I’m pretty sure that at some point, we have all seen hair tutorials and heard conversations about “going natural” and how it’s “better for you”. And sure, possibly so. Going natural is a pretty big step to take especially if, like many of us, our mamas permed our hair when we were pretty young things. It seems as though it’s only been a few years since it became a thing to be natural. While it gives you poppin’ curls and the best afros mankind will ever know, it does take time to fully go natural.
Or does it?
You cannot achieve those poppin’ curls and huge ‘fros overnight but there are only two ways to do so. You can either do the big chop, which is cutting off all off the permed ends of your hair leaving only the new un-permed strands. Or you can transition. Transitioning to natural hair for most women seems to be the one that provides the most comfort. You wouldn’t have to worry about losing so much hair at one time because you would gradually, as new growth comes in, chop the permed ends off. That way, bit by bit, you would be transitioning to natural hair!
It’s an excellent alternative to the big chop. However, we still have to make sure that we perform the proper steps in order to be sure our hair is taken care of in the process. Check out some of these tips to follow on your journey to becoming natural:
Start With a Good Trim
That first initial trim is very important. This means you need to get rid of all those dead, thin and split ends. The longer you transition, the more brittle your ends will become so you might as well let them go now because they will break anyway eventually. As you move along in your journey, it is important to trim your hair once a month or whenever necessary. This will prevent your hair from splitting and keep it healthy. Be sure to always use hair-cutting scissors too because paper-cutting or dull scissors can cause split ends!
Pre-Poo Before Shampooing
The demarcation line (where your natural and relaxed hair meet) is extremely fragile so keeping your hair strong is very important. Pre-pooing is the process of moisturizing your hair before you shampoo. This strengthens your hair and helps prevents it from breaking off! Let the pre-poo sit for 30 minutes to an hour before you begin shampooing your hair.
Shampoo in Sections
Although this process is tedious, it saves your hair from breakage. As you get months and months along in your transition, the new growth will make detangling more difficult so shampooing in sections will help tremedously.
Keeping your hair in sections as you pre-poo, shampoo and condition will save you a lot of breakage and shedding.
Give Up All Direct Heat (Flat Irons, Blow Dryers, etc.)
This step may be hard for some people. Straightening your hair is fun to give that sleek look but doing it too often will FOR SURE cause heat damage. Cutting this step out and applying indirect heat (such as a hooded dryer) instead of a blow dryer or letting your hair air dry will do wonders for your hair! Wear your hair in rod sets, twists, buns, extensions, bantu knots and other styles that don’t require heat and this will surely help you.
Detangle With Lots of Conditioner
Some people prefer to detangle in the shower with a rinse out conditioner. It’s important to detangle before and after the shower. Be sure to use your wide-tooth comb and be extra careful while detangling from the ends.
Learn to Flat Twist
The cool thing about flat twist is that they are loose enough so they don’t put any strain on your hair like extensions, and they are much easier to do than corn rows! This is a great protective style while transitioning as well! If you don’t know how to flat twist, you can definitely check out some how-to videos on Youtube.
Deep Condition Every Single Week
Deep conditioning is what keeps your relaxed hair and new growth healthy as you transition. It also helps you retain moisture (especially during those winter months). It’s important that you distribute the product from root to end. NEVER NEGLECT YOUR ENDS!
Buy Lots of Headbands
They are also good for making puffs! Puffs are a great style for jazzing up old hairstyles! They also protect your edges while adding an accesory!
Last but not least, moisturizing! Keeping you hair moisturized during this process is the most critical step out of everything! You do not want your hair to be dry and dehydrating because that will cause breakage and be a major set back in your journey! You should moisturize twice a day. Once in the day and once at night will suffice.
Other tips to help you along the way are to wear satin scarfs or use silk pillow cases to keep your hair from getting damaged while you sleep. The sooner you make the decision to transition and follow these steps, the sooner your hair will flourish!