Relaxed to Natural: Caring for Transitioning Hair
At Levell’s Salon, we offer a wide range of African American salon services, from relaxers and double process color to natural hair styling options like cornrows, braids, weaves, and precision cuts. These days, many women are choosing to forego relaxers in favor of “going natural,” that is, letting their hair grow in its natural curl pattern. While some women go for a “big chop,” cutting off all of their relaxed hair in one fell swoop, others don’t feel comfortable with such a drastic haircut.
For those who want to keep their length, the challenge is to style and care for two very different hair textures at the same time while waiting for the natural hair to get long enough that the owner feels comfortable cutting off the relaxed parts. Transitioning from relaxers to natural may seem daunting, but it’s very doable with the right haircare and styling! Read on to learn how to care for transitioning hair.
- More moisturizing– Moisturizing is already an important part of black hair care even with a relaxer, but it becomes even more important (and challenging) when transitioning. You will probably need to use a different product for the natural parts vs. the relaxed parts. Ask your hair stylist for product recommendations; we carry high quality hair products from Design Essentials to help you manage your hair.
- Trim the ends– Length is the name of the game while transitioning, and some people take that as a reason to stop cutting their hair altogether. However, your hair naturally grows a quarter inch or more per month, so consider cutting off the old relaxed ends as your new growth comes in. Your hair will look perkier and fresher overall but you won’t be sacrificing length.
- Reduce manipulation– Low-manipulation, protective hairstyles are key when transitioning. There are many lovely options for cornrows, braided styles (crowns, pompadours, etc.), and buns that look polished and stylish while allowing your hair to grow in peace, without being constantly handled and thus experiencing growth-slowing breakage.
- Say no to heat- Another cause of breakage that will make it take longer to grow your natural hair out is heat styling. The occasional hot press by your professional hair stylist in the salon is fine for special events, but on a daily basis, avoiding the hair dryer or hot comb will help you see better results more quickly.