curly hair woman on laptop

I started my natural hair transitioning journey back in 2013 after 5 years of semi-relaxing my hair.

It took me 18 months to feel comfortable enough to cut off the last pieces of my relaxed, damaged hair. Recovering from any kind of chemical or heat damage can be a difficult process, but with the proper care, products, and techniques, you can make your transition a bit easier.

Here are two common questions I get from NaturallyCurly.com readers:

1. What is the best curl defining product for transitioning hair?

Curl definition is something we all want and cannot wait to achieve with our natural hair. During the transitioning process, it can be really difficult to get this right. I recommend using the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. This product was a great help for me due to its ability to define my curls without making them ever feel or look dry, crunchy, and flaky.

If you are at a stage in which the two hair textures are noticeable, I am sorry to say that no product is going to magically give you defined and uniform curls. There is another route to to take for uniformity, though.

I wasn't able to wear my hair in a wash-and-go for around a year whilst transitioning.

Create a twist-out, braid-out, or other heatless stretched style using the curl enhancing smoothie. The product will create the illusion of an even curl pattern that is fully transitioned. Let me be the first to say, you will know when your hair is in the right stage to ditch any manipulative styles. Here are other products that are similar to the Curl Enhancing Smoothie:

Hydratherma Naturals Aloe Twisting Cream is lightweight and has amazing hold--no flakes or crunch. It's perfect for twist-outs (see my tutorial above).

Cantu Coconut Curling Cream smells amazing and is a heavier cream that will really coat and moisturize your transitioning hair. It gives the hair definition when used with a Denman Brush or finger detangling.

2. Is there a cheap (but effective) hair routine for transitioning hair?

The great thing about natural hair is that you can care for it with natural ingredients. You can pick up transitioning hair-reviving ingredients just about anywhere--and for dirt-cheap! Caring for your unique natural hair is all about trial and error, but it's a fun process finding out which ingredients and curly cocktails work well for you.

Coconut oil

You can buy a big jar of this for a maximum of £10 (depending on the size) and use it for literally everything. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer and sealant for your damaged ends. You can also use this for your well-needed deep conditioning treatments. It works well for revitalizing damaged, weak transitioning hair.

Raw Shea Butter

This all natural butter is found in many natural hair products because of its intense moisturizing abilities to the scalp and hair. It is also great for sealing in moisture after washing. I love using it on my ends. You can also pick this up at your local hair stores or online for not a lot of money. Shea butter is a great base for cocktailing (or mixing) with other ingredients for the perfect curl quenching recipe.

Eggs

This ingredient is perfect as a DIY protein treatment, which is an important part of your transitioning regimen (do one every 6 weeks until you are fully natural). This will probably already be in your fridge so you won't be out of pocket! Just mix up some raw egg yolk in a bowl, apply the mixture to your freshly washed hair like you would a deep conditioner, cover with a plastic cap or bag, leave on the hair for 10-30 minutes, and then rinse with cold water. This will help strengthen your hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Found in your local supermarket, this will be your go-to clarifier and scalp reliever. This vinegar may smell appalling but it's great for refreshing dull hair and removing gritty product build-up and dandruff. Be sure to dilute it with water before application.

If you don't fancy the whole DIY side of things and would like to purchase some inexpensive but good curly hair products, I am a fan of these:

Tresemme Naturals Conditioner is under £5! It comes in a great sized bottle and is great for detangling and co-washing but is not as harsh as a shampoo. Remember, while you are transitioning to natural hair, you should avoid drying out the hair whilst transitioning.

Cantu Hair products are also an affordable and trusty line, ensuring maximum moisture and tons of options for styling. They have everything you need, from cleansers, deep treatments, leave-in and stylers. Each product is usually maximum £5-6 in the UK.

To all my fellow curly hair transitioners, stick it out!

You will love your end results--I promise, it is worth it. Do you have a question for the NaturallyCurly community? Visit our Q&A section to ask it.