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Transitioning may be the hardest part of your natural hair journey, especially when you have a lot of “new growth” or naturally textured roots. Most of your frustration will come from trying to deal with the 2 different textures. Most people make the mistake of trying to blend their new growth with their relaxed ends. When you do that, you run the risk of getting heat damage. You will then have to transition from that.
The easiest way to transition will be with protective styling. Talk with your stylist, and come up with a “transition/protective style hair care regimen. For my clients, I usually suggest treatments prior to every protective style, and a trim. This keeps your hair healthy and allows you to gradually remove the relaxed ends without experiencing the drastic “BIG CHOP”. If you are someone who does not like to wear weaves/extensions, I suggest roller sets, and bantu knots, twist outs or braid outs.
However you go about styling your hair, just be sure to use caution when combing and styling. The line of demarcation (where the two textures meet) is the most fragile part of your hair. If you apply too much tension, you will experience breakage in this area.
On average, most people usually transition for about a year. After that there is usually just a few inches of relaxed ends left, and they feel comfortable just trimming the remainder off. There are some people who set out to transition and end up doing a Big Chop because dealing with the two textures is a lot of stress. Sometimes it is just easier to “chop” it off.
However you decide to return to your natural hair texture, be sure that your hair is healthy. Start building your hair care regimen early. Remember that natural hair is unique to YOU and only YOU. Also, keep in mind that this is a journey. You won’t know how to maintain your hair over night. You will not know what products works best for your hair. It takes time to learn this. If you have a Natural Hair Stylist in your area they will be able to help you.
April Williams is a licensed cosmetologist, natural hair care specialist and owner of the only natural hair care salon “A Perfect 10 Hair,” the same name of her natural hair care line. Send your questions to April via e-mail at APerfect10Hair@yahoo.com orStyleandSnow@gmail.com with subject line “#AskApril“