Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair when beginning your natural hair journey is a common experience.
To go from permed to natural hair, you have two options: Transitioning or The Big Chop. Which one you choose is entirely up to you. There's no textbook right way or wrong way to begin your natural hair journey. It doesn’t matter how you get there, it's about getting there and doing what you're most comfortable with doing.
The transition from relaxed hair to natural hair can be a challenge - sometimes dealing with split ends, odd curly bits, and some hair breakage. But don't give up, it's not called a "journey" for nothing, all journeys have some bumps in the road. But rest assured that your hair is on a route to recovery. Getting back to your "natural" beauty is a beautiful thing and an interesting road to self discovery.
What Does Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair Mean?
Like we talked about earlier, transitioning is a way to avoid cutting all of your hair off, doing "The Big Chop" as it is called.
Transitioning your hair to natural is the process of eliminating all chemical treatments and allowing your natural hair to grow out while gradually trimming the chemically-processed ends away. It takes time and patience but for many women it is worth the wait because they may be uncomfortable big chopping.
Most women who transition to natural hair slowly trim their relaxed ends away as they grow the relaxer/perm out of their hair, this also helps to keep breakage manageable and it gives your hair a more healthy appearance.
Pros of Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair :
- You have the time to learn about your particular hair type.
- If you are not comfortable with short hair, then you can avoid that adjustment period, and avoid the wait of growing your hair back out.
- During transitioning you have the time to perfect your hair styling skills.
Cons of Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair :
- The texture of your hair will not be consistent: which means if you decide to wear your hair in a braid out or twist out style the root of your hair might be curly while your ends will be bone straight (To avoid this simply roll the ends of your hair with rods or rollers).
- The process of transitioning takes longer than if you just did “the big chop”.
How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair In 7 Steps
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #1
Keep your hair hydrated. The biggest struggle with transitioning your hair is preventing breakage due to dryness and damage. Do what you can to keep your hair conditioned and fully hydrated by using a conditioner on a regular basis. Every night before bed, thoroughly moisturize your hair with either coconut oil or olive oil and let it soak in good for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will help replenish your hair with nutrients that will strengthen the demarcation line (the part of the hair where the transition is happening).
- When you wash your hair, add a little conditioner to your strands prior to shampooing. This will help to keep the shampoo from stripping all the moisture. Then, condition as usual.
- Consider using a leave-in conditioner for your hair during the day. Apply some to your hair before you style it, paying careful attention to the demarcation line.
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #2
Use a deep conditioner regularly. Deep conditioning treatments take moisturizing your hair to the next level. Although deep conditioners are usually only used once a month or so, you need to do it more often when transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. Purchase a deep-conditioning treatment for naturals and apply it to your hair at least once every 7 days. Or if you have the money to do so, you can go to the hair salon once a week and get deep-conditioning treatments regularly.
- Follow the bottle instructions for your deep conditioner.
- If your money is low, another great alternative to a deep conditioner is using mayonnaise. Although it sounds a little gross, it can work wonders on adding moisture to your hair. Apply it to your hair once a week for 30 minutes to an hour.
- If you decide to have a professional deep condition your hair, try looking for someone who specializes in transitioning hair. They’ll be able to provide you with products and services designed specifically to meet your needs.
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #3
Don't put heat on your hair, it's a natural hair killer. In general, hot tools should be avoided if you’re trying to protect your hair. Using curling irons, flat irons, and blow driers can stress your hair and cause breakage, specifically at the line of demarcation. While transitioning your hair, do all that you can to allow it to be as natural as possible. Avoid hot tools, and if necessary, limit their use to only one day a week at most.
- If you absolutely must use hot tools, keep them away from the demarcation line and avoid using them on your roots where your natural grow-out is forming.
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #4
Limit the amount of times you wash your hair. This goes hand in hand with adding moisture to your hair; washing your hair frequently strips your hair of its natural oils that help keep it strong. So limit hair washing and some women have had great success with co-washing natural hair. If you’re able, only wash your hair once every 7-8 days so that there is plenty of time for your natural oils to thoroughly coat each strand of hair and bring them to life.
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #5
Promote hair growth with supplements. Maintaining your vitamins and minerals is important to general health (in addition to hair health), but taking certain supplements can strengthen your hair and speed up hair growth super fast. Doctors recommend taking biotin or viviscal (read reviews for viviscal here...)- these are supplements used specifically for promoting hair and nail growth.
Additionally, making sure you have enough vitamin D and vitamin A will help your hair too.
Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair Rule #6
Avoid putting chemicals in your hair. Although it may seem like a given, you to stay away from all perms and hair relaxers when trying to transition your hair. In addition, stay away from hair dyes and bleach, as these cause significant damage to your hair, causing it to break and become frizzy. Look for all natural alternatives to chemicals you typically use, as these will be much safer on your scalp and strands than harsh chemicals are.
You now know exactly how to transition from relaxed hair to natural while beginning natural hair journeys. It's a truly beautiful thing to see the amazing styles and natural beauty on display. Please feel free to ask more questions of other natural in the Natural Hair Lovers - BlackHairOMG Group!
Keep it natural Kiddos!!!
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