Tips for transitioners (part 1)

You don’t have to cut your hair to become natural. It is possible to go completely natural without cutting all of your relaxed or texturized hair. You don’t have to do the big chop (bc) as others have done. Many persons transition for various reasons, for instance, they are not ready to part with their hair. They are not comfortable or not used to wearing short hair or don’t know how to style it. They are fearful about what others would say. The list goes on and on. But there is hope for persons that do not want to cut their hair, TRANSITIONING!
You can choose to do a short term transition that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few short months. Or you can long term transition as I did for a year and there are persons who have gone up to two years allowing the chemically straightened hair to grow out gradually snipping off processed ends until it has completely grown out. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey to transitioning.

Tip # 1
Handle hair gently
Natural hair on its own is fragile by nature but the area where the natural hair ends and the chemically processed hair begin, which is called the point of demarcation is the most fragile part of the hair. If extra care is not taken when manipulating the hair, it will break at that point leaving the end of your hair ragged. This will eventually create a split end if it is not trimmed. Any time you must handle your hair, whether washing, combing or styling take all precautions not to damage the strands.

Tip # 2
Treat all of your hair as if it is completely natural
It can be very frustrating when transitioning to deal with the natural texture of your hair and the chemically straightened hair especially if you are not used to it. But the best way to deal with that is by treating both textures as if they are the same and in time you will get used to it. It will make the transition to understanding and caring for your natural hair easier rather than going cold turkey, as it were, by doing the big chop.

Tip # 3
Moisture moisture moisture
Kinky and kinky curly hair is dry by nature because, due to the coils and curls of the strands, moisture is not able to travel the length of the hair effectively on its own from the sebum that is naturally produced by our scalp. We must manually add moisture in the form of water or water-based products to our hair, depending on how much moisture our hair craves. For some people, that can be as often as twice a day or as far between as once a week. But one thing is clear. Hair must be kept moisturized and it is very important to seal in that moisture with a heavier product if you are having problems retaining moisture with an oil or cream.

Tip # 4
Minimal manipulation
When transitioning, the less you manipulate your hair the better. Since the hair is so fragile, especially the point of demarcation, you want to handle hair only when necessary, that is when washing and when styling. It is advised that you wear styles that do not require much manipulation and wear it as long as you can before the next wash day.

Tip # 5
Keep hair clean
There is a misconception that dandruff or dirt “makes your hair grow”. That is quite the opposite of the truth. Hair must be kept clean so that it can absorb and retain moisture which is critical in the overall health of your hair, particularly when transitioning. If you have an underlying condition that causes build up on your scalp, please consult your physician or hair care provider to treat that problem as it may require that you use special or prescribed products and medication.

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