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Five tips to transition from relaxed to natural hair

Fashion and Beauty
 Tips to transition from relaxed to natural hair (Photo: iStock)

Going from relaxed hair to natural hair or from natural hair to relaxed hair is a big decision. If you've spent time on either side and then decided to make a change, it will feel like you're learning your hair afresh.

For the girls who want to go natural, there are two options. You can choose to do a big chop, where you cut off the relaxed hair all at once, or you can let your natural hair grow out and let the relaxed ends break off gradually.

People often choose to transition because it's a less dramatic change. This means you have to treat your hair in a unique way because you're working with two different textures that have different needs.

Either way, it's not that complicated. Here are five ways to transition successfully and with less stress:

Detangle your hair often

Detangling is a key step to preventing serious breakage. Both textures need detangling but it’s usually easier when you’re just working with relaxed hair.

Now that you have both, you need to avoid skipping this step because you might end up with knots and matted sections that you have to chop off.

Some tips would be to carefully wet the natural sections so that you’re not causing pain and unnecessary friction, use a wide-tooth comb and work from ends to roots. Also, be keen to always do this before washing.

Do curly hairstyles

Finding hairstyles that look good while you’re transitioning can be a challenge. The two textures usually look distinctly different which can make you look messy.

A trick that might help, whenever you have your hair out, is doing hairstyles that can blend the textures like braid outs, perm rod sets and flexi rod sets. The curls will give you a neater and seamless look while you transition.

Do protective styles

Your hair is in a very delicate state during this process. It could easily break so it’s recommended that you give it breaks often, by protective styling.

You could do those that fully keep your hair tucked like braids, cornrows and crochet styles. Take a break from those that partially protect your hair so that it can stay as healthy as possible.

Maintain your haircare regimen

Just because you’re transitioning to something new doesn’t mean you need to abandon your hair completely. Remember that you want to have healthy natural hair when it fully grows out, and that’s why you should start taking care of it right from the beginning. Keep up with washdays and your moisturizing routine meanwhile.

Use heat sparingly

Blow-drying and flat ironing are usually a quick styling solution. These styling methods might make it easier for the textures to blend but, they often lead to damage when not used correctly.

You don’t want to end up with heat-damaged natural hair when it grows out. You can go for other heatless styling options that won’t ruin your hair or be extra careful with how much heat you’re using and how often. And when you do use heat go in with a heat protectant.

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