Kayydion, the way that I grew out my hair was to stop relaxing it, and as Jadareign suggested, I allowed it to grow while I transitioned. I did not big chop, or cut my realized hair as it grew longer. What I did was pretty much not use heat on it (to prevent heat damage, which causes the hair to be straight, or have a looser curl due to the damage), and I wore braids and extensions until my hair grew out. Over a year's time, I transitioned, and then went to a natural hair beautician and she cut off the relaxed an damaged hair. I have 3B-4A hair, and although I have arm pit length hair straightened, it's about chin length curly (significant shrinkage) Youtube was a great help (Taren916, kimmaytube and africanexport, to name a few gurus), and my go to hair products are Shea Moisture and coconut oil. I use the L.O.C. method, and my hair stays well hydrated. I have never really done protective styling, but many swear by it. I hope this is a start, and feel free to ask me more questions if I can be of help. My 18 year old daughter big chopped last January and she has a beautiful head full of ear length curls, shoulder length straightened. I'm not sure how to post pics, but I tried to include a pic, so that you can see my hair type.