So, you want to go natural. The first thing you must do when you’re transitioning from relaxed to natural hair is stop getting relaxers! Duh, right? It’s really that easy. When I first started I was just trying to stretch the time in between my relaxers. I would get relaxers every 4 months. I think I got to about month 6 of “stretching” when I decided to transition from relaxed to natural. I just threw out any relaxer I had and made up my mind that it was no longer an option for me. Sometimes the first step is the hardest. I also decided to stop going to salons because I didn’t want the pressure they sometimes put on people to get relaxers. Obviously, not all stylists are like that but those that aren’t are few and far between. If you’re not really a do-it-yourself stylist or you just don’t want to be bothered, I suggest finding a stylist that will support your transition.
Next, read my post on the top 10 Things You Could be Doing to Wreck Your Hair. If you’re doing any of those things STOP! Once you discontinue these practices you will see big changes — FAST!
The next thing you have to do when you’re Transitioning From Relaxed To Natural Hair is decide your hair staples.
Here are mine…
- How often can you wash?
- Are you going to trim, how often?
- How often do you want to deep condition?
- Are you going to straighten, how often?
- How will you straighten if you decide to do so — roller sets, hot combs, flat irons, etc.?
- Are you going to do protein treatments, how often?
- Will you use shampoo or just conditioner, apple cider vinegar or herbs to wash?
- How are you going to protect your hair when you sleep?
- How will you moisturize your hair?
- Are you going to pre-wash your hair?
- Are you going to do scalp massages, how often?
- What are your go-to styles going to be — braid-outs, curl former sets, buns, etc.?
- How often can you wash?I co-washed pretty much everyday for 2 years (and I still do) except for when I wore my hair straight. I just love clean hair. Once I started doing it, it just became a lifestyle thing.
- Are you going to trim, how often?I went a whole year without trimming when I first started my transition because I wanted to see if that whole 6″ in a year thing was true — it was! Now, I like to do light dusting every 3 months or I do what has been called the “search and destroy method” where I look for split ends and trim them off. I have become a little obsessive with this. It’s very time consuming to go through each and every strand, but I usually do it in sections: one section per week whenever I feel like it. It’s relaxing for me. I can do it weekly and then skip doing it for a couple of months. I see no reason to trim off healthy ends when I can just search and destroy a few bad ends.
- How often do you want to deep condition?During my transition, I deep conditioned twice per week. I used deep conditioner and left it on 45 minutes using the 15-10-10 method and steam towel wrap. I didn’t have the Gold ‘N Hot heat cap back then but I strongly suggest it.
- Are you going to straighten, how often?I decided to straighten with direct heat once every 3 months. Rarely I would do it 2-3 times every 3 months.
- How will you straighten if you decide to do so — roller sets, hot combs, flat irons, etc.?I always used roller sets followed by flat ironing followed by flat pin curls followed by a silk wrap.
- Are you going to do protein treatments, how often?Once every 6-8 weeks.
- Will you use shampoo or just conditioner, apple cider vinegar or herbs to wash?I did daily co-washes and weekly apple cider vinegar rinses. I may have shampooed and used herb sporadically, but not regularly.
- How are you going to protect your hair when you sleep?I slept on satin pillowcases, I employed the baggy method, and I wore satin scarves/bonnets.
- How will you moisturize your hair? Let’s se, I carried a spritzer of diluted moisturizer in my purse and car. I sprayed throughout the day when I felt my hair getting dry. I also carried small bottles of Giovanni Direct Leave In to use. I baggied at night.
- Are you going to pre-wash your hair?I did most of the time. Most of the time I would just oil my hair at night or use conditioner overnight and wash/rinse out in the morning.
- Are you going to do scalp massages, how often? How will you stimulate your scalp? I would try to daily scritching. I did that for awhile and then I adopted what I call the lazy girl’s daily scalp massage. I also like oils or products that tingle — anything with peppermint or tea tree.
- What are your go-to daily styles — braid-outs, curl former sets, buns, etc.?I just stuck to my SouthernTease bun, curl former sets, my method for straightening, and flexi rod sets. I wish I would have known about banding and twist outs.