Transitioning 101 – How Long Should You Long Term Transition?

Curlformers Salon KitRemember, you can ALWAYS stop and just BC at whatever length you feel comfortable with. There is no rule on when to stop transitioning.

I see this question asked over and over again so do not feel pressured to stop or continue on if you are not ready. Do what feels right for you!

Blending Your Two Textures

Blending will become a new word in your vocabulary. You will be trying to blend the relaxed hair with the natural hair.

That doesn’t mean you have to pull out the hot comb or even the flat iron. That just means you will be wearing certain styles that will allow your two textures to blend together.

Some styles that are great for blending are roller sets, flexi rods, straw set curls or Curlformer sets. A rule of thumb is that it’s much easier to keep the relaxed hair curled than it will be to keep the natural hair straight.

I’ve even heard some naturals wear Bantu knots or twists as great long term transitioning styles.


The line of demarcation is the hair or point that separates the two textures. Being gentle is MUST during your transitioning period and taking extra care is necessary to keep breakage away or at a minimum. What I would advise is not using too much heat since the line of demarcation will be very weak as you transition.

Adding Hair For Protective Styling

Adding hair extensions is also an option and all that means is wearing wigs, weaves or braid extensions. Your hair is growing and hopefully thriving while you are keeping it away.

Don’t forget your hair will need regular attention and just like you have to worry about your line of demarcation with blending, you also have to worry that you are not putting too much tension on your hair when wearing added hair.

Braids that are too tight or weaves sewn in too tight can not only damage your hair but can be devastating to your edges during a long term transition. All these factor into how long you will be a transitioner.

If you can successfully keep your hair moisturized, blended or tucked away under added hair then you will be able to transition as long as feel comfortable.

How long did you transition for?

Originally posted 2014-01-22 15:00:31.

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About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

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Comments

    1. Erica

      I transitioned for 28 months. Was aiming for 30 months (2 1/2 years) but had a special event coming up and wanted to rock my natural hair for that.

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      I didn’t transition either but back when I went natural I had no clue what a BC or transitioning even was!

  1. Iris Brock
    Iris Brock

    I stopped in April ’03 and cut the last away October ’04. I did a full big chop September ’10.

  2. Iris Brock

    I stopped texturizers in April ’03 and cut the last away October ’04. I did a full big chop September ’10.

  3. Paris Williams
    Paris Williams

    7 months because I didn’t have patience to deal with two textures. I big chopped June 07,2013 🙂

  4. Aisha Kenyetta
    Aisha Kenyetta

    I have no issues transitioning! I’ve been rocking two textures since last summer. I “dust” monthly, and I’ll cut a little more if I am going to get a weave. Bantu knots are a great fit for me.

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      That’s awesome! I heard some woman do bantu knots as a way to blend the two textures. So glad it’s working out for you!

  5. Akilah Smith
    Akilah Smith

    Literally one month and I had so much growth in that one month so I just chopped it off and was happy

  6. Kembarly Thompson
    Kembarly Thompson

    I didn’t do a big chop! My stylist has clipped and trimmed my ends all last year! (2013) my last relaxer was last March…So 2014 here we come Team Natural

  7. Ameenya German
    Ameenya German

    I transitioned for 3 months! That’s all I could take of having to deal with the two textures of hair.. And I don’t regret it neither.. Big chop was 7/9/2012. 🙂

  8. Andrea Whyms
    Andrea Whyms

    Yea I’m dealing with two completely different textures right now it’s pretty frustrating.. but I don’t want to cut my hair :0( I don’t even know how many months it’s been probably about 4-5

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      Just follow some of the steps and styles mentioned above and you will be fine. You are still pretty new on this journey so stay patient and remember this is your journey and you decide when you want to stop. Good luck.

  9. Adriane Washington
    Adriane Washington

    5 Month’s Now……I’m wearing My Protective Style So I won’t Revert Back!!!!! Its A Hard Processes……….Pray For Me….lol

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      You will be fine. Take your time and have lots of patience with your hair and yourself. Deep condition weekly and be gentle to your hair. What protective style is your hair in right now?

  10. Leandra Mauricio
    Leandra Mauricio

    8 months transition but i was wearing a wave in that time that helps a lot cos i cant deal with 2 diferente textures and next that time i do my big chop #alive

  11. Tia Campbell
    Tia Campbell

    Transitioned for a year. I won’t say I big chopped but it was a big chop for me Jan 2012. 3 years natural

  12. Carol Edmonds
    Carol Edmonds

    I transitioned for 8 mths 2/12 -9-12 big chopped or finished the chop on sept 3.. 9/3/14 is my 2yr natural..versary

  13. Mieshel Jett
    Mieshel Jett

    Big chopped…no transition! If you transition, then that’s not a big chop..Your just trimming relaxed ends. Right?

  14. Shadeye Smith
    Shadeye Smith

    I’m in my 6th month! Last June I got so frustrated with everything so I went to the hairdresser and she did the big chop for me so I’m totally looking forward to seeing my growth in a few weeks from now, because of winter I’ve decided to get braids which I’ve had in for 2 months now!

  15. Amber Anderson
    Amber Anderson

    I transitioned for a year and some months. But still relaxed my edges and small leave out. Then I did the “big chop” last June

  16. Cassandra Miles
    Cassandra Miles

    1Yr and 3 months so far. Planning my BC for the 1 1/2 mark but i don’t think I’ll make it that long. The relaxed ends are killing my style! lol Only an inch left. #I’mReady 🙂

  17. Maww S Moore
    Maww S Moore

    Last time I went 3 months then big chop I’m going to try for 6 this time but my hair is short this time so idk

  18. Desiree Johnson
    Desiree Johnson

    9 months did my bc 6 months ago love it wish I would have done it 6 years ago when I went thru my battle of traction alopecia my hair would be so much longer. I love my curls 3c/4a curls I was told I have

  19. Sabrina Perkins Post author

    What’s going on right now love? Is it dealing with two textures that is giving you a hard time? Maybe you need to put your hair away in a wig, weave or braids to allow you to not go back. Be patient with yourself and your hair. You have come to the right site for help. We have a whole series on Transitioning called Transitioning 101 so check out the posts and get armed with all the knowledge you need to make this successful!

  20. Diamond Nelson
    Diamond Nelson

    4 months. Went to get braids and my hair braider (she’s also natural. She has locs) says too me “Diamond. What are you going to do with all this uneven hair.” Lol, I told her to choppppp! And I got braids the same day lol 🙂

  21. Alana Smith

    I transitioned for almost 11 months. The main reason BC was because I noticed that I was seeing splits travel up my hair shaft and thought this relaxed hair has got to GO!! Plus I had been comtemplating cutting it anyway before that but seeing all the splits solidified it.

    1. Sabrina Perkins Post author

      Yes, you got to get rid of the split ends because it will only get worse if you don’t!

  22. Quetta

    I’m six months in to transitioning! But I have a plan! So so far, no big chop for me! Frustrating but learning to be patient!

  23. Kimberlynne Sweetz Lewis
    Kimberlynne Sweetz Lewis

    7-8 months then I chopped it off the end of December and again on the 19th of January as a final chop. Let’s see how this goes protective style starts this weekend

  24. Tena

    I’m 9 months into my transition and April 14th would make a year relaxer free! Currently rocking box braids and don’t know when i want to BC :/… Gonna keep going a little longer and try the curlformers this summer with the two textures. Excited! But not really cuz idk how that’s gonna turn out! :/ Lol!

  25. Michelle F.

    I transitioned for 3 months then did the big chop. I didn’t really have the patience for two different textures, I just wanted to work with my natural coils already lol.

  26. Michelle Hammonds
    Michelle Hammonds

    I got tired of seeing hair in my comb, so one night I went in the bathroom with a pair of scissors and just started cutting it all off and followed up with a pair of clippers. This was my second time going natural.

  27. Sapphire T Mc Burnie

    About 3 to 4 months, then i got irritated with the relaxed hair. I passed in front of my mirror stopped n looked at it angrily, next thing I know I’m chopping off my hair! But giiiirrrrrrrrrrrllllll I FELT FREE!!!

  28. Nicole Caldwell
    Nicole Caldwell

    I transitioned for about 5-6 months and decided to do a big chop when my relaxed ends just snapped off lol. I literally still have that relaxed piece of hair bahahah! I knew it was time to let go of the perm then lol

  29. Monique

    This is funny to me because when I was transitioning I didn’t even realize it. One day, 7 or 8 years ago, I thought why do yI keep perming my hair? At that time in my life I was wearing braids, weaves, wigs, etc. I never had my hair out unless I was washing and prepping for the next style. While doing this I would cut off the straight ends…I did it about 3 or maybe 4 times and that was it…Now that I think of it I had my last perm in 2006 and that was that lol. I just felt I was doing too much with my hair and it was unnecessary, perming hair and then styling it with weaves, braids or putting on a wig. I guess it was a habit for so long but once I began taking care of my own hair, I realized a lot of things that I needed to change lol.

  30. socalgal

    I’ve been transitioning for 19 months. My two textures blend quite well together.

  31. Kanna

    Hello,
    I want to start my healthy relaxed hair journey since today I did the big chop. Do you have any articles that will help me make my hair journey successful, especially with breakage? Thank you.

  32. Tanisha Watkins
    Tanisha Watkins

    I just stopped perms (3 yrs ago) never did a big chop (too afraid), gradually through trims the perm grew out, but it wasn’t an easy process!

  33. Sakina Pecchillo
    Sakina Pecchillo

    I’ve been transitioning since 2009. I have no plans to do a BC. I go to a salon for trims every now and then to take an inch or two off. You have to do what works for you and what you are comfortable with:-)

  34. Anette Sanders

    I’m transitioning, is it necessary to cut it off or can I just wait until the perm hair turns kinky?

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