Monday, March 15

Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair

So you've been thinking about or decided to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair and you're not sure how to go about it.  You have two choices, you can do a BC (big chop) and sport your glorious TWA (teeny weeny afro) or transition until all of the relaxed hair is completely gone. If you decided to transition it means establishing a routine to gain and maintain healthy hair while dealing with two completely different hair textures.

When transitioning pay attention to the relaxed ends because if any breaking or splitting occurs it will travel up the hair shaft causing the natural new growth to split as well. Breakage happens at the line of demarcation, this is where your natural hair meets the relaxed hair. This area is prone to breakage because the moisture/protein balance differs between the two textures. So avoid playing in your hair since this promotes breakage and wear protective styles such as braids, twists, bantu knot, straw sets, weaves, wigs, etc.  If you choose to wear a weave or half wig then find a way to blend your natural hair with the artificial hair. As your hair grows cut off half an inch to an inch of relaxed hair. 

Avoid using direct heat while transitioning since it will damage your natural new growth and you'll have to start all over again. This means avoid using blow dryers, flat irons, straightening combs, and curling irons. When detangling your hair you want to be gentle, take your time, and use your fingers or a wide tooth, seamless comb. If you use your fingers to detangle make sure that your nails are well groomed because a split nail can snag the hair causing breakage.

As stated earlier you want to establish a routine while transitioning. There are three simple ways to help you out when transitioning: co-washing, deep conditioning, and hot oil treatments.

Co-washing (washing the hair with conditioner) this method is recommended nine times out of ten since most shampoos contain sulfates that strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture.  You can add whatever carrier and/or essential oils of you liking for added moisture.

The purpose of deep conditioning is to improve the hairs condition and should be done once a week.

Hot oil treatments temporarily repair damaged hair and can help with dry scalp conditions including dandruff.

Hot Oil Treatment
1/2 c dried rosemary leaves (rosemary promotes hair growth)
1/2 c olive oil
2 tsp jojoba oil.
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over a low heat until the mixture is warm. Strain into an applicator bottle.  Coat the entire scalp, hair (including ends) with the oil mixture. Put on a plastic cap/bag and wrap a towel over that and leave on for 15 minutes. Wash hair thoroughly to remove the oil. NOTE: It's recommended that rosemary not be used if you're pregnant, nursing, have high blood pressure or on children under the age of 2 years.

Remember that moisture is going to be your best friend so using products that contain moisture or ingredients that are natural humectants is going to be your best bet.

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