Lately, we’ve noticed a move towards more natural-haired women ditching the relaxer and opting to grow out their natural texture instead. We understand that transitioning from relaxed hair to your natural tress texture is a daunting step, especially if, as for a lot of women, it’s the first time ever trying it – but it doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
So if you’re ready to put down the relaxers and promote your natural hair growth but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 6 things you should take into account before taking the leap.
1. You Don’t Have to Cut Everything off Straight Away
When you’ve sported long, relaxed hair for a while, the thought of going super short can be quite worrying – especially if you never tried it before. While going for the ‘big chop‘ (cutting off all of your hair in one fell swoop) is the fastest and boldest way to transition, rest assured and know that you don’t have to take this route.
So if you’re not comfortable doing this, transitioning is your only option. For those of you who aren’t sure what this really means, it simply is the process in which you keep your length but gradually trim the ends of your hair as it grows.
So to kick-start your long-term transition, begin with a trim to get rid of split ends and follow this up monthly or every other month – it will make all the difference.
2. Expect a Lot of Breakage (But Don’t Panic!)
Nobody likes the sight of their strands breaking, but it is something you’ll experience a lot during the journey. As your natural hair growth comes through, dealing with two textures will start to become a challenge.
The line between these two textures (relaxed and natural hair) is often referred to as the ‘line of demarcation’ (where your hair is at its weakest and extremely prone to breakage). In order to reduce breakage as much as possible, you’ll need to build up your mane’s strength by keeping it in tip-top shape and following a regimented natural hair care routine.
3. Change It Up
Products designed for relaxed hair don’t address the same needs as your natural hair requires. Natural hair can be more susceptible to dryness (since your natural oils can’t travel down the hair shaft so easily), so you’ll need new products that can help keep your hair hydrated and looking beautiful. It’s easy to get carried away and become a product junkie, but generally, keeping it simple but consistent will help your hair in the long run.
Try the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist, which is specifically designed to moisturise curly and natural tresses on-the-go.
4. It’s All About Moisturising
When you relax your hair, all your protein bonds are broken down and it loses its moisture. So the aim of the game is to restore both moisture and protein with weekly deep conditioning treatments. And it’s all about balance. If you add too much protein, your hair will become brittle while too much moisture will make it go limp.
Try: TRESemmé Breakage Defence Restructuring Treatment Masque, which will help to strengthen your hair against breakage.
5. Try Protective Styles
If your aim is to grow your natural hair out long, it’s really important to make sure your delicate coils are protected against environmental and physical damage, so protective hairstyles will be your new best friend. Protective styles are any hairstyles which keep the ends of your hair tucked away safely, reducing friction, breakage and dryness. These can be one of two different types:
- No-manipulation – These are hairstyles which once installed, can be left for weeks with little-to-no maintenance or upkeep needed. Examples include box braids, box twists and locs.
- Low-manipulation – Low-manipulation hairstyles are easier to do yourself and include styles like flat twists and buns. These can last up to a week or more but need more regular manipulation than more permanent styles.
6. All It Takes Is a Little Faith
Transitioning is a timely process that will involve a lot of trial and error, but it will be so worth it once your stronger, natural hair growth comes through. So don’t give up! Trust us, you’re hair will be looking more beautiful than ever. Besides, it also gives you time to perfect your protective hairstyles and become a hair care expert.