15 Transitioning Hairstyles to Try for Natural Hair

Allison Schmidt | 18 May 2017
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Discover how to transition to your natural hair in style.

We’ll level with you: transitioning from your chemically straightened hair will require some work as you ease into your natural hair. It’ll take time, careful trims, in-between maintenance and cute transitioning hairstyles to help you ease your way into your natural texture. And that really is the tricky part, finding hairstyles that work for you (and your look!) that can merge two different hair types. Read on to check out some of our favorite transitioning hairstyles and tips that you can wear while your hair grows out.

Transitioning Hairstyles to Ease Your Transition Pain

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. The Buzz.
Buzzed looks are totally chic.

1. The Mini Buzz

Want to start fresh in one of the ultimate transitioning hairstyles for short hair? Then, you’ve got to go for the ultimate big chop: the buzz. The buzz cut is a cool style in its own right and gives you immediate access to your curly roots. You can then let it grow however you like, without dealing with straightened ends.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair: Flexi rod curls
You can wear your curls perfected or messier. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Flexi Rod Curls

Merging curly roots is a lot easier if you rock curls all over! You can get a perfectly curled look if you use overnight curlers to set your hair. Flexi rods are your best bet for looser curls that aren’t a total pain to sleep in, literally. In the morning you can unravel your curlers and shake loose your new curls. To give a little hydration and shine to your hair, mist over your finished style with the Nexxus New York Salon Care Humectress Luxe Lightweight Conditioning Mist.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. Bantu knots.
Gorgeous bantu knots.

3. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots have become a fashion statement in their own right. Besides the result of bouncy curls when you unravel the knots, the multi-bun hairstyle has become a look. The more knots you do, the tighter the curl when you release them. Big buns like these will give you looser, voluminous curls when you take them out.

transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair: Bantu curls.
Overnight curls are the best kind of curls. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

4. Bantu Curls

Here’s a great example of how your curls can look when you unroll smaller Bantu knots! The perfected curl look? Oh yeah, it always works! The best part is you can wear curls like these in nearly any other style.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. Twist extensions.
Extensions let you get the long hair of your dreams.

5. Twist Extensions

If you want to avoid the transition between your curls and your straightened hair altogether, try wearing hair extensions. We love the look of these twisted extensions for a voluminous, longer look. If you choose extensions that match your natural hair color, you won’t be able to see where your ends end.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. top knot.
When it doubt, go for a top knot.

6. Top Knot

A top knot never did anyone harm. This is a fun style that works for nearly any hair length, so long as you have bobby pins and maybe some hair oil to keep any flyaways in check. Wrapping up all of your hair keeps your ends protected and can help you to avoid knots.

transitioning hairstyles: Braid out
Braid outs are a gorgeous way to get waves. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

7. Braid Out Waves

We’re a little bit obsessed with the look of braided waves. If you do just one or two braids with all of your hair, you can get nice relaxed waves. The more braids you do, the tighter the wave pattern will be, like braided crimps! Just set your hair overnight and shake it loose in the morning. You can apply a little of the Nexxus New York Salon Care Oil Infinite Nourishing Hair Oil on your ends for a moisture and shine boost in the morning.

transitioning hairstyles: box braid extensions.
Box braid extensions look gorgeous in a honey blonde. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

8. Box Braid Extensions

Just like twisted extensions, box braid extensions can help you to get a longer look while you grow out your hair. You just need to make sure they are not too tight to avoid putting too much pressure on your roots. Too tight of a style can make it more difficult for you to be able to hydrate and care for your new growth.

transitioning hairstyles: crown twist
Twist it around for a romantic look. Photo credit: Dvora

9. Crown Twist

Another style that keeps your ends tucked away is this gorgeously romantic crown twist. Gracing your whole hairline with a crown twist is just like a crown braid but a bit easier to do because you’re only working with two sections of hair. Just twist, add a little more hair and twist again.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. senegalese twists.
Unraveling twists gives gorgeous corkscrew curls.

10. Twist Out

Speaking of twists, they give a gorgeous result the next day, too. These are the tighter version you’ll get from Senegalese twists, not a twisted crown hairstyle. These untwisted results are great for getting a tight, natural-looking curl pattern. Bonus: You get two looks out of one twisting session.

transitioning hairstyles: space buns
Double the fun! Photo credit: Dvora

11. Space Buns

If your hair is just a bit too short to fit all of it into one bun — or you want a funkier look — try out space buns. All you need to do is part your hair down the center, then create two even buns on either side of the part. The best part of space buns is that you can wear them way up on top of your head or below your ears for a totally different effect.

transitioning hairstyles: tucked french braid.
Tuck tails for a sleek updo. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

12. Tucked French Braid

On the last leg of your hair growing adventure? Just tuck those ends away! Doing a French braid creates a little space between the braid and your scalp. It’s just the right spot to be able to tuck the end of your braid under. You can pin it into place from underneath to secure this look.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. Faux afro.
Curled hair can be mussed for a somewhat fuzzy effect.

13. Mini Curl Out

Want to rock a ‘fro, but your hair just isn’t there yet? Go for mini curls. We suggest opting for those mini snap-together curlers you can pick up in most drugstores. You’ll set your hair overnight again and take out in the morning. Then you can wear your tight curls however you like! We like to add a little shine and moisture with the Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Creme Serum.

Woman using transitioning hairstyles to grow out chemically straightened hair. Pineapple hairstyle.
Pineapple that updo.

14. Pineapple Updo

Rock the curls you’ve created in any of the transitioning hairstyles we’ve mentioned above in a pineapple updo. They’re easy to do — and so cute! Follow our pineapple updo tutorial so you can get this look at home. It’s safe for your ends because they aren’t brushing up against anything during the day.

transitioning hairstyles: boxer braids.
Try double braids for a sporty look. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

15. Boxer Braids

Working with transitioning hairstyles braids like with boxer braids (or cornrows, or dutch braids) are a great way to wear pigtails with a little more oomph. You can start the braids from your front hairline, and keep braiding all the way down to the ends. Make sure you secure the ends with a hair tie that won’t rip at the ends of your hair.

Need more information about transitioning hairstyles for beginners? Check out these five tips to know about transitioning natural hair.

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