7 Tips for Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair
Let me start with congratulating you for making the decision to join the winning geng [winks]. Welcome to the family and feel at home [Feel free to treat yourself to the chops and champagne on the table at the back].
Now let's get talking.
You've decided to join the natural hair family, but you don't want to go the usual route - the big chop. You want to make this transition while retaining your hair length. While this is possible, let me also state that the process is a rather tough one, but I trust that you can scale through this like the Black Queen you are.
What can I do to ensure a smooth transitioning from relaxed to natural hair? Here are 7 things you can do to make your transitioning journey a less stressful one.
1. Experiment with protective styles
The last thing you want to do on this journey is to comb your hair every day. You want to avoid as much pain as possible hence, protective styles like weaves, braids, Bantu knots, and wigs are great to help protect the new growth of your hair.
2. Disguise your straight ends with a well-placed curl
Transitioning to natural hair means your hair would have two different kinds of texture - the new natural and your old hair texture. This can cause a lot of staring eyes from people and what better way to cover them up than rocking a two-strand twist out or foam roller set. Both styles can completely hide the appearance of relaxed hair by making them look more uniform.
3. Get the right tools
The right hair tools would make a huge difference! We are talking about detangling brushes! Wide-tooth combs! Silk bonnets! Tools like detangling brushes and wide tooth combs would make combing and brushing easy. However, don't forget to start detangling from the bottom up. Doing this would prevent hair breakage, cause less friction and pain as you get to the top of your hair. With a silk bonnet, you can prevent the loss of moisture and reduce hair breakage, while you sleep at night.
4. Avoid heat-styling as much as you can
Heat is one enemy of natural hair, so you need to avoid it. For one, heat-styling can damage your natural curl pattern, rob your hair of moisture, and can cause damage to your hair. However, If you prefer to wear bone straight styles on your natural hair journey—I mean, I get it; having two totally different textures in your hair isn't an easy transition!—you’ll need a flatiron that does as little heat damage as possible. And remember to always use a heat protectant before you apply heat to your hair.
5. Trim monthly
The process of transitioning from relaxed to natural hair requires a lot of patience, mostly because you are catering to two different hair textures. Managing two different textures will require special care and attention so as not to cause any unnecessary breakage. Trimming at least once a month helps you get rid of processed ends, it also makes way for more of your natural texture. to grow out This in the long run keeps your mane healthy and thriving.
6. Deep condition weekly
One thing you must have observed with your natural hair is that it feels drier than your relaxed ends. What this means is that you need to take active steps to moisturize your hair at least, once every week. This is where deep conditioning your hair weekly will do the trick.
7. Stay away from texturizers
Some products have no place in your natural hair arsenal. Texturizers are one of them. The sad thing is that texturizers do not come written boldly on their pack. However, they come with some common phrases like "Give you added manageability" and "Loosen your curl/texture". Some even state to use a flat iron after application. Run away from them, sis.
Many texturizers claim to be "natural" products, but they are not. Texturizers contain chemicals just like relaxers and they are meant to break down the protein bond in your hair, thereby making it less curly. That's the same thing a relaxer would do to your hair.
Transitioning to natural can be quite a handful and so, it's important that you are kind with your hair and yourself. Take it one day at a time and in no time, you'd be rocking your natural hair in its full glory.