Deciding to grow your 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.
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.
Transition 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 natural curls. 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 beauty industry that refers to how slippery a product is. A slippery shampoo and conditioner will help you glide knots apart while you condition 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 Lubricate. Moisturizing involves hydrating the hair with water, and then applying an element that coats and protects. For most curly queens, the protective layer is oil.
Penetrative Oils like avocado, olive, and coconut work to infuse nutrients into the hair shaft, and they seal moisture in too. 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 healthy products on the market, and it contains protective oils blended into one container. You’ll find that it is easy to use and that it keeps your hair moisturized throughout the week.
Always be sure to hydrate with water or aloe vera before sealing with oil. Then layer a light conditioner or heavier curl cream on to the strand to further lock moisture into the shaft.
Layering your products will help to guard against friction and other damaging elements.
Also, aim to do a weekly deep conditioning mask to help moisturize curly locks.
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 apply low heat while the conditioner is in your hair.
Try using asoft 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.
Aim to deep condition your hair twice a month to maintain soft, healthy tresses.
The problem is, these styles are hardly protective if they are destroying your roots and follicles. Long-term pulling at the root can lead to eventual baldness as you age.
The best protective styles protect the ends while avoiding tension at the root. Excellent protective styles include twists, braids, bantu knots, and classy updos.
- 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, hair can become torn and worn. 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.
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.
Maintain Good Protein-Moisture Balance
You probably already know about the damage relaxers do to hair. They destroy the integrity of curly hair by breaking down protein. Hair is made of protein, and losing so much of it in one 15-20-minute session is unnatural and stressful for hair.
In addition to protein lost during a relaxer session, hair loses protein throughout the day from regular wear and tear. You can bounce back from this loss by applying a regular dose of protein to your locks.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. Try to squeeze in a session during the month where you focus on the line of demarcation only. This will improve the strength to match the rest of your hair.
Applying the protein only on the weak area is a way to give the relaxed hair an opportunity to catch up to the new stronger growth.
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 all products containing protein.
Hair is made of protein, so if you find your hair breaks from protein treatments, try boosting the moisture instead. Follow all protein treatments with a deep conditioning mask. Protein and moisture work synergistically together 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 smoothen your transition into natural hair?