Transitioning without the Big Chop
Deciding to wear YOUR natural hair is among one of the biggest decisions in your life. It’s likely that anyone you inform of your decision will have an opinion be it positive or negative. Therefore it is VERY important to remember to stay strong, understand that there is A LOT of information out here about natural hair but it’s most important to do your own research. Natural hair blogs such as this are strictly informational, no two heads are alike (even if you share the same hair type) so do your own research on products, MOISTURIZE and PROTECT!
Transitioning without the big chop is a process that allows you to retain some length. Most naturals would say that the most difficult part of the process is styling and maintaining the two textures of hair. For many this is the reason for the big chop, avoiding the transitioning process completely. I’ll share with you some of the tips I learned during my transition, some may work for you and some wont but having the basic information helps. These few tips will become a staple in caring for your curls.
- Limit the use of shampoo. Co-washing is the process of cleansing the hair without the use of shampoo which is loaded with harsh chemicals that aren’t ideal for natural hair. If you must use a shampoo choose a sulfate free brand.
- Deep condition regularly, at least 2x a week. This can be done with heat for 15-30 mins or without for an hour or longer. This process allows for added moisture which is VERY important in the maintenance of natural hair.
- Detangling with conditioner, starting with ends of the hair. Never attempt this process on dry hair rather you are transitioning or fully natural. Using a good conditioner with slip is ideal to help ease the detangling process for those like me (tender headed). Some naturals like me have graduated to finger detangling, eliminating the use of combs and the amount of hair shed.
- Protective Styling. This is perhaps one of the most important tips to maintaining healthy natural hair, after moisturizing. Some common styles are comb coils, flat twist, two strand twist, twist outs, braids/braid outs, crinkle/ straw sets and the list goes on….
- Minimize how much you have to handle your hair and trim your ends. Your hair is more fragile than usual during this process. Personally, I have what I like to call “restless hand syndrome” where I’m constantly twirling my hair on my fingers or pulling out those single knots, which lead to breakage. Also, invest in a satin bonnet or pillowcase and in some cases you’ll need both.
- Last but definitely not least. Avoid flat ironing or pressing the new growth or your fully natural hair. This can completely and permanently alter your curl pattern. Possibly delaying the process of transitioning my now making it three textures of hair, your relaxed hair, new growth and the straightened hair. This can also make your curls prone to breakage and severe damage.
Good luck and Happy Transitioning!!!