Want to go natural without doing the Big Chop? Transitioning to natural hair is a simple process of growing out your natural texture before cutting off the processed or damaged ends.

1. Don't set a time just yet

You don't have to know when you'll rock your 100% natural hair right away! Give yourself about 4 months — by then, you should have enough growth to get excited!

More: Curly Hair Growth Chart 

2. Find your go-to transitioning style

The goal is to blend two VERY different textures of hair into one. Try a bantu knot out or a natural girl's favorite: the twist out. 

3. Detangle when hair is wet

Always detangle when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner with a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up.

More: How to Detangle Coily Hair

4. Keep your scalp clean

You'll have to do some experimenting, but cleanse your scalp anywhere from every two days to every two weeks.

5. Keep your hair moisturized

Dry hair breaks. Nothing beats water when it comes to moisturizing hair, but you can also add your favorite natural hair products on top to seal it in.

More: 4 Ways to Moisturize Your Curls

6. Get used to deep conditioning

Hair masks are no longer a special treat! Naturally curly hair usually doesn't lack protein, so stick with deep moisturizing treatments.

7. Wind down your heat usage

No need for a blow dryer or flat iron any more. Try air drying all of your styles instead.

More: How to Dry Curly Hair

8. Protect your edges

Avoid transitioning styles that put too much tension on your temples and the nape of your neck. The hair there is usually finer, thinner and more delicate!

9. Be gentle

The point where your natural texture meets your straight hair (it's called the line of demarcation) is THE weakest part of you hair. Take your time when you detangle and style your hair.

More: 5 Bad Curly Hair Habits to Break

10. Gradually cut damaged ends

Depending on the length you had to start with, get a good trim each month. Remember to use hair shears and not regular scissors!

Remember: these tips are designed to nurture your naturally curly hair, because in the end, THAT is what you'll be keeping. Good luck and congrats on going natural! We're here to help!

This article was originally published in August 2010 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.