To start with what do we mean by transitioning? And why would you want to transition in the first place? Transitioning is the period of time during which you transition from relaxed hair to your natural curl. Going natural, and embracing rather than fighting your natural hair curl has to be the fastest growing hair trend globally. But how do you go about it?
The big chop
Many new naturals choose to start with a clean slate, cut it all off and learn to work with a TWA (teeny weeny afro), but this isn’t the best choice for everyone. You can transition in a more gradual way should you prefer. While transitioning you will reach a point when you just can’t deal with two hair textures anymore and you’ll know it’s time to chop off your relaxed/treated hair. The part of your hair shaft that has been treated cannot go back to its natural state.
How long does it take?
It varies from person to person, depending on how quickly your hair grows. On average though it will be at least 4 months before you will start to see some noteworthy results.
Find some easy hairstyles
You’ll want to a have a few ‘go to’ hairstyles during your transition. Try protective styles, like a bantu knot or a twist out and look at different hair accessories like head scarves and head bands.
Start learning about your hair type: Texture, porosity, density and elasticity
Part of the journey is learning about your hair and how to work with it, check out our article about The 5 Things You Need to Know About Natural Hair. Remember that your hair may change during the transitioning process and due to other influences like diet, stress, pregnancy and breast feeding, even the weather and your age has an influence.
- Limit or stop using direct heat on your hair.
- Avoid all chemical treatments like hair dyes and texturisers, which just put further strain on your hair.
- Trim your ends every 4-6 weeks as split ends travel up to your hair and cause breakage.
- Protect your edges by not wearing styles that add too much tension.
- Keep your hair well moisturised as dry hair is susceptible to breakage.
- Be gentle especially at the line of demarcation (the point where your natural hair meets your relaxed hair), this is the weakest part of your hair.
- Always detangle when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner, using a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up.
- Wear a satin or silk cap or scarf at night to help keep the moisture in.
Revamp your wash routine
- Set aside some time for your first few wash days, it takes a bit of effort to find the routine that works best for you
- Replace your weekly shampoo with a cowash
- Shampoo a maximum of every 2 weeks
- Deep condition weekly
- Use a transitioning milk, to add extra moisture to dry, damaged hair.
Only use sulphate-free, natural products. Make your own or check out our range of goodies. Often your natural texture needs more moisturising than your relaxed or straightened ends, so choosing a suitable moisturiser is vital.
The following products are highly recommended during transitioning:
- SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Extra-moisture Transitioning Milk
- Kinky Curly Knot Today
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream
2 of the best anti-breakage product ranges from SheaMoisture:
- SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Strengthen, Grow and Restore, Shampoo, Leave-in Conditioner, Treatment Masque and the Styling Lotion
- SheaMoisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-breakage Strengthening Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment Masque
And an oil to stimulate growth, strengthen hair and regrow thinning edges:
- Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Get online to help keep you motivated
There are some great natural hair groups on FaceBook and some inspirational Bloggers and Vloggers to get advice and support from. We have Vlogger videos attached to most of our product pages, which review products and give practical advice on how to use them.
Finally, stick with it and be patient, remember the reasons you are going natural and that it will be worth it in the long run. Check out a few of our favourite Vlogger videos below for some more tips…