“Hello Theresa, I need your help? My hair is currently relaxed (chemically treated) and I have decided to quit the chemical life and go back to having natural hair. I am not ready to cut off my hair, so I decided to transition to natural hair. What advice can you give me and what hair products can you recommend?”
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS for making this decision to embark on a healthy natural hair journey.
I have found that after years of having chemical treatments one must change their mindset to be successful with the natural hair journey. You must train your brain to love the nappy (kinky texture) hair that is growing from your scalp and not succumb to wanting the slick straight look that chemicals give by altering the natural curl pattern of your hair.
The following are 4 Things to Know when Transitioning to Natural Hair.
Transitioning: This is a process where you stop adding chemical treatments to your hair and let the undergrowth grow while the ends still have the chemical treated hair. The easiest and most liberating way is to leave your hair untreated by chemicals for around one/two months and then cut off all of the chemically treated hair. This is known as the Big Chop.
Alternatively, you will need to transition your chemically treated hair by growing your hair to a stage or length that enables you to gradually trim of the chemically treated hair.
When transitioning, natural hair growth and chemically treated hair meet. This meeting point is known as the Line of Demarcation. This is a very fragile line and if not cared for may be the cause of breakage and split-ends. You will notice that your hair will start looking uneven, at this point it is best to start trimming off the chemical treated ends to get rid of the split ends and to even out the hair.
Products: Using the right products with ingredients that will nourish your hair is a very important step. Being of African decent our natural hair type is one that requires a lot of moisturising and nourishing products. These will aid to
seal moisture into the hair strands to prevent drying and breakage. Always use products that are free of sulfates, paraben and silicone. Shampoo your hair only when necessary. At times it is best to co-wash (conditioner wash) https://www.naturalproductsbytheresa.com.au/shop/250ml-beauty-gift-pack-conditioner-detangler-shampoo-pamper-pack-natural-hair/ your hair as opposed to shampoo, this prevents too much stripping of the hairs natural oils which may cause drying or frizz. Make sure to deep condition https://www.naturalproductsbytheresa.com.au/shop/250ml-deep-conditioner-sulfates-free-and-paraben-free-natural-hair-protein-conditioner/ your hair at least once a week and give your hair an oil treatment fortnightly or monthly.
Hair maintenance: When styling your hair only comb it when wet or damp. Use the LOC (Liquid, oil, cream) method to seal in moisture. This is where you add to your hair step by step, Liquid (water, leave-in conditioner) then oil https://www.naturalproductsbytheresa.com.au/shop/125ml-natural-pure-castor-oil/ (Jojoba oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil) https://www.naturalproductsbytheresa.com.au/shop/pure-jojoba-oil/ and cream (whipped butter, shea butter) https://www.naturalproductsbytheresa.com.au/shop/120ml-whipped-shea-butter/ .This method will loc in the moisture, remember if you do this on dry hair you are sealing in dryness and this may cause your hair not to be dry and brittle . Water is good for adding moisture to natural hair.
Hair regimen: This is a plan on how you will maintain your hair, so it grows healthy and natural. Your air regimen hair regimen will guide you on how often you will shampoo, deep condition, oil treat and/or protein treat your hair. For example, I deep condition my hair once every week on a Saturday afternoon. My oil treatments are fortnightly and I alternate, one week I deep condition with a conditioner that contains moisturising ingredients and the week after I deep condition with a conditioner that has some protein ingredients (avocado, honey, egg). A regimen can be as basic or complex depending on how well versed you are with natural hair maintenance. Start with what works and is easy for you, before long as you become confident with what you are doing you will start adding more steps into the regimen.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Do not hesitate to get in touch with other questions regarding you Natural Hair journey.
Look out for my next blog on ‘Toxic Ingredients to avoid in products.’