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Transitioning 101

So you’ve decided to “go natural”!! But you can’t imagine doing the BIG CHOP, that’s just too much of a dramatic cut right? Ok, I understand completely so you’d like to transition.

Transitioning is the process in which you stop relaxing your hair in an effort to grow your natural hair while still maintaining the chemically processed ends. So, what should you do in order to maintain your hair while transitioning?

Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural-  Tips by Saleemah Cartwright

Rule #1 Keep your hair moisturized!                                                                              

Remember to keep your hair well moisturized with a water based moisturizer as you transition. During the time of transition, your hair will tend to break where your natural hair ends and your relaxed hair begins. This is because your natural hair is more resilient. To limit breakage, moisture is the key.

Rule #2 Try wearing a weave or braids.                                                                             

Weaves and braids can be great protective styles if done properly. While wearing a weave you can let your hair “rest” for a while as it grows. I do not recommend keeping a weave in for longer than 8 weeks. 4-6 weeks would be most advantageous to prevent breakage. Please make sure that the hair is not braided too tightly. This could result in alopecia. While wearing the weave / braids, continue with your weekly wash and deep conditioning schedule. Please don’t forget to take care of your own hair under the weave or braided style.

Rule #3 Steer clear of heat damage.

If you don’t like the idea of wearing a weave or braids, you can always wear blowouts. If you would like to wear the straight look be very careful to avoid heat damage. Try rollersets as you transition while blowing out the roots only. If you have to use direct heat, I would suggest using ceramic or tourmaline styling tools because they are far less damaging. Try not to use heat more than once a week. Bear in mind – less is best when it comes to heat.

Rule #4 Curly styles reign while transitioning!                                                                          

If you are transitioning and wear straight styles all of the time the humidity will cause a flawless hairstyle to look like a nightmare – with 2 different textures. Have fun with styles that will last through the humidity. Try bantu knot sets, braid outs, rod sets, straw sets and twist sets. These styles require less manipulation. Just finger comb in the morning and you are out of the door. With styles like these, you can go the gym and still keep your cute curly style!

Rule #5 Manipulate you hair very little.                                                                                       

I would suggest combing your hair on wash days only and not combing your hair while it is in its dry state. This will cut down on the breakage that you may experience to a great extent. If you are wearing curly styles just finger comb in the morning. If you are wearing your hair straight, comb with a wide tooth comb and just try to manipulate you hair very little.

Rule #6 Keep a great hair regimen.                                                                                         

Washing and deep conditioning weekly is still very crucial especially while transitioning. Be sure to maintain a healthy protein / moisture balance with your hair because your hair is in a very delicate state during your transitioning months.

Rule #7 Have patience!                                                                                                         

Transitioning will not happen overnight. It does take lots of fortitude and perseverance so just hang in there! As your hair grows, slowly trim off the relaxed ends and soon all of the relaxed ends will be gone. You can always do the big chop (smile)!!!

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17 responses to “Transitioning 101

  1. Jessyca

    October 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Hey1 i just started transitioning and when I get my hair braided it won’t stay in the braids without a rubber band, what should I do?

     
    • naturalhairfanatic

      October 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Jessyca, I love how you spell your name!! Are you using extensions with your braids? I would recommend trying a different style maybe tree braids, straw set, crochets, sew in, micros, wig, senegalese twist, two strand twist using marley braiding hair, there are a number of styles you wear. So if one thing does not work try something else. YouTube provides a lot of transitioning tutorials. Hope this helps!

       
      • Mckenzie

        January 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

        Hey. My name’s McKenzie. Can you please give me the names of some curly hair products that really work :-). I am also transition. Thank you

         
      • naturalhairfanatic

        March 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        I use mostly Shea Moisture Products and Beautiful Textures Deep Conditioner. I have yet to try anything else

         
  2. Jessyca

    October 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks!and this does help. i have been on youtube a lot looking things up. i have decided to do braids with braiding hair which will help the braids stay in.

     
  3. Kendra

    August 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Hello!! I just started my journey to natural hair but i have a question, My natural new growth is Grey! When i was getting my hair relaxed i used semi permenant dyes that i loved! Do you reccomend using color on natural hair or should i just embrace the grey!!

     
    • naturalhairfanatic

      August 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Kendra!!! If you’re going to go darker than yes coloring your natural hair should not be an issue, however if you decide to color your hair a lighter color (ex.honey blonde) it will require you to moisturize your hair more frequently. ALthough not the case for everyone the chemicals used to color your hair contain lots of alcohol which could cause your hair to feel dry and brittle.

      If you’re comfortable with it EMBRACE THE GREY!! But if not, fortunately we have options; go with what makes you feel confident and beautiful!

       
      • Kendra

        August 11, 2013 at 12:32 am

        Thank you so much!! This helps!

         
  4. AP1980

    October 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    What transitions styles are there with thinning edges? I have been wearing one sad braid with a rubber band tie under a wig and also high faux buns (as not to pull at my edges). I would love to do braids or twists but how with the thin edges? And of course, concealing them. Any thoughts or ides are welcome. Thank you!

     
    • naturalhairfanatic

      November 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Braids are nice just make sure you wait a while before pulling them up into a pony tail. I also I usually stay away from allowing the stylist to braid my edges instead I gel them down to get the Janet Jackson look, lol.

       
  5. Theresa

    November 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I’m starting my transitioning with braids (extensions) what would you recommend i use to keep my hair underneath moisturized and what product would you recommend i use to wash my hair while in braids, or should i not was it?

     
    • naturalhairfanatic

      November 8, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      I never wash mine but you can use seabreeze to cleanse your scalp. Make sure your hair is properly moisturized prior to getting the braids installed. Once a week use an oil like olive oil, coconut oil, or castor oil on your scalp.

       
  6. Kelly

    December 6, 2013 at 7:58 am

    hi 🙂 iv been transitioning and so far its great.well except for one thing…my hair feels dry after a day or two of dng the L.O.C method. Might i be doing something wrong?i co wash weekly,deep condition weekly as well,and i live by coconut oil.any tips?

     
    • naturalhairfanatic

      March 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      I do the LOC Method every night. Sometimes I can go two nights without it but to maintain moisture I moisturize and seal my ends every night

       
  7. Naja

    May 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Hi. I’m transitioning too! I was thinking about braiding my hair with extensions. Not sure what style yet. My question is, what do I need to put in my hair before it gets braids to avoid breakage. My hair is long (all permed hair) with 4 inches of natural hair. I want to maintain my length during this transitioning stage.

     
  8. Mya

    June 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    When u are transitioning without the big chop do u have to

     
  9. Vatelle

    September 18, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Hi!! I started out as a “perm girl”. LOL I haven’t had a perm for several years now. My hair is thin, fine, really soft and curly…but not so long. (maybe neck length).
    What would you recommend I do as far as styles,products, and care is concerned?
    PLEASE HELP ME. Thank you in advance. I LOVE LOVE your information given.

     

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