Writer Sabrina Perkins, the Founder and Editor in Chief of SeriouslyNatural.org, is currently our featured guest on Curly Q&A. All week she will be answering your pressing curly questions, like this question we received from a reader. You can post your questions here

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Patience may be a virtue but it certainly isn’t a friend of some of our more impatient newly naturals.  I get it. You are ready to rock your natural gorgeousness like the rest of the naturals out here. I just need you to hold up for a minute as going natural is not an overnight gig and learning about your hair is a huge chunk of the journey. One of the great things about going natural is getting your after-relaxed hair in better shape.
I just need you to hold up for a minute as going natural is not an overnight gig
Now, I know quite a few women who go natural from healthy relaxed hair, but that is not everyone. I also know many newly naturals who transitioned by straightening their hair regularly for months prior to completely taking the plunge.  While this is another way to go natural, it does pose a threat of heat damage or dryness and not everyone comes out unscathed. Curlyhairnewbie
 has some serious questions about her new journey and inquired about what to do in our Curly Q&A.

Question

What is wrong with my hair? I have low porosity, 3B hair mixed with 3C hair. My hair is fine to Medium, and I have a head full of hair, so I have high density. My hair is naturally Frizzy. My hair lacks elasticity and curl definition. I always have to wear a boring bun. I've been natural for one month now, but before going natural I had straightened my hair for 10 months (weekly, not daily). Is this some form of heat damage??

Answer

It sounds like a lot of things are going on all at once. After going natural for only one moth it is hard to determine what your natural texture may be as it takes time to assess it even if you have been straightening it for ten months. You probably are experiencing heat damage because weekly applications of heat are too much heat and so is monthly. The heat, manipulation, age, relaxers, and even the sun can affect your hair’s elasticity. Here’s what you can do about it.

Remove heat from the equation

You need to leave the heat alone, as it has not done you any favors. Heat may be the reason your hair has lost its elasticity and unfortunately one cannot simply gain it back. Protein treatments may help some forms of elasticity loss but not all so often it just temporarily fixes the problem. Any chemical application at this point may need to be put on the back burner while you get your hair back to a healthier status.

Try protective styles

Styles like twists, twist-outs, braids, braid-outs, flex-rod sets, and the like are excellent styles to rock as you continue on your natural hair journey. They will also enlist in different styles to get you from the dreaded bun as it seems you are over it. They will give you the definition you seek without worrying about it too much since all the styles mentioned add a wave or curl to the strands even if they are not curling. These styles can really cut down on your frizz too especially if you’ve found the right products that your hair responds to positively. Also, rocking a bun all the time in the same spot may be a bad idea too so since you are ready to leave it alone, this is a great time for styles that many transitioners love like the ones mentioned above.

Get into a healthy hair regimen

Worry less about curl definition and concern yourself more with getting your hair healthy with a moisturizing cleanser, a great deep conditioner (after every wash), protecting hair at night and opting for regular trims to keep ends clear from split ends and frizz. Monthly protein treatments with light protein products will also help get your hair into a moisture/protein balance necessary for not just healthy hair but beautiful hair.

Seek the help of a professional

Whether you are ready for that trim, a cut, or just want to consult with a professional, check out our list of salons that cater to your curls. While the blogs and vlogs have a wealth of information, sometimes a professional is necessary to get your hair back on track. A good stylist will have some ideas on what products you can try and can even help in finding the right style for you.

Be patient

You knew it was coming. With only a month in you have got to give yourself and your hair time to adjust to a new regimen, new products, and a new you. Just concentrate on keeping hair protected, healthy, away from heat and give those new hairstyles a go. I think you will see a new curlygirlnewbie in no time.