Transitioning 101 – 10 Tips For Getting Out Of The Relaxer Mindset

Getting out of the relaxer mindset

2 years ago I explored this very topic but more specifically about how I felt about my first relaxer. The question then was ‘What was the mindset behind your first perm?’

The relaxer mindset is real ya’ll and it’s so strong that breaking away from it can prove to be very difficult for many of us. Some of us relaxed so many years ago that the idea of having relaxed hair is our ‘normal’ and having natural hair is actually a bit odd. We are not judging, it’s just how it is for some of us.

I like many others did not know a thing about the hair that naturally grew from my scalp, I had no clue how it behaved, how to take care of it, how to treat it or what products to use. I just knew that at 13 years old I could no longer exist with it and like a rite of passage for many other girls my age, I got a relaxer.

Now that you have decided to transition back to your natural texture, ridding yourself of the relaxer mindset just means opening yourself up to a new way of doing things, new products, final acceptance of all aspects of your natural hair and success in your natural hair journey.

We wanted to compile a list of 10 things you can do to get your mind right for your transition to natural hair, whether you big chop or decide to take a longer route to natural hair, these tips might just come in handy.

1. Product Purge

Do a product purge; you do not have to get rid of every product you own when you decide to move forward with your natural hair, as a matter of fact you might find yourself using a few of your old products later in your journey.

It is all about retail therapy, so pick a day when you need just a little me time, make a small list and get excited about purchasing some new stuff for those coily springy strands sprouting from your scalp.

2. Remove Temptation

Throw out any leftover relaxers to avoid unnecessary temptation. Put it this way you will need the space in your cabinets anyway, so just get rid of the old relaxers, you won’t be needing them any more.

3. Stay Inspired

Follow bloggers and you tubers that talk about natural hair for inspiration and a way to keep you engaged on your new journey. Sometimes it helps to surround yourself with everything that keeps you on track towards your goals.

4. Practice

Practice your healthy hair regimen weekly and styling in natural styles, because it makes no sense to transition to natural hair and not adopt healthy hair practices at the same time.

5. Be Nice

Practice being positive towards your hair, enjoy the stages that you are in by speaking in a positive manner every chance you get. Unfortunately, relaxing our hair for a long time can sometimes lead to negative feelings towards our natural hair, and breaking those mental blocks is a huge part of getting your mind right for the transition.

Originally posted 2014-01-31 15:00:16.

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About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


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  1. Conchita Tarver-Smith
    Conchita Tarver-Smith


    1. Buhle Mfeka
      Buhle Mfeka

      Try a 4 parts water and one part glycerin or honey spritz. They are humectants so they draw moisture from the air. My hair is also very dry and this spray has helped my hair a lot! You can add a few drops of essential oil for a nice smell

    2. Buhle Mfeka
      Buhle Mfeka

      If your hair feels sticky a after using this mix add more water to dilute it. Hope this helps!

    3. Ilesha Sewell
      Ilesha Sewell

      *Make your own non-drying shampoo using 1/4 water,1/4 all natural castile soap,and a small amount of tea tree oil(this is good for dandruff)(Change measurements according to how much hair you have).To clarify once a month,put 2 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar in a color applicator bottle and focus on the scalp to get all the build up out.This will ensure that the product is more able to penetrate the hair and work.
      *Condition to detangle your hair then use a deep conditioner for 30-60 minutes(Shea Moisture is a brand with good hair masque’s).
      *Do the LOC method->(liquid,(distilled water is best),oil(all natural and unrefined it preferred)and cream or switch the cream and oil to make it the LCO method;whichever one it best for your hair.
      ->IMPORTANT-<:Seal the moisture in your hair to keep dryness at bay!Don't skip this step!Use an oil or shea,avocado or cocoa butter as a sealant.
      *Protective styling it optional.
      *That spray that Buhle above me wrote is a good one to try.

    4. Leandra Mauricio
      Leandra Mauricio

      do a protain treatment and deep condotion with mayo,egss,olive oil,honey and coco oil put that in several parts and let it be for 2 or 3 hours or all nigth next wash and condition, put a leavin mousture and do some brais or twists

  2. Evette Howard
    Evette Howard

    Its ok to relax if u wanna relax!! When going natural you truly do have to change your mindset….

    1. Natasha Orr
      Natasha Orr

      To add, you have to be comfortable with yourself because not everyone is going to be accepting to your hair.

    2. Mary Chatman
      Mary Chatman

      I agree with your comment Natasha. You have be confident and comfortable in your own skin so when the negativity comes you can handle it.

  3. Tee

    I have been natural now for 7 months and I love it! I have to keep my hair short or I will be tempted to relax! If you do decide to relax, it’s fine! Your hair, your choice, your life.

  4. Jessica Bahadi
    Jessica Bahadi

    My hair is too tough. Girls like me need to relax because combing natural hair everyday is a real ordeal.

    1. Yvette Martin
      Yvette Martin

      The beauty of natural hair is you don’t have to have your hands in your hair every single day!

  5. Natasha Orr
    Natasha Orr

    Conchita, try wetting hair,the apply an oil like shea, coconut, tea tree ect., then a leave in conditioner. That will help with dryness! Combing nappy hair everyday is not a good idea!

  6. Sharon Williams-Lester
    Sharon Williams-Lester

    I love my text lax relaxed hair, because i care for it in the same manor as natural hair… THE BEST PART IS ITS HEALTHY HAS NO Split ENDS, and as grown back a little bit thicker than it was before I started the healthy hair, journey it’s manageable and I can show case it by wearing it down….

  7. Sharon Williams-Lester
    Sharon Williams-Lester

    I co- wash, moisturize and seal.. I don’t use heat and when I do it’s not direct heat. I do it all and the results have been amazing!!!

    1. Alohalakay

      This is the way they all should see things,there is a reason why they don’t accept nappy hair,it’s because the white people told you that it’s not good ,and only white hair was good,so we have inferiority complexes about it.Dominicans are not only mixed and whites,it ‘s a black country,get use to it.

  8. Yvette Martin
    Yvette Martin

    Put conditioner in your (natural) hair. Use a wide tooth comb. Makes the process so much easier!

  9. Ni-Ni Henderson
    Ni-Ni Henderson

    Kudos to those who went natural, but everyone’s hair does NOT respond the same way to water, oils, conditioners, and other things that my make the next person’s hair manageable. If you know what you are doing AND have good genes, you can have long, thick, and healthy relaxed hair. Hair you see is DEAD anyway, so I don’t see why there is such a big fuss over it.

  10. Semendablessed Howard
    Semendablessed Howard

    Morgan Nimmz ( luster pink hair lotion ) great for coarse hair part hair in section comb lotion through each section let dry then fluff with a pick and chose your on style.

  11. Ronnie Harris
    Ronnie Harris

    Thank God i don’t put it in my hair no more because allll it was doing is growing it and taking it all outtt Now i just wash it and conditions and baby oil in it and comb it out to the ends and my ends and put it in a ponytail and get under my hair dry and it on after i do alll of that i flatlron it ps and

  12. Andrea Simpson-Jones
    Andrea Simpson-Jones

    After going natural, I even had to change my mindset about the protective styles and weaves I wore because I no longer felt right about wearing bone-straight hair. Now, when I do a sew-in, it with hair that matches my natural texture.

  13. Kerimah Rogers
    Kerimah Rogers

    It’s funny how soooooo many Black women are going natural now and finding out what I’ve known for YEARS. 15-20 years ago when natural hair WASN’T IN, I didn’t get perms and I was always looked down upon and talked about in school and always saying I needed a “stronger perm”. But yet, my hair was down my back. I never wanted to perm my hair, but I started a few years ago, knowing that perms are really not good for your hair. Now I regret it.

  14. Michele Bess-Reggie Snelling Jr.
    Michele Bess-Reggie Snelling Jr.

    My mom started me extremely early on perms so I never new anything about natural hair and what my natural hair looked like before a perm, I thought your natural hair was just simply wearing your own hair and not the weave. I decide to stop perming my hair December 2012, I wore protective styles up until May 2013 and then I did the BC. I was feeling anxiety for a little while to go outside with my natural hair but I learned to except it and I took the support from the ones who supported me I got thru it and I’m glad I made my decision. I’m am still natural til this day after finding what works for my hair, my hair is almost seven inches. I’m looking forward to see the length May 2014, that will be my one year of actually taking care of my hair, I’m a 4a to 4b and I Love It, very happy!!:)

  15. Quin Yu
    Quin Yu

    I personally didn’t know because my mother always permed my hair before I knew what it was but now I’m almost a year natural and very happy!

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