Help with Transitioning
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Join Date: Apr 2013
I'm transitioning (9.5 months post relaxer) and I also use Shea Moisture, but I use the coconut & hibiscus line. I tried some of the Raw Shea Butter stuff (which is what the transitioning kit is) and I didn't like it at all - I thought it was too thick, even on my natural hair, and it just made it feel sticky and greasy instead of soft and pretty. At 6 months we're still mostly relaxer (depending on how long your relaxed hair was) and because there's so much raw shea butter in there the transition kit may just weigh your hair down.
Try the Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Kit - it contains stuff from the Coconut & Hibiscus line. I love love love this stuff. The shampoo is really gentle and thick; it moisturizes my strands and is the first step in detangling. I also use their conditioner - they have a new rinse-out conditioner that you can only get from Target. Then I use the Curl & Style Milk as a leave-in and the Curl Enhancing Smoothie as a styling aid. My natural hair is so smooth and shiny and I feel like it defines my curl pattern as well as it can with the relaxed ends.
I did a lot of experimentation before I settled on a product routine that really works for me! I'm such a product junkie so I'm really surprising myself by pretty much refusing to put anything besides Shea Moisture in my hair, with the exception of a few other things. But here are some things I've tried that I like but just not as much as SM:
*Try some Eco-Styler gel to help. I was like "Uhhh gel?" because I remember the alcohol-riddled gels from the 1990s to give you the slick relaxed look, but Eco-Styler is alcohol-free so it doesn't really flake or "freeze" your hair with that hard-to-the-touch feeling. I use it sometimes to define my twist-outs and braid outs and it's pretty good.
*I also tried Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and I love it - I use it in combo with the Curl Enhancing Smoothie for definition and a little hold when I do my twist-outs, braid-outs and roller sets. I tried the rest of the KC line and I was less enthusiastic about them.
*I recently tried a twist-out using mousse - DevaCurl's Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam - and I actually really liked it. It gives banging definition. I just think that might also be better for all-natural curlies because you could CLEARLY see the difference between my natural hair (big, wonderful, fluffy curls) and my relaxed hair (swirly-curly but thin and kind of flat looking). Still, it was pretty awesome at fighting off the elements - it rained hard that day and my hair wasn't as much of a mess as it normally is after a rainy humid day - and if you make chunkier twists than I did, you may get better results.
The other thing to remember is that when you're transitioning, your curl pattern can't be well-defined yet because the relaxed hair is weighing it down and stretching it. Every natural-haired girl I've talked to says that their natural hair turned out completely different than they thought it was going to be while they were transitioning, because the presence of the relaxed hair changes what you think it will be. To test it, I cut off a few of the relaxed ends from the shorter sides of my hair and it's true; the curl pattern is a bit different because the hair can do it's own thing, you know? So don't expect perfect definition yet. At nearly 10 months, I am just now starting to see the more natural pattern of my hair. At 5-6 months it just looked like an uncollected mass to me.