So, you’ve decided to make the leap from relaxed to natural hair. You’ve got a long journey ahead but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Most ladies making the transition are reluctant to go for “the big chop”, which is understandable – you’ve spent a long time growing that hair! Fortunately, it’s not always necessary to cut up inches upon inches of hair.
Braids and Twists are the Go-To
What encourages most of us to commit to The Big Chop is the line of demarcation between your relaxed hair and your natural hair. It can be quite obvious and also being the point at which your hair breaks off – but braids and twists and camouflage it.
If you’re using a method that isn’t particularly hard on your hair, this is a great way to protect it while transitioning. Jumbo twists, faux locs and box braids allow you to keep (and add) length while you wait for your hair to grow out. And, the don’t require lots of manipulation that could damage your hair while styling.
Low Manipulation Styles Are Ideal
If you’re not going for a protective style that will last you a few weeks or months, it’s important that you’re not touching your hair too much and too often. So, you should aim for a style that doesn’t need touching up every day. These are some of your best options:
- Roller Sets
- High Puffs
- Faux Hawks
- Braid outs
- Corn rows
If you’re going to have your own hair out while transitioning, make sure you wrap it up every night in a silk/sating scarf to protect it and use a light moisturising daily (a spray is best).
Don’t Use Heat or Chemicals
You can choose one: avoiding the big chop or using heat and chemicals. These cause lots of damage to your hair and they can set back lots of your progress.
This means no dyeing your hair. If you want to switch up your hair colour, hair paint is a safe alternative to dye and there’s no penetration.
It also means no flat ironing. If you want a sleek look sometimes, a lace front may be an expensive investment but it’s worth it if you’re going to be wearing your hair straight often.
When you’re opting not to go for the big chop, it’s a good idea to trim your hair gradually. It’s best to do this once a month if you’re wearing your hair naturally or using a protective style. You should plan to get your braids, locs or twists tightened or redone every few weeks so that you have the opportunity to gradually trim off the most damaged bits.
Deep Condition Weekly
This is an essential step, and you should not miss it out. Write it down in your agenda or set an alarm – whatever it takes to remember your weekly deep conditioning.
Even if you have a protective style in, it is possible to deep condition your hair. Nappyheadedjojoba has one of the best tutorials on how to deep condition without ruining your protective style:
Transitioning is always going to be a difficult journey but just remember that you’ve got this! If you’re struggling with the process, you can always opt for another hairstyle, just as long as you remember to take the necessary steps to protect your hair.