Making the decision to transition from chemically processed hair to natural hair can be a big decision. Not only does hair hold so much value for many, but can effect our self-esteem, relationships, professions, but it can also change our daily routines. This can be why so many choose to go the transitioning route rather than the big chop.
After the decision has been made, there can be so many emotions about the decision. This new journey can bring questions, excitement, doubt and fear.
As expected, you may be in search for all the information that you can get.
Here are some tips on transitioning to natural:
1. Stop chemically processing and dyeing your hair – As the first step to transitioning. This one might seem super obvious but it has to be said.
2. Reduce the use of heat tools – Using heat tools to style or dry your hair can cause damage to your already weak hair. It can also cause the hair to lose moisture and cause heat damage, leaving the hair limp.
3. Pre-Poo Your Hair – Using a coconut oil in the hair before shampooing can help to protect the hair and prevent the drying effects of clarifying shampoos.
4. Avoid sulphates – Common in shampoos, the purpose of sulphates is to clean your hair of dirt, dust and residue. In doing this, it also strips the hair of its natural oils (sebum), leaving the hair dry and more prone to split ends and breakage. There are tons of sulfate free shampoos and conditioners on the market, so with just a quick read of the ingredients, you can find one that’s right for you.
5. Keep your scalp clean – Hair cannot grow properly out of a dirty scalp. Proper scalp care is important to maintaining healthy hair.
6. Detangle properly – Don’t try to detangle your hair when its dry or you just may end up pulling out/breaking your hair. Instead, use a conditioner with lots of slip to detangle your hair. Using a wide-toothed comb or your fingers, start from the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots. As your new texture grows in, the two texture will become more difficult. Handle your hair with care, as it is prone to breakage at the demarcation between the new texture and the chemically processed texture.
7. Regular deep conditioning treatments – Hair needs moisture, and as curly/kinky hair is more prone to dryness, so it’s important to incorporate one into your hair routine. Deep conditioning treatments can help fight against dryness, split ends, breakage and elasticity loss. Properly moisturized hair is easier to manage and maintain.
8. Protective Hairstyles – Protective hairstyles are great for protecting the most fragile parts of your hair. Avoid styles that apply tension to your edges, or other fragile areas.
9. Moisture – Without moisture hair cannot thrive. When your hair starts of feel dry, add a water-based moisturizing product.
10. Regular trims and dusting – Hair that is thinning and split is hair that has lost its protecting layer and has difficulties growing. With regular trims or dusting, you can slowly get rid of the relaxed ends without any drastic changes to your length. It also promotes length retention and health. Try to trim your hair every 6 weeks to 3 months.
11. Use a satin/silk pillowcase or bonnet – Many have already been doing this with fully relaxed hair, but it’s also something that should be said. Cotton pillowcases or bonnets strip the hair of it’s moisture, leaving it dry, prone to tangles and single strand knots. Satin and silk won’t absorb the moisture out of your hair or cause frizz.
12. Cotton towels – A cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel will absorb water faster, reduce frizz and friction.