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)!!!