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.