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From Relaxed to Natural - Transitioning Tips from Saleemah Cartwright of Hydratherma Naturals!
Here are a few tips for transitioning to natural hair from Saleemah Cartwright, the owner of Hydratherma Naturals hair products. Click here to view her website!
1. Remember to keep your hair well moisturized with a water based moisturizer as you transition!
During your transition, your hair will tend to break along the demarcation line, which is where your natural hair ends and your relaxed hair begins. This is because your natural hair is more resilient and can withstand heat and styling stress. Your relaxed hair is weaker and will tend to break at the demarcation line. To curtail breakage, moisture is key!
When I transitioned from relaxed to natural, I would spray my scalp and new growth with Hydratherma Naturals Follicle Invigorator. I then followed with Hydratherma Naturals Daily Growth Lotion and Hydratherma Naturals Daily Growth Oil to seal in the moisture along the length of my hair. I experienced very little breakage as I transitioned because I made sure that my hair was constantly moisturized.
2. Try wearing a weave or braids!
Weaves and braids can be great protective styles if done properly. While wearing a weave, you can let your hair “rest” for a while as it grows. I do not recommend keeping a weave in longer than eight weeks. Four to six weeks would be ideal and the resting period will really help prevent breakage and unncessary shedding.
Please make sure that the hair is not braided too tightly. This could result in Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by damage to the dermal papilla and hair follicle by constant pulling or extreme tension over a long period of time. While wearing the weave / braids, continue with your weekly wash and deep conditioning schedule. Please don’t forget to take care of your own hair under the weave or braided style.
3. Steer clear of heat damage!
If you would like to wear your hair straight, be very careful of heat damage. Try rollersets as you transition and only blow out the roots for a straight hair. If you have to use direct heat, I would suggest using ceramic or tourmaline styling tools because they are far less damaging. Try not to use heat more than once a week. Bear in mind - less is best when it comes to heat.
4. Curly styles reign while transitioning!
If you are transitioning and wear straight styles most of the time, the humidity can cause a flawless hairstyle to look like a nightmare - with 2 different textures. Have fun with styles that can withstand the humidity. Try bantu knot sets, braid outs, rod sets, straw sets and twist sets. These styles also require less manipulation. Just finger comb in the morning and you are out of the door. With styles like these, you can go the gym and still keep your cute curly style!
5. Manipulate your hair very little!
I would suggest only combing your hair on wash days. Try to avoid combing dry hair. This will cut down on the breakage that you may experience to a great extent. If you are wearing curly styles, just finger comb in the morning. If you are wearing your hair straight, comb with a wide tooth comb and just try to manipulate your hair as little as possible.
6. Keep a great hair regimen!
Washing and deep conditioning weekly is still extremely important. Be sure to maintain a healthy protein / moisture balance as your hair is in a very delicate state during the transitioning months.
7. Have patience!
Transitioning will not happen overnight. It does take patience, fortitude and perseverance so hang in there! As your hair grows, slowly trim off the relaxed ends and soon all of the relaxed ends will be gone. Or, you can always do the big chop (smile)!!!