1. Be Patient – Don’t set a time to become fully natural. Hair grows on average ½” per month. Look at your hair about 4-6 months into your transition to see where you are. Use this amount of growth as a gage to calculate your growth rate. This should help you determine how much longer it will take you to reach your desired “Big Chop*” length.
*Big Chop – Cutting off all of the chemically processed hair
2. Trim Regularly – Trim your hair every 4-6 weeks to prevent breakage. Don’t retain dead/split ends for lengths sake. This will only cause any split ends to split further up the shaft, causing unnecessary breakage
3. Find your Go To Style – Find your go to transitioning style. Trying to blend 2 very different textures can be quite difficult and frustrating, especially if it doesn’t blend like you may want it to. Bantu knot outs and twist outs (add a perm rod or straw to curl the ends) are a great go to styles to blend the two textures of your hair. Braids and weaves are a great option as well, but make sure your braids aren’t too tight that they pull on your edges. Also, let your hair breathe between each weave or set of braids. Try different styles that you can mix and match for different occasions.
4. Cleanse. Condition. Moisturize. –
Cleanse – When cleansing/shampooing your hair be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo. When shampooing your hair concentrate on your scalp, cleanse your scalp every 2 day to every 2 weeks. This will all depend on your scalp. Don’t over cleanse and strip your hair of its natural oils. Also, don’t under cleanse and have buildup that can cause dandruff. I suggest starting with washing every week and seeing how your scalp reacts to it. If it’s too much, go longer between washes. If it’s too little, go shorter between washes until you find the right balance for you. Also, to stretch between shampoos, as washing your hair too much with even a sulfate-free shampoo can be drying, try co-washing*.
*Co-wash – to wash your hair with conditioner
Condition – Make sure to deep condition your hair at least once a week. Find a DC that works for you that will really moisturize your hair. I would say if you are not shampooing, then use a deep conditioner (DC) after you co-wash. For co-washing conditioners use one a cheap conditioner with lots of slip. I use Suave Naturals Apple Conditioner. It’s $1 at Walgreens. Be sure to find one that is inexpensive as you will be using a lot of it.
Moisturize –Learn this early, as this step will be key in your natural hair journey. Up until recently, I have always had a struggle with keeping my hair moisturized. Lately, what’s working for me is using products without silicones. Silicones are ingredients that stay on the hair strand and can block moisture in the air from flowing in and out of the hair naturally. Water will always be your best friend in the constant moisture battle. Always look for products where the first ingredient is water, this will help you keep your hair moisturized in between shampoos and co-washes. Also, try the LOC method (Liquid, usually water, Oil and Cream). I’m currently trying this method and it is working for me. After you shampoo or co-wash, with your hair soaking wet, seal the water with the oil of your choice. “The coarser your hair the thicker the oil should be.” Remember to mind the seasons, as winter can be more drying. Try different oils to see which one works for your hair. Then apply a cream based product over the oil. I’m currently using Camille Rose Naturals Moisture Milk. I also apply this when my hair is completely dry between washes.