7 Tips To Take Care of Transitioning Hair

Two years ago I did not process my hair for close to a year. I had two textures dealing with, my real natural curly hair and relaxed hair. Everyone wondered why I did not go to the hairdresser to get it relaxed but the truth is I was toying with the idea of going natural completely and I was learning about my two textures in the process. For newbies, transitioning is moving from relaxed to natural hair. Most persons who do a long stretch with relaxed hair are technically transitioning and those persons who are tired of relaxed hair and want to wear their own hair are definitely transitioning.

Many persons including myself shudder to think of getting the big chop, that is, cutting off all the relaxed hair and starting afresh. So transitioning in this case is the only option because there is no option for getting rid of the relaxed part of your hair but to cut it off. Relaxed hair cannot revert to natural hair.

While transitioning you will notice that your real curly hair is stronger than the relaxed portion and this demarcation will create a problem on your head if you do not know how to handle it. I consider myself a veteran these days in handling the two hair textures because I do long stretches between my relaxers. On my long year and a half stretch between relaxers, my hair did not break or shed excessively. Here’s what I did:

1. Keep the Hair Moisturized.

Yeah, yeah we have heard this all before. Moisture is key, blah blah…Hold a sec, if you believed moisture was key when you had your hair relaxed, when you have two hair textures it is another story. Some days I found myself moisturizing my hair and one part of my hair responded better to the moisture than the other. It was a delicate balancing act for me and it may be the same for you too. What I found is that my natural hair responds better to certain oils than my relaxed hair. So, while olive oil as a sealant reacted better to my natural hair, my relaxed ends hated it. I came up with a compromise with castor oil. I washed my hair twice per week with conditioner and then I sealed in the lovely moisture with castor oil. Both my textures loved it, it took a while for me to find the perfect moisturizing combo which was really condition wash and then seal while hair is damp with natural oil, paying close attention to the demarcation line.

2. No Petroleum, Sulfate or Mineral Oil

This is the key. The one big thing that will cut down on breakage when you are transitioning. These ingredients are a big no-no on a regular basis. However, when transitioning they are especially not to be used. Sulfates can be found in shampoos (the thing that gives shampoo the suds), petroleum and mineral oil can be found in hair grease. If they are in the top five ingredients in any hair product, don’t use it. Ingredients are generally listed in order of activity, so look closely at your product label before you buy anything while you are transitioning. Some great alternatives for shampooing is–condition washing, add some baking soda to your conditioner and wash your scalp with it. Notice I did not say hair, the hair can be washed by default. Apply the paste to the scalp and massage it in. You can do a final rinse with apple cider vinegar; it softens hair and makes it supple. This can be done up to three times per week to keep your hair nicely washed and conditioned. If, like me, you are wary of excess manipulation of hair, then once per week is fine to wash,  especially if you are wearing a curly hair style. Put a tea rinse (like mint) in a bottle and spray your hair when it needs to be refreshed and then seal with an oil.

3. No Heat

Forget about using heat to dry your hair or to style your hair. When transitioning do not try to straighten your natural hair to look like your relaxed hair, this will create problems. Your hair won’t like it and it will break. I know that other persons have done it but if you are transitioning for the long haul and you don’t want breakage then you need to forget about heat. This means no hot combs, flat irons, blow dryers or other heat appliances. Besides, you are transitioning so that you can experience your natural curly hair in all its glory, the best styles for your hair at this point should be curly hair styles. Air drying your hair whether it is relaxed or natural will give the hair time to absorb moisture and to be more supple.

4. Low Manipulation

Have you ever really considered how persons with dreadlocks or sister locks can have long hair in a matter of months while your un-loc’ed head just won’t grow? Well, it all has to do with manipulation of the strands and you can achieve a good amount of growth and less or no breakage while transitioning with low manipulation hair styles. I strongly suggest wearing your own hair and not to add braids or weaves while transitioning, too many persons wear braids and then complain of alopecia (hair loss) after they are taken out. Low manipulation styles can include, curly styles that you do not have to comb out in the week, ‘bunning’ hair, cornrow or twists. You don’t have to let out corn row or twists until the day before you wash your hair so that you can rock a curly hair style at the end of the week and then wash it and comb it and do it all over again. The key to these styles is not to do them too tight and to moisturize the hair thoroughly before you do them.

5. Detangling

There is an art to detangling your two hair textures that you can use to your hair advantage, detangle the ends first. The ends are the weakest/driest and this is especially so when you have the two hair textures. Part your hair in four sections and start detangling from the ends and work your way up to the root of your hair. Use a wide tooth seamless comb. I know some persons who are married to their medium sized comb with the grooves at the bottom. Never marry your comb. There is always something better and bigger at Walmart or any retail or beauty supplies store. I got my comb for 99 cents. I ended up buying one each for my friends who were married to their combs that were causing their hair to break overtime. Invest in a proper comb while transitioning, it is very important and even when you are tempted to brush down the ‘buffy’ part of your natural hair resist. Instead, dampen your hair and then seal. Catch it up and tie it down with a silk scarf. It will lay flat after that. Also remember if at all possible detangle your hair when it is wet and has the delicious conditioner clinging to your strands. Do not agitate the hair when doing the final rinse. Instead, you can allow the water to flow freely through your strands.

6. Cutting Hair

Hair grows at a rate of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch per month. If you want to get rid of your relaxed ends while maintaining length you may consider, cutting off the corresponding relaxed ends every month. This means your hair will not be looking any longer or shorter either but you will slowly be getting rid of the relaxed part of your hair. After a while when your hair has grown to about eight inches of growth you will realize that the relaxed hair just looks odd, straight and lank compared to your plush new hair growth. Eight inches of natural hair is not a bad length to completely remove the relaxed part of your hair. This will take approximately 16 months to transition to a reasonable length. That is of course up to you.

7. Natural Products

I know that the first inclination many persons have when they are attempting to do anything with hair is to find out what products to get to achieve certain results. Start thinking natural and organic. Since you are transitioning, this is the best advice for your natural hair anyway, so you would be starting a great practice for when your hair is unprocessed. My great grandmother’s grandmother arrived in Jamaica as a slave from Africa. She had no access to fancy hair products yet, she had long, kinky hair almost to her waist. She maintained her locks by using what she could from the land. She used her coconuts and castor oil and mint and sorrel tea and garlic and pepper. Not a hairdresser or fancy hair product was in sight. The truth is, the closer to nature we go for our ingredients, the better off our hair will be. Try making your own hair recipes or using your organic food products to get best results for your hair. As my grandmother loves to say, ‘nature has a remedy for all ills’. This is also true for our hair.


  • Sherika said:

    From reading your articles I just knew you were Jamaican! I could see it in certain words you used. I’m Jamaican too. Keep doing your thing girl and I am about to try these tips as I am transitioning right now. I am 4 months post relaxer and I am wondering if I should just go natural or I should relax my roots again. I have had traction alopecia since I was a child and I don’t know what to do to make it all grow back. Like it will grow back but in a little stubble and then I will get frustrated and perm it and put some weave in. I want to change all that now and start taking care of my hair including my side stubble (lol). I’m gonna be using your site as a guide. Please do an article about alopecia and how to look fabulous even with really short/bald areas. Thanks.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Fellow Jamaican Girl!
      Thanks for stopping by. I applaud your decision to start taking care of your hair, nurture your stubble and let it come back to health. I did a slew of articles on alopecia, you can look at this one Treatment For Hair Loss

  • Holly said:

    Thank you so much for sharing these helpful tips. I’m a few months into my transition and have my good and bad days learning to deal with the 2 textures…Some days I want to give up but I know that with patience the final journey will be worth it!

  • Lisa said:

    Thanks for these tips ! im a 16 yr old dominican female, and my mom is finally letting me go from relaxed to natural. I don’t really know how to take care of my hair. My hair is breaking off cause i see it all over the floor and my mom & hair stylist are constantly telling me i should just relax my hair. I DO NOT WANT TO. 🙁 & My mom doesnt believe in co-washing or air drying.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Lisa,
      Glad I could help. Keep reading and educating yourself about your hair needs. After adopting some of the best practices your hair will stop breaking.

  • meeka said:

    Hi i have a question. I am transitioning at the moment and it has been approximately 7 months since my last relaxer. and I realized that I would ss new growth in the back of my hair( more like feel it) but when it comes to the front i only see it when i wash it and . is there some reason why im not seeing much growth in the front. i have been moisturizing and putting it in protective styles but its not budging.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Meeka,
      Do you wear your hair in the same style, where the front of the hair is constantly stressed. I know that this can contribute to stunted hair growth at the front. Another thing could be wearing of tie-heads or scarves in the same area, it actually has a rubbing effect on the hair sides and nape. I am just brainstorming here but what you can assess whether you do these things and then adjust. Another reason could be that different parts of your hair grow at a different pace. It could be genetic, it could be your individual thing. Whatever it is, continue to moisturize and wear your protective styles. Don’t stop in frustration.

  • Char said:

    Hi. I am so thankful for these tips. I am in my 7 month transition. I really don’t know the ‘type’ of hair I have. I believe I see new growth but not much. I have been wearing the twist-outs and braid-outs in my hair. I have been on You-Tube watching video after video, but most of them cater to the all natural hair & not to much transition hair care. These tips have really helped a lot. I co-wash and i do moisturize with Shea butter leave in conditioner and curl cream by argan oil. I also seal with castor oil. My hair takes a very long time to dry and if I seal it with oil, it takes 2 full days to dry, even after its damp before I apply everything. Should I wait completely until its dried to apply? And also after its dry and I take down the twists or braids, its very oily, is this a good thing? The videos have taught me that I can do a twist/braid out the night before and take them down the next day, Im finding out that is not happening with my transitioning hair. My hair is still wet.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Char,
      Don’t wait until it is completely dry before you apply the oil. A little water is needed for the oil to seal in moisture. I would suggest waiting until your hair is extremely close to drying but you can still feel the moisture in there before putting on your oil or leave in conditioner. If your hair is very oily after taking down your twists or braids you can try using sparingly only one of your moisturizers or the castor oil. Don’t use them all at the same time. And use them sparingly. if your hair looks and feels too oily when it goes on more than likely your hair will look lank and oily when you take it down. A little goes a long way with your oils and butters.

      • woo johnson said:

        i get relaxers all the time but when i stretch my relaxers 6-9 months my hair reverts back to natural and i have to put the relaxer through out my hair again. trust me my hair reverts back to natural i know my natural hair texture. can you explain why my hair does this?

        • Brenda Barrett said:

          Hi Woo Johnson,
          I have no idea. Very unusual situation.Does it break when you relax it to the ends all over again?

  • JJB said:

    Hi Brenda, I too am Jamaican, I didn’t process my hair for about 6 months then when I did it came out trashy and looked no different than before, I again relaxed my hair 6 weeks after and the samething happened. What is wrong with it? Help me plz

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi JJB,
      Did you use the same relaxer both times?
      Have you used that particular relaxer before?
      How long did your hairdresser leave in the relaxer?
      What strength is the relaxer? What strength do you normally use? And what brand?
      If you have ever relaxed your hair before and it looked relaxed, I would recommend doing the same thing you did at that time.

  • Claire said:

    Hi Brenda, I am 6 months post relaxer. I have been looking for the best transitioning styles. I tried 3 strand braids but seems I cannot stay long with them. I now have a sown in weave, however, I am really worried about this as I do not know how I can take care of the hair underneath the weave on so that I do not experience breakage. Do you have any advice of how I can take care of my own hair? Thanks

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Claire,
      I am not comfortable with the sew in for you either. For styles you can choose twist outs or braids outs. See this link for some suggestions Curly Hairstyles I will write a more comprehensive article later just for transitioners, however, here’s a brief run down.
      1. Hot Oil Treatment- Every week
      2. Shampoo with a mild shampoo (don’t use anything to strip the hair.
      3. Deep Condition with a protein/moisture combo.
      4. Do your weekly curly hairstyle. If hair gets dry midweek lightly spritz with water and then seal with oil.

      • Jasmine Taylor said:

        Hello, I ran across your site today, not knowing exactly what i want to do with my hair. I used to get relaxers, but have now been getting texturizers for about a year. I am currently 3 months post relaxer, and my beautician is away for 2 months (so when she come backI will be about 5 months post). I do not trust anyone else to really deal with my hair so I have been thinking if i should go natural since i already have a 3 month head start, OR if i should just nurture my 3 1/2 inches of current new growth along with the other 7 inches of relaxed hair. Maybe when my beautician comes back I can get a texturizer again, unless I learn to take care of my transitioning hair. I am so confused as to what to do , as I love the straight-look and am used to it. I currently have twists in my hair to do my first twist out soI hope all goes well. Do you think I would be able to take care of both textures and continue to b straight, as I would like to have both curly and straight looks when indeed I want to switch it up. While nurturing both textures, I do not want to experience breakage where its too late to turn back.

        • Brenda Barrett said:

          Hi Jasmine,
          You are asking the right person because I like the flexibility of curly and straight myself. These days I have fallen in love with straw sets because you are going through a long stretch, this would be a great hair style. Of course you will be able to take care of both textures, you have to keep on top of the moisture issue and it would be a good idea to get a detangling conditioner.

          • Aixen said:

            When you do straw sets or twist outs or bantu knot outs, how do you comb out the hair when the style is old?
            For instance, I wash my hair once a week, but if I do any of those styles, it won’t last up to one week, so I’d have to comb it out into my usual bun after about 2/3 days. Now, I’ve only done a bantu knot out once, and I thought I looked like a vagrant so I combed it out the next day. However, in trying to be careful and all (I’m 3 months post-relaxer), I spent about an hour combing it out. Is there some easy way you people do it? Or do you just carry tired curls till your next wash day?

  • Olivia said:

    Hello Iam transitioning to natural hair, august of 2012 was the last time I got a relaxer so I have quit a bit of new growth, Iam so frustrated with my hair but Iam determined to hang in there and stick with it. I try to co-wash at least once a week, I use a moisturizer that has olive oil it in, I also use a conditioner of the same brand and a jojoba oil, I was wondering is it too much to co-wash twice a week? I know its important to keep your hair conditoned when natural

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Olivia
      Stick with it girl! stick with it!
      Your regimen sounds good. Is your moisturizer water based?
      No it is not too much to co-wash twice per week, your hair loves the water especially when you are transitioning. But remember that conditioner can leave build up on your hair, so you will have to clarify with Apple Cider Vinegar at least every two weeks or every week after your second co-wash. Or you can wash with a mild shampoo or baking soda instead.

  • lolitha said:

    thank you very much for these tips. I will be transitioning pretty soon and I must say, your advice has been the best so far. Thank you 😉

  • A said:

    Hi Brenda. I’m going through a major war within myself. I’ve been getting my hair relaxed for 7 years and I am just now seeing the damage that relaxers are doing to my hair. My hair used to be full and long but now it’s shoulder length short and thin. I’m not good with anything having to do with doing hair and I get upset easily when I have to do it (which explains why I went to a relaxer in the first place, I thought it was easier to manage). I’ve decided to transition into natural hair and not get the relaxers anymore, but I’m VERY stubborn and I don’t want to leave my hair unstraightened for a long period of time OR go and get “the big chop.” I probably don’t have much of a choice if I want my hair to grow longer, but…any suggestions? Sorry for this long post, I’m really confused and a newbie when it comes to treating my hair properly.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi A,
      I am going to write an article about the straw set soon. I think it would be a great style for you. In the meantime, there are loads of videos on youtube and there are several persons who have already written about it. I really think this would be a great style option for you for a couple of weeks. The curls last forever and you don’t have to comb your hair for a full week or two.

  • Tanya said:

    Hi Brenda,

    I am so happy to find your site. I’m just into a year of transitioning and some days I think, ok I can do this and other days I just want to run to the salon! My biggest issue is dryness. I’ve read all your other comments and I’ve done all of these things. My hair is most dry after washing and air drying. So, I prepoo with an oil, then I wash, usually with a conditioner, then I deep condition. Usually my hair is soo soft at this point. Then I usually apply some sort of leave in (I haven’t found a good one yet) But I usually leave a little of the conditioner that I used to rinse my hair with and then seal with an oil. Then I use a styler … All of the products I use are all natural, but my hair still ends up dry the next morning!? It dries so trashy looking and I can’t figure it out! I have bought product after product and nothing works. Now I usually moisturize that evening and it’s better but I can’t understand why my hair gets so dry after washing and air drying. Any advice?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Tanya,
      Sounds like you need to try ‘baggying’. After you’ve applied all the moisture to your hair, wrap your ends together, like in a bun and cover with a plastic bag. You only need to apply the bag to your ends. If you do this overnight for several days your ends will be well moisturized.

  • Kayla said:

    Hi I have damaged transitioning hair and I was wondering , what hairstyles should I have for my transitioning hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Kayla,
      I normally recommend curly hair styles. A very good one that lasts long, hides the two textures and requires minimum to no manipulation is the straw set. You can look up some videos on youtube and check it out. I will be uploading some guides on this soon.

  • Jas said:

    Hello.. I’m trying this going natural thing with out the big chop as well., its been about 7-8 months.. and I don’t think I’m doing a good job at it. I wash my hair once a week and do scalp braids and wear a wig. I repeat the process every Sunday. Now I have a sew-in with no glue. When I wash my hair I use V05 shampoo and conditioner. And I use African Pride Shea Butter leave in conditioner after washing to detangle and moisturize. Am I going it the right direction with taking care of my hair? If not can I have more tips to get on the right track.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Jas,
      Your regimen doesn’t sound so bad at all except for the shampoo. I would use a shampoo that is not drying to the hair (without sodium laureth sulfate) and add a few deep conditioning treatments to strengthen the hair every two weeks or so. Apart from that you are good to go.

  • Megan said:

    Hi im also doing the transition its only been five months, but I was wonder what type of Shampoo do you recommend, I go to the store and i see all types of them ranging from Carols Daughter to Miss Jesse and Organic. Also how can i make my hair curl it seems like my natural hair is frizzy.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Megan,
      We have started a revolution and quite a few big name companies are stepping up their game and making shampoos that are sodium laureth free. Check the labels of the shampoos and choose the ones that don’t contain this ingredient.

  • abdullah said:

    Hi, i relaxed my really healthy wavy hair 2 weeks ago, on a thursday. And it was pin straight, really silky and looked naturally straight as if there were no relaxer. Though i deep conditioned after relaxing. Then the next day, i lightly conditioned and it was still pin straight. The day after, i went to a swimming pool, so i had to shampoo. I shampooed with sulfate free shampoo and deep conditioned. It was pin straight at first, then as it dried it became kinda wavy. The next day it was more wavy. Gradually it became as if it wasnt relaxed! I’m thinking of waiting 4 more weeks to take care of my hair and relaxing it again. What reverted my hair? And what advice do u suggest? For the record, i have used henna before, so.. does it have anything to do with it?

  • Samantha said:

    Please help me. My hair is healthy and my hairdresser got it that way. I decided to go natural and it been a little over a month. I Bought the Carol’s daughter transitioning kit. I do a hot oil treatment in my hair every time I wash it and a protein treatment at least once a month I just started this. I use it’s a 10 for leave in conditioner mixed chicks and Carol’s daughter treatment for breakage I also use Chi’s keritin deep conditioner. And I want to go to the hairdresser every month or so to get my Ends trimmed. My question is why do I have to go to a hairdresser and to transition or am I able to do this all at home by myself with good hair products because I know how to do my hair my hairdresser just does the conditioning and puts me under the dryer but I want to know if I’m able to save money by doing stuff at home can you give me any hints or anything to help me out? Thank u

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Samantha,
      Sounds like you have a good regimen going. I think you can manage on your own. Maybe you need to get an overhead dryer if you don’t already have one and do your conditioning at home.

  • Jessica said:


    I have been transitioning for about 9 months now. Like so many, I have tried so many products in an attempt to acheive moisture in my hair. Can you tell me if there is any product that you use to moisturize your hair?

  • Yei said:

    First, thanks for the article it was very informative.
    Second, I’m not sure if this is useful information but I wanted to inform u that my background is african and my hair is naturally a 4c texture but it doesn’t curl it’s just tiny waves.
    So my question is, my hair is transitioning (about 2inches is natural) and I have alot of breakage but the breakage is only from the relaxed hair, and my natural hair isn’t breaking at all, I don’t even notice shedding. I ignore it the breakage because its only the relaxed hair, should I be concerned?

  • Pam said:

    Hi I have been in transition for about 8-9 weeks. I am concerned about my two textures.About 2 days ago a beautician washed and conditioned my
    hair. While setting the hair she used a mousse that had no alcohol. After removing the rollers my hair was clean but spirally and crunchy.
    Later on I put H2O, vegetable glycerin and oil in a spray bottle. I first put jane carters leave in conditioner in my hair bc it was dryer than a desert. I sprayed my water mixture in my hair and use flexirods.
    In the a.m. the curls came out nice but did not last. The hair felt a
    little dry so I added my water mixture. Now my hair is very oily and
    stringy. I do not know what I did wrong and how to correct this. I do
    not like the way my hair feels or looks. I feel that perhaps I should
    not do this.. There has to be a better way.. Sorry for the long post..
    I felt I needed to speak to someone who has been there. Thanks for having a listening ear.

  • Britney said:

    Hi Brenda, thank you so much for this post. I had natural hair for 12yrs and relaxed it because I had very hard hair and it was so painful to keep it. It’s been 9yrs and I miss my natural hair. I’m transitioning now and it’s been almost 4months. I was wondering, do you have any tips for the hard natural hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Britney,
      I am going to do an article exclusively on this. I have been using my Mom’s hair as guinea pig and mine to some extent. Will post soon I promise.

  • shaunna said:

    I am a new transitioner and I have been reading everything up under the moon to help me. I was natural 6 years ago and had a TWA. My hair started growing so I relaxed it and now it is BSL. I decided to go natural in July but had a relapse with the creamy crack. I immediately regretted it. So here I am again 7 weeks post and I am not really having any issues. I work out and run a lot so I just wear my hair in a braid out and wash it once a week with a sulfate free shampoo and then I deep condition it. I also co-wash mid week to relieve the sweat and build up that is left on my scalp. I love my growth and cannot keep my fingers off my new growth. I cannot wait until my hair grows enough to do a BC. My plan is to do it one year post but I don’t think I will be able to wait that long. I guess my question is how long was it before you did your BC and did you ever get frustrated with the 2 textures. Also what products did you use specifically?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shaunna,
      You relapsed with the creamy crack! Oh no! Your exercise regimen sounds like mine. I am still a creamy crack addict though. I relax my hair sometimes once or twice per year, every time toying with the idea of going back to natural but I have never really gone all the way. I am a believer but I have not yet turned into a doer. I rarely get frustrated with my two textures because I constantly have my hair curly. The one product which really works to give my hair a soft feeling in both my textures when my hair is six months post and feeling extremely weird is hydrogen peroxide (I’ll explain in an article). I also love jojoba oil at this time. No oil feels quite as good on wet hair like jojoba. I do the regular shampoo, conditioner, hot oil treat etc. I have an outline here: Hair Regimen For Relaxed Hair

  • Yayra Penti said:

    I Started transitioning my hair to natural two months ago.
    I’ve been wondering if I will be losing all my relaxed hair or some of it will turn natural.

  • Olivia said:

    Hi Brenda,

    I have naturally straight hair. Before I started perming my hair, my hair went down my back, not up in an afro. My hair is roughly 13 inches long and I’m 10 weeks into my transition. I broke down this morning because I used curlers to curl my hair last night, and this morning, while the curls looks nice, my hard thick roots ruined the look. I felt so depressed and unattractive.

    I’m having trouble finding hairstyles considering I don’t have the typical kinky black hair and knowing the dos and don’ts because my texture is different. I really want to give my hair time to remain it’s thickness and stay healthy but sometimes the journey is so depressing.

    Any advice?

  • Sweetgal said:

    Hi Brenday,
    Great site! God bless. My question is I am 16 wks post relaxed. Now, can I do a three strand braid out and take it out the following day with my natural hair to achieve the curly effect I can step out with? Please advise.

  • Sweetgal said:

    Hi Brenda,
    Do you think braiding with 100 percent kankelon and 100 percent toyokalon fibre (supreme hair) hair is healthy whilst transiting?

  • Kenisha said:

    Thank you soo much for posting this useful information. I have decided to go natural since im nearing the end of my pregnancy and I want to elude all of the harsh chemicals. As of right now I have box braids and I am planning to take them out. Should I start my transition by just doing a deep condition or should I do the conditioner wash and then seal with oil ? Im so lost when it comes to transitioning. PLEASE HELP !!

  • Nesha said:

    Hi, I am 6 months post relaxer and transitioning back to natural wavy hair. I get my ends trimmed every 8 wks. I use nexus shampoo and cholesterol carrot oil conditioner on my hair. I also, use africas best or creme of nature leave in conditioner. I also am familiar with protein treaments for damaged are and organic shampoo and conditioners, but I have’nt tried the organic shampoo an conditioners yet. I also use a natural growth oil on my scalp and ends of my hair. My ends are shedding. I still straighen my hair with flat irons and blow dries it because air drying takes two days for my hair to dry. Please give me any advice you have. Relaxers no longer straighten my hair as I tried it 6 months ago.

  • Damilola said:

    Please i live in Nigeria and i will like to go natural by transitioning?I just took down my cornrows with extensions but i don’t know what to do now,pls can you give me some pointers?Will really appreciate it.

  • Martha Daniels said:

    I decided to go natural about three weeks ago..I know nothing about natural hair but I’ve been not using heat.. my hair is so so dry…. any pointers for a beginner??? I did purchase tea tree oil and African pride oil moisturizer anti breakage formula max growth what else do I need??? confused

  • Chloe said:

    Hello, my hair now has a lot of new growth but a lot of breakage ha been occurring at the point where the two textures meet. This is I think from where I have brushed my hair but I have gotten to a point where my new growth has all matted and is impossible to untangle its practically dreadlocks and its so hard to manage any tips? I really need some help.

  • olivia said:

    I know this post is late. But this is sooo informative and enlightening. I’ve nursed d vain idea of transitioning for sometime now but i just didnt knw how to go about it,now that i’m armed with this information i think i’m READY!! Thanks a bunch. But i live in west Africa and its soooo freakin hot and the sun is mad.will this in any way affect the sort of products i should use on my transitioning hair?

  • Mayah said:

    This article is helpful. I have shoulder-length relaxed hair and slightly over an inch of natural hair. I have been considering about transitioning for months now because I love the feel of my natural hair. Any tips? I definitely don’t want to do the Big Chop. And I definitely don’t want to do a touch-up to the new growth.

  • Meg said:

    I’m almost a year into transitioning and I still can’t find a shampoo, I’ve tried aunt Jackie In the beginning and it was perfect but now it dries my hair up, so I went to carols daughter it’s kind if heavy in my hair leaving it greasy limp and flat, the I did mss Jessie and that left it extremely dry.. So next was mixed chicks and that also left it dry n frizzy … I really need a shampoo because all of them leave me dry or too greasy and I can feel it when I’m washing my hair….. I do use black castor oil with rosemary, coconut oil and sheabutter, R&b by lush which does moisturize very well.

  • Percephanie said:

    Hello, My name is Percephanied and I am 14 years old and I’m a freshman in highschool. Class of 2017. I have been transitioning since June 6, 2013(last perm) and it’s currently December 18, 2013. I have seen some growth but not as much as I would like. I recently go a weave done and I permed a small portion of my hair the rest is still natural but however I would like to know if you have any tips for me because Dealing with two textures is very difficult but I rather start my natural hai journey now then to be doing it when I’m middle aged. I set goals for myself so that I may have a plan of what I want to do. By june 2014 I might do a big chop but that all depends on gownth. I’m trying everything that is imaginable to achieve beautiful lucious hair but I may need your words of wisdom. Email me at Percephaniedgmail.com if you have any further suggestions or words of wisdom thank you 🙂

  • Tah3 said:

    Hi I just decided to go natural my last relaxer was 11/27/13. I will be transitioning and i know i have a long way to go my hair is about 4′ longe. I have been reading about Transition Kits and im not sure whitch one to go with but do they realy help the process?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Tah3,
      Tell me more about transition kits are they like a milder relaxer? If they are, don’t do it. That is still relaxing the hair.

  • Michelle Jones said:

    i have been transitioning for about two years. The first year I wore a bun the whole year. This year I’m doing twist out. For about two months now, I have noticed breakage. What can I do to stop? Don’t want to perm anymore!

  • Knicole said:

    I am very frustereated. Doing hair isn’t my greatest strength. How do I get my puffy new growth straightm…due to the roots n edges being puffy it makes my hair appear fluffy. I am dealing with the Mixed girl struggle I am Polish and black. I have part the texture of my Mother but being just a little over 20 percent black I also have part of my dads hair texture. In the industry I am in looks n hair are very important m. Please help me I would love my hair to find balance. What I have been doing is wearing my hair in its shower state. But aI don’t like it and I don’t like how it feels. I use to go to a stylist but she lives way to far n started to not listen to my hair wishes 🙁

  • Kacia said:

    Hi I’m in my 5th month and I’m a teenager and my mom hates it since I have so much relaxed hair and I really don’t want to do the big chop. My problem besides that is that my hair has a lot of heat damage and I don’t really know how to go through the transitioning process with it like this. And also I have no idea how to style it to protect the hair. Please help!

  • renee said:

    I’m been without an relaxer for almost three years I used to wash it once a week and on occasions I will visit my stylist for a trim .I started taking biotin I notice you said not to flat iron it I cut it down to only flat iron it just when wash it only but my hair shedding. Just like its been cut that kind of shedding some long strands I normally don’t oil my scalp. You think I need too? Also have used coconuts oil ( virgin) help FYI I just oiled my scalp with design line hair cream and wrapped it and scalp currently feel funny help ( let’s just say I have way back home hair) lol help

  • michelle thomas said:

    Hay, I wanted to know in the process of transitioning when is it best to stopusing heat? I am only 1 month into my transition, is that too early to stop using heat?

  • Alexis said:

    I’ve been transitioning for about 3 months now & I’m having a hard time managing my new growth. I flat iron my new growth on the lowest heat setting every two weeks so I can atleast comb through my hair. Is that a bad thing for my hair? Do you have any tips to manage my new growth?

  • Kia said:

    Great article! Through researching about transitioning, I’ve read several times about having regular trims. Is there a way hair can be trimmed without having to straighten it out?

  • Quadeera said:

    I too like a lot of the ladies on here need some transitioning tips, I haven’t had a relaxer since November 7th 2013, however I haven’t started a regimen yet all I do now is wrap my hair everyday and spray it with oil to keep it moisturizer my question for you is when should I start a regimen, how shluld I start and what should I begin with? ( I think I’m 12 weeks post relaxer to be exact) thanks!

  • Ibukun said:

    Hi Brenda,I just stumbled on your site. I am a 19yrs old Nigerian and I’m about starting my transitioning process,just 1month gone. was thinking of cuttig my hair to start afresh(everyone seems to be against it ),I really need your help for tips n guide lines because I’m really insecure of how I will look as I transition.Thanks.

  • Ibukun said:

    In addition my hair breaks a lot like I can see it every where around me as I comb through. I have no idea on how to take care of it even when I was on relaxer

  • Julia said:

    Hi Brenda, I was wondering if you could help me. I am in the middle of transitioning at the moment (although I cant remember exactly when the last time that I had a relaxer which makes it hard to keep count of the days- I kind of just decided to not relax my hair after the last time that I did). So far, I have been having hiccups here and there and have been so tempted to just relax my hair. At the moment, my big problem is detangling and finding out how to keep my natural roots from going hard or “nappy” if I should say. I shampoo, deep condition and on the days where I havent used heat, I did the twist in. But when I took the twist out, I found my hair really hard to manage. I normally mousturise and condition to try and get it ti soften but I think this makes it worse. I just want my hair to be soft and manageable and at the moment, all my products are almost a 100% natural (will be purchasing and making my own stuff at home very soon). Please help me. Also I usually apply black castor oil all over my hair, cover my hair and leave it on for at least an hour then proceed to shampooing and deep conditiong. The first time I tried this technique it worked wonders and my hair felt amazingly soft especially because leaving my hair to air dry and not using a hand dryer made it really hard to manage for me. Please help 🙁

  • amy said:

    Hello, I had a relaxer put in my hair lets say.. 1 to 2 years and ( I had it done at home) and well my hair is half curly and half straight when I asked about it like when will my natural hair grow back the lady said either you have to wait a long time or you need to shave it off is this true? she didn’t really tell me when my hair would actually come back to it’s natural curls. :/

  • Keaja said:

    Hi, so I’m only about a month into transitioning. My new growth is very curly.. and my hair shoulder length. i have a hard time finding how to properly do styles without heat, that are presentable in public.and I use Shea Butter to moisturize.. is that good?

  • Viola said:

    Dear brenda,
    I am a14 year old african american femal and my hair is bleh. I am transitioning, and i grease my hair and it makes my hair better at managing and softer, when i flat iron i comb my hair out first the straigten it i just wash my hair with shampoo to cleanse (aussie) and co wash(pantene) so yea anything i can improve upon and make better? So i can make my hair healthy again (i once had bra strap length hair then now i have uneven neck lenght hair due to high manipulation and dry ness)

  • Donna Philpot said:

    Transitioning hair. I have four finger length of new growth but when I blowed dry and flat iron I have no length hair still the same . What’s going on please tell me.

  • shaada Bryceson said:

    Hi Brenda am three month transitioning but,I experience lot of shedding and breakage also I have receding hair line.Plz help me.

  • china said:

    First off, ur tips enlightened me a lot. I haven’t relaxed my hair in 6 months cos i want to start texturizing but i’m not cut out for cutting the relaxed ends cos i have long hair. What should i do pls?

  • Amber Woodard said:

    Hello, I’m a true noob. Since I was younger my attitude on hair was, “It grows back.” And I just did whatever, but I’m tried of my chicken scratch of hair and April 23, 2014 or ‘yesterday’ o just fully decided I would like to go natural! Please give me tips I understand like what needs to be done but I’m still a bit in the dark. I’ve got a “first starter” regime, I just need to know how to get in the grove. Any and all tips will be greatly appreciated, Please and thank you. (Not a fan of the big chop hoping to stay away from it.)

  • Bonolo said:

    Hey Brenda, I completely found your article very useful, I have recently just started transitioning and it is quite frustrating. But otherwise my question or query is that I use the ‘organic’ jabu stone natural hair care regime though it contains petroleum and mineral oil and my shapoos from alberto balsam and ORGANICS contain sodium laureth sulphate (does this count as a sulfate/sulphate?). I don’t understand how they are specifically for African hair yet contain the ingredients which you expelled. I would like to know whether I should continue using them or turn my back on them, they seem to work just fine for me though yet I continue to experience breakage, please help out.

  • Tiffany said:

    I am transitioning. It’s been six months so far and I am finally starting to notice the two textures of hair and ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I realize I need to do something to better manage what I have but I am the type of girl that knows how to do NOTHING with my hair. I am considering cutting my hair into a cute bob to doing a “small chop” instead of the “big chop” LOL. Do you have any pictures of styles that I could wear as I am transitioning? Also what are some good organic products that you use? THANKS A BUNCH!

  • opulent said:

    Op this method will also work for me? My hair is hard,coarse…it breaks easily and painful whenever i decide to go for natural weaving bcos my husband doesnt like relaxer nor any chemical. Pls help me. What can i do to soft my hair texture?

  • Julianna said:

    Great information , Brenda. Thanks!

    One thing, though. The reason that people with dreads appear to have such long hair is because rather than being removed with regular combing, virtually ALL hair that they shed is left in their hair. The shed hair is matted and interwoven. Over time this gives the appearance of great length. It is a myth that those with dreads actually have long hair growing out of their scalps due to low manipulation.

  • Chanel said:

    Hi thank you for these tips, I am 4 months transitioning and my hair has began to start breaking off when I go to school my shirt always has broken hair strand s on it how do I prevent this. Also my mom is always telling me that I should just return to relaxing but I want it to go natural. The only reason she wants me to keep relaxing is because I have long hair and since I have started my transition it has gotten really short. I would love your help.

  • Tasha said:

    Hi thanks so much for all the tips I am not transitioning but am taking a break from relaxer because my hair started shedding bad I have not relaxed in three months and I was wondering how to take care of both texture of hair and you helped in want to perm is it ok if my hair is still shedding a bit?

  • Geselle said:

    I’m 13 yrs old and I’ve been transitioning for quite some times now,I really don’t know how to get through this and whether or not if this is going well or what to do.So with your outstanding knowledge I need urgent help before I at a tender age go bald.

  • moyo said:

    hey,i am almost a year into transitioning but i go to high school and my hair has to be weaved,its summer and my hair has to be in braids but after reading your tips i have being discouraged from braiding my hair.i need advice

  • Sharon H said:

    Hi I am contemplating on going natural but wants a change. Thing is I love to style my hair and make sure my hair looks good however I dont know if I have the patience for this as my hair dont grow fast. The big chop is something im not sure of as dont know how I will look. Is there any advice u can give or suggestions towards my trasition. Its been three months now I havent relaxed my hair

  • Donneil said:

    Hey I am a Jamaican too and I have made the big decision to restore my hair to its natural glory! I loathe the idea of the big chop so I am trying my best to take care of my hair during the transitioning process even though I am failing so far. Luckily, I learnt a lot from your tips so thank you!

  • mo said:

    Nice tips am jamaican too, i’ve been transitioning for eight months now and trust me castor oil is king

  • jerusha said:

    This is an awesome article, it was very helpful, thanks! God bless you!

  • T said:

    Ive been transitioning for nine months now and my hair is doing much better now, i refused to do the big chop. When i first started out it was so hard i wanyed to get a perm. So bad…. but i stuck it out !! Almost one year strong an so happy with the outcome!!

  • Joy said:

    Can you still have good hair results by protective styling with your own hair( no faux hair)? Also, can you recommend products?

  • Nesea said:

    Hey just ran across your website and so far it’s helpful but I have tried transitioning many of times but I really don’t know what to do with my hair as far as styling it I do the no heat and try twist out, braid outs, Bantu knots on wet and dry hair but when I take them down my ends are so dry even with my moisturizing and oiling the ends before and after everyday my ends are always dry then i start to notice breakages so I don’t know what to do I really wanna go completely natural cause I love my curl pattern from what I can see from my roots do you have any style suggestions ??

  • Chanel said:

    Hi thank you for these tips, I am 7 months transitioning and my hair has began to start breaking off when I go to school my shirt always has broken hair strand s on it how do I prevent this. Also my mom is always telling me that I should just return to relaxing but I want it to go natural. The only reason she wants me to keep relaxing is because I have long hair and since I have started my transition it has gotten really short. I would love your help.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Chanel,

      Your relaxed ends will break away from your natural hair. You can try frequent deep conditioning treatments every week to mitigate the damage or you can slowly cut off the relaxed ends. Your hair will look short for a while but it is growing, you’ll have your long hair again. At the risk of opposing your Mom, I say go with what you are comfortable with, wear your natural hair. Seven months is a long time, you’ve reached this far don’t turn back now.

  • Maimouna_senegal said:

    Hi thanks for this article, I have read many about transition, but I think you are probably true and I adopt your hair routine and see what happens in a month even if I don’t find all these natural products here at home. I will try to have max and See you next month!!

  • tasha said:

    Hi my hair is relaxed and about 3 inches from bra length how can I stop the shredding and breakage as is at its worse when it needs re touching

  • Danielle Martin said:

    I found your article very informative but I have a question about my situation. The last time I had a relaxer for my whole head was around March but in September for my birthday I got a sew in and my hairdresser relaxed just the edges of my hair and my leave out. Now I’m experiencing the middle and back of my hair has a lot of new growth and the front has very little with a lot of relaxed hair. Is this going to cause a big problem ? What do I do to maintain both hair textures? And when should I do my big chop ? Please help, thanks !

  • Danielle said:

    thank you for all the information but I have a questi
    on about my hair. The last time I got a relaxer was around march , in September I got a sew in for my birthday and I wanted my leave out to be straight so my hairdresser relaxed just my edges and leave out. Is this going to cause a big problem in my transition ? Are there any tips you would give me on how to treat this situation and when do you think I should do my big chop ? Thanks in advance!

  • Shelley Chapron said:

    Hi! This article was very helpful and i really appreciate it. I have been transitioning for seven months and i think i have a decent texture of natural hair. However, my hair (because of my previous relaxers) has been cut in layers and i dont really know if my hair is shorter in some areas because of how it is cut, or the basic fact that its breaking off. I wore braids for a while and my hair grew immensely but im not going to get them until later in the year. Im nervous about transitioning because i just want to chop it all off but i just dont want to look like a different person. I want thicker and healthier hair by eliminating relaxers but i feel like its going to take forever to transition. Do you have any suggestions for products that will help me maintain healthy hair and stop breakage? And also thr last time i flat ironed my hair was about three weeks ago. How often should i flat iron it when transitioning? Thanks 🙂

  • catherine said:

    I’m currently transitioning, and I have about 5-6 inches of new growth. i use sulfate-free shampoo, deep condition once a week, and use coconut oil on my edges daily. however, whenever i wash my hair, when i let it air dry the roots seem very dry and frizzy, and the curls are very undefined/nonexistent. Is it because I only put in a little leave-in conditioner after combing (i feel like putting in a lot of product will lead to buildup..?)?
    Or is there anything I can change about my hair care regimen??


  • Kayliciana said:

    I’ve always been natural in this come winter I decided to perm my hair and when I permed my hair I encountered a lot of breakage and I’m trying to go back to my natural form and now I’m having a problem with it what do you think I can do to get back into my natural state. Cause I don’t want to cut my hair

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Kayliciana,
      If you are going back natural and you do not want to big chop then you are going to have to be patient and wait until your natural hair grows back.

  • Kia said:

    Hi, I just finish reading your article and I just want to Thank you for the tips. I haven’t had a relaxer in about 11months now. I decided to go natural after coloring my hair and it broken off really, really badly in the front and back. I really don’t want to do the Big Crop. Do you have any advise on what I can do to help it grow out.

  • Miya said:

    Hi, I’m 15 and this is my 7 month of transitioning. I get my hair done every 2 weeks and I’m afraid it will affect my hair in the future. Any advice?

  • Gloria said:

    Hi!! Im from Puerto Rico, and here It is very difficult to find help with curly hair. Im a 5 month transitioning, Im trying the twist and braid but the style does not last for more that a couple of hours. Sugestions ?

  • Shalonda said:

    My first real journey to transition. My husband wanted me to go natural last year in August so its going on a year for me not perming my hair. I never had a plan to do so just kept getting my ends clipped n pressed. Now I think I’m ready to really get my hair where it needs to be. I want that long healthy look. I have a question how do I get the soft look of natural hair. The beginning of this year I can press my hair and three months later it still looked fresh. Basically how to get manageable hair.

    • Kristina Beck said:

      I really suggest getting Keratin treatments at the salon. A Brazilian blowout if anything. Also use Wen cleansing conditioner. Fig is the best. Always use a really high quality leave in and seal ends with Argan or any pure oil known to heal hair. Carrot oil is good and amla oil. If you do not want to spend alot on Wen check eBay or use Pantene CoWas or a high quality conditioner and rinse hair thouroughly using high quality conditioner to wash your hair. Rinse & repeat. Don’t forget to also shampoo once every two weeks using a sulfate free shampoo. The better quality products the better quality of hair. Always deep condition monthly and regularly trim.

  • nyeisha said:

    Hi i’m transitioning and I was wondering do you have any good moisturizers you can suggest because my new growth is extremely dry a lot and I don’t really know what to do

  • chola jc said:

    very interesting read. my hair was natural all through high school, mostly cause I went to a convent school. i relaxed through college and now I’m transitioning. will definitely take your tips into consideration.

  • Franca Alexander said:

    truly speaking i love everything u said concerning the transition of hair,m a nigerian…i wanted to cut my hair so dat i can get a virgin hair bt wat i ve read,m good to transform…can u list the steps i should be taking every week or month to arrive at it,…just list them,thank u

  • Mea said:

    Hi everyone ive decided to journey to the natural land from perm i haven’t permed in a while n ive been wearing braids n sew in, am planning to remove the sew-in soon n i feel like i just want to cut the perm ends off, not sure how much inches of new growth there is but am really looking forward to the journey n i know am gonna need uall help, so ladies i look forward to ur advice on products etc.. Thanks in advance

  • Tosin Faleke said:

    I’ve been having trouble with my hair for about six years now. I believe I was mistreating it. But now I decided to go natural and I found some natural growth under my permed hair after two months. I heard that natural hair is hard to take care of. Is that true?

  • Tosin Faleke said:

    I’ve been having trouble with my hair for about six months. So I decided to go natural. I noticed some natural hair growth under my permed hair after two months. I heard that natural growth is hard to take care of is that true?

  • Tosin Faleke said:

    (Sorry for the repetition. )

  • Taliyah said:

    Hi I am 14 years old and just found out on my own about the damage perm can do to my hair.it was never my choice to put perm in my hair and I never really knew perm was or that it was something bad for my hair.what I did find out is that my mother couldn’t deal with my thick comb breaking hair and always said “MI can’t be bothered wid AR head “.all I knew was that it made my hair bone straight.yes I did take care of my own hair by myself while it was permed because my mother knows absolutely nothing about natural hair or anything about hair matter a fact.in fact my edges even started to thin out.one day I asked my mom what type of hair did I have has a child since I have yet to see my own natural curl pattern and she said it was really curly and extremely hair to deal with.then it occurred to me that I never seen my hair curly and I really w
    anted my curly hair back so I decided to do research and stay away from perm even though I told my mother I was going natural I think she still doesn’t get it and since I’m in the middle of transitioning she thinks I’m weird because I don’t want to perm my hair.I know financially my mom does not want to invest in proper hair products to take care of my hair and I’m in need of a hair cut and I need help with a lot of things.it’s sort of stressful because times when I have no idea what to do with my hair I have no one to help me with it but I’m learning how to overcome those stages.therefore it would be great if you could share some advice and tips thank you in advance for your encouragement because I can already feel how emotionally difficult transitioning can be.

    • Skyler said:

      I’m 16 years old and I’ve been transitionong for 6 Months! It can be difficult in the beginning when you know nothing about going natural. The absolute best thing to do is keep your hair moisturized and prevent breakage. My hair is EXTREMELY thick so I know exactly how you feel. If you need natural hair products there are great things out there I use the whole line of cantu products. They’re great for transitioning hair. But if you can’t seem to buy any some household itemso work too like olive and coconut oils. Also find other people like you and older who have experience with natural hair. My mom knows nothing about it but she helps me and encourages me and everything. Keep trying and don’t give up, it will pay off!

  • Demi said:

    hi im 13 and i want to transition but my moum doesnt like the idea got anytips?

  • Trinity said:

    Hey, I’m currently have been transitioning for like 5 months . And I honestly don’t want my hair to break because right now my roots are curly and thick but then the rest is dry and bone straight . What type of remedies would you consider to help with hair growth? When I was younger I had long curly hair but then my mom permed it then relaxed it ,so here I am today transitioning. I want to have thick curly hair that I can wear out I love curls and it is so mest up because I don’t even know what my hair type is going to actually be . I’m not even sure if my hair is growing can you please help thanks 😉

  • Trinity said:

    Btw i love your articles because it gives me the courage to continue transitioning thank u

  • L. Bailey said:

    I am 7-9 months into transition. I am using the shae moisture product line which seems to work well for my natural hair but not so well for my relaxed hair. My relaxed hair feels sticky and looks wet when it is not. It takes forever for my hair to dry without heat. My hair type appears to be a 4c and tends to pop/break when wet. I can hear it. I have and always had dry scalp. I’ve always had what is known as growing dandruff. My relaxed hair seems to have gotten dry over the years as well. Does this have anything to do with the porosity? HELP PLEASE!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Yes, in a way everything comes down to hair porosity and the best products to use and how to handle your hair. Shea moisture products would be a bit heavy for your relaxed hair so use it VERY sparingly on that part of your hair. There is no such thing as growing dandruff. Your scalp is just dry and needs to be moisturized. if you haven’t started doing so, you should try a weekly hot oil treatment and don’t forget to deep condition.

  • Trina said:

    Hi, Im a transitioning it’s only been about 3 months since I had a perm and so far it’s okay. but I know its only going to get harder. But I read in your article where you said weaves isn’t a good idea. But weave is what’s been making my hair grow and its so hard for me to style my real hair cause my roots and edges are nappy but my ends are straight.

  • Rashonda said:

    These are great tips! Another thing I would suggest is to get the
    Nutress Transitioning kit! This kit is really the best thing that works
    for my transitioning hair. One thing that I love about this brand is
    that they don’t make exaggerated claims and their products speak for
    themselves. Their formulas are effective but very gentle, which is
    perfect for Natural hair. Their protein treatment is the bomb.com!!!

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