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When deciding to go with natural hair, you have two big choices ahead of you: the big chop or the transition. While the Big Chop method involves removing ALL of your chemically damaged hair, transitioning is a much longer process in which you gradually remove the ends while growing out your natural curls. However, this process is not as simple as it seems. Let’s be honest: your hair is at an awkward stage and dealing with two remotely different textures can be difficult! Here are some ways to make the transitioning process effective and enjoyable:
Stop using heat/chemical straighteners COMPLETELY
In order for your hair to revert back to its curly texture, you must cut out your old practices. This means no more straightening, texturizing, or blow-drying. Opt for heatless stretching methods such as African threading or banding.
Make a Timeline
Give yourself about 3 months of new growth before you begin trimming away your chemically processed ends. By the six month mark, it’s likely that you’ll have enough natural growth to snip away those ends for good!
Build a protein-rich product regiment
Start investing in natural products such as sulfate-free shampoos and regimens that strengthen your strands while providing intense moisture. Protein treatments are great for hair restoration and restoring elasticity to damaged strands.
Consistent wash days and hydration routines such as deep conditioning are a must for healthy hair growth. Remember to keep your scalp clean with weekly cleanses! Try scalp massages while shampooing and deconditioning! Also, invest in a leave-in for daily use.
Style with care
As your natural curls grow out, you’ll be to see the line of demarcation more clearly. This is the area where your natural hair fades to chemically straightened ends, and it's very delicate. It's important to style your with caution; try using a detangling brush or finger detangle while your hair is wet to avoid breakage.
Get comfortable with you texture(s)
Rocking curly hair with heat damaged ends can feel awkward and intimidating. Go for looks that make your two-textured hair appear more uniform such as stretched twist outs, Bantu knots, and perm rods. If you want a break from styling, try protective styles.
As much as you want to close your eyes and open them to thick naturally curly tresses, transitioning doesn’t work like magic. It takes time; but with patience, this process can be truly magical. Why? Your natural hair journey has begun. Of course, it won’t be easy, but have fun experimenting with different products and styles. Don’t rush the process, give your hair time, and appreciate how far you’ve come. Most of all, welcome to the Natural Hair Gang!