Have you thought about going natural but is dreading the idea of cutting off all your hair? Well you’re not the first one who has felt this way. Going natural is a very personal experience that can be done in many ways, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Some women choose to big chop and cut off all their chemically processed hair at once. But people like yourself, may want to take a different route and let their hair gradually transition into its natural state.
It is very important for you to understand that there are many benefits to both options because if you opt in a big chop, you will be able to watch your hair grow from the very beginning and you have gotten rid of the chemically processed pieces of your hair. However, if you opt in transitioning, the benefits are that you don’t have to cut off all your hair and you get to keep your length while your natural hair grows in. Another perk you have when transitioning, is that you will be able to pace yourself while allowing your hair to transition back to its natural state in a time that’s comfortable for you.
During your transitioning journey, your hair make experience quite a bit of shedding or breakage and it will also include multiple different hair textures at once. But before you decide to dive into your natural hair journey, it’s important for you to understand that the process of transitioning your hair is comprised of many different components, that can affect a person mentally along with the hair physically.
The process of your hair growing out the relaxer and returning to its natural state, is the most important part of your physical transition. This means that instead of you cutting off all your relaxed hair at once, you will grow your hair out along with your relaxed ends for a set time that is determined by you. Transitioning has no specific deadline, which means that you can transition your hair for as long as you decide.
Changing your mindset is most important during the mental transition. For most women, going natural can be very overwhelming at times and very taxing mentally. This makes the mental transition vital, because it helps you to prepare your mind for the many obstacles you will face during your natural hair journey.
Patience Is A Must:
Transitioning your natural hair can be very time consuming and patience is needed during this process. The only way to achieve natural hair immediately, is to big chop—but I think that’s why you’re reading this to avoid that step. However, avoiding the big chop method and choosing to transition may take a few months for your hair to become completely natural, but the goal is to keep some of your length.
Trim Hair Regularly– With regular hair trims, you will be able to remove split ends which will allow your hair to grow faster, become healthier and eventually get you closer to be being 100% natural. You have the flexibility to trim as much hair as you’re comfortable with, whether it’s an inch a month or every two months, it is completely up to you if you keep an eye on your ends and trim regularly.
Detangle Wet Hair Only-Always, Always, Always detangle your hair when it is wet and slathered with conditioner. You should only use a wide tooth comb or your fingers when detangling and start with the ends and work your way up to the roots. Only attempt this process when you have time to be gentle and are not rushing to avoid causing breakage to the hair, patience is very important during this time.
Keep A Clean Scalp– Try to make it a routine for you to cleanse your scalp between every two days to every two weeks. If you don’t regularly cleanse your scalp, you may end up having a lot of product buildup— which is a huge no when growing healthy hair
Moisturize Your Hair– To avoid breakage, moisturizers will become your best friend. Water is a great moisturizer for your hair and applying your favorite natural hair moisturizer will help seal in the moisture. Once again, dryness causes breakage!
Find Your Go-To Style– You have two different hair textures in your head, so the goal is to blend the two textures together as one. Try something easy like a twist-out (A natural girl’s favorite style) or braid-out. I recommend you choose a style that is easy for you to master and allows you to feel confident when wearing. The style you choose should help your different hair textures become one unified curl pattern.
Don’t Forget to Deep Condition– Deep conditioning is a very important process no matter the state of your hair, but when you’re transitioning this step is not up for debate. Your hair is in a very weak and fragile state while you’re transitioning and requires all the moisturizing it can get. Deep conditioning should be a huge part of your natural hair care regimen, and a deep conditioning treatment should be done every week to two weeks depending on your hair’s need.
Limit Your Heat Usage– You no longer need blow dryers or straighteners anymore, because they’re doing nothing but damaging your already weak hair. It may take a little long to get used to not using heat, but try air drying all your styles— your hair will thank you in the end.
Love Your Hair– My final tip for you is to love yourself and your hair! You get to enjoy your natural hair slowly and watch as it transitions into a new form. Remember to seek tips, advice and words of encouragement from other naturals if you begin to feel discouraged. This is an exciting time and every natural journey is different, so enjoy yours.
16 Hair Care Products That Can Make Transitioning A Breeze:
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Repair Protein Treatment
- Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Styling Milk
- Aphogee Keratin Reconstructor
- Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque
- Aphogee Hair Strengthening Kit
- Soultanicals Knot Sauce Coil Detangler
- Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Conditioner
- As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
- Cream Of Nature Perfect 7 Leave-In Conditioner
- It’s A 10 Miracle Hair Mask
- Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curls
- Jamaican Mango & Lime Transition Natural Springing Gel
- Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment
- Cantu Argan Oil Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-Moisture Transitioning Milk
Big Chop/Transitioning Alternatives:
- Many women choose to wear wigs during their transitioning process because it is a protective style that requires very little manipulation to the natural hair. Some women just don’t have the time or patience to deal with the different textures of transitioning hair and choose to wear wigs as a quick and temporary option.
Braids or Twists
- Some women may choose to wear braids like Beyoncé or twists like Brandy as a protective style to promote healthy hair growth. Braids allow the hair to rest and is less likely to experience over manipulation. If you plan to get braids or twists with extensions, make sure that the braids are not installed too tight because it could cause more damage than good to the hair.
Scarves and Wraps
- There are so many pretty scarves and head wraps with various designs. If you like scarves and head wraps this is the best time to start wearing them because they are very popular in the natural hair community. Scarves and wraps are a very low maintenance style that can keep your hair protected from dirt and dust. Not to mention, many celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross and Rihanna chose to wear scarves and head wraps on lazy hair days and to protect their natural hair as well.
“I love my hair because it’s a reflection of my soul. It’s dense, it’s kinky, it’s soft, it’s textured, it’s difficult, it’s easy and it’s fun. That’s why I love my hair.”
-Tracee Ellis Ross
How did you choose to begin your natural hair journey? I chose to big chop but I have many friends that decided to take the transitioning route.