Many people have made the choice to transition to a new hair state whether it be a short term transition or a long term transition (12+ months). However, making the decision to go natural is quite the lifestyle change. As a transitioner, not only are you dealing with two different textures on your head, but re-discovering products that will make both textures happy. I, myself, transitioned for 15 months (planned on 18), and learned many things along the way. Here are five tips that got me through my transitioning journey, that I am sure will be helpful to many of you.
1. Keep Your New Growth Moisturized
Keeping your new growth moisturized is the best thing you can do while on your transitioning journey. You know how they say baby the ends of your hair to retain length? Well, when you are a transitioner, it is also important to baby the new growth as it tends to be dry. As you moisturize your new growth, be sure to pay attention to the line of demarcation (where your natural texture meets the relaxed ends). Where the two textures meet is most prone to breakage that’s why moisture is so important during your transitioning journey.
2. Detangle Your Hair Properly
Making sure your hair is properly detangled during this time is crucial to having a successful transition. Tangled relaxed hair is already a handful to deal with. Now imagine having to do that with two different textures. Not a fun thing to do at all, (again speaking from personal experience). Using a wide tooth comb to detangle is your best bet here. Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots and it will help keep your hair from raveling upon itself.
3. Protective & Low Manipulation Styles Are Your Best Friend
Styling transitioning hair can prove to be quite the chore when you first start out. No need to over complicate things though. Low manipulation styles such as braid outs and twist outs, are great for blending the two textures together. Protective styles happen to be my favorite while I was on my transitioning journey as the options seemed to be limitless. One can opt for a sew in, a braided updo, or even a wig.
4. Deep Condition Regularly
Deep conditioning is a solution for many things when it comes to your hair. This includes your transitioning journey. A good rule of thumb is to deep condition every 1-2 weeks. This can be done 15-30 minutes with heat or overnight. It really depends on what your hair likes.
5. Know When To Big Chop
When I first started transitioning my goal was to transition for 18 months and then chop off my relaxed ends. I did this because I wanted my natural hair to be a certain length when it was all said and done. While it is good to have goals as a transitioner, listen to what your hair is telling you. At 15 months post relaxer, my hair was literally begging me to get rid of my relaxed ends. Keep in mind, the longer you transition the harder it will be to put up with two different textures.
Do you have any tips for those who are transitioning to natural? Let us know in the comments below.