TRANSITIONING TO NATURAL HAIR
Transitioning to natural hair can be an exciting and yet immensely frustrating and tiring experience. So much so that many persons, including myself, just forgo transitioning and go directly to the Big Chop. I applaud those who are able to stay on the wagon, it isn't a simple feat.
Transitioning is the process by which one stops further application of chemical relaxers and allows the hair to return to its natural state while retaining the full length of their relaxed hair. (If this makes sense) Basically, you're "growing out" your relaxer. It is especially difficult because your head now has two different hair textures and in most cases these textures are so different that it is very obvious. The roots then are much thicker than the ends of the hair and detangling and even styling becomes time consuming.
How to care for transitioning Hair
Because of the differences in texture, you must be gentle. Breakage can increase because the area where the natural hair meets the relaxed ends, also known as the line of demarcation, is the more fragile part. Relaxed ends will easily snap away from this point. So as to prevent this, use detanglers with lots of slip. You want to ensure that you have ingredients such as Behentremonium Methosulfate, Marshmallow root extract, Cetyl Alcohol and Ceteryl alcohol, to name a few. This will lower the friction between your hair and your comb/brush/fingers, whichever you choose to detangle with.
Strengthening the hair
At the end of the day, you want to have healthy, strong beautiful natural hair, but in the meantime, you want your relaxed ends to look their best. Using protein treatments will help to strengthen your natural hair as well as the relaxed ends. This should be applied on an "as needed" basis. If you feel your hair being too mushy and undefined, then it mos likely needs a protein treatment. One of my favorites is the Aphogee 2 minuter reconstructor. It has a pleasant smell and doesn't require me to spend an exorbitant amount of time walking around with it in my hair. It is also quite affordable and is readily available at Sally's or online.
One of the most frustrating parts of transitioning is finding products that most for both textures on your head. Most often than not, you will find that one product just doesn't work for both textures. You may have a conditioner that was awesome for your relaxed hair but just doesn't play nicely with your natural hair. To fix this problem you have to use one product for your natural hair and one for the relaxed ends. This means you'll have to section your hair in such a way that you can reach the natural roots. Keep it simple. If you find products hat work, stick to those. Do not change your products too often. Keeping both textures on, requires that you not stress the hair with over manipulation, tight styles, too much heat and fluctuating product choices.
Deep Condition regularly to ensure that your hair stays moisturized. This will reduce breakage and will ensure that at the end of the transitioning process, your natural hair is in good shape.
My sister transitioned for almost year. Here are some pictures of some styles she did. Curly hair styles hide the natural texture and give a more uniformed and cohesive look.
|Flat twists in the front flexi rod set in the back.|
|25 weeks post relaxer|