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Transitioning to Natural Hair: Where to Begin?

When transitioning to natural hair, the first thing you need to realize is that taking care of natural hair required methods that are totally different from the steps to care for relaxed hair.  The moment you have this revelation, your transition will become much simpler.

Natural/kinky  hair must be manipulated with product in it.  Your dry hair would be a total mess to deal with in its natural state.

Natural Hair is not to be “wrapped”, but best to be manipulated gently and secured with a soft satin or silk bonnet at night.  You may also opt to sleep on a silky pillowcase at night in order to maintain the oils, prevnt dryness, and to avoid breakage.

Natural hair gets/feels dry quicker than relaxed hair. The natural hair still produces sebum (natural oils) from the scalp, however, it is harder for the oils to travel down the hair shaft (especially with kinky/curlier hair).  Do not shy away from keeping the hair oiled regularly.

You are moving towards becoming natural now, DON”T FEAR WATER. A little H20 never hurts, and with natural hair, unlike relaxed, you may bring on the water!  You no longer have to run from the rain, but embrace a little mist on your hair.  Natural hair loves moisture, and water based moisturizers are great for maintaining elasticity and overall healthy hair.

Remember these simple tidbits when managing your hair, it may make your transitioning to natural hair that much easier!  God bless you on your journey!


Why Transition To Natural Hair

I answer a resounding call to break free from the image.  Express who we are with our  heads held high.  Let the world know natural is the NEW beauty.  It is cool to be nappy, cool to have curls, kinks and waves.  What we were created to be is perfect and in the image of our Creator.

Do it for YOU! Do it because it feels right. Do it to rid yourself of chemical addiction and the causative effects and affects of lifetime usage.  Break free and embrace a healthy wholesome approach to a beauty regimen.  Learn to care for natural hair, and not break the bank doing it.  Let’s not forget what natural means.  It doesn’t mean getting addicted to more products but less.  Look to your kitchen for answers, think smarter and make good choices.

Why do it?  It’s a good idea, that’s why!


Q & A: Want straight hair…Natural to Relaxed

natural to relaxed Julie says: “I’ve had natural hair for about 10 years, and I am now looking to go straight.  Any suggestions on what type of relaxers work best for biracial hair?”

Hi Julie, I am a natural, so quite honestly I am no expert in relaxed hair.  Also, the fact that you say you have biracial hair does not tell me anything about the type of hair you have – whether or not it’s coarse, fine, dense, wavy, kinky, or curly.  Therefore, I cannot suggest any relaxers for you to use.  I haven’t relaxed my hair in about 3 years or so, but I do know some ladies with nice relaxed hair who may be able to help you.  Maybe you should consider joining a forum, or checking out Fotki or YouTube to get ideas from those whose textures are similar to yours.  Sorry I couldn’t help!

Julie says: “I’ve had natural hair for about 10 years, and I am now looking to go straight.  Any suggestions on what type of relaxers work best for biracial hair?”

Hi Julie, I am a natural, so quite honestly I am no expert in relaxed hair.  Also, the fact that you say you have biracial hair does not tell me anything about the type of hair you have – whether or not it’s coarse, fine, dense, wavy, kinky, or curly.  Therefore, I cannot suggest any relaxers for you to use.  I haven’t relaxed my hair in about 3 years or so, but I do know some ladies with nice relaxed hair who may be able to help you.  Maybe you should consider joining a forum, or checking out Fotki or YouTube to get ideas from those whose textures are similar to yours.  Sorry I couldn’t help!


Q & A: Trimming Hair for Thickness?

grow-black-hair-longRachel Asks: How often should we trim our hair to achieve thickness?

Rachel, it’s interesting that you pose this question.  Many believe that trimming the hair helps to make it thicker, however, this is not true.  The trimming of the ends often gives a thicker look to the hair when there are thin ends present.  The discarding of thin, sometimes see-through, ends makes the hair appear thicker overall.  Since hair grows from the roots, the thickness and density of the hair will start there.  The appearance of thickness and density throughout the hair overall may make it appear thicker based on a fresh cut or shaping of the hair though.

For example, a “bob” cut may look more dense compared to a long mane that one may choose to wear.  Ultimately, it depends on the nature in which you keep up your ends and your roots to determine how your hair thick your hair will be!


Q & A: Transitioning and in Distress

Debra explains: “I am trying to let my hair go natural and leave all chemicals out of it.  I have not put anything in it for close to three months, but my hair is so hard and brittle that it is falling out.  I do not want to go back to a relaxer.  What can i do?  I am desperate!”

Answer: Debra, although it may seem like it, going natural does not have to be a tedious process.  When I transitioned, I was just in a go-with-the-flow mindset at first.  I had only been relaxing twice a year anyway, so when I stopped relaxing my hair it was not too bad.  At first, I was blending the two textures of my hair by pressing it; but the constant heat on my hair was not what I had envisioned by going natural.

The phase of embracing the natural process did not begin until I discovered forums.  I joined a hair forum, blackhairplanet, and began to do my research.  I started off experimenting with styles, and my hair looked a mess at first; however, I kept working at it until I found my idea of near-perfection.

The hard and brittle hair signifies damage.  Try to use deep conditioning treatments that replenish the moisture into your hair.  Three months of transitioning is still in the early stages, however, you can try treating your “new growth” with some coconut oil to soften it up.

Overall, I would say be patient.  Patience and understanding is a virtue in transitioning.  You have to learn a whole new mindset as your true texture grows out, because natural hair care differs greatly from relaxed hair. Good fortune with your hair care journey!


Achieving Thicker, Fuller Hair

Making the Hair Appear Thicker

I addressed a question recently regarding – “How to make the hair appear thicker, naturally”.  Here are a few suggestions that I decided to share.

I recommend castor oil and/or henna treatments. Henna makes the hair appear thicker with consistent use. Castor oil has proven to promote growth and thickness with continued use as well.

Stop the use of harsh chemicals. Chemical services (such as relaxers and coloring) can take away from the hair’s natural density and thickness.

Don’t over-manipulate the hair. Constant combing and brushing the hair will often be taxing to the strands and may thin the hair out.

Watch your diet. Take a multivitamin and eat more green leafy veggies. This often helps the overall condition of your hair and wellness. HTH


Natural Hair in the Workplace

Natural Hair in the Workplace

The inspiration for this post comes from a video I found via my BFF, and my latest channel subscription on Youtube to ShugaNaps.  This sister engages her viewers in a meaningful dialect describing her experiences as a natural in the labor force, particularly when it comes to job interviews.  I think it’s important to represent yourself how you are most comfortable on an interview.  A true representation of self on the interview (and as a first impression) is always best, but I’m aware that everyone does not feel the same way.  Watch the video and feel free to discuss your thoughts!

Natural Hair on Interviews


Making Natural Hair Appear Longer…

Making Natural Hair Appear Longer: Stretching Shrunken Hair

shrink hairWomen have become creative in ways to “stretch” the shrinkage that comes with having true afro-textured hair. Shrinkage is a dilemma that naturals face every time water touches our textured hair. Though shrinkage may be embraced when manipulating the hair into certain styles, often styles requiring length are limited due to the hair drawing up (I’ve seen natural hair with 75% shrinkage). Below are a few ways to stretch shrunken hair, making your natural hair appear to be longer (closer to its true length).

Use a blow dryer. Blow dryers can obviously be used to free the hair from its shrinkage, but they must be used with caution. A low setting and a heat protectant must be coupled with using this tool, because the direct heat has the ability to alter the textures of the hair if not used properly and carefully.

Use rollers under a hooded dryer. This works like a charm for some, giving them length, without compromising the volume of the hair. The indirect heat is not damaging as flat irons or blow dryers would be.

Use the banding method. Many ladies can be found on youtube using this method to stretch the hair by wrapping rubber bands, scrunchies, and small cloths around the hair to extend its position, stretching the afro in result.

Put plaits in the hair and allow it to air dry. Plaits have been known to stretch the hair more than it would if the hair were left to air dry with two-strand twists or without any styling at all.

“Pineapple” the hair by pulling it up into a high pony at the crown of your head. The “pineappling” method stretches the length of the hair up to the crown, by extending it after it has been in that position over time. Be sure not to pull the hair up too tightly, or you will cause tension on the strands.


Transitioning to Natural

happy naturalTransitioning from relaxed to natural can be one  of the best decisions that you can make for your hair; however, the process is not always easy.  Some decide to transition because of the desire to enjoy the natural curls and coils that they were born with, others are forced to because of the havoc that the relaxer has relinquished on the hair.  Whether you decide to transition for a lifestyle change or if you just decide to do so cold turkey, you can take a few steps to making your journey from relaxed to natural much easier.

Make sure that you have decided to transition to natural, for whatever reason is right for you, and stick to it!  Committing to see the journey through to the end will be a big part of the journey to natural.  There are too many times that we may think that we make decisions to do things and we do not always follow through with them.  Be sure to have plenty of patience and determination in this journey!

Take pride in learning about hair care! Figure out what the right steps are to engage in your healthy hair care journey.  There will be a wealth of information to learn at first, but once you start learning what your hair needs, it will be a real treat!

Have fun with it! Join a forum for support, I got most of my information and support from the blackhairplanet.com forum.  You will find naturals and transitioners on the forums and on YouTube that will have some of the best tips to assist you.  You will have fun meeting new people, making new friends, and learning all there is to know about your hair!

Embrace the true texture of your hair, and experiment with what works for your hair type.  Many hope for soft curls, waves, and coils, but as the old saying goes, you don’t always get what you wish for.  For those that have no idea what your natural texture looks like (from years of relaxing from childhood), do not hesitate to embrace whatever texture the Lord blessed you with.  Trust me, there’s someone out there wishing they had your hair (yes even if it’s the 4a/4b texture like mine)!!!

Remember to take healthy steps to managing the two textures. The hair is very sensitive when it is composed of multiple textures.  The line of demarcation (the point where the relaxed meet the natural hair) is the most fragile point of the strand.  The relaxed hair and natural hair combination may be quite difficult to manage and if one is not careful, it will get a lot more difficult as time progresses.  In order to disguise the difference in textures you must experiment with styles that compliment your features.  You may enjoy styles such as braid outs, twist outs, bantu knot outs, roller sets, and many more styles.  You will not always need to apply heat to conceal the two textures, but when you do, always use the proper techniques including a heat protectant.

Form a regimen that works for you!  This may include low manipulation, washing the hair weekly or bi-weekly, co-washing, etc.  I will give you more information on more in depth tips and techniques to transitioning in style!

Have a great, happy transition everyone!