Transitioning from relaxer to natural hair is a big step. Without the right knowledge about how to go about it, it can be difficult.
But transitioning from relaxer to natural hair can be a very healthy process.
In this article we break down the steps. So, you can make this transition in the best way possible.
Consult Your Stylist
When it comes to haircare, nobody can advise you as thoroughly as a professional hairstylist. Especially a hair stylist who is experienced in caring for black hair.
Consulting your stylist is a must if you want to transition from relaxer to natural hair.
Your hair will need deliberate care and time for it to transition and a hair stylist will know how to make sure your hair receives that.
Your stylist will know what haircare routine is best for you to adopt. They will know what methods and products are best for you to use.
Your hair stylist will know what you need to change and what you need to maintain about your haircare routine.
Another great thing about consulting a stylist is that they are skilled at assessing what is necessary for you based on specifics.
For instance, they can tell you what you should do for your hair based on your hair type and texture.
And you can also consult your stylist more than once throughout the transitioning process to make sure its going well.
There are other basic steps you can follow on your own that will make for a smooth transition from relaxer to natural hair.
But including a professional in your process definitely helps guarantee than you don’t experience any mishaps in your journey.
Condition Your Hair
One key step in the haircare routine that will help your transition from relaxer to natural hair is conditioning your hair.
A lot of people focus on shampooing their hair, which is good for getting rid of unwanted substances.
But relaxed hair needs conditioning much more than it needs a simple shampooing.
A lot of the times, especially when your hair has been relaxed for a while, the strands experience some significant level of damage and strain from the chemicals and the straightening.
Washing your hair excessively can just add on to this damage. Especially when you do not condition it afterwards.
This is because excessive shampooing can not only wash out unwanted substances. But also natural oils that keep your hair hydrated and nourished so that it doesn’t experience more damage.
Conditioner replenishes the roots of your hair and gives them extra strength to combat the damage from the chemicals in relaxers.
Conditioner also gives your hair a boost in nutrients which may be lost in the washing process.
A good conditioner will make sure your hair maintains its softness and ease of managing while also keeping it strong, voluminous and nourished.
Moisturize Your Hair
Another key step to transitioning from relaxer to natural hair is to make sure your hair is getting enough moisture.
As much as it is advisable to minimize on washing your hair excessively, your hair still needs to get hydrated in some way.
This is because hydration prevents your hair from experiencing brittleness and dryness that can lead to breakage.
Moisturizing your hair will make sure that your roots are not being exposed to further damage while they are recovering from the effect of the chemicals in relaxers.
A good way to keep your hair moisturized is to implement some hair oils or hair lotions into your haircare routine.
You can also use products like water-based gels when you style your hair to make sure your hair stays hydrated.
Avoid Drying Hair Products
To improve the level of moisture and nutrition your hair is receiving, you should make sure to avoid certain hair products.
Some kinds of hair products will keep your hair from retaining water and key hydrating ingredients.
This will lead to it being dry and potentially experiencing more damage.
One such product is shampoo. Shampoos that contain sulfates specifically will dry up your hair.
This is because sulfates strip your hair of unwanted substances. But they also get rid of a lot of nutrients in the washing process.
Without adequate nutrition, your hair can get dry and brittle, causing breakage.
Other kinds of drying hair products are those that have alcohols in them.
Whether it’s a shampoo, conditioner or another type of haircare product, too many alcohols in the product can cause your hair to lose moisture and lead to more damage.
Another kind of hair product to avoid is hair dye. It is very advisable not to dye your hair during the relaxer to natural hair transition period.
Because hair dye causes strain on your strands and loss of moisture in your hair that can slow down the recovery process.
As long as you minimize on these kinds of products, your hair should be able to recover from the relaxer and transition healthily.
Change Your Hair Styling Tools
Changing the kinds of tools you use to style your hair is a great way to ensure a smoother transition from relaxer to natural hair.
This step is important because styling is a big area in which we can make mistakes that end up causing more damage to our hair than helping it.
Some good hair styling tools to use are wide-toothed combs as opposed to brushes. This is because these kinds of combs allow for you to detangle your hair without damaging your hair.
Or if you still want to use brushes, you can use detangling brushes. There are so many kinds of detangling brushes that you can use depending on your hair needs.
Detangling brushes can be found for all kinds of hair types and textures. And for a range of prices.
If you style your hair with combs and brushes that aren’t designed to protect your strands, you can end up with a host of hair problems.
For instance, split ends, thin strands and a lot of hair breakage. So, investing in detangling brushes and combs is highly recommended.
Take Care When Detangling
When it comes to transitioning from relaxer to natural hair, it’s not only the tools you use to detangle your hair but also the method that you need to pay attention to.
Brushing and detangling your hair can still cause damage to your hair if you use the right combs but not the right action.
There are a few things you can do to avoid this problem.
One thing to do to make sure you are detangling your hair safely is to brush from the tips to the bottom. This method will protect your hair from a lot of tugging and straining.
Causing more strain to your hair would make it thin out and break, which would make its transition from relaxer to natural hair take longer.
Another thing that can cause strain to your hair is brushing one area of your hair too frequently.
A lot of the times, when we are detangling and styling, we want to be thorough and make sure we don’t leave any knots.
But when brushing and detangling transitioning hair, you should make sure you aren’t overdoing it on any one area of your hair. Because this will only lead to more hair breakage.
It is also a good idea to detangle your hair while it’s slightly wet. This will ensure that your hair isn’t already dry and brittle when you brush it, which could cause it to break.
Wetting your hair with water or applying some kind of moisturizer before you begin detangling is the best way to do this.
Avoid Heat Treatment
Another styling mistake to avoid making when transitioning from relaxer to natural hair is using too much heat on your hair.
Excessively using tools like hair dryers, hot curling irons and straighteners can really do damage to your hair in this process.
This is because excessive heat can dehydrate your hair and cause it to become brittle. This will make it much more susceptible to breakage.
Another effect of excessive heat treatment is it causes your strands to thin out. And thin hair strands are also much more susceptible to breakage.
Instead of drying your transitioning hair with a hair dryer, it is much more advisable to let it air dry.
If you still want to use a dryer, you could blow dry your hair with cool air instead of hot air.
This may take longer, but it is ultimately much healthier for your hair.
Straighteners are much harder to replace as there aren’t many other methods for straightening your hair without applying heat to it.
However, if you want to transition from relaxer to natural hair, embracing curly hairstyles may be the best option for you as it will ensure that the process happens more smoothly for your hair.
Furthermore, relaxed hair is usually somewhat straightened already. So, applying excessive heat to it is likely unnecessary and probably won’t make too much of a difference to how straight it is.
So, save yourself the potential hair damage and embrace a haircare routine that doesn’t involve too much heat treatment.
Wear Protective Hairstyles
There are a number of protective hairstyles you can try out when transitioning from relaxer to natural hair.
Protective hairstyles are great because they keep your hair safe from damage due to styling and outside elements. And at the same time, they give your hair time to grow and rejuvenate.
For transitioning hair, this is a vital step to take. And there are a few common styles that are easy to adopt.
There are many kinds of braids you can get. From box braids to twists to Fulani braids and more.
Braids are great because they are long-lasting, affordable and very effective at protecting your hair from the potential damages of styling and exposure to external elements.
Locs are also a great protective style. Similar to braids, locs are relatively long-lasting, stylish and affordable.
The variety that exists with locs is endless. There are locs of different styles, colours, lengths and more.
If you want to protect your hair and also maintain a great hairstyle, locs are a great choice.
Weaves are also a great protective hairstyle if you don’t want to go through the process of having your hair braided or getting locs.
They are also great if you want to maintain a look similar to your relaxed hair while you transition.
Another great alternative is a wig. Wigs are great because they serve the same purpose as a weave, but you have more flexibility.
With a wig, you can switch between a protective style and wearing your natural hair out whenever you want, which is very convenient.
Wear Protective Accessories
When transitioning from relaxer to natural hair, using protective hair accessories can be helpful in keeping your hair from experiencing damage.
Wearing a headscarf or a bonnet, especially when going to sleep, will protect your hair and allow it to rejuvenate as it transitions.
Headscarves and bonnets cover up your hair and prevent outside elements from getting in direct contact with your hair.
This is good because some elements like excessive UV light or humidity can be detrimental.
With a headscarf or a bonnet, you create a barrier that they cannot permeate and it gives your hair a chance to flourish.
Headscarves and bonnets also prevent moisture from escaping your hair.
This is important because dry hair is much more susceptible to damage and keeping your hair moisturized will prevent this.
It is highly recommended to look for protective accessories with certain kinds of materials that serve this purpose.
For instance, silk is really good for preventing breakage and locking in moisture in your hair. So, buying silk headscarves or bonnets is a good idea for transitioning from relaxer to natural hair.
Buying silk scrunchies for your hair is also a good idea. Silk scrunchies will minimize the amount of tension your hair experiences when you tie it.
Less tension and strain means there will be less breakage.
Another thing you can do is invest in silk pillowcases. This is good because it prevents your hair from experiencing friction while you sleep, which could cause it to thin out and make it more susceptible to breaking.
Use Hair Supplements
Another important step in the transition from relaxer to natural hair is the introduction of hair supplements to your haircare routine. If you’re not getting enough of these, you may already know.
There are a few different vitamins that are recommended for you to take.
Vitamin A is useful for promoting the transition from relaxer to natural hair because of the unique role it plays in hair moisturizing.
Vitamin A promotes the production of natural moisturizing oils in your scalp.
This is important because the more moisturized your hair is, the less likely it is to break. Which means your hair will grow and rejuvenate without much disturbance.
B vitamins, also known as biotin, are a great supplement because they prevent hair loss.
For those with hair that has experienced a lot of chemical damage from relaxers, biotin is an essential.
B vitamins will slow down any breakage and hair loss. And coupled with other hair growth products, they will give your hair a chance to strengthen and flourish as it transitions to natural hair.
Zinc supplements are also great for the same reason as biotin. Zinc supplements promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Essential oils are important for providing hair with moisture and nutrients. This is important for transitioning hair because these nutrients help it strengthen and grow.
There are a few recommended essential oils.
For instance, rosemary oil. This oil thickens hair and gives it extra strength, which is good for preventing breakage.
Other essential oils which work similarly are jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, olive oil and avocado oil.
Many of these essential oils can be found as ingredients in other haircare products such as shampoos and conditioners as well.
Including these supplements in your hair transitioning process is definitely a good step to take.
Consider Cutting Or Trimming Your Hair
This step is a hard one for a lot of people to consider. It is not necessarily a must, but in some cases, it does need to be taken.
If your hair has experienced a lot of breakage or damage and you have tried all the other steps to no avail, cutting your hair might be best.
This can be really helpful because it allows you to start afresh with a healthier base for your hair.
You could also just trim your hair if the damage to it has not been excessive but you just want to get rid of the remnants of the relaxed hair to leave only the transitioned hair.
How To Transition From Relaxer To Natural Hair, Conclusion
Transitioning from relaxer to natural hair is no simple feat. But it also doesn’t have to be too complicated.
As long as you know the right steps to make sure your hair needs are met, transitioning can be a very healthy and successful process.
Hopefully, by following these steps, you can reach your natural hair goals.