Transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair? Follow guest blogger Danielle's tips for success
Tips for a successful transition
Transitioning from relaxed hair to your natural hair texture can be a very rewarding and interesting journey. Alternatively, it could be a frustrating and depressing mission. When transitioning, you are dealing with two very different textures on each strand of hair. You are focusing on an end date of your transition, and you are dreaming about your natural texture. The further along you are in your transition, the more of a texture difference you experience. This is not an easy journey, but it is a very attainable one. In order to be a successful transitioner, you must have the attributes that help you reach your goal.
Successful transitioners must:
• Be gentle
• Be patient
• Be open-minded
• Be flexible
• Be observant
Let’s explore the reasoning behind these transition-friendly attributes, shall we?
1. Be gentle.
Raking a comb from root to tip is going to a) hurt like hell, b) compound tangles and c) break and snap your beautiful hair. During your transition you will have two very different textures on your head, with very different likes/dislikes. One thing both textures have in common is the need for a gentle touch. Gently comb hair from tip to root, and gently brush, manipulate and style your hair. This will avoid breakage and the turmoil involved with knotted tangled masses of hair.
2. Be patient.
Your hair is not going to grow out overnight. Sorry. But it will grow. And it will grow at approximately ½ inch per month. While dealing with the two textures on your head may seem like an eternity, it’s only for a finite amount of time. (One that YOU chose, mind you.) And during this time, your only job is to relax, and to keep both textures healthy. If you find yourself in the mirror every day with a ruler to measure your new growth… I urge you to braid your hair up, or get a weave, or somehow put your hair “away” for a bit. Patience is a virtue… best learned while waiting!
Many women transition with visions of loose hanging curls or tightly coiled afros
3. Be open-minded.
So many of us have been getting our hair relaxed so long that we have totally disconnected with our natural hair texture. We’re conditioned to get a touch-up as soon as the “nappy” roots begin to peek out. Many women transition with visions of loose hanging curls or tightly coiled afros in their mind's eye, while their natural texture may not be able to accommodate those styles. It is important for transitioners to be open-minded about what their actual texture will be so as not to be disappointed if their texture is not the one of their dreams.
4. Be observant.
Are you paying attention? Did you notice how your natural roots and your relaxed hair responded to your last deep-conditioning treatment? Are you losing more hair than normal when you detangle? Is your hair drier? What are the differences in the feel of your natural versus relaxed hair? Transitioners must be extra observant in order to effectively manage both textures. Being observant helps you keep your hair healthy and have a successful transition because you will…
5. Be flexible.
Paying attention to both textures is key in flexibility. Being flexible is key in retaining two healthy textures on your head. If you’re flexible, you’ll quickly change up a product that doesn’t work well for one of your textures and avoid damage. You’ll also switch up styling options that no longer work for both textures. You’ll need to have a variety of styles that allow both textures to coexist happily. This means you’ll either make the relaxed ends curly or the natural roots straight.
If you’ve got these five attributes, you’ll have an easier, more rewarding transition and reach your goal with less stress. Good luck on your journey.