‘Transitioning’ is one of those natural hair buzzwords a la ‘deep conditioning’ (saturating your hair in conditioner and/or oils and using heat to encourage absorption into your hair), ‘pre-poo’ (pre-shampoo oil treatment), and ‘dusting’ (trimming your ends). If you’re new to the community the lingo can often times be confusing but don’t worry we’re here to decode it for you!
If you’ve made the decision to go natural after chemically processing (with relaxers or texturisers) or after heat damage, you have two choices:
- The Big Chop: cutting off all your hair off at once
- Transitioning: a more gradual process where you just stop processing your hair and gradually trim off the ends as your natural hair grows out.
The decision to transition is becoming more popular amongst ladies for a variety of reasons. For instance, they don’t like how they look with short hair, they worry that they won’t be able to style their short hair while it grows out, or they’re afraid of negative feedback from others around them. While going for the big chop is often seen as the easier way to transition, ultimately, it really comes down to personal preference. But if you would like to transition, here are a few things to note.
- Think about a time frame: Once you make the decision to transition, think about how long you want your process to last. Whatever you decide at this point doesn’t have to be a firm commitment. You may think you want to transition for a year, and after six months, get tired of dealing with two different textures and simply cut all your relaxed hair off. It happens. It’s good to have a tentative plan in place if you can, especially if you’re the type of person who likes to have goals and milestones to work toward. Do you want to transition for half a year or one year? Or would you rather transition until you have three to four inches of new growth? It’s up to you.
- Start with a good trim: This means you need to get rid of all those dead, thin and split ends. The longer you transition, the more brittle they will become so you might as well let them go now because they will break anyway. It’s also recommend to trim about an inch off every month to get rid of damaged ends and prevent more split ends from forming. (Tip: Always use hair-cutting scissors. Paper-cutting or dull scissors can cause split ends.)
- Stay away from heat: When you’re only used to dealing with straight hair, it can be hard trying to understand the curls sprouting out of your scalp. About one or two months in, you’ll probably notice that your hair looks like it has two competing texture and you may be tempted to flat-iron the new growth to make it match your relaxed hair. Remember: you’re growing a chemical out of your hair in order to enjoy your unique kinks and coils. Don’t make the new growth match the old; instead, wear styles that make your relaxed hair more closely match your natural hair. Nazuri Curls extensions were created to blend with your natural-textured hair and with our weftted extensions, clip-ins and custom wigs, they are a protective styling option for transitioners.
- Say no to texturisers: Although texturisers are designed to only slightly relax hair instead of completely straightening it, these are still chemicals and will only make your transition to truly natural hair even longer. Don’t believe the hype that texturisers are more natural than relaxers. They contain the same chemicals. The biggest difference between them is the amount of time you leave them on your hair. A texturiser won’t make your transition “easier.” It will hide your true curl pattern and only delay the process.
- Two words: leave-in conditioner. Technically that’s three, but seriously, you will want to moisturise, moisturise, and then moisturise some more. Curly hair tends to dry out really easily, so throw out your rinse-out conditioners and invest in a really good deep-conditioning treatment. Don’t be afraid to deep condition for 30 minutes at least twice a month. The chemically treated ends of your hair are extremely fragile, so you’ll want to deep condition to prevent breakage and keep your hair nourished.
This content is provided by Ifeyinwa Ojekwe for Nazuri Curls. Nazuri Curls was launched in 2013 with one vision to bring beautifully-textured premium quality, virgin human hair extensions, clip-ins and wigs to ladies who want to embrace their hair texture whether that’s natural, transitioning or relaxed. Our hair extensions are made from the finest quality premium virgin hair that has been steam processed to achieve curls that blend seamlessly with Afro and curly textured hair. We are a UK based company but we ship internationally and also have an official distributorship in Nigeria. Please visit www.nazuricurls.com for more details.