Transitioning From Relaxed To Natural Hair

Lady with a short cropWhat is the best way to accomplish your transition with the minimum of fuss?

More and more ladies are looking to transition from relaxed to natural hair texture. Whether it’s because you miss your natural texture and wish to wear your hair curly or you have having great difficulties in growing your relaxed hair long, transitioning is a decision that will empower you. Transitioning however, is also more than a little intimidating, how do you do it with the least amount of fuss, not to mention hair breakage?

Well, there is some good news and some bad news. Transitioning can be breakage free, almost, but only under controlled conditions, that’s the good news. The bad news is that some degree of breakage is inevitable.

As your natural texture grows in the line of demarcation (the point that separates the two textures) will be the weakest part of your hair. As you manipulate your hair whether you are detangling or doing any type of styling, this is the point that will most likely break. Depending on your hair type, your line of demarcation will be more obvious and it’s also worth a mention that the curlier your hair is, the weaker your line of demarcation. With 3b and 3c hair, the breakage will be markedly less than with 4a and 4b type hair.

Here are 3 ways to transition:

1.    An early big chop: You may decide that you don’t really want to deal with two totally different textures and if you don’t mind having short hair for a while (and you have the shape of face for it!) then this may be the solution for you. Many will balk at the thought of such an extreme change, especially if your relaxed hair was quite long, but you will save yourself a lot of hassle by starting from scratch. You will also save yourself a few bucks on the cost of hair care products for the time you are wearing a TWA (teeny weenie afro)!

2.    Transition with ‘hair hiding’ protective styles: Braids, weaves, wigs, just any style that will keep you from manipulating your hair while it grows out. If you can stand continuously hiding your hair, you can successfully transition with the minimum of breakage. The obvious downside is that you won’t be able to show off your length often without risking breakage, in which case it may not be worth it for you.

3.    Blend the two textures: You can use heat to flat iron your new growth to match the relaxed hair but constant heat is not healthy for black hair, particularly if you are going natural for the sake of healthier hair. If you have 3b and 3c type hair, a roller set can easily blend your two textures without heat but if your hair is 4a or 4b then generally only a flat iron will get it straight enough to match your relaxed texture. Another way of blending the two textures is to do braid outs, twist outs, bantu knot outs or straw sets to give all your hair a similar curl. The problem with doing this continuously through your transition is the sheer amount of manipulation your hair will experience which as your natural hair grows longer means breakage, breakage, and more breakage!

You may also choose to combine the last two methods until your hair is long enough for you to be comfortable to go ahead with the big chop. Another possibility is to use fab hair accessories to draw attention away from the difference in textures and vary your styles. Headbands, oversize floral clips and ribbons all look wonderfully chic and you can use them anyway once your transition is over!

Floral headband     Black floral clip   Blue hair clip       Orange headband

Whichever method of transitioning you choose, keeping up with moisture and protein deep conditioning treatments will ensure that for the most part, your hair remains where it belongs, on your head!




FREE DOWNLOAD


GROW IT LONG!

15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair





Alma

About Alma


Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started BlackHairInformation.com as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=538571691 Kiara Mattocks

    I transitioned with various braided styles, mainly cornrows, for 4 months, and then tried a wig in the 5th month, then BC'ed. The braids helped me not think about my hair but were so darn expensive, so I decided to give a wig a try, then got fed up with the 2 textures and just cut it off. If I could do it all over again though, I would have just done kinky twists myself. I started doing those immediately after my BC from learning how to by tutorials on youtube.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/BHI BHI

      I actually transitioned for 16 months before bcing! Braids were the name of the game for me but eventually I had so little relaxed hair remaining, it just seemed silly to leave it there! lol

  • teachermrw

    I came to your blog by way of a Google search re: how to wash and condition hair while transitioning. I just finished watching several You Tube video tutorials by women transitioning, and one blow dries and flat irons her hair so that the natural and relaxed portions are more or less consistent in texture. I'm nor sure why she chose this approach to transitioning, but, everyone needs to find her own voice.

    Thank you so much for your blog. :)

  • rosshy242

    I’m technically on my 2nd month of transitioning to natural (last time permed was in November or so) and already I’m told by friends that my new growth is pretty which is more motivation to continue my journey :) I’m honestly excited…I’ve always liked natural hair and haven’t seen my own natural hair since primary school

    • Linney

      Hi I am on my 4th month of transitioning to natural i have been relaxing for the past 33 years a very long time. My last relax was November 2013, so i want to take a brake from all the heat and relaxing. People are asking me why I want to do that, my hair is pretty long about 17 to 20 inches long. I don’t want to cut so want to see how long I can go with out doing the big chop, I am excited.. which i had not relax my hair. What products can i use for moisture as i transition.

  • Gloria Anderson

    I have been in transitioing for a year now but I have a bald spots in the front of my head. I have tried everything but it seems like nothing is working. I wash my hair every Monday with Aphogee shampoo and the Aphogee deep conditioner. I use Dr . Miracle scalp treatment hair grease.What am
    I doing wrong?

  • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/wp-comments-post.php Tishauna

    I’m currently transitioning and I have absolutely NOOO idea what I’m doing. My last relaxer was in March of this year and it was the best I ever had! However, I had disgusting split ends and I wanted healthier hair. I was tired of putting my hair in a ponytail and having it look like a rat tail because it was so thin. Before I relaxed it, my hair was super thick, but very dry. Now that I’m transitioning, I’ve heard that hair grease isn’t good for hair, so I stopped using it, I tried using water, but felt that my hair sucked it up way too fast so I just didn’t use anything. Then, just recently i took out a braids and while combing it out, my hair was ripping out from the root! When I examined it, I saw that my hair was locsing! I lost so much hair last month, I could start an eyelash company. I’m just all over the place with this. I haven’t seen any, but I feel as though, with all the hair I’ve lost, I probably have huge bald spots. I feel like since I’m in Canada, we have less options for hair products, like the Madame cj walker line, I can’t find that and I really want to try it..and I’m notowed to have a credit card so I can’t order it online. I’m so frustrated!! I thought about doing the big chop, but I have a square face, which makes my head look gigantic and can’t do it without looking like a guy. What do I do? Relaxer seriously is hair crack, I’ve considered just perking my hair and forgetting the whole natural thing all together. I really want natural long hair like Teyonah Parris! I feel like it looks so much better than any other long hair. I’m seriously confused.

  • http://www.blackhairinformation.com/wp-comments-post.php Tishauna

    I’m currently transitioning and I have absolutely NOOO idea what I’m doing. My last relaxer was in March of this year and it was the best I ever had! However, I had disgusting split ends and I wanted healthier hair. I was tired of putting my hair in a ponytail and having it look like a rat tail because it was so thin. Before I relaxed it, my hair was super thick, but very dry. Now that I’m transitioning, I’ve heard that hair grease isn’t good for hair, so I stopped using it, I tried using water, but felt that my hair sucked it up way too fast so I just didn’t use anything. Then, just recently i took out a braids and while combing it out, my hair was ripping out from the root! When I examined it, I saw that my hair was locsing! I lost so much hair last month, I could start an eyelash company. I’m just all over the place with this. I haven’t seen any, but I feel as though, with all the hair I’ve lost, I probably have huge bald spots. I feel like since I’m in Canada, we have less options for hair products, like the Madame cj walker line, I can’t find that and I really want to try it..and I’m notowed to have a credit card so I can’t order it online. I’m so frustrated!! I thought about doing the big chop, but I have a square face, which makes my head look gigantic and can’t do it without looking like a guy. What do I do? Relaxer seriously is hair crack, I’ve considered just perking my hair and forgetting the whole natural thing all together. I really want natural long hair like Teyonah Parris! I feel like it looks so much better than any other long hair. I’m seriously confused. I can’t even tell what hair type I have.

  • joeanna

    Am mix my mom started relaxing my hair at 11 yrs old am 30 now and wanted to see what type of hair I really have.I remember my mom curling my hair in big curles or even putting them in some huge bubbles,but she said it was to much to handle.I made the big chop and went completely bald now my hair is pretty curly when wet so am tryin to figure out what works with my hair type…I got to the hair store and wounder around clueless…can you help me on what I need to maintain my curles???