Whether it’s your first time round or you’ve been here before, it’s always a big decision to transition to your natural hair.
Ebony, America’s Next Natural Model 2011
Congratulations for making it!
There are two main ways to transition, either by going cold turkey and cutting off all your relaxed hair when you have about one inch of new growth (known as the big chop) or gradually growing your natural hair without the big chop.
I’m going to focus on the second mode because that’s where most people face problems (I know I did!)
The first thing to remember is that now you’re dealing with two different types of hair and your new hair won’t necessarily like the products your “old” hair was using.
If you do nothing else, get yourself a good sulphate-free shampoo. The sulphates in shampoo are responsible for drying your hair out and could potentially lead to breakage at the transition point (where the old hair meets the new).
Try the Going Natural Herbal Shampoo . It’s natural and perfect for transitioning hair.
Instead of a weekly wash, only wash once or twice a month to remove product build up. In between, do a co-wash. This basically involves using a conditioner as a shampoo.
Deep condition your hair religiously – at least every two weeks. The Hair and Scalp Detox Treatment offers a total wash and deep conditioning solution with the natural ingredients of Black Olive Soap and Rhassoul Clay.
Your hair is more likely to knot and snarl during transition, especially near the roots where the new hair is. Invest in a Tangle Teezer for easy detangling. Combined with No More Knots Detangler , you should have no problems at all smoothing out your strands.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!! Your hair in its natural state requires even more moisture than previously so aim for once or twice daily. Avoid products with alcohol or which have mineral oil or petroleum as their first ingredient. The former will dry your hair out while the latter will clog your pores and make your new hair look dull.
Go for water based products or rich, natural moisturizers such as Silky Shea Hair Butter.
When you’re going to bed, make sure your hair is covered with a silk or satin scarf or sleep cap. That will help lock the moisture into your hair. Cotton is a no-no as it absorbs the moisture and leaves your hair dry.
Remember to set up a trimming schedule. Use specific hair scissors to avoid causing split ends and trim off the old hair regularly – every six to eight weeks (or less, depending on how fast your hair grows). This will help keep your hair looking healthy during transition.
If you are looking to keep things interesting and feel like a change, then remember, there are also some great hairstyles that will see you through this period.
Cornrows, bantu knots, braids, weaves and extensions are all great for “hiding” your hair for long periods of time. Just remember to keep them fresh. Also, avoid micro braids as they could potentially damage the hair and also kinky afro extensions which sometimes mesh in with your own growing hair and then take forever to remove!
If you want to keep your hair unbraided and are looking for style ideas then try twist or braid outs. Use a styling product like Twist Out Hair Milk to moisten your hair, then either braid or two strand twist it and let it set. When you undo it, you’ll have a cute crinkly hair style.
Herbal Styling Gel is great for taming all those little flyaway hairs and curls you never knew you had.
With these handy tips your transition should be a breeze!