Many people want to kick the processed hair habit and wear natural hair. There are many benefits to transitioning to your natural hair, including fewer salon visits and less damage to your hair. While this will take time, with a little love and patience, you can get back to showing off your natural hair.
What is the transition?
This is the name that the goddesses of natural hair gave to the process of eliminating hair whose natural pattern was altered by chemicals such as dyes and straightening, or by the constant heat of the blower, flat irons, and tongs and opting to show off the natural pattern of the hair…
We are going to start by dismantling some myths or beliefs that we have acquired about the transition and hair in general. One of the most popular questions on Miss Curls is, I want to show off my curls / my natural hair, how do I do it? O I want to “remove” the straightening. What can I use? o What product does the straightening remove?
Get started with the transition
Set yourself a period
After making the decision to transition, you should consider the amount of time you want this process to take or should spend. You may initially think you want to transition for a year but get tired after three months of having two different textures and just cut all your hair straight.
- In case you want to stick with both your straightened hair and your natural hair, you should come up with a standard hairstyle in which you combine both textures.
- You can try a Bantu knot or a twist out hairstyle to more easily blend both very different hair textures into one hairstyle.
Determine what the current problem areas of your hair are
People decide to go back to their natural hair for various reasons. One of the main ones is due to damaged hair. After you know what state your hair is in, you can know what your next step will be. For example, you may need to cut a large amount of your hair or just do a deep conditioning treatment while you wait for it to grow out.
- In case you are unsure, you can ask a stylist or hairdresser to examine your hair, as they can help point you in the right direction.
Humidify your hair
When making this transition with your hair, one of the most important aspects is to properly moisturize it. Naturally curly hair often needs deep moisturizing treatments in order to stay healthy. You can start with protein treatments once or twice a month and then start with deep conditioning moisturizing treatments. Keeping in moisture will prevent damage.
- In some cases, the products require you to leave the treatment for 5 minutes, while in others, it takes 30 minutes for them to work.
- You can use the conditioner at the same time as you do your chores. In this way, you will save time.
Learn to brush the right way
Detangling your hair should be done while it is still wet and slippery using a dry conditioner and a wide-tooth comb. Start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. By forcibly brushing from top to bottom so that it moves quickly through knots, you are essentially pulling your hair out by the root, which does a lot of damage to your hair and scalp.
- You should brush your hair at night so that the natural oils travel from the root zone through the shaft. Brush in thinner sections to ensure that all of your hair is incorporated.
- Take particular care in the area where the natural texture meets your straightened hair. This is known as the demarcation line and is the most fragile part of the hair. You should take your time detangling and styling your hair.
Protect the edges
You should treat them with the same care as the ends. This is because the edges are very delicate and will break more easily than the rest of the hair. You should pay the same amount of attention to the edges and nape of the neck as you do to the ends, and be diligent about moisturizing and sealing the ends of your hair first. Avoid neglecting the edges and the nape area, particularly the area behind the helix of the ear, when applying a moisturizing product and a conditioner. Fold your ear down and be sure to take care of that area.
- Avoid hairstyles that put too much stress on your temples and nape.
- Use a natural oil serum to keep the edges smooth and protected.
Get your ends trimmed frequently
Trimming them regularly can help you transition to your natural hair more quickly. By trimming them, you prevent the split ends from traveling too far up through the strands of your hair, thus requiring a more drastic cut. At times, you may find that your hair is not growing. However, it is possible that the problem is actually that the ends break more quickly than those with which your hair grows. This creates the illusion that your hair is stunted.
- Get regular haircuts every 4-6 weeks. This will prevent your hair from getting longer.
Maintaining two hair textures
Plan for the first two months
This may be easy if you’ve previously followed the general guide to straightening hair for touch-ups every 8 weeks. Start thinking about appropriate transition hairstyles for the months to come, and use this time to practice various styles to determine if there are any you want to adopt.
Consider braid extensions
These are a great way to stop thinking about hair growth, plus they stop you from having to do so much every day.
Avoid opting for a hairstyle for which you have to use a hair straightener or curling iron. You should choose a hairstyle that prepares you for when you have your natural curls.
Be patient in the third and fourth months
This is when it can be more challenging to transition because you will need to pay close attention to caring for your hair at the boundary line (that is, the area where your straightened hair and newly growing hair meet). This is a particularly fragile area where you will find the most damage.
Start with a new hairstyle in the fifth month with the hair that you have grown
You may have grown 2-3 inches of new hair. Keep in mind that the new curls that will grow out will look visibly different than the straightened hair. You may not notice that much of a difference if you used a texturizing treatment instead of a smoothing treatment. It could be challenging to have to do your hair every day, so you should try hairstyles that make the most of your curls rather than trying to straighten this new hair that has grown out of you.
Trim 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of hair, and then continue with deep conditioning and protein treatments.
Consider cutting the ends straight
When you’ve grown about 4 inches (10 cm) of new hair, you may want to get rid of the processed hair. It might seem like the ends of your hair are barely holding up. The sooner you get rid of processed ends, the sooner you can begin to understand and work with your unique hair texture. You might consider cutting your processed ends if your straightened hair is shorter than your new hair.
While this may be difficult for people who prefer long hair, keep in mind that thin, broken ends will not flatter you.
Watch your new hair develop well around the ninth month as your straightened hair is on its last legs. By this point, you will have a better understanding of your natural texture and have begun to understand how to deal with it. Once you cut the rest of your hair straightener, you will see that your hair is unique and beautiful and that you can accept it.
Maintaining your hair with healthy habits
Be consistent with healthy habits
When you get back your beautiful natural hair, you should treat it with care. Be sure to gently comb your hair, buy good products, get weekly deep conditioning treatments, and use a limited amount of heat. Follow as many of these changes as possible, even if you can’t stick with all of them. You will get better results the more consistent you are in terms of healthy hair habits.
Keep a journal
Spend time once every two weeks writing down how your hair is doing. In this way, you can check for improvements, and it can also be useful to determine which products work for you and which do not.
Avoid washing your hair every day
Doing so strips your scalp and hair of the oils and makes them dry. Curly hair generally doesn’t get too oily, so it attracts less dirt. This means that you shouldn’t wash it every day.
While it will take some experimentation, you should wash your scalp every two days to every three weeks.
If your hair is less than 4 inches (10 cm) long, if it is oily regardless of the length, if you have to deal with dandruff or have a job where you have to do a lot of physical activity or deal with a lot of dirt, you should wash your hair every 2-3 days.
Get massages to stimulate your scalp
Using your fingertips or a soft bristle brush, gently massage your scalp. This technique is not only good because it provides benefits related to stress release, but also because it encourages circulation to the scalp and hair follicles. If you have better circulation, this makes you have more oxygen and encourages hair growth.
You should do the massage before washing your hair or when applying the shampoo in the shower.
Buy good products
Getting good shampoos and conditioners will make a big difference in the quality and texture of your hair. Therefore, avoid cheap hair products. Check what products are for sale in your beauty salon or ask your hairdresser for help with what you should buy and where you can get them.
Opt for natural hair products so you don’t have to unnecessarily expose yourself to chemicals.
Use products that work for your hair type, thereby customizing your shampoo and conditioner. There are shampoos and conditioners specifically designed to treat any type of hair (thick, fine, oily, dry or frizzy).
Avoid combing your hair in the heat
You can get a lot of beautiful hairstyles without using heat, which is why you should put your flat iron away and use it sparingly. If you apply heat to your hair forcibly, its cells break down and eventually shed. While using more natural methods to achieve the same style, your hair will look healthier and stay stronger.
Protect your hair at night
Tossing your head in bed can cause your hair to break on the pillow and sheets. Therefore, you should sleep every night with your hair wrapped in a silk or satin scarf. As another option, you can use a satin or silk cover for your pillow. In this way, you reduce the friction against your hair and thus prevents the development of split ends and damage.
Focus on your nutrition and eliminate processed foods that do not provide you with essential vitamins. Hair develops well due to certain vitamins that you can find in a healthy diet. Biotin increases the elasticity of the hair, protects it against dryness and produces keratin, which is a fundamental component of healthy hair. In this way, hair health is promoted. On the other hand, vitamin A helps to produce healthy sebum, which is an oily substance produced by the scalp and keeps hair hydrated. Lastly, vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, as well as increasing oxygen absorption to help with the body’s blood circulation, which in turn helps your body produce new hair.
- To get biotin, eat brown rice, bulgur, peas, lentils, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.
- vitamin A, you must incorporate cod liver oil, krill oil, carrots, spinach, and peaches into your diet.
- To get vitamin E, you can eat beans, soybeans, leafy vegetables, wheat germ oil, and walnuts.
- You can supplement any of these vitamins that you don’t get through your diet by taking vitamin pills.
Stay away from colored hair
Dye your hair the same color as your roots
In case that, like many people, your processed hair color is different from your natural color, you will need to dye your hair one more time so that it is the same color as the growing hair. This way, you can grow your natural hair and hide where the roots meet the processed hair.
- You need to follow this step to avoid two-toned hair.
- You should not do it on your own.
- Ask your stylist to choose a permanent hair color that matches the natural hair you are growing. In this way, as you grow it, your hair will have the same tone.
Consider getting your hair cut
If your hair is damaged, split, or very dry, you can consider cutting a large amount of it. Sometimes it can become so damaged that you won’t be able to dye your processed hair further so that it is the same color as your roots. You should avoid keeping your hair looking damaged just because you want it to be long.
Cutting your hair will help make the transition to your natural hair faster.
Avoid anything that makes your hair dry
Coloring your hair takes a toll on your follicles, so avoid anything that continues to cause your hair to dry out (for example, styling using hot tools or shampooing too often).
After showering, let your hair air dry.
Once a week, go for a deep conditioning treatment to lock in moisture.
Avoid hair dyes and highlighters
After you get your natural hair back, you should not use harsh chemicals again as if nothing happened. Even semi-permanent hair dye and toning products will clog hair follicles and damage your natural hair. Don’t forget that illuminating products are not natural at all and will cause you damage.
Highlighter products lighten your hair without you having to use bleach, but they still change the hair follicles. Also, they will create a visible difference in the tone of your hair when the roots begin to grow and they have a darker color.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy hair, but you should still consume it carefully. Too much vitamin A can be toxic and actually lead to hair loss. You should only consume a maximum of 25,000 IU a day, either through supplements, in your diet, or with a combination of both.