Deciding to transition to natural hair can be an exciting, but daunting experience. On one hand, you’re eager to see your natural curls growing in. It’s a joy to most ladies to see their true crowning glory finally.
On the other hand, maintaining dual textures over an extended period can be difficult. In fact, this beginning transition may be one of the most challenging times of your entire hair journey, no matter if you have 4c hair, 4b hair, 4a hair or any other curly hair type.
It takes a while to settle into a good routine that your hair likes and to adopt one that doesn’t cause an excessive amount of labor. Learning all about both the older relaxed hair and your new natural curls will help you understand how to take care of your hair better.
In this article, you’ll find information about transitioning hair that will help you during this beginning stage. If you’re looking for a way to smoothen your transition into gorgeous natural tresses, keep reading.
Transitioning to Natural Hair or Big Chop, or Both?
When you first decide to go natural, you’ll probably grow out your relaxer, do a big chop, or decide on a combination of the two.
Either way, your relaxed hair will soon become a thing of the past that you’ll no longer need to worry about. But until then, it is up to you to make sure your hair doesn’t break at the line of demarcation.
The line of demarcation refers to the point at which your old relaxed hair meets your new curls. The term is widely-known in the natural hair community because it is a point where many new naturals experience breakage.
Hair damage tends to travel upward, and this causes a problem because naturally curly queens are faced with the dilemma of having to sacrifice their old hair to make room for the new growth.
However, if you aim to care for your hair while giving extra love to your line of demarcation, you might forego the damage and transition beautifully into your given hair.
Ditch the Conventional Products
The first thing you should do is get rid of all your conventional products. Most shampoos on the market are made to remove as much natural sebum as possible. These cleansers were excellent for your relaxed hair because the hair was straight, and you could quickly create more natural sebum to travel down the strand.
However, these conventional shampoos are much too harsh on your natural hair. The tiny coil pattern makes it difficult for sebum to coat and guard the hair, and this can lead to dryness and eventual breakage.
Hair can be particularly dry, weak, and frizzy around the line of demarcation. Try to adopt co-washing into your routine, and limit shampoo use as much as you can.
When you choose to do a full wash, make sure it is a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo that contains good slip. Slip is a term in the hair industry that refers to how slippery a product is. A slippery conditioner will help you glide knots apart while you condition and finger detangle your tresses.
Protect the Strands
One of the best ways to fight breakage with transitioning hair is to protect it. There are several things you can do, but here are three of the most helpful:
- Hydrate, Moisturize, and LOCK. Moisturizing involves hydrating the hair with water or a water base leave in conditioner, then apply an oil based product such as Butta Butta Cream to coat your strands, and finally use a cream product to lock in the moisture from your oils and water. For most type 4 Queens, this method is what our hair needs the most.
Penetrative Oils like avocado, olive, and coconut penetrate into the hair shaft giving your hair the nutrients it needs to grow. Plus, they lubricate the coils as a bonus, which makes curls slide apart much easier. These three characteristics make them highly desirable to anyone with dry, damaged hair.
Butta Butta Cream is one of the most natural products on the market, and it contains all of the protective oils whipped into one container. You’ll find that keeps your hair moisturized throughout the week and will stop breakage
Layering your products will help to guard against friction and other damaging elements that cause natural hair to become dry.
Another way to moisturize is through deep conditioning. Using a hair mask after shampooing will allow nutrients to penetrate the hair shaft, especially if you are applying low heat and sitting under a hooded dryer. In my opinion if you are crunched for time in direct heat is the best way to go while deep conditioning. Aim to do a weekly deep conditioning mask to help moisturize your natural hair.
Try using a soft overhead dryer to heat the product onto your strands. Or you can use your own body heat by placing a plastic cap and a warm towel on your head.
Be sure your protective styles are not pulling or tugging at the roots. Long-term pulling at the root or the edges of your hair can lead to eventual baldness.
Bonnets and scarves are ideal for protecting styles too. Covering your hard work is the best way to ensure it still looks great in the morning.
- Wear a satin bonnet or silk scarf at night. This one act will save you from a lot of hassle and breakage. When you sleep on a cotton pillowcase or use a cotton head wrap your hair becomes dry from the cotton pulling out the oils from your hair and the cotton will break your hair. You may not wake up and see the damage the next morning, but you’ll see it on wash day when your hair is excessively brittle, dry, and difficult to detangle.
Maintain Good Protein-Moisture Balance
You probably already know about the damage relaxers do to the hair. They destroy the integrity of curly hair by breaking down the protein within the hair follicle.
In addition to protein lost when you place a relaxer on your hair, it also loses protein throughout the day from regular wear and tear. You can bounce back from this loss by incorporating protein treatments into your hair care regimen.ApHogee’s Two-Step Protein Treatment is excellent for transitioning hair. You’ll need to apply the protein differently, by giving extra love to the line of demarcation. This will improve the strength to match the rest of your hair.
You may have heard the term, protein-sensitive, floating around the community. Some naturals experience so much breakage after a treatment that they ban protein forever. However, the last thing you want to do is ditch your protein treatments. You may need to take a look at your everyday products to see if they also have protein listed in the ingredients. If so you should ditch them; using too many products with protein will cause protein overload in your hair.
If you find your hair breaks from giving your hair a protein treatment, try boosting the moisture instead. Follow all protein treatments with a moisturizing deep conditioning mask. Having a Protein and moisture balance is best to create a strong, protected strand.
If you create a regimen that gives special attention to your dual-textured hair, you’ll soon transition into having beautiful, long hair. The key is to protect and strengthen your tresses through protein, moisture, and protective styling.
What about your natural hair journey? Are you doing anything different to make your transition into natural hair easier? If so, comment below.