First of all let me say Happy New Year!!! I hope 2018 has been great so far and I hope it is a great year for you!! I don’t know if it is new year fever but something feels so right about 2018!
Many people are considering or are already transitioning to natural hair. I have some friends asking me how exactly to transition to natural hair and seeing that it has been 2 years since my last relaxer touch up, I thought I should share a few tips on how to transition and how to cope during the transition to natural hair.
Let me start by saying that transitioning to natural hair is not easy! I don’t say this to scare you but rather to prepare you. When you are transitioning to natural hair you will be dealing with two hair textures that basically require different hair techniques which may lead to some frustrating moment but it’s okay there are ways to get around this.
Make sure you really want to transition
People choose to transition for various reasons. You need to make sure that you want to transition for you! Not because everyone is doing it or everyone is now natural and you feel left out or pressured into following the trend. It should be because you really want to go natural and you are ready to go natural. This will fuel discipline during the transitioning period.
Set up goals and a timeline for your transition
Decide how long you want to transition for based on which length you want to start your natural hair journey with. When I transitioned, I knew that I wanted to big chop when I reached a length where I could manage my hair. I had done the low fade thing before so I decided that I needed my hair to be longer before I big chopped. Examples of timelines could be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or 2 years and so forth. Maybe you have a certain date that is special to you that you would like to big chop on. This part is totally up to you.
Understand that you are now dealing with two hair types.
As your natural hair grows underneath, you will find yourself dealing with two hair types. Sometimes those two hair types will have different needs as natural and relaxed hair have different needs. For example, you might moisturize your hair the way you used to when relaxed only to find that your natural hair needs a little bit more moisturizing than your relaxed and if you over moisturize your relaxed ends it becomes limp… I know right? How frustrating. Hence, you need to be aware that you are dealing with two different hair types and care for each type accordingly.
Keep following your hair care regimen.
Transitioning doesn’t mean a break from your routine , in fact this is where you might need to step up your game because as mentioned above, you are dealing with two different hair types. At this stage you need to keep caring for you hair, at the same time monitor what your new growth is saying to you. Pay attention to your line of demarcation which I will explain next.
Line of demarcation and breakage
Line of demarcation is where your natural hair and relaxed hair connect. This part is very fragile hence you can expect a lot of breakage during your transition. Don’t let breakage freak you out especially of it is your relaxed parts that are breaking off because they are going to be cut off eventually.
Protein treatments and less manipulation
The best way to keep your hair strong especially at the line of demarcation is by making sure your protein treatments are on point. You also need to lower manipulation a bit to avoid excessive breakage.
The best way to lower manipulation is by protective styling. Have a protective style schedule in place in fact, I advice that you have your hair under a protective style more times than not. This ranges from cornrows, wigging, braids, threading or weaves. Whichever protective style you like and can afford, do it. Don’t forget to care for your hair when under a protective style by spritzing your hair with your moisturizing spritz and if it’s a long term protective style, give it a wash every two weeks. If you would like a detailed post on how to care for your hair under a protective style, let me know in the comment section below.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
As I said at the beginning of this post, transitioning is not easy for most. It can be frustrating and in my case emotionally draining lol. Take it easy, ( while working hard of cause) if your hair acts up, don’t be to hard on yourself it happens. Do what you can and if you feel the need to big chop before the set time, Do it! Setting goals is just a guideline for you to make sense of everything and to have something to look forward to during these hard times.
I hope this post helps you through your transition to natural hair! It’s a big step and congratulations on making the decision. You will love your natural hair so much! It’s quiet a ride. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment sections below and if you have any additional advice please do so as well.