Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair can be a challenging journey. Actually, scratch that, it’s hard AF! It can also be overwhelming, especially if you have been relaxing your hair for a long time and have not had prior experience with your natural texture. Particularly my type 4 girlies!
The process of transitioning can take several months or even years, it took me 2 years total so I can say with absolute authority that the whole process requires a LOT of patience and dedication.
But I don’t want to put you off the journey before you’ve even started. The process of learning your natural hair texture can be extremely rewarding.
Honestly, even if you go back to relaxing again in the future, it’s only hair after all, the journey alone will have been worth it and will change how you approach hair care in the future.
With that said, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your journey:
1. Be patient. The transition process can take time. Your hair may not look the way you want it to at first, but it’s essential to be patient and let your hair grow naturally. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.
2. Keep your hair moisturized. Natural hair needs moisture, so be sure to use a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner*. You can also use oils* such as coconut oil* or olive oil* to seal that moisture in your strands for longer.
3. Detangle your hair carefully. When transitioning, you may experience more tangles, knots, and breakage than you did when you were relaxed. I won’t lie, there’s no completely avoiding this, it’s par for the course with transitioning. Still, try to detangle your hair gently using a wide-tooth comb or just your fingers. Start at the ends and work up to the roots to keep most of the breakage a bay.
4. Protect your hair like it’s your job. Protective hairstyles such as braids, twists, or buns help protect your hair from damage simply by keeping our damaging hands, combs, and brushes away from our strands. These hairstyles can also help to maintain the moisture in your hair. You may be surprised to see that you end up retaining crazy amounts of length during your transition if you use protective styling religiously.
5. Trim your hair regularly. As your hair grows, it’s essential to trim the ends regularly to keep your ends blunt and more resilient to damage. Trimming helps to remove split ends and breakage, which can make your hair look healthier. Micro trims throughout your transition can also help avoid the dramatic big chop.
6. Before starting your natural hair journey, it’s important to do your research. Learn about the different hair types, porosity, textures, and products that work best for your hair. You can also find helpful tips and advice from other women who have transitioned to natural hair. You can also try a few natural hairstyles to find the ones that suit you and your lifestyle so that you can have a head start on being a fully-fledged natural!
2. Don’t use harsh chemical treatments. Of course, while transitioning you will be avoiding relaxers but remember that hair color is also a chemical treatment that can damage your hair. While you can experiment with color later in your natural hair journey, avoid using permanent hair color during your transition.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s important to remember that every person’s hair is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Don’t compare yourself to others, as this can lead to unnecessary stress and frustration. Instead, focus on what works best for your hair and your own individual journey.
4. Don’t over-manipulate your hair. During the transitioning process, it’s important to be gentle with your hair. Avoid combing or brushing as much as you can. Even the pulling involved in braiding should be kept to a minimum as this can cause breakage and damage. If you do a protective braided style, the idea is to keep your hair in that style as long as possible to gain the protective benefits of long-term protective styling while avoiding the negative effects of the heavy manipulation of the braiding process.
5. DON’T GIVE UP! Transitioning to natural hair can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but don’t give up! With the right approach and a little patience, you will achieve that healthy, beautiful natural hair that you are hoping for Keep going, and remember that every step forward is progress.
In conclusion, transitioning from relaxed to natural hair can be a challenging but ultimately rewarding process. By following these dos and don’ts, you can help ensure that your natural hair journey is a successful one.
Remember to be patient, and gentle with your hair, and always focus on what works best for you and your unique hair type. Good luck!