We’re absolutely digging the natural hair movement. Big ups to those who are in the process of going natural, or even just thinking about it. Remember ladies, you’re beautiful just the way you are, so don’t fear going natural.

There are two ways to go from relaxed hair to natural. The first option is to do a big chop, which is cutting off all your relaxed hair, leaving only your natural hair. The second way is called transitioning. This is a gradual process whereby you stop relaxing the hair and allow it to grow out. As it grows, you trim off the relaxed ends until all your hair is natural.

Here are the rules for success when transitioning:

Do . . .

  • Utilise protective styles 

Protective styles like box braids or bantu knots are great when transitioning because they keep your hair out of sight for a while so you don’t have to deal with the two textures.

Although protecting the hair will give you some time to breathe, remember that too much of a good thing can be bad. So, do give your hair a break from the manipulation it endures when you wear protective styles.

RECOMMENDED: Need to know: all about protective hairstyles

  • Deep condition 

Hair is made of 15% moisture and 85% protein. When you relax your hair, the protein bonds in the hair are broken down and the hair loses moisture. Natural hair, however, has all of its protein intact. It’s therefore important to restore the lost moisture and protein in relaxed hair by doing regular deep-conditioning treatments.

  • Adopt a natural hair-care regimen 

The sooner you adopt healthy hair habits and a natural hair-care regimen, the better. “Use a water-based product to hydrate and detangle the hair, an oil to seal in the moisture, and a creme to lock the moisture in to ensure it doesn’t escape the hair shaft,” advises owner of Earthy, Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes. We also recommend investing in good quality natural hair products. Your hair and scalp will thank you for it.

READ MORE: All you need to know about co-washing

Don’t . . .

  • Use heat

Although you may sometimes find yourself frustrated with the two textures, and be tempted to flat-iron your hair, please don’t! Heat is very damaging to the hair and the last thing you need is to damage your growing natural hair.

  • Compare curl patterns 

Everyone has their own unique curl pattern, so don’t compare yours to anyone else’s. “Embrace your curl texture, understand it and work with it,” says owner of Suki Suki, Linda Gieskes. There’s no point in going natural if you aren’t going to embrace and love your hair in its natural state.

READ MORE: Why conditioning your hair is a must

  • Comb hair from roots to tips

Always comb your hair from the tips to the roots using a wide-toothed comb. Now that you’re transitioning, you have to be very gentle with your hair, and only comb it when it’s been moistened. Never comb your hair when it’s dry. Also remember that wet hair is fragile so be gentle with it.