My daughter has never put chemicals in her hair, but did decide to get twist her hair into locs when she was in Jr. Highschool much to my dismay. Her hair grew long, but she decided to pick them out midway through her highschool years. We redid the locs. :-) She has had them since and they have grown quite long.
I have chemicals and would love to go natural but worry about the transition. I would say, if a mother could hold off, it might be good. Once the transition is made, it's hard to transition back.