Many of my friends and followers have been asking me questions about transitioning, so its only right I post a blog about it ;).
I think everyone knows that transitioning is not fun or enjoyable at all. It’s very frustrating and takes a lot of patience and motivation, but the end result is so worth it!
I’ll start off by explaining what transitioning is exactly. It’s basically the process of getting rid of relaxed, heat damaged, or color damaged hair and nurturing it back it its original, healthy state.
Tip #1: Stop whatever you’re doing that caused the damage
If your hair is damaged due to color…stop coloring it. If you have heat damage.. stop straightening! Simple right? Not really.. cause us females can be so stubborn lol. But you have to let go of whatever is holding you back from going completely natural. That’s whats so hard about transitioning– it involves a lot of change and sacrifice. But it is the only way it can be done.
Tip #2: Moisturize, moisturize moisturize!
So now that you’ve followed tip #1 and stopped damaging your hair, your new growth is starting to grow in and you have two completely different textures at the same time (which is very hard to manage by the way). Your new, curlier roots do not work well with your old hair (especially if you’re transitioning from relaxed hair). This can cause a lot of breakage and shedding– so your hair needs tons of moisture to keep it strong. Moisturizing includes deep conditioning once a week (some of my favorites are Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Mask and Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner), and applying water to it is much as possible. You can do this by spritzing your hair with water every morning and night if you can. This isn’t always possible cause spritzing water makes my hair frizzy, but if I’m just wearing a bun all week I’ll spray water on it morning and night. Also, coconut oil is my best friend! Its the only product I really use to moisturize besides conditioners. Apply it whenever you feel your hair is getting really dry–especially to the roots! I talk more about moisturizing here.
Tip #3: The quicker you cut off the dead hair- the easier the process will be.
As I mentioned, having two different textures is really hard to manage. That is why I suggest doing the big chop as soon as possible. It takes away some of the frustrations of trying to work with two completely different textures and you can just focus on making your hair healthy and retaining length. Think about it–if part of your hair is relaxed, and part is not– you will need different products and maintenance for the different parts of your hair. And how does it even look? Crazy! LOL so if you can handle the short hair–go for it! But I don’t say this to pressure you in any way. Cutting off your hair is very scary. I know because I’ve been there! And my hair was very short with lots of shrinkage when I first cut off my relaxed hair. So do it when your ready. I didn’t really have a plan for when I was going to cut off the relaxer– I just got fed up one day and went to the salon and did it. I just couldn’t take it anymore. But if you are too afraid, just cut off the damaged hair gradually. You can get frequent trims and go through the process at your pace. Or, you could still chop it off but add some extensions to help while you wait for your hair to grow.
Tip #4: Get protective styles/weaves/wigs etc.
As I just mentioned, protective styles and or weaves/wigs are an awesome way to help transition. I wish I knew more about this when I first big chopped 6 years ago. It would have made it so much easier! There are so many different weaves out now that really help. I suggest getting a sew-in that matches the texture of your new hair. This way you don’t have to put heat on your new growth to blend with the weave, and you can still have long hair while waiting for new growth to come in. There are also some very nice wigs out there that look completely natural and you can even blend them with your new growth! And of course–there’s micro braids and twists, etc. These are also a very easy way to help you with your transitioning process.
Tip # 5: Wear styles that help you blend your new growth with your existing hair texture.
While transitioning, you obviously can’t do a wash n’ go yet. So bantu knots, braid outs, twist outs, etc are some great styles that give your hair a consistent-looking pattern. There are tons of tutorials on how to do these styles on YouTube and I did one myself on how to do a two strand flat twist-out here!
Tip #6: Experiment
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what will work for your hair. Everyone’s hair is different and needs different care and products. Even my sister and I use different products and we have the same genes lol! What may work great for me just might not be whats best for you. So that’s why you have to be open to trying new things–especially products. There’s tons out there, so there has to be the perfect product that works for you hair. Try not to become a product junkie though–its a big waste of money and a bad addiction LOL. But once you find a product you like, stick with it! You really don’t need a ton of products or a crazy regimen to take care of your hair. And I also talk about all the products I use here.
I really hope this helps because I’ve been where you guys are and I now the struggle! But just be as patient as possible and have hope knowing that you are on your way to beautiful, healthy hair!
Until next time,