How to Transition from Relaxed to Natural Hair

Transitioning from relaxed hair to Natural hair means you want to let go of relaxed hair and embrace the hair that naturally grows out of your head.

You might be a bit confused right now while considering how you can transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. I understand the confusion because I have experienced it. It is not an easy decision to make especially if you think your hair texture is really strong. That was my story.

If you have made up your mind to go natural, there are a lot of things you should consider. It is a big step and taking care of natural hair involves hard work. The good thing about going natural is that once you stop relaxing your hair and transition to natural hair, it will be the best thing you did for your hair. There are usually no regrets as far as going natural is concerned.

What always seems difficult with natural hair is that you have to get used to caring for natural hair which is entirely different from having relaxed hair. Also, you will get used to looking a bit different than before and it might require a couple of days to get used to the new look. Transitioning to natural hair entails that you have to re-learn a lot about how to take care of your hair in a new way.

There are two ways to go natural, either through transitioning or by big chop. The moment you made up your mind to transition from relaxed to natural hair, you need to take it slowly, allowing your natural hair to grow out while trimming off the relaxed ends bit by bit. The idea is to wait for new hair to grow out so that you can maintain the length of your hair.

If you are considering transitioning to natural hair without cutting all your hair off (big chop), here are few tips to make the journey easier for you.

1. Take time to learn about natural hair growth: 

You need time to learn about this new journey. You should start by understanding all about natural hair and your new hair growth as soon as possible because as your new hair growth comes in, it will feel and look different from the relaxed hair that you are used to.

It will feel very hard, dry, and brittle that you begin to question yourself if transitioning is the right decision. This is why it is very important to learn and understand how to manage your new hair growth. Your first enemy as far as the natural hair is involved is dryness. Natural hair is naturally dry and needs moisture.

2. Take time to adjust to the new journey: 

You definitely need time to adjust to the new development. Don’t expect that nothing has changed because a lot has and will. As your natural hair grows out, you will discover that not all hairstyles will be suitable for you unlike when you had only relaxed hair. All the hairstyles you usually opt for will no longer work. It might be difficult at first, but I am assuring you that it gets easier as your hair grows more. You need to wait out the adjustment stage. Give yourself a period of say 3-6 months before deciding to quit.

3. Do not forget to always trim: 

This is the key to transitioning to natural hair. Gradually trimming the relaxed ends off while new hair grows out. Always trim when you notice new hair growth and when you are ready. Some people do not trim until they see at least an inch of new hair while others wait much longer. I belonged to this group. I made sure I see huge new growth before trimming off the relaxed ends because my hair was super strong, therefore keeping it short will be hard to maintain. Trimming the relaxed hair out depends on you and how you decide to do it.

It is important to understand that the more your natural hair starts to grow, you may experience some breakage especially at the line where your natural hair meets the relaxed hair. There’s no need to panic when you experience this. You only have to start trimming a larger part of the relaxed hair off as your new hair growth comes in, in order to cover the hair breakage.

4. Always moisturize your hair: 

It is very important that you always moisturize your hair. Learning to keep your hair moisturized is a big one. Moisturizing is not attributable to relaxed hair but when you are transitioning to natural hair, moisturizing should be at the front of your mind. You can’t adequately care for natural hair when it is dry. Failing to moisturize your hair will make it strong and difficult to manage. When your hair is strong like fufu, it will be dry and brittle, leading to hair breakage. And then you need not run from rain again because you two just become besties.

5. Consider protective hairstyles: 

Protective hairstyles will help you greatly while transitioning to natural hair. You can protect your hair with weaves, wigs and by braiding it. Protective styles make it easier for low manipulation while allowing your hair to grow underneath.

6. Be gentle with your hair: 

Natural hair might look so difficult but it really isn’t. All you need to do is to learn what works for your hair and how to be delicate with it. Treat your hair with adequate care and attention Sis. There are many resources on the internet to learn about natural hair care. I watched so many videos on YouTube when I was transitioning and learned tons of tips that made the journey easier for me. From how to wash 4c natural hair to how you can style it. Even with a protective hairstyle, you should always apply hair oil to your scalp.

7. Do not shampoo your hair every time: 

You might be used to washing your hair every time with shampoo and conditioner but when transitioning to natural hair, it is better to co-wash your hair rather than shampoo. Co-wash is washing your hair with only conditioner. This is because shampoo strips away a lot of moisture and can leave your natural hair very dry even after you used the conditioner. Natural hair is naturally dry and needs moisture, so you need to trap in as much moisture as you can.

8. Find hairstyles that work: 

Choosing hairstyles might become difficult as you have to work with 2 different hair textures. Natural hair will most likely stand out from relaxed hair. Start trying out styles that will accommodate the 2 different hair textures. When you find the hairstyle that works for you, stick with it and master it. You should also understand that having 2 textures makes your hair delicate, so you need to reduce how you manipulate your hair.

9. Trying out hair accessories:

if you are bored with the old hair accessories, consider going for new ones to spice the look of your hair. Adding hair accessories can be a great help. Headscarves and hairpins can revive your hair a bit while you are still transitioning to natural hair.

10. Switch back up if transitioning is hard for you: 

If after going through the transitioning phase and you feel natural hair is not for you, it is okay to switch back to relaxed hair. However, if you still want to grow natural hair but don’t want to go through transition, then consider a big chop as an alternative.

How long does it take to transition from relaxed to natural hair?

There is no specific timeline to transition to natural hair. It all depends on you and how you handle your hair. On average, hair grows about half-inch per month. You can decide to cut off the relaxed ends much earlier than expected if you feel that you’ve got enough length.

Can you go natural without cutting your hair?

Yes because that is what transitioning to natural hair is about.

No, because at some point, you will need to trim off the relaxed ends. If not, your hair will start breaking on its own in a really bad way.

Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair is a process and not to be rushed. You need to take your time and understand the process. If transitioning becomes really hard for you, you might keep trying protective styles until the transitioning period is over or consider doing a big chop.

No matter what decision you make, know that your natural hair is gold and beautiful. Treat it with great care and attention Sis because that’s the only crown on your head. Wear it with PRIDE.

Have you been considering transitioning from relaxed to natural hair? How is the journey so far? Share your experience in the comment section.

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