Going natural is a great idea if your hair looks weak and unhealthy due to chemical treatments or you fear that you might suffer from scalp damage due to a sensitive scalp. Several people have transitioned due to severe scalp burns from chemical relaxers. Afro hair has been trendy for years now, and many black women are proudly rocking their fro. If your hair has been chemically treated, you can still go natural without cutting it off. This article will answer frequently asked questions about transitioning to natural hair and guide you through your hair journey.
There are two ways you can change your hair from relaxed or chemically processed to natural.
Chop it all off
Cutting all your hair off and starting afresh is the easiest way to go natural. It can be emotional for some people because it’s a whole new journey, waiting for your natural hair to grow from scratch. Imagine cutting off your long, voluminous hair and having to wait for what could take months or even years to achieve your desired length.
If you’re going for the big chop, here are a few things you should do to help make your natural hair journey easier and more memorable.
- Get a good hairstylist to give you a trendy haircut: There are several stylish haircuts of black women you can copy that won’t make your haircut look bland or boring.
- Be consistent with your natural hair care routine: Having a good haircare routine now will help you in the long run. A good hair care routine should include a shampoo, conditioner, hair oil and moisturizer. Make sure that the products you’re using don’t have any drying ingredients in them as they can cause your hair to dry up and break easily. There’ll be a lot of trial and error at this stage until you get the best product that works for your hair.
- Do a scalp massage: It’s easier to do now that your hair is still low. A scalp massage will help increase blood circulation in your scalp. This will help stimulate your hair follicles and help your hair grow faster.
Transition without losing all your hair
Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair means you are going to stop relaxing or using chemical treatments on your hair and learn to work with your natural hair as it grows. Transitioning isn’t easy and the process is different for everyone, so what works for you might not be ideal for someone else. Some people do it for a few months and for some, it can take as much as 2 years. It all depends on you so you can take all the time you want. The most important thing that you need to understand and accept is that it will take lots of patience and dedication.
The following are a few tips that’ll help make your transitioning journey easier:
1. Yes, you can start using natural hair products now
The best thing about natural hair products is that they’re mostly chemical free. This means that they’re safe to use on any kind of hair without causing damage. Natural hair products will help stimulate your hair follicles without affecting or breaking your already relaxed hair.
Make sure not to load your hair with too many hair products. Also, stay away from products with drying ingredients like alcohol-based shampoos and conditioners that will dry out your hair and cause breakage.
2. Moisturize your scalp often
Moisture and hydration are important for every type of hair. Natural hair dries out quickly, so you want to make sure that it’s not just matted or dehydrated under your relaxed hair. Products like hair oils, sulfate-free shampoos and moisturizing conditioners are a great source of hydration.
Don’t neglect your scalp too because a dry scalp can lead to excessive scratching, dandruff, and breakage. Spritzing water mixed with hair oils on your hair is a simple way of making sure your scalp is getting the moisture it needs. You can also incorporate a scalp massage into your wash routine. This will help stimulate your hair follicles and promote hair growth.
3. Avoid heat styling
It’s not enough to make sure your hair is constantly moisturized. You also need to reduce or cut off heat styling while transitioning. Remember, you now have two different textures of hair on your head and using heat straighteners can compromise your transitioning or even damage your hair.
4. Be gentle when combing
While transitioning, it is better to avoid combing your hair too often and too hard. Better to comb and detangle with a wide-toothed comb or hair brush. Also, make sure you’re combing from the tip and slowly work your way down since the thick, frizzy hair is down there.
5. Avoid tight hairstyles
This is why protective styles are a great option when growing out the relaxer. Tight hairstyles will pull at your roots and cause your hair to break. Twists and box braids are good protective hairstyles that won’t cause too much damage to your hair.
6. Eat Healthy
Drinking lots of water and having a diet rich in protein and omega-three fatty acids will help you stay nourished inside and out. This will help stimulate fast and healthy hair growth. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, take your vitamins and be sure to get a decent amount of protein each day.
7. It won’t happen overnight
To successfully transition from relaxed to natural you need to be patient, committed and consistent. When you first start out, there will be times when you feel great about your decision, and there will be times when you will doubt it. Making a change like this might earn you a lot of naysayers, but don’t be discouraged.
You will need patience as you transition, whether you grow out relaxed hair or do a big chop. It should take at least three to four months before you start to see real change, but this depends on how long it usually takes for your hair to grow. Basically, you need to be patient with your hair, be committed to the process, and be consistent with your care routine.