Going from relaxed to natural hair can be achieved in one of two ways; the big chop or transitioning to natural hair. The big chop is a bolder, more obvious, and faster method while transitioning is slower and more subtle. Some people find the big chop too much of a shock to the senses and opt instead for transitioning. Transitioning as the name implies, is the gradual movement away from relaxers and harsh chemicals, towards friendlier substances to maintain healthy hair. It’s basically growing out your natural hair to a reasonable length before cutting off your relaxed hair.
Transitioning is a whole nother ball game because basically, you’ll have two very different hair textures sitting on your head. So here are 10 tips that will help you keep both factions healthy till you’re ready to let the relaxed part go.
#1 Minimize manipulation
Get your hands out your hair sis, you’re not doing it any favors. Excessive manipulation leads to breakage so it’s a good idea to find a go-to style that you’re comfortable with. Could be braids or cornrows tucked away under a wig, as long as it doesn’t stress your scalp and doesn’t require a lot of handling, you’re good.
#2 Keep it clean
A clean scalp promotes healthy growth. Wash your hair regularly, at least twice a month when you’re not in a long term protective style. Some people advocate that dirt in your hair accelerates hair growth rate by acting as a kind of “fertilizer”. It’s not true, there’s nothing to support that dirty hair grows any faster than clean hair. To find out other natural hair myths that you might have heard that aren’t true click here.
#3 Deep conditioning is key
Deep conditioning is very a very effective way to deliver moisture and nutrients to your hair shaft. Moisture is very important when transitioning to natural hair as it improves elasticity and these nutrients improve your hair’s overall health and you know this will help your hair grow better. Since the entire point of transitioning is to attain healthy beautiful hair, deep conditioning should not be optional for you. All the juicy benefits of deep conditioning can be found right here. Also, your deep conditioner doesn’t always have to be store-bought, you can always whip up a really great one right in your kitchen.
#4 Introduce oils
Oils are a vital part of a naturalistas regimen, with different oils serving different purposes, and a few serving quite a good number of purposes all on their own. It’s up to you to learn your hair and decide which suits you best, but some of the all round best oils promote hair growth can be found right here.
#5 Get a trim
As your new growth comes in, it’s normal for your relaxed hair to experience some breakage, but it’s up to you to keep it to a minimum. Trimming off split ends before they have a chance to break off along with your new growth is the only way to ensure the safety of your new growth. Don’t let your relaxed hair begin to break below the line of demarcation before you give yourself a trim.
#6 Pick products carefully
Be really mindful of what you put in your hair. Products that are built on parabens, isopropyl alcohol, and sulphates, amongst others, will do your hair much more harm than good in the long run. When shopping for products take a little extra time and go through the components of whatever you’re considering for purchase.
As a new natural you’re probably getting tired of hearing this. However, the reason moisturizing keeps coming up is that it really is the a-z of natural hair. Moisture helps improve the elasticity of your strands and keeps them looking healthy. When your hair is dry, it is more prone to tangling and breakage. So learn to moisturize your hair the right way here.
#8 Don’t comb dry hair
Use water, and a conditioner with a lot of slip when detangling. It’s important not to detangle your hair when it is dry, you’ll end up breaking it in so many places and hampering your own hair growth rate. In fact the least damaging way to detangle your hair is with your fingers, but for a more thorough detangling you should go in with a wide tooth comb after you’re done finger detangling.
#9 Act natural
Yeah, cause basically you are. The relaxed hair you still have on is going to come off at some point when you’re ready, so your primary care should go to your new growth. Sleep with a satin/silk bonnet or scarf, or on a pillowcase made from these fabrics. Formulate a personal hair regimen, use natural hair products. You’re one of us now :).
#10 Have patience
Like all good things, transitioning to natural hair takes time, but it’s well worth the wait. Unless you have crazy good hair genes, or you’re on some magic hair potion, your hair isn’t going to get to shoulder length in 8 months. Be patient with your hair and tend to it with care, and your good work will surely pay off.
Are you a transitioning natural and you have something to say? Leave a comment below!
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