the relaxed ends.

Although fig­ur­ing out how to care for both your relaxed and nat­ur­al tex­tures at the same time can be a great learn­ing expe­ri­ence, it also puts you at risk for severe break­age where the two hair tex­tures meet. But, with prop­er care and main­te­nance break­age can be min­i­mized. Over­all, I would say my tran­si­tion­ing expe­ri­ence was a pleas­ant one.

tori bonafidestyle natural hair comparison

Ladies, why did you tran­si­tion or big chop?

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12 Comments on "Why I Did a Year and a Half Long Transition Instead of a Big Chop"

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I am tran­si­tion­ing right now and I am cur­rent­ly at the 6-month mark. 

When I used to relax my hair, my new growth would quick­ly grow back with­in 2 weeks and I wasn’t a fan of flat-iron­ing my roots. I felt like that was a sign that I need­ed to go nat­ur­al.

Man­ag­ing the two tex­tures is tough; but, like you, I wouldn’t know what to do with short hair. So, my goal is to tran­si­tion for at least a year (hope­ful­ly longer). Get­ting through the win­ter months will be my biggest chal­lenge.


what is her hair type? i am a type 4, so relate more to issues involv­ing type 4 hair.

Desiree Feder

I’ve tran­si­tioned for eight month before I cut my relaxed ends. Han­dling two dif­fer­ent strand of hair has been­bchal­leng­ing.

Ree Ree

I tran­si­tioned for 2 years, and on my 2 year anniver­sary of tran­si­tion­ing, I chopped off my relaxed ends.


I just snipped some off every 3 months +/- depend­ing on my mon­ey sit­u­a­tion. I took about a year for it all to be gone. I do have to say though it was try­ing and real­ly was a test for my patience and cre­ativ­i­ty to have 2 tex­tures.

Happywife Taylor

I tran­si­tioned for 8 months before I chopped. U go girl!!

I tran­si­tion from relaxed to nat­ur­al. I too searched YouTube for hair care tips. I also learned about stretch­ing my relax­er and I soon found a hair idol in ULove­Megs. But my life change how I looked at hair care. Relaxed hair seemed like a lot of work to me after awhile, so I opt­ed to find ways to go longer and longer with out get­ting a relax­er. I began using my flat Iron to achieve straight hair, and then heat dam­age got the best of me. So I did a series of mini chops until I just decid­ed to… Read more »

Awe­some sto­ry! Thanks for shar­ing!


My hair was already buzzed off, so I had no choice with how my jour­ney went. I don’t like exten­sions, wigs or weave so… twa it was. I’ve sub­sist­ed on braids, combs twists, twist outs and stretched updos since then. Now that my hair can be gath­ered into a bun at my crown, I keep it stretched and loose­ly style my bangs.


I was tired of the two tex­tures so I BIG CHOPPED! YEAH FOR ME!


I hate her. I love her hair and that’s why I hate her. #longter­mhair­goals.

Darla Jones

love­ly post. I am tran­si­tion­ing as well. How­ev­er, I am tran­si­tion­ing from heat dam­age to healthy hair. It is a frus­trat­ing peri­od but I am stay­ing strong