I've just deciced to go natural, and I'm in my second month of transitioning. I'm growing the relaxer out gradually, and I have a few questions about breakage. My hair is very short right now (I had the Rihanna pixie cut about a month or so ago), so I have to let it grow anyway if I want to be able to do anything with it.

Is breakage inevitable, or is it the result of bad hair care? When the relaxed ends break off, will the rest of the hair eventually break off also (like split ends)?

I guess I just want to know how bad of a situation breakage is because many people make it seem like it's the worst thing in the world and that it's a precursor for complete baldness.

Also, I'm a new transitioner, so feel free to give any other tips.
I think that you can avoid breakage by finding the right protein and moisture balance for your hair and treating the line of demarcation very gently. I had problems with breakage about four months into my transition. I was co-washing daily, which my roots loved and my relaxed hair hated. Once I cut back on my washing schedule and added a light protein conditioner to the mix, my hair was much happier.
Now that I am fully natural, my hair does not need as much protein, but I do use it as a pre-wash conditioner and follow it up with a moisturizing conditioner. HTH

If you do have some breakage or split ends you can always trim them to prevent the damage from going any higher. (I did a mini chop every three months during the year that I transitioned.) The nice thing is it's hair; it will grow back.
Good luck with your transition!
Hair loves: aloe vera juice, cocoa butter, camellia oil

"Never forget, justice is what love looks like in public." ~ Cornel West
ITA with curlymaybe, doing both protein deep treaments and moisturising deep treatments should really help a lot with breakage.

To keep it simple, I buy a 2 bottles of Aubrey Organics conditioner: 1 bottle of GPB Protein condish (smells awful but works amazingly) and 1 bottle of the Honeysuckle Rose condish (smells divine) for moisture. I do a weekly deep treatment (with heat cap), one week with Honeysuckle rose, then the next week with the GPB, and I alternate like that. I have been transitioning now for 13 months and have had no breakage whatsoever, plus my hair is bra strap length and I flat iron it every week, so this DT routine seems to be a good combination!!

So breakage is definitely NOT inevitable if you're transitioning, as long as you take really good care of your hair! HTH!!!
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
Lillu recommended great products! I've switched from GPB to the Swimmers' Normalizing Conditioner and I alternate between Honeysuckle Rose and White Camellia mixed with wheatgerm oil and honey.
Hair loves: aloe vera juice, cocoa butter, camellia oil

"Never forget, justice is what love looks like in public." ~ Cornel West

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