Hello, I have relaxed hair and it is very long--waist length. I want to go natural, but I am nervous about it. I am not doing the big chop because I love my hair. I will gradually trim as it grows. How can I successfully transition to natural while preventing much breakage as possible?? I can see now that the new growth is 4a texture, but when I get it to natural, I want it to be looser curled for better management. I am very nervous about this journey because I don't know where to start.
I first must address that all hair textures from Types 2A to 4C are easy to manage. They have their own particular concerns but no texture is better or more beautiful than the rest. Also, loosening’s one texture requires heat or chemicals and both can be dangerous to your strands, especially if applied incorrectly. Loving your own natural texture should be the first step you take to going natural. Now, as far as lessening your breakage, that comes with a few tricks. Here are a few tips you can use to keep your hair from breaking through the transitioning process:
1. Avoid using heat styling tools
This is the fastest way to damage hair and processed hair usually doesn’t have the strength to withstand the effects. Using heat tools can set you up for heat damage and straight styles can be achieved without even using heat. Instead, look for styles that can easily blend both textures. If you are not well versed in styles, ask a stylist to help you out or check out YouTube. Roller sets, flexi rods, twist-outs, and braid-outs are often favorites of transitioners.
2. Deep condition and use protein treatments
At this point, you should stop considering deep conditioning as anything else but a necessity. Your hair needs all the help it can get now, as this process would provide enough strength to keep your relaxed hair from breaking off due to regular styling and washings. You should deep condition each wash day and invest in monthly or bimonthly protein treatments to help keep hair stronger too. Deep conditioners are helpful at strengthening and conditioning the hair temporarily but protein treatments last longer and work harder at repairing chipped hair cuticles.
3. Get regular trims
Despite long-term transitioning, trims are still necessary. They keep hair healthy by getting rid of the split ends and damage. They help to reduce knots too and make detangling easier, as raggedy and split ends make for harder management. Regular trims keep your hair looking better and that always makes us feel better.
4. Be gentle with the hair
The line of demarcation is very fragile; this is where the chemically-processed hair meets the natural or virgin hair. The hair can easily break from that point, so be very gentle while detangling and styling the hair. It can get frustrating but take a moment to relax your arms if you find yourself getting frustrated. The transitioning process is a long one and would require a lot of patience and care. The whole thing can get overwhelming but if you do it right, you won’t be tempted to forget why you decided to go natural in the first place.