MANAGING THE TRANSITION
Yes I know it is easier to manage chemically treated hair than natural hair and of course we fit in better right? Will the confident, beautiful and self-assured woman stand up!!!! Dont get me wrong I think you can maintain healthy and gorgeous relaxed hair and that is a personal choice. However where that is not the case chemical relaxers often result in permanent damage to a woman’s hair (breakage, hair loss, headaches, burns, scalp irritation and damage, stunted growth, thinning) and I am talking from experience. I took the long road where I cut everything off and started over but for those of us who are a bit more conservative this information is for you.
Grow Out or Big Chop
Like I said before, the easiest way to transition is to cut everything off but you can grow out the relaxer. If done properly it does not have to be so unsightly that you decide to give up and go back to relaxing. Once you decide to grow out your relaxed hair be prepared for some amount of breakage because the relaxed portion has become very fragile. You can gradually cut off the relaxed portion or let it remain until you are satisfied with the new growth. The BIG CHOP can be quite scary but one that will renew your confidence in who you are as a black woman. At least that was my experience yours might be different. But whatever the reason, here are some tips to help with that process to strong, healthy natural hair
Braids, Twists and Extensions
Some persons have found the transition a lot easier by using extensions, twists or braids. This really does depend on your style and the look you want to achieve. If you are using braids this can be done for a few months. Twists are also a very good option but will not last as long as the braids. Depending on the size of the twists and the way it is done it can last for a week or two.
Locks- This option is similar to dread locks and provides a myriad of styling options.
As always we believe that you should choose what you are most comfortable with and what best meets your needs. Going natural is not an easy decision but it is worth it if you are willing to get to know your hair.
Detangling hair can be a task that very few willingly undertake. You are now dealing with two textures so extreme care must be taken to avoid or reduce hair breakage. The key to easier detangling is to ALWAYS detangle the hair when, wet and slippery, with conditioner. Pay special attention to the line of demarcation (the line where the new growth meets the relaxed or straightened ends). I find that detangling is easier when the hair is sectioned. It
allows you to easily manage your hair and get through the washing process quickly and efficiently.
I have very thick hair so I wash and condition my hair in about 8 sections by twisting
the hair into large chunks of your hair and only concentrating on one twist at a time. Once you complete washing/conditioning one twist rinse the product out thoroughly and twist the hair back (to keep it from getting tangled). A transitioners secret weapon and a time saver. You can either use your fingers, a wide tooth comb or a detangling brush to safely detagle your hair.
Deep Conditioning/Protein Treatments
Deep conditioning treatments are A MUST for transitioners. Balancing protein and moisture is essential for minimising breakage while strengthening the hair which was exposed to heat and chemical damage. When the protein treatment is applied the hair tewnds to feel hard which is why it is important to follow up with a protein treatment. Deep conditioning treatments should be done on a weekly basis while protein treatments can be done every 6 months.
Natural hair has a tendency to become dry so moisture is very important. However in an effort to moisturize the new growth we can damage the relaxed portion. Pay special attention to how your hair responds to moisture and consider moisturizng every few days or once a week. Please note that too much moisturize can also result in weakness leading to breakage for transitioning hair.
Use natural products such as African Shea butter, Virgin Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Dudu Osun products on your hair to keep it manageable and soft. Putting oil on the ends of the hair every night is a great way to protect it from drying out or breaking off.
Never use hair care products that contain harsh ingredients like polyethylene glycol or isopropyl alcohol. The products will dry out Afro textured hair, leaving it prone to breakage. Get a good sulphate free shampoo, a very good conditioner, a leave in conditioner, a deep conditioner, a moisturizer (water based), a sealant (oil or butter) and any other styling aid that will aid in your transition.
Ladies do some research and try to find the styles that best fits your facial features. The internet is a great resource for natural hair. There are also many videos on YouTube, pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram that have great ideas for styling. You want to use protective styling as much as possible because this protects the hair. Protective styles include braids, buns, wigs, weaves (sewn in), spiral sets and twists which can be worn weeks at a time. Always style your hair when it is wet to reduce breakage.
When styling hair with two textures, it is importance to handle with care. Be gentle with your hair and chose styling tools like wide tooth combs and detangling brushes.
Protective styles, such as twists, braids, plaits, buns are great for
Find a Regimen
While there is a great deal of information on the internet and you may be tempted to replicate what somone else is doing, the trick is to build your own regimen based on your own needs. Not every product or routine will work for you. There needs to be cnsistency on your regimen even if you decide to change the producs that you use.
Get a hair trim every six to eight weeks to rid the hair of any split, ends. Trimming away split ends on a regular basis will help promote hair growth and keep your natural hair flourishing. It is possible to have long natural hair because hair grows a quarter inch per month.
Protect at Night
What you do at night is just as important as your daily routine. Covering your hair at night with a satin cap, scarf or pillow helps to reduce breakage, tame your edges and help with moisture retention.
Dry Your Hair
When drying the hair from cleansing, try using an old t-shirt to dry instead of a towel. Towels can be very rough on the hair and cause friction on the hair leading to dryness and breakage. Once you have rinsed your hair, cover with a t-shirt, just as you would with a towel and leave until hair is just slightly damp. Complete your regimen as normal.
A healthy lifestyle may be one of the best things you could do for your hair. Regular exercise, rest and eating a well-balanced diet is important. Why? Exercise aids in circulation to the scalp while nourishing the hair follicles. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and Callaloo are rich in nutrients such as protein, vitamins A, B and E which help black hair to grow strong and healthy.
At the end of the day it is a journey but like every other journey it must be taken. Don't get caught up with other people's expectation, love your hair with all its intricacies and quirks.
We all have bad hair days, shedding, shrinkage,and yes breakage.
DUDU OSUN SOAP