As I go through the process of transitioning from relaxed to natural I have been doing a lot of reflecting. One of the reasons I began this process was because I wanted to find a low maintenance style that would make it easier for me to exercise. After making the big decision (to go natural) I vowed to learn how to care for my own hair. I have watched countless youtube videos, consulted with my sister (a Hairstylist in Chicago), several friends, and family members. I researched the best products to purchase, bought a really good (expensive) hooded hair dryer, rollers, etc. Needless to say this process has cost me a lot of time (and $$!). In this past week I have attempted to style my hair three times. The first time I did a roller set with perm rods and it came out pretty decent. The second time I tried to do a Bantu Knot Out and it was a major FAIL (I did not even bother to take pics). I did a second perm rod set last night. I haven't taken it down yet, so I will let you know how it turned out.
Anyway, if you are considering going natural I want you to know that it requires a huge time investment. You have to experiment with various styles and products. If you elect to do the BC (big chop) you will have an easier time because you are only dealing with one hair texture. If you elect to transition you have to work with curly styles that allow you to blend the hair textures together. No matter what you decide you should do your research. Go to youtube, look at hair blogs like http://www.naturallycurly.com/, and research hair products.
From my experience thus far going natural is NOT low maintenance (unless you do the BC). But it is a learning experience. I am learning to care for my own hair. Also, working out with curly styles lasts much longer with my work outs. My first perm rod set lasted about 4 days and I worked out everyday (including running). See below for the results of my first perm rod set. To style my hair I used Jane Carter's products. So it's not easy but I'm luvin' it!