Going from permed or relaxed hair to natural is a new and exciting experience. But just like any change, it can be uncomfortable in the beginning. You might face some negativity from people along the way, but remember to love how you were made. Here are some steps to get you started.
Decide whether or not you are going to BC (big chop) cut off all your hair or you can grow it out with the relaxed ends. Keep in mind that if you choose to keep your relaxed hair, more breakage is likely to occur where the relaxed hair meets the new natural growth.
Keep hair moisturized, this is very important. Condition your hair at least once a week by a process called Co-wash. Co-washing is when you use a conditioner like a shampoo. Use a conditioner free of silicones ie. Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone; these ingredients cause build up. Shampoos usually strip hair of moisture making it dry and causing breakage, especially shampoos containing sulfates and other chemical ingredients. To remove product build up I recommend using a sulfate free or all natural shampoo at least twice a month. Deep condition or do a hot oil treatment to your hair, especially after every shampoo. After Co-washing use a moisturizing leave in conditioner or cream that has water as an ingredient. Lastly, apply about a quarter size amount of oil or butter to seal the moisture in. Don’t use products containing mineral oil or petroleum.
Find styles to do whether your rocking a TWA(teeny weeny afro) because you BC’ed or are keeping the relaxed ends.
For people transitioning while keeping relaxed ends, here are some styles to blend the two textures of hair:
- Roller sets, perm rod sets, twist outs, 2 strand twists, micro braids, braid outs, bantu knots, flat twists, straw sets, and kinky twists. Do not press or flat iron hair to blend both textures together, this will cause breakage at the demarcation line, this is where the relaxed hair meets your natural hair. Do not leave twists or braids in too long because your hair will start to lock up. Do not use a texturizer, this product is an undercover relaxer. It contains chemicals which alter your natural hair.
Stay encouraged by looking at the hair journeys of other naturals, look at pictures of beautiful natural women, and connect with people who are on the same journey.