Q: I’m interested in going natural, but I don’t want to chop off my relaxed ends—yet. Can you suggest any natural hair care styles that would help foster hair growth while flattering and keeping my hair healthy as well? I’m trying to avoid heat as much as possible.

A: Good question! More and more women of color are leaving behind the old “relaxer” days of yore. However, most are not ready to make the biggest commitment of all- chopping off those relaxed ends (otherwise known as BC’ing or “big chopping”). It is always best to chop off relaxed ends but for those who aren’t quite ready to make the plunge, there are other alternatives. If you’re looking for an easy, low-maintenance transition, try donning braids, twists or cornrows. To care for your hair in between styles, try the following:

First, stay away from sulfates! Sulfates are harsh detergents used to create lather; they aren’t necessary to cleanse the hair. Our Black Vanilla Shampoo does a great job of cleansing and moisturizing color treated and/or relaxed hair. Some might also like to try co-washing rather than shampooing. Co-washing consists of cleansing the hair with a basic rinse out conditioner (cheap drugstore brands work well- try the Herbal Essences line). Depending on your hair type and schedule, cleanse hair as often as necessary (but not too often).

Next: Condition! Conditioning your tresses after cleansing is extremely important for natural and (especially) transitioning hair. Our Hair Smoothies provide great slip and manageability. These smoothies can be used as a regular rinse out or as a deep intensive treatment. Those transitioning should deep condition their hair at least once every two weeks. In your case, I would recommend deep treating once per week. Since you are caring for two textures (the relaxed hair and the natural hair), it is very common for the hair to become brittle and break off at the line of demarcation. You want to avoid that as much as possible. To deep condition: Simply apply liberally to your soaking wet hair in sections and cover with a plastic cap. Using a heating cap or hair dryer, allow conditioner to penetrate for about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse.

Lastly, massage into your hair a few drops of Lisa’s Hair Elixir (a little goes a long way, 4 drops would probably suffice). Part hair into medium/small sections and create two strand twists using a little of our Hair Balm on the length and at the ends (you’ll want to end up with anywhere between 10 to 15 twists once complete). Allow hair to air dry overnight.

In the morning, undo twists, separate and fluff!! If necessary, spritz hair with a little of our Tui Jojoba Shea Butter Hair Sheen.

Hope this helps and good luck to you in your hair journey.

Peace & Blessings,

Lisa Price