The Do’s and Don’ts of Transitioning to Natural Hair

White LaceTransitioning can be a lengthy process, but if you don’t think doing a big chop is for you the journey is well worth it. Here are some tips that will make transitioning to natural hair just a little bit easier:

Transitioning No-Nos

Don’t listen to the nay sayers !

When you first start transitioning to natural hair there may some people in your life that will give you some negative feedback about your decision. It’s easier said than done, but ignore it. Usually they make these comments because they have become so used to seeing you in a particular style and your change is an adjustment for them: or it could purely be out of ignorance. Stay committed and don’t let others influence you otherwise.

When I first transitioned to natural hair my mom made a comment or two, and now she is natural! You never know who you might inspire. Here are some tips for dealing with negative commenters.

Don’t use hair dye, texturizers, or press your hair

During the transitioning process you already have a mixture of two hair types: your natural hair and your relaxed ends. Hair dye, texturizers, and straightening will further prolong your transition and make it difficult to differentiate your natural texture.

  • Hair dyes can actually have straightening effects on the hair in some cases.
  • Texturizers are technically a lighter version of a relaxer and instead of having a curly effect for some people it may just end up straightening your hair
  • When you press your hair there’s always the potential for permanent straightening to occur on your strands, especially if you are not accustomed to what temperature is safe to use on your hair. Excessive heat straightening can also damage your natural hair texture and/or increase breakage by drying out transitioning hair.

Don’t over manipulate your hair

While transitioning your hair is in a fragile condition, which is why you want to keep your manipulation low. This means wearing protective styles that minimize daily maintenance such as brushing, combing, twisting etc.

Put these on your transitioning to-do list!

Remain Patient

Depending on the length of your hair transitioning is usually a process that can take up to a year or as much as two years to complete. Slowly trim away chemically processed ends until you are fully natural. You will know when you are fully natural when your hair texture is consistent and curly from root to ends. If you still have some straight pieces of hair remaining you have not completed the transitioning process.

Read Shanutrice’s Hairstory. She transitioned for nearly 3 years.

Blend your hair using rollers and twists

Since you’re not fully natural you may find that if you do style like a twist out, it usually doesn’t give you a great result.  The ends are still straight and may not hold the twist well. This is why rollers are your friend during your transitioning phase.  They will help blend the textures. Twist or braid your hair and roll your ends for a beautiful blended look.

Frequently treat your hair to deep conditioning 

Your hair naturally is going to be in a weaker state because of the inconsistency of the two textures (natural and relaxed hair). So you want to make sure you continue to strengthen your hair often with deep conditioning treatments filled with protein (read the importance of proteins for hair) to prevent breakage and split ends.

SEE ALSO: 5 Best Protein Deep Conditioners

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on products

All you need are the essentials when you are transitioning to natural hair: A sulfate-free shampoo, a rinse out conditioner, deep conditioner, moisturizer, and styling product. In the beginning it will take some experimenting to find out what works for you, but once you find what works stick to it. You can even create all natural products from home to keep your expenses low.

You should read:

6 DIY Hair Care Recipes for Your Complete Natural Hair Regimen
5 DIY Hair Moisturizing Mists for Summer
5 Easy DIY Deep Conditioners for Natural Hair

8 thoughts on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Transitioning to Natural Hair

  1. Najat

    I’m very happy to read this article it really explains what i need to know… Patience: it’s really difficult cuz u want to see your hair growing fast

  2. nirykaa morgan

    Hey, I love this article but im wondering if i should still treat my hair like relax hair till it actually grows out (I just decided to transition so there is little new growth) …..and when it actually does grow out could i take on a natural hair regimen or is there a specific regimen for transitioning hair

    1. Rachel Essien

      You have two options: Cut gradually (which people do so that their hair is not too short) or you can Big Chop (which can result in a TWA or longer). In a nutshell, you do have to cut off your relaxed ends or heat damaged ends. How you choose to do that is based on your personal preference.


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