It was in college where I began to wonder about natural hair. I had been playing with the idea of going back to my natural state for months. I would try to stretch the time between each relaxer. When I would go to my hair stylist for touch-ups I stopped getting my hair flat ironed and would rock flexi rod sets and curly styles. I was so curious as to what my hair would look like. Looking at baby pictures wasn’t enough anymore I was going to take that leap and just give it a try. I began my natural hair transition in the summer of 2013. I want to share with you all 10 tips that helped me have a successful 18 month transition to healthy natural hair.
The internet is your best friend when it comes to transitioning. The natural hair community has grown so much and you’re a click away from vital information. I was a sponge throughout my transition looking up as much as I could about natural hair. I watched YouTube every day for hairstyles, product reviews, and healthy hair regimens.
9. Put a halt to the Heat
Put down that flat iron girl. Drop that blow dryer. Put that curling iron away! During your transition your hair is in a fragile state and heat is not your friend. Plus there are so many styles you can achieve without using any direct heat. Which brings me to my next tip.
8. Discover your go-to transitioning hairstyle
Buns, flexi-rod sets, and flat twist outs were my staple styles during my transition. Especially in the beginning of my transition where most of my hair was relaxed. My ends didn’t have a natural curl so I would add a flex-rod or perm rod at the end of my twists.
7. Detangle gently
Now that you’re transitioning you will be having two very different textures that will make your hair prone to breakage. When detangling your hair you have to be very gentle. In the beginning of my transition I used a wide tooth comb on damp hair and detangled end to root. Towards the end of my transition when the majority of my hair was natural I began to finger detangle. Finger detangling allowed me more control and prevented breakage. I still finger detangle to this day.
6. Deep Conditioning is your best friend
Healthy hair is moisturized hair. It is important to incorporate a deep conditioner store bought or homemade in your weekly wash routine. Incorporating warm heat like putting on a shower cap, using a hair steamer or sitting under the hair dryer with a shower cap are many ways you can ensure the
deep conditioner is penetrating your hair follicles. Just make sure you rinse your hair in cool tepid water.
5. Keep your scalp clean
A clean scalp is vital to healthy hair growth. I suggest shampooing or co-washing hair at least once a week depending on your activity. See what works best for your hair.
4. Protective hair styling
While transitioning I installed havana twists, protective bun styles with Marley hair, and even a wig. It gave my hair a much needed break from constant manipulation. With high manipulation you put your hair at risk for breakage. Protecting your hair includes using satin/silk scarves while sleeping, tucking your ends in buns, as well as not putting a lot of tension on your edges.
3. Gradual trims
Gradually trimming your damaged ends makes a world of difference in your hair transition. Don’t think that your perm ends don’t matter anymore because you’ll eventually be cutting them off. Keep even your permed ends as healthy as possible. Split ends can extend up the hair shaft so trim the damage before it gets out of hand.
2. Experiment and Embrace the journey
Always remember what made you decide to start this transition. Transitioning can be trying at times and will surely test your will power but you’re up for the task. Even when your twist out doesn’t come out like the countless tutorials you watched, don’t feel defeated. Transitioning will take practice and you’ll begin to learn what works best for your hair.
1. Be Patient
This transition period is going to take some time. Once you see that new texture growing in your excitement will start to build. Don’t compare your hair to anyone else’s because your hair will be unique including the time it takes to grow. Don’t worry about setting a time frame for your transition to end. You’ll know when you’re ready to cut off the last of your permed ends.
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