Transitioning to natural hair can be intimidating but with these simple steps, your natural hair journey will be seamless.
More than ever, thousands of people have been making the switch to natural hair to reconnect with their roots (literally). We have seen amazing representation in media, film, and television, highlighting the beauty of natural hair and how to properly maintain kinky, curly or coily tresses — no matter the length. In addition, there has been a wide range of bloggers, vloggers and stylists who dedicate their online presence, educating the masses about product selections, the best tools to use and highlighting the best methods to use for a variety of hair types.
While the big chop has been the popularized method, transitioning is a preferred practice for some budding naturals, not ready to take the full plunge. Defined as, “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another,” transitioning in the natural hair community is just that. Instead of completely doing the big chop, which may be intimidating to some and a sign of a new beginning to others, transitioning allows the individual to keep their length and slowly cut their hair until they reach a desired length and/or comfort.
Celebrity Hairstylist and MAV Multicultural Brand Educator, Cataanda James says, “It is important to trim your hair while transitioning to natural because you must cut the relaxed hair away to reveal your total natural texture. Committing to regular trims is a subtle alternative to the Big Chop.” Continuing, James notes, “When you set a consistent schedule to trim your hair, you avoid losing all your length at once, which is the result of cutting the relaxed hair in one session; but you create a strategy to retain some length while ridding your tresses of the straightened hair as you transition gradually.”
However, transitioning to natural hair presents its fair share of problems due to managing different lengths and textures, which may increase breakage. James states, “When you are transitioning from chemically straightened hair to natural, you may see an increase of breakage so proper care is a necessity. Where the two hair textures collide, they are at war with one another. Your hair will require TLC which should consist of a healthy balance of protein and moisture treatments to combat the weakened state that is a result of opposite textures.”
Another key issue James recognizes is detangling and friction. “Transitioning presents problems with detangling because the straight hair gets intertwined with the curls and causes friction. When the hair is chemically straightened, it breaks down the bonds of the hair and weakens it and alters the cuticle layer, therefore any aggressive manipulation can cause split ends and breakage.” Since naturally, curly hair is typically stronger and healthier, natural hair has more elasticity, increasing its ability to bounce back with tension.
Finally, friction is a big problem with transitioning hair because both textures side by side are like oil and water. They do not mix. To help with transitioning to natural hair seamlessly, below we have listed a few product recommendations that will help you on your best journey yet:
- Multi-Vitamin Scalp Nourishing Growth Oil and Manetabolism Plus Vitamins - 1 Month Supply (GMO FREE)