Are you thinking of transitioning to natural hair and don’t know where to start?
Transitioning to natural hair means that you want to stop relaxing your hair, gradually let go of your relaxed hair and accept your hair the way it naturally grows out of your head.
Going through the transitioning route to natural hair means you have made up your mind to go natural, but you want to take it slow by allowing your hair to grow slowly while just trimming off the relaxed ends bit by bit.
The idea is to wait until your new growth comes in so that the length of your hair can be retained.
For certain people, the big chop is not always an option; therefore, transitioning to natural hair is the way to make things a little easier.
Suppose you’re thinking of going natural without having to do the big cut. In that case, I have a few insights and tips to help you along the way and make your process of transitioning to natural hair a lot easier.
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Transitioning to Natural Hair: The easy guide
1. Tell relaxers goodbye and start learning about your new growth
Transitioning to natural hair entails stopping the use of relaxers on your hair and any chemical treatment. And replacing all these with natural hair products. A starter kit for natural hair would be a great start; this includes wide-tooth combs, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, deep conditioners, a satin bonnet, natural hair oils, and a leave-in conditioner.
You should begin to know more about your new hair growth as soon as you can.
It will feel very distinct from the relaxed hair you are used to when your new growth comes in.
Actually, it’s going to feel hard and dry, and you’ll probably wonder at some stage whether you made the right decision to go natural. At this point, you ask yourself the reason for going natural, if it’s something you want, or just following a trend.
2. Don’t set a fixed time for transitioning
There is no specific transition timetable for hair. It’s going to rely a lot on you and how you treat your hair.
On average, hair grows around 1/2 inch per month, so this may provide some insights for you, to set a flexible time for transitioning.
If you believe you have enough length to manage with, you can also opt to cut off your permed hair much earlier than anticipated.
I initially intended to transition for a year, but by the 10th month, I had just about had it with managing two textures, so I did a big chop.
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3. Have a hair care routine
This is helpful for optimal results. Most importantly, a hair care routine lets you map out when and what you should do to your hair on a regular, weekly, and monthly basis.
By all means, during your journey of transitioning to natural hair, you have to learn to be very delicate when handling your hair, treating it with tender loving care because natural hair can seem fairly strong, while in reality, it is not.
Learning this as soon as you can, will help a lot on this hair journey, as it will help you retain length a lot.
It would help if you also started learning how to use your fingers to comb your hair and not pull at your hair.
Additionally, low-level maintenance hairstyles will be your go-to styles for your hair, as they ensure that your hair will be left alone to grow. Natural hair doesn’t do well with constant manipulation.
Furthermore, you need to know that natural hair requires moisture and is dry.
Above all, learning how to maintain your natural hair growth is so vital, as it will not only make your transition to natural hair easily but will help you in your natural hair journey.
4. Find your staple transitioning style
When transitioning to natural hair, you have to learn to deal with two textures that do very different things, relaxed hair likes to lie flat, and natural hair likes to stand up.
Your hair is going to look funny this period. As your natural growth increases, your head will be looking like a thick rain forest at the roots, and the relaxed hair will look like sparse trees. It gets harder to comb, and you cannot pack your hair as quickly as you would when it was relaxed.
So, you will need to pick hairstyles that work for both textures on your head. One such style is protective styles; they are easy styles that shield our hair and protect your hair strands from environmental conditions and too much manipulation by your hands. Examples of protective styles are braids, faux locs, weaves, or even wigs.
Pick a protective style and stick with it when you discover a hairstyle that works. Now is not the time to experiment with different hairstyles, as your hair is in a fragile state with two different textures. Sticking with a hairstyle that works will minimize the breakage you will experience.
Ultimately, learn to leave your hair alone as much as you can; minimal handling is required during this period.
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5. Keep your hair moisturized
In the world of natural hair, this is a significant rule. Natural hair cannot thrive without water; it loves moisture. Maybe you didn’t think about moisture with relaxed hair, but now, transitioning to natural hair moisture needs to be at the top of your mind.
Consequently, your hair will become stiff, dry, and brittle if you fail to moisturise your hair correctly, and it will be more susceptible to breakage.
Water should be your best friend, to keep your hair moisturised
Try to moisturise your hair with water or water-based leave-in conditioner every few days.
6. Avoid using heat
When transitioning to natural air, it is best to avoid blow drying or heat stretching. Your hair is fragile, and the relaxed ends will easily come off when the heat is applied, so unless you don’t want to have uneven hair, by losing some to heat, you should avoid using heat.
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7. Learn to detangle your hair
During your journey of transitioning to natural hair, you will learn to use your fingers on your hair first and follow with a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair when wet. Always start detangling at the ends before working your way to the roots.
The weakest part of your hair is the point where your natural texture joins your relaxed hair (it’s called the demarcation line). When you detangle, take your time to prevent breakage here.
8. Trim your relaxed ends regularly
The trick to transitioning to natural hair is gradually cutting off your relaxed ends. When you feel comfortable letting go of some relaxed length, you can trim. Some people are not ready to start trimming until they see new growth of at least an inch or so, and that’s okay. Some people like to wait longer, and others instantly start to trim. It just depends on what you can tolerate and how your hair can be handled afterwards.
Additionally, you will notice that as your natural hair begins to grow, you may begin to experience some breakage where your natural hair and relaxed hair meets. Do not be frightened by this; it is entirely natural and expected to be.
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9. Experiment with hair products to know what works
Gradually, you will get to know your natural hair as you transition. You are free to experiment and try out various products and know which one works for you. However, always strive to keep your hair clean to prevent the build-up of products. Also, when you find your go-to products, it’s best to stick to them. Your hair won’t flourish with you switching routines all the time.
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Transitioning to natural hair is a journey and not something that you can rush. There are those who are going to complete their set time for transitioning, and there are going to be others who just can’t.
If it is too hard for you to transition, I strongly recommend you consider doing the big chop.
Whatever, you decide. Know you own the transitioning journey. Your hair is beautiful. You are gorgeous.
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Till next time,
Stay be’you’tiful, stay blessed.