Transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair you have two options: cutting all your relaxed ends off also know as a big chop or basic transitioning which is cutting your relaxed ends bit by bit till your natural hair grows
out. Not many people want to do the big chop as they are scared on how they will look with short hair but there are many styles to do that will help with growth and hide the short cut. Just make sure you choose what makes you feel confident.
Benefits of transitioning:
- No harmful chemicals
- Save money (once you find what products work for you)
What is a relaxer?
is a permanent chemical treatment designed to alter the natural hair texture. A relaxer breaks down the bonds of the hair to give it a more straightened state. Relaxers come in two types of forms, lye based, and no-lye based. Lye based relaxers have an active ingredient of sodium hydroxide while no-lye based relaxers have an active ingredient of potassium hydroxide. As your hair grows you will experience new-growth (natural hair) that is relaxer free. To keep up with your relaxer you will get touch-ups every six to eight weeks.
How are relaxers bad for my hair?
There are a few facts you should consider before relaxing your hair or thinking about getting a touch-up. Relaxing your hair too often can create thinning or breakage. Most people who relax their hair experience thinning. Thinning hair comes from the product working too well. The purpose of the relaxer is to go from thick hair to manageable straight and thinner hair, but sometimes the product can work too well and create too much thinning or even balding. Due to a relaxer being a chemical that permanently alters your hair, it can make your hair weaker creating breakage. Relaxers weaken your hair making it dull and damage over time.
Transition or Big Chop?
If you want to get straight to it and tired of relaxed hair a big chop is for you! Transitioning from relaxed to natural can be a big step in life but yo will be going in the right decision for your hair. Ridding your hair of the damaged ends and making a clean slate helps you get used to your hair texture much faster as you only have one texture all over to manage. It is also a faster way of knowing what products work for your hair so you can save money. Since there is no damaged ends with the big chop you can take more time focusing on moisturizing and hydrating your healthy strands. If you’re scared of the look of having short hair, then try transitioning.
Styles for a Big Chop & Transitioning Hair
Many people think once you go short there’s not a lot of styles to do other than rocking your afro but there’s many! The styles for transitioning hair is very similar. There are styles such as:
- Wash and Go
- Twist Out
- Finger Coils
- Bantu Knots
- Braid Outs
- Perm Rod Set
And plenty more!
How to take care of Natural Hair:
Drink a lot of water:
Drinking water is very beneficial for your skin and natural hair growth. Your diet plays a big impact in your hair as well.
Watch your demarcation line or scab line:
The ends of your hair from natural to relaxed is your scab line also called demarcation line of relaxed hair and new growth. Scab line hair can be seen when transitioning instead of doing the big chop. You should always try to keep it moisturized as it a very vulnerable part of your hair for breakage during transitioning. To prevent your scab line hair from breaking make sure to oil your scalp. Your scab line hair will be rough but just be patient. As your hair grows you will eventually end up cutting that part off and able to feel what your natural hair texture is like.
Reduce use of flat irons for more growth:
You’ve already cut off damaged hair or growing out damaged hair why create damage again? Reduce your use on heating tools by using protective styling or natural styling here and there. When using heating tools always make sure you are using the appropriate heat so you wont damage your hair. Instead of using a heating tool, try using flexi-rods or roller sets for curls.
When transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair a great way to protect your natural hair is doing protective styling. Protective styling will reduce the damage of heating tools or product styling. Doing protective styles can save a lot of time from having to do your own hair. Protective styling
can be very good for going on a vacation for less maintenance. Make sure to always balance it out as your scalp also needs to breathe sometimes.
Expect breakage and shedding:
If you did not try the big chop and are still transitioning, it is possible to have shedding and breakage
at the ends of your hair. The ends of your hair from natural to relaxed is your scab line. That part of your hair is very vulnerable for breakage and is a very important part of your transition journey to pay attention to. As you transition keep track of your natural hair growth and clip your relaxed ends at the same rate.
Hot oil treatments:
To keep your natural hair moisturized, treating your hair once a month can help. If your hair is a little dry to the touch try every two weeks. Hot oil treatments have many benefits such as: preventing dry scalp, dandruff, split ends, frizz and increase blood circulation to the scalp.
Co-wash your hair:
Your natural hair can get dry from your hair care routine, when this happens try co-washing. Co-washing is washing your hair with conditioner only. Shampoos with sulfates can strip your hair from natural oils that can leave your hair dry and prone to breakage. Your hair can maintain its moisture levels by cutting down the use of shampoo. When finding the right conditioner you like find one that is silicone free. Silicone will give the hair a shiny coating after use but will go away eventually causing build up on your hair.
I hope this article was able to help guide you to pick the right decision on transitioning your relaxed hair to natural hair.Written by Ginelle’ Anderson at Shallamar’s Hair Solutions