The natural hair movement has been around for years now.
And while there are numerous tutorials, blogs, and hair experts, most people still struggle to transition their strands from relaxed to natural.
If you belong to this camp, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about making the transition from relaxer as painless and knot-free as possible.
1. Can You Transition Back to Natural Hair Without The Big Chop?
Everyone is obsessed with before-and-after hair transformation. However, when you embark on the natural hair journey, remember that chopping off your strands isn’t the only option.
Popularly referred to as the ‘ big chop’ in the natural hair community, 50% of people choose to shave off their processed hair instead of growing out their hair inch by inch until they’re left with 100% natural hair.
It’s all up to you to figure out which path to take, provided you keep your growing strands deeply moisturized. If you choose the transitioning path, your strands will be two different textures, so make sure to go for protein-packed and moisture-rich hair treatments that can safeguard your hair and reduce breakage.
One of the best protein treatments on the market is the Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner.
2. How Can One Speed Up the Transitioning Process?
You can speed it up by feeding your body and hair with essential nutrients. Healthy hair is more than just loading up on products. It would be best if you consumed a nutritious meal, hydrate like your life depends on it, and take vitamins.
You can also invest in growth supplements loaded with biotin to help enhance the hair growth process.
Some experts also recommend getting a trim every three to four months for consistency – it helps keep your tresses healthy as you’re growing it out, speed up the growth process, and make room for your natural texture to come through.
3. How Long Does It Take To Transition?
It mainly depends on how long you want your hair to be when you chop off the remaining relaxed ends.
Hair grows 1/2” every month on average. So, if you want 20 inches of natural hair before you chop off the ends, you’ll have to transition for approximately 40 months. However, every person has their own hair growth process.
Also, remember that natural hair shrinks up to 50 to 80% of its length. Therefore, 20 inches of natural strands isn’t the same as 20 inches of processed hair.
4. Can You Get Your Hair Texture Back After Relaxer?
Yes, you can. However, you restrain from using any chemical treatments – like forever!
5. How Can You Get Relaxer Out Without the ‘Big Chop?’
Again, you’ll have to wait it out. You can chop off the relaxed ends when you reach the desired length.
6. How Often Should You Wash Your Strands After Transitioning?
As often as possible. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so you need to get rid of the buildup regularly. A great rule of thumb is twice a week.
However, this is subject to your activity level. If you’re a workout buff or work in a dusty environment, you need to consider washing it daily.
Some naturals opt to co-wash exclusively for weeks, followed by a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month. Again, it all depends on your preference.
7. How Should One Wear Their Hair When in Transition Mode?
You can try low manipulation styles such as Bantu knots, faux locs, flat twists, pinups, loosely done braids, wigs, and any style that doesn’t require combing, heat, and leaves your ends neatly tucked away. Basically, the less you manipulate your strands, the better.
Also, aim for your protective styles to last for a week or 11/2 and three months for professional-grade wigs and braids.
You should also check the timing. You want light styles like braids for the summer and heavier ones like wigs for the fall (this is when hair naturally gets dry and sheds).
8. Is It Safe to Transition With Braids, Protective Styles, or Extensions?
As mentioned above, protective styles are the best way to transition from processed to natural air. However, don’t get them on too tight, and after taking them down, give your strands a one-month break before installing another.
Also, ensure to maintain your hair routine. That means moisturizing by loading it with water-based moisturizers and sealing it with natural oils like the Miele Organics Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil.
9. What Are the Recommended Transitioning Products?
There’s no perfect transitioning product. You need to experiment and see which ingredients work well with your hair porosity and needs.
However, in general, make sure to:
- Go for sulfate-free shampoos like the Morrocanoil Extra Volume Shampoo. Sulfates tend dry your hair out
- Keep your strands moisturized (choose water-based moisturizers)
- Deep condition regularly – like, say, once a week
- Seal in the moisture with natural oils
- Avoid heat at all costs. If you have to use your flatirons and blow-dryers, invest in a good health protectant spray like the Mizani 24 Miracle Milk
10. How Can One Stop Their Transitioning Hair From Shedding?
The first step is taking a breather. You see, the longer you transition, the more hair breakage occurs. So, there’s no need to raise the alarm.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce hair shedding and breakage. The best way to go by this is:
- Investing in a protein treatment – you can use store-bought or nutritious homemade treatments
- Deep conditioning your strands once a week and no less than every other week
- Pre-pooing your hair before washing it
- Moisturizing daily
- Trimming your ends regularly. Split ends accelerate shedding, so chop them off
- Using silk pillowcases, bonnets, and scrunchies to help keep your strands from breaking and, worse, losing moisture
If your hair is shedding from your roots, that might be a transitioning process-triggered issue, so you might have to seek a professional for proper advice.
There are numerous ways to transition from relaxed to natural hair. Maintaining healthy strands during the process is the most crucial, no matter how you choose.
Between blogs, Google, and YouTube tutorials, you find almost any answer to your transitioning questions. Ultimately, this is your journey, so be sure to enjoy it, have fun, and learn as you go!
Do you have any extra tips that we might not have touched on? If so, let us know in the comment section below.