Styling transitioning hair is very different from styling relaxed or natural hair. Going natural by long-term transitioning is the complete opposite of doing the Big Chop. Transitioning hair is temperamental and must be treated gently and patiently.
If you can’t muster up the strength to handle both textures then you may need to BC or take a break from your hair with a long term protective style. No sense is lying or glossing over what’s necessary to style or take care of transitioning hair. OK, maybe I’m being harsh.
I understand that some of our relaxer styling ways may still be with you but just be open to the idea that some may need to be dropped so that you can properly take care of your transitioning hair.
What to expect
Well, you have to expect different textures as your natural hair begins to grow in. First off, it’s may not your true natural texture that first grows in. That first hair is actually scab hair. Scab hair is not a scientific term but it’s a term used by those in the hair comunity to describe the initial hair that grows out as your transition to natural after you have been relaxing for a while.
Another thing to know about your hair is the line of demarcation. This is the weak area between the relaxed hair and the new growth of natural hair. It’s very fragile so be gentle and low manipulation is a must to keep breakage to a minimum.
Be gentle with your hair
If you need it for parting then great but trying to rake that through three different textures with it will create a great deal of breakage. That comb used to glide through your relaxed tresses but now you are working with scab hair, natural hair and the line of demarcation, trust me, none of those respond well to that type of combing.
I wouldn’t advice a ton of brushing either while you are transitioning. Relaxed hair is stronger when dry but not transitioning hair. Brushing your hair when wet is better but don’t go crazy! Make sure you have conditioner, oil, cream or gel in your hair to help glide the brush and reduce the need for harsh brushing.
Wear curlier styles
Reason being it’s much easier to blend two (or 3) different textures in curlier styles than it will be in straighter styles. Styles like roller sets, flexi rods*, straw sets, and even Bantu knots work great with long term transitioners.
Wear extension hairstyles but in moderation and be smart about it!
Adding hair like weaves, wigs* and braids should be done in moderation and smartly for two reasons.
► You need to learn how to care for your hair and the ONLY way to do that is to actually work with it. If you only wear wigs*, weaves and braids for two years of transitioning you may not know exactly how to work with your own hair once your transition is over.
Also your hair needs a break in between applications of added hair so give your hair a few days or weeks to rest before going to another extension.
► Tight extension hairstyles will do more damage than good! Braids too tight or sewn in weaves that are too tight may leave you with thinning edges, broken hairs or even bald spots.
I know that many of us feel that the tighter the braids it is the longer the style lasts but in your new regimen you won’t be wearing your extensions* for longer than 4-6 weeks anyway. Remember that your hair, particularly around the edges, is fragile so be cautious or you will be sorry in the end.