Transitioning to natural hair is a longer, more difficult journey than the big chop, but going natural has many benefits. Once you learn to embrace your natural hair, you’ll realize how growing natural hair is much easier without the harsh chemicals that are found in the relaxer.
How to transition to natural hair
The hardest part about transitioning hair is the two textures your hair will have until the ends grow out and are trimmed. The top of your hair will be your naturally curly hair, and the ends will be straight.
This damage cannot be reversed so be prepared to trim your ends every month until the relaxed ends are gone. While transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, there are many protective hairstyles for transitioning hair such as box braids, Bantu knots, crotchet twists, faux locs, etc.
The options are endless and because they last for so long there is minimal manipulation to your natural, allowing your hair to transition faster.
How to wash transitioning hair
When you transition from perm to natural hair you have first to get to know your hair type, how oily your hair is, and which products work best for your hair. To wash your hair, there are two options that you can do: wash, or shampoo.
Cowash is a cleansing conditioner that allows your hair to retain its natural moisture, get more moisture, and be cleaned. Shampoo cleanses the hair better but can strip hair of all of its natural oils.
No matter which you use, afterward you need to moisturize it. The best way to moisturize is using the L.O.C method.
First, choose a water-based liquid or leave-in conditioner, and then add an oil and cream to hair. If you choose to leave your hair like this, then it is called a wash n go.
Everyone’s hair is unique, but here are some of the best transitioning hair products.
Shampoo / Cowash
- Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree There peppermint tea tree shampoo gives a cool and refreshing sensation while cleansing hair. It leaves hair soft and manageable. Peppermint and tea tree oil are also both very good at improving overall hair health.
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Not only does this shampoo smell amazing, but it also is organic and sulfate-free. This shampoo leaves hair spotless, but it also dries it out. So it’s important either pre-poo or adds extra moisture after each use of this product.
- Shea Moisture This product is known for adding body and shine without weighing down hair. It’s also very moisturizing and doesn’t leave hair feeling dry or frizzy. It contains coconut oil, Shea butter, and avocado oil. These ingredients combined work to make the hair look and feel healthier.
- As I Am This cash is a personal favorite. It contains coconut oil which reduces dandruff and dryness. As I Am adds moisture while at the same time retains the moisture your hair already produces. This leaves curls looking more defined and smells amazing.This wash is excellent for people who struggle with consistently dry hair.
- Camille Rose Naturals Clean Rinse This shampoo also contains peppermint. It cleans hair without drying it out and also rids hair of product build up while leaving it very soft and easy to detangle.
Deep conditioner and moisturizer
- Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, and Restore These products work well as a detangler because it contains castor oil and makes thick hair easier to manage. Also, it doesn’t contain chemicals and is mostly organic.
- Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner and Leave-in This deep conditioner and leave-in also make hair easy to comb through and reduces frizz. Although it called “Mixed Chicks” it is meant for anyone with curly hair of any hair type.
- Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana Deep Fix and Curl Assurance Leave-in Not only does this product smell great but it also leaves hair with defined, shiny, moisturized curls. It is high in protein which will create stronger hair that is less likely to break.
- Mega Growth Deep Conditioner and Leave-in This product smells fantastic and leaves your curls defined and light weight. It adds moisture. It also reduces breakage while promoting hair growth. This product targets brittle hair to restore it back to a healthy state.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils among people who are transitioning. It contains Vitamin E to keep your hair healthy while it decreases frizz and damage. It can also be used as a pre-poo to prep your hair before you wash it.
- Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil contains many vitamins, including A, B2, and E. This oil is very similar to the natural oil your scalp produces, also known as sebum, and contains some of the same antibacterial properties to help with dandruff and other scalp issues.
- Olive oil
You probably already have this oil laying around in your kitchen, so why not use it on your hair? It’s one of the heaviest oils and can reduce dandruff and frizz. Also, it’s one of the best sealant, which means it is an excellent option for the LOC method.
- Castor oil
Castor oil improves blood circulation to help transitioning hair grow. It also prevents hair breakage and split ends.
- Argan oil
This oil is most commonly used as a heat protectant but is also an excellent moisturizer. It creates stronger hair that prevents breakage.
Once you find your transitioning hair regimen it’s important to keep your hair on a schedule and commit to it. You can decide how often to wash and moisturize depending on how often your hair needs it.
If you are transitioning with braids or other protective styles, then this isn’t as important because you will not be manipulating your hair. How long does it take to transition to natural hair?
For many people, they transition until their hair is an acceptable length then they big chop. But for those who want to transition to natural hair without the big chop, it will take at least a year, or even longer.
The important thing to remember is that transitioning to natural hair is not a race. As long as your hair is healthy, then it will grow.
Hairstyles for short hair
If your hair is short, there are still many hairstyles for you to choose from. Here are five of the easiest styles for short hair
Tapered hair is when the sides and back of your hair are cut slightly shorter than the rest of your hair. This is a good style because it gets rid of some of the dead ends that relaxer causes without having to completely big chop.
These are similar to cornrows but, use two sections of hair twisted together instead of the three intertwined sections that cornrows use.
You can braid or twist up your hair then curl the loose ends and allow it to form a curly Mohawk.
Wash N Go
This is the easiest style but can be difficult if you have two-textured hair. Just wash, moisturize, and go!
If the multiple textures are a concern, then you can curl your ends at night and go in the morning.
This is another protective style. Just braid your hair into cornrows and add the crochet twists.
This style typically lasts up to a month.
Transitioning hair tips
- Be patient while transitioning!
There’s no magic trick on transitioning to natural hair fast. Just keep your hair moisturized and trim regularly.
- Experiment with your natural hair
Have fun trying different styles and products. There are so much more options for natural hair than there are for relaxed hair.
- Stay away from relaxers!
It can be tempting to go back to a relaxer, but it’s not worth it. If you want straight hair, then just straighten it. That way you’ll always have the option to go back curls without having to start the transitioning process all over again.