The introduction of relaxers, texlaxers, and other processing treatments have simplified the hair care routines of naturals around the world. In addition, heat styling continues to be a popular method of styling within the natural hair community.
While applying heat and/or processing treatments can simplify your hair care routine, they can also prove to be taxing on your naturally curly hair—leading to overprocessing, damage, or even breakage.
To counteract damage, and promote healthy hair growth, many people choose to transition.
What is transitioning?
Transitioning to natural hair is the process of letting your natural texture grow out untouched by any external treatments, such as relaxers, texlaxers, keratin, or even heat styling.
Transitioning is not always easy, as you may encounter unexpected changes in hair texture, and you also may not be accustomed to dealing with a new hair care regimen that fits your curls.
We’re here to help! Here are 5 key tips to make your transition to natural hair easier:
Tip #1: Be Patient
During your transition, patience is key. Many naturals may be accustomed to a speed of hair growth or length retention that they saw with their heat styled or relaxed hair, but when growing out natural hair, it may seem like your hair is growing slower, or that you have less length retention.
It can be helpful to plan out a timeline for your natural hair growth journey. For example, at 3 months into transitioning to natural hair, you may begin to see a clear line of demarcation between your natural texture and the processed hair.
And at 6 months into transitioning to natural hair, your natural curls could be more pronounced, even outnumbering the processed hair. At this point, you may consider chopping off the processed hair, or rocking curly hair extensions (DevaCurl).
Tip #2: Plan Out Your Hair Styles
When transitioning to your naturally curly hair, it is both time-effective and less stressful on you to plan out your hair styles ahead of time.
Since your natural curls will likely look different than your previously processed or straightened hair, take time to understand the new, natural you!
Pro tip: For inspiration, check out our instagram (@mycurlid) dedicated to textured hair for hair styles that you can try!
Tip #3: Choose Your Hair Care Products Wisely
When caring for your transitioning natural curls, the quality of the hair products you use is essential.
To nourish your hair, always use a sulfate-free shampoo and follow it up with a moisturizing rinse-out conditioner on your wash day. Avoid harsh sulfates or alcoholic ingredients in these products, which can strip your hair of its moisture.
In addition, invest in a quality leave-in conditioner, which will keep your hair hydrated until your next wash day.
Lastly, deep condition on a regular basis to provide your hair with intensive healing. To restore the strength of your hair, opt for deep conditioners with protein in them.
Tip #4: Reduce Heat
While it may be tempting to blow dry, straighten, or roller-set your new curls, it is recommended that you avoid heat as much as possible to allow your natural curls to flourish without any damage.
Tip #5: Consider a Big Chop!
An alternative form of transitioning to natural hair is to skip transitioning all together and making a big chop!
Loved within the natural hair community, a big chop (or cutting off all traces of chemically processed/damaged hair) has its pros and cons. One of its pros is that you are able to see your curls in full effect by cutting off the dead or damaged hair that would otherwise weigh it down or cause knots.
A major con, however, is that you would likely be left with shorter hair, which may not be ideal for those who prefer longer tresses.
If you do end up doing a big chop, check out our blog post here for 5 cute, easy, and simple hairstyles for short or afro hair cuts!