Skip to main content

5 Tips For Transitioners

• Nov 21, 2011


Laila, Natural Hair Style Icon

By Jc of The Natural Haven

I have been doing a lot of articles for seasoned naturals but I thought it was time now to chirp a little in the transitioners corner. These are my five top tips for a smooth transition.

1. Go Easy On The Heat

If your hair has is currently relaxed and you wish to grow out some natural hair first before cutting the relaxed hair, minimise the amount of heat you apply to your hair. To do this, aim to style your hair in a curly form – twist outs, braid outs, straw sets, bantu knots and knot outs, curlformers and flexi rod sets should be your go to styles if you normally wear your hair free.

Heat can permanently damage the natural curl of your hair. If you use a lot of heat while transitioning  to merge the relaxed hair with the natural hair you may find that your natural hair is more difficult to manage and in addition may be heat damaged (regular repeated/high heat use can lead to dry and breaking hair).

2. Detangling: Take Your Time

Detangling natural hair is a skill that is learned over time. It is very easy to comb hair that is relaxed or where the curls have been loosened. However, natural hair is a whole new ball game.

I suggest that you allocate more time than you will ever need (for example, if you think it will take an hour, then allocate three).  Another key tip is to have some oil ready by the side (coconut oil and olive oil are very popular for slip) and feel free to add some to your hair or conditioner should it not feel slippery enough when combing.

Most people will start out detangling hair when it is soaked in conditioner as this is generally accepted as the easiest method. Some will then move on to detangling dry prior to washing (note there are varying interpretations of the word dry as some use a leave in conditioner, a small amount of water  and/or oil – the general principle is however not to have hair soaking wet) . Start with the easiest method and only when it stops working or is ineffective, try a more advanced technique.

Next Page

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

23
Leave a Reply

avatar
13 Comment threads
10 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
JessicakweenCece DanielleHansylilysiobhan Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Cassandra M
Guest
Cassandra M

In section 1, you said go easy on the heat. I sit under the hair dryer once a week. I give myself a deep conditioner with hair mayo. I then put flex rods or hard rollers in my hair and sit under the hard dryer again. Is this process to much for my hair as I transition?

BrooklynCoily
Guest
BrooklynCoily

@ Cassandra — No, I think direct heat or an overuse of direct heat should be avoided — and that goes for transitioners, naturals, relaxed heads alike. So flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers on high heat — those things.

Cassandra M
Guest
Cassandra M

Thanks BrooklynCoily. So would a dryer setting on low be better. I think I might try more sew ins.

NancyM
Guest
NancyM

I sit under a hooded hair dryer as well. I’m going into my 10th month of transitioning, and I mainly style my hair with roller sets, then buns. I think the hooded dryer is ok, but the blow dryer and flat iron should be avoided.

Ella
Guest
Ella

I started the transition two days ago. I haven’t relaxed for a long time now, but still like half the length of my hair is still relaxed. Is it necessary to do the big chop? (I really don’t want to do it.) I deep conditioned, used leave‐in conditioner, some oils, and blow‐dried it, but my roots are very tough to comb through except I apply leave‐in conditioner. I’m thinking of going to the salon today to have them straightening it out and do some trimming. What do you suggest I do? Because I want to be able to manage it… Read more »

Alexia
Guest

Like one of the tips said, instead of making your new natural hair conform to the straightness that’s going to eventually be cut off, make the chemically altered hair match what’s growing out of your scalp.

I’ve heard great things about Curlformers, which can be found at Sally’s. Cornrows, flat twists, bantu knot‐outs and twist‐outs can also help as well.

LBell
Guest
LBell

Co-signing…meaning you need to start combing from the ends up (instead of from the roots down) and with the proper amount of conditioner and oil in it (instead of dry without product). If your current leave‐in conditioner isn’t letting you comb through your roots, add some oil to it or try a different conditioner. No hair is too tough to comb through if you’re using the comb PROPERLY.

LBell
Guest
LBell

I forgot to add: Make sure you’re using the right KIND of comb. Your fine‐toothed comb works for the relaxed part, but when it comes to the roots, you have to put that comb away and get one with wider teeth. Most naturals I’ve known have a variety of different wide‐toothed combs. As time goes on you’ll find yourself using that fine‐toothed comb less and less.

LBell
Guest
LBell

BGLH and Jc kill it with yet another great post! 🙂 The only thing I’d (slightly) disagree with is the last part of tip 5. Be very careful who you tell, especially if you’re in any doubt about doing this. Don’t assume that your natural friends and family will support you or that your non‐natural friends and family won’t. Ultimately it has to be YOUR decision and yours alone…try not to let others influence you too much. When I decided to go natural I told maybe 3 people, one of whom had just gone natural herself. Everybody else, including my… Read more »

Ella
Guest
Ella

Ooh, thanks a lot ladies!

Oniea Ivanov
Guest

The less heat the better! I ruined my last transition with heat. To protect the line of demaraction, I’ve been wearing braids and twists. I haven’t started wearing accessories yet.

Jaeda Barbie
Guest

I think heat damage is big issue with many ladies transitioning, I have people who I know who are natural, but flat iron daily, IT is their hair and but I worry they will get heat damage.

Ameerah Pearman
Guest

I need someone to please tell me what type of set was used in the photo…

Tahitian Young
Guest
Tahitian Young

I have been natural off and on for 7 years and the heat does play a bigger factor in going natural. I have found out in the hair i do and my own hair that it can dry it out regardless of how much oil u put in it. You hair becomes dependent on it whether its once a week or everyday and it begins to break. You can do a deep condition by putting a plastic bag over your head and then wrapping it in a towel. You can even stay your hair once you wash it and comb… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

These are great tips, but I am concerned about styling my hair thru a transition. I work in a dental office. My hair must be neat, and somewhat professional for the environment. I can’t have my hair flying around while working in other peoples mouths. But I hate always putting it in a ponytail or bun/protective style. Also, no one at my job is African‐American, and I’m concerned as to what they consider to be “too ethnic” vs “neat/profeesional”. (I don’t mean like business office professional, more like -keep it out of patients mouth, and don’t look wild‐professional.) ANY SUGGESTIONS????

SK
Guest
SK

I know this is late, but I thought I should still give my suggestion. I think that the best thing to do if you’re worried about your hairstyles is to discuss with a supervisor to determine what’s acceptable. Tell them what styles you’re thinking of wearing and ask if that’s okay.

lilysiobhan
Guest
lilysiobhan

For my transition, i had used braids for 2years, and still going! It is protective styling for your hair.. it looks neat and can definitely be used for a professional look. I never did the big chop, as I was always concerned that I wouldnt pull it off.. Within the 2 years transition, my hair has actually grown longer than the length that i had it when relaxed.Braids do work, just make sure to stick to the rules, like not keeping it in for longer than 2mths max; and when you do take it out, its best to give your… Read more »

Cece Danielle
Guest
Cece Danielle

That sounds great to me! I’m on my way to med school and I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to do my hair because I’m not going to have time.

Myrtice Wheless
Guest

HEY!Whats wrong with a little coo talk,you think its not going through the minds of people in the military after watching the rape of their country coupled with the lack of respect they get from Washington for all their hard work? pandora bracelet

Hansy
Guest
Hansy

“It is very easy to comb hair that is relaxed or where the curls have been loosened.” Strangely I find the opposite with my hair. My natural hair feels softer and it’s easier to comb than my relaxed hair when I am washing my hair. My ends give me the worst time and this happened even when my whole hair was relaxed. I think this is due to my hair being very thin. I’ve been without relaxer for 5 months and the only thing I do differently from many people is that I wash weekly. I just can’t go two… Read more »

kween
Guest
kween

i just start my natural hair journey on November.when transitioning hair is it okay to take hair vitamins supplement like hairfitinty, mane or not to take it??

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

These are great tips! Another thing I would suggest is to get the
Nutress Transitioning kit! This kit is really the best thing that works
for my transitioning hair. One thing that I love about this brand is
that they don’t make exaggerated claims and their products speak for
themselves. Their formulas are effective but very gentle, which is
perfect for Natural hair. You should definitely try it!

Orders Process in 1 Business Day. Free Shipping on Orders $60 and Up. Dismiss

Shopping Cart