Lately quite a few people have come up to me asking about what I did during my transition to natural hair and if I have any tips for those who are considering doing the same. I’m not here to convince anyone on what they should/shouldn’t be doing to their hair because everyone has their personal preferences. But If you have already made up in your mind to go natural but not necessarily interested in chopping your hair off all together, this post is for you. Now that my transition stage is over I thought it would be helpful to mention some tips that helped me through this process.
It’s important to realize that like relaxed hair, natural hair also has to be cared for and maintained. Many people think that natural hair requires more effort, time, and attention, and that maybe true but all hair types have their individual pros and cons. At the end of the day hair is delicate and fragile. If you aren’t careful with it especially when transitioning you can chance experiencing breakage if not handled properly. That’s why it’s very important to do your research and learn from others. :)
I would say the basis of it all is to know what works for your hair, stay away from heat as much as possible, avoid protective styles that cause tension and stress on the hair and scalp, use silk pillowcases and/or bonnet, STAY CONSISTENT and PATIENCE IS KEY.
Although that may sound pretty simple it’s important to remember that while transitioning you’re dealing with 2 different textures. Both of them need to handled properly to achieve growth and little breakage along the way. The key to this is balancing moisture and protein in your hair regime. This will even carry on throughout your natural hair journey.
Aside from our hair it’s also important to keep our bodies hydrated and water is answer. The good thing about being natural is that you don’t have to be afraid of water or getting your hair wet. I always like to end my shampoo and conditioning with a deep condition session. After the deep conditioner is rinsed out apply a leave in. Throughout the week it’s always good to re-moisturize your hair and seal it in with a butter or a light oil like extra virgin olive oil or jojoba oil. Remember oils do not moisturize the hair water does. If your moisturizer doesn’t have water as the first ingredient…chances are it’s not doing it’s job. I try to wash my hair once a week. It’s the perfect opportunity to detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb working from ends to root gently. This tool will be your best friend.
This is what makes up your hairs structure and strength, protecting from any damage from styling, detangling etc. Our hair itself is made up of mostly keratin which is a form of protein. Too much of anything can be a travesty, so remember to find the balance between protein and moisture. If your hair is feeling dry and brittle I would say you could use more moisture in your regime. If your hair seems to be limp or lacking elasticity I would try a protein treatment. I try to do these every other week (twice a month).
Super, Super, SUPER important. Everyone wants healthy growing hair, to do so there must be a clean environment for that to take place. Dirty clogged follicles from product build up can slow down growth. As I said before I wash my hair once a week but I know others who wash their hair once or twice a month. This is one of those situations where your own personal preferences step in. It is good to dilute your shampoo with water because some of them have a tendency to be very drying. “PrePooing” has helped me combat shampoos from stripping my hair from it’s natural oils. Coat your hair will coconut or olive oil (this is the simplest from of a prepoo there are many recipes), let it sit and marinate for an hour, wash as normal. Also wash your hair in SECTIONS. This prevents hair form getting matted and tangled up. Take my word for it.
I chose to trim my hair gradually while transitioning. After a while you will begin to differentiate healthy ends from dead/dry ends just by feeling or looking at them. It’s up to you to decide on how often to trim them. Even now that I’m natural I’m still dealing with split ends and single strand knots, so keep those ends properly moisturized and tucked away in a style as much as you can. Also when trimming do not use regular scissors. Please. Use sharp scissors that are meant to be used on hair. I didn’t and I think that’s one of the main reasons why I’m battling with split ends now.
Watch YouTube videos, check out boards on Pinterest for ideas for hairstyles. Many people who are transitioning choose to install protective styles such as braids, weaves, etc. Nothing is wrong with doing so but keep in mind that now is the time to really get to know your true hair texture, what it likes and what it doesn’t. This the trail and error phase. In other words take full advantage of the versatility or your hair, get familiar with it. With it constantly tucked away you will never get the chance to truly learn about your hair. Also as mentioned before leaving protective styles in for an extended period of time can cause breakage. Do everything in moderation. Practice braid outs, twist outs, flat twist outs, roller sets, flexi rods, all of these help to blend your 2 textures, without having to have straggly straight ends exposed.
Link to my natural hair board on Pinterest. Click!
I hope this was helpful to someone.
Feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, or even your own advice in the comment section.
Until next time,