Typical Hair Regimen For Transitioning Hair

Some people just start developing a regimen by default when it comes to taking care of hair, they wash on a Friday, deep condition hair every two weeks and do something else on other days. Here’s the thing, when you are transitioning you must have a regimen, don’t just fall into a changeable routine, plan your journey to going natural carefully, especially if you are transitioning for the long haul- a year or more.

If you don’t have a regimen, you just might get frustrated and give up. A regimen helps you to keep focused on what your ultimate goals are. For a ‘transitioner’, your goal is to wear your natural hair and get rid of your relaxed hair without chopping off your processed hair at once. It is easy to lose sight of the goal, especially if you get frustrated. That is where a hair regimen will be very handy for you. The process does not need to be overly complicated because you will be manipulating your hair as infrequently as possible.

Here’s a guide for the transitioning process. This guide can be tailored to suit your needs. It is also useful for persons who want to go on a long stretch between relaxers.

Pre-Shampoo– don’t skip this pre-shampooing process. The longer your new growth, the more pre-pooing will come in handy. This process contributes to the overall moisture level of your hair and contributes to your hair’s condition before you wash it. You can pre-shampoo with a number of ingredients. Oils and tea rinses are favorites for two-textured hair. Below are some suggestions:

Sage, Rosemary and Apple Cider Rinse

Alfalfa, Carrot & Avocado Oil Premature Gray Rinse

Thursday Night Hot Oil Cocktail

Pre-Shampoo Treatment for Shedding Hair

Always remember to put hair in a plastic cap and then use a tie-head or other material to cover the plastic cap to trap heat on the hair. Do this pre-pooing routine every week before you wash your hair.

Shampoo: Try not to use shampoo with sulfates or other chemicals, these shampoos are really the enemy to transitioning hair. The hair feels dry and crunchy after a shampoo session with a chemical based shampoo. If you cannot, under any circumstance, find another alternative to wash your hair with, consider diluting your store bought shampoo with water before using it in your hair and tip a little coconut oil in the shampoo to offset the stripping effects of the shampoo. Do not wash your hair more than once in the same session. Do not lather rinse and repeat, get the dirt good the first time around.

Other alternatives to shampoo are:

Here are some recipe suggestions that you can make from home.

Homemade Aloe Vera and Honey Shampoo Recipe

Apple Cider Vinegar and Tuna Shampoo Recipe

Condition: Use a regular conditioner in lieu of shampoo if you do not have access to an organic shampoo and use a deep conditioner that has both protein and moisture combo for your weekly conditioning sessions, there are some differences with conditioners, Conditioner 101 will tell you what those differences are.

A good source of protein for your hair conditioner recipes is egg and plain yogurt. Moisture can be gotten from glycerin and oils. Deep condition the hair every week until your hair stops breaking and then you can do it every other week.

You can make your own deep conditioner at home here are some examples:

Coconut and Yogurt Conditioner For Transitioning Hair

Stinging Nettle and Rosemary Conditioner For Transitioning Hair

Hair Growth Deep Conditioner Recipe

If you are not into making your own products, three very good deep conditioners recommended for transitioning hair are:

Jessicurls Weekly Deep Treatment

Blended Beauty Herbal Re-conditioner

ORS Hair Mayonnaise

These conditioners work great with transitioning hair, they more or less make the natural hair curls softer and the relaxed part feeling well conditioned. Give your hair at least two hours to deep condition after putting hair under a plastic cap and covering it with an old cotton t-shirt for heat.

Moisturizers: The best moisturizer is water, if your hair feels a bit dry in the week, put filtered/purified water in a spray bottle and spray your hair lightly. Seal in this moisture with any of the following oils, castor oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Basically any carrier oil will do. Stay far away from petroleum and mineral oil based products. Another option to refresh hair especially if you are a regular gym goer is to cowash hair with a very rich moisturizing conditioner, rinse with a tea combo and then seal.

Here are two moisturizing recipes that you can use to refresh your hair:

Rosemary and Lavender Moisturizer For Hair

Basic Homemade Leave In Conditioner and Hair Moisturizer


·        Pre-poo once a week before you shampoo.
·        Condition wash twice per week.
·        Air-dry hair every time.
·        Use protective styles like buns and curly hairstyles to cut down on manipulation and to keep moisture in hair.
·        Wrap hair in silk cap at nights. You can wear your hair in plaits or twists and put under silk cap.
·        Cut 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch of relaxed hair each month based on your hair growth.
·        Clarify hair every week with an Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse.

Products on the Black List for Transitioning Hair: Any product that contains alcohol, any shampoo that contains harsh chemicals, and any hair oil that contains petroleum/petrolatum or mineral oil, synthetic hair dyes and heat appliances.


  • Mari said:

    Hello Brenda,
    I want to transition from relaxed to natural and I am a week post relaxer, Can you give me anymore tips like product what not to do while transitioning. Also I have a question about the apple cider vinegar rinse do I condition afterwards.
    Thanks 🙂

  • Trina said:

    Hello. I just read (on a natural page on FB) that I can totally transition my relaxed hair by stripping the perm with vinegar and baking soda. Do you know if that is true?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      NO it is not true. Not true at all. Baking soda is used as a shampoo by some natural minded people (it’s very alkaline, opens the hair shaft). And ACV is used as a conditioner (it is very acidic, closes the hair shaft). After using baking soda to wash, you are required to use ACV to close the hair cuticle. Both are used for washing hair and for some persons it works as a natural chemical free way of washing and conditioner hair. They cannot strip the hair of a relaxer. It just cannot be done. BUT, if you want to melt your hair, degrade it completely and break your hair bonds beyond repair, you can leave the alkaline baking soda on you hair shaft for a long period and it will literally cause your hair to melt. I have an article on the two of these substances coming soon.

  • Aaronynia said:

    Hey brenda I have not had a relaxer since August 2013 so that is 10 months i have had breakage and im trying to find the best way to wash my hair and condition it . i do not want to do the big chop i am a youtuber who subscribes to all of the naptural sistas i want to be able to manage my thick natural hair want would be the best routine?

  • Amanda said:

    Hi, ive been transitioning for about 3months, i use flexi rods for my styles but considering my hair is short, it doesnt stay very long and the back dries out and flattens the next day from sleeping, any suggestions on how to maintain the curls and prevent the dryness?

    • Raissa said:

      hi. I am no expert but from my experience i can say the rolling the hair in the curled pattern and using a hair clip to secure helps. you can do it as small and you want or as big as you want. as long as you follow the curl you have. also pineapple ing your hair helps. you do not necessarily have to use a band to put the hair up and destroy the curls from the root but if you just hang your head forward with your curls hanging onto your forehead you can wrap your satin head wrap around your hairline then tighten until comfortable. another option is resetting your hair BUT not as tight as you would on the first night of setting your hair. you don’t even have to stretch the curl. just fit it around the tool (flexi or perm rod or roller) and secure it and cover your hair with the satin bonnet or wrap.

      I really hope this helps!

  • Jasmine J. said:

    Hello, I recently went natural or am trying to go lol and man I want to give up sometimes! I absolutely have no idea what I am doing and the reason I wanted to go natural was because I wanted to break away from relaxers. Is there any advice on washing like step by step I know you listed some. But Every time I air dry my hair it gets so not healthy looking. Please help

  • Ashley said:

    Hi I’m about 7 months post relaxer and I currently have a sew in , is this good for the transition? Also my scalp is very itchy right now. Any tips? Thank you . ????

  • Anna said:

    This was very informative thanks a lot. I am 2 months post relaxer and I am loving my transition so far. BTW I love your hair.

  • Caroline said:

    Hello Brenda,

    I’m 3 months post relaxer and I was wondering if it’s wise to subject all the hair to the same types of treatments as when it was relaxed.
    Or should we simply wash, condition and moisturise.

  • keema said:

    Hi,am transitioning and five and half month post what tip can u give me to keep my natural hair frm getting dry and nappy, should I co,wash more and less shampoo. Because this is my second time trying and I don’t want to get frustrated and perm it what should I do?

  • isioma said:

    am 20weeks post relaxer, on a natural hair journey
    I can’t find sulfate-free shampoo, can I use dudu-osun soap?
    learnt it has a poor effect on natural hair

  • Z said:

    Just found this site & I’m willing to try many of the tips given. Questions are for the Hair Growth Deep Conditioner. How much of a difference would it make if I use Canola Oil instead of Olive Oil in the recipe and how long could I store it without egg (if I made a batch of it)?

  • Glorie said:

    You are really doing a nice job here, I appreciate.
    my hair was so bad that I had to cut down everything, I mean everything
    (the African queen kinda low cut). Now I want to go natural, how do I start nurturing my hair, presently I use water and coconut oil to moist my hair and a friend advised I shouldn’t be washing my hair with soap while bathing I should wash once in a while, please could u tell me what I should use in washing the hair, my hair is still very low. Thanks

  • Erica H said:

    Hi I’ve been 10 months post relaxers…I’ve been wearing protective styles in the mean time because my hair is still so thin. Is there any products that can help with my thin hair?

  • TeAira said:

    Hi Brenda! I doing a natural hair research and came across your article- by far the best one I have seen! Here is my story, I’m currently 19, i haven’t had a relax in my head since i was 12/13 yrs old. BUT I did get my hair flat iron faithfully twice a month, whenever I didn’t have braids in. With that being said, I want to go all natural, no heat, just my hair texture, but I am having a difficult time determining which parts of my hair are heat-damage. My right side is thicker and have beautiful curls, my left side has a looser curl and less thick, any suggestions?

  • TamikaShantel said:

    Miss Brenda,
    My mom put a Luster’s s-curl kit in her natural hair almost 2 months ago. Now she’s asking me to “give her more curls”. I have no idea how to help her, other than just letting the textured hair grow out & cut it off. Suggestions please!?

  • Mj123 said:

    Hi I’m about 5-6 months post relaxed.I have been using creme of nature with argan oil from morocco products lately and it been working real good but its not fulfilling all my needs and i would really like to mix it up with somthing new.I was wondering if u had any experience with any of there products and if you think I should stick to it.I also wanted to try One ‘n Only hair products or Shea Moisture hair products(which I have heard a lot of people talking about).If you have any products in mind please suggested,I would also like products that are curl defined cause after relaxing my hair I lost my curls and can’t seem to redeem them back.

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