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 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 give your hair a break from the manipulation it endures when you wear protective styles.
Moisture, moisture, moisture
One of the most challenging things when transitioning is not knowing how to deal with the coarse texture. AfroBotanics reports that the answer to this is moisture. Owner of Earthy haircare Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes says: “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.”
The place where your natural hair ends and your relaxed hair begins is called the line of demarcation. This point is the weakest part of your hair while you are transitioning and it’s important to make sure it’s moisturised.
It’s also important that you deep-condition the hair while transitioning. Hair is made up 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 with regular deep-conditioning treatments.
READ MORE: Ways to make your hair thicker
Don’t compare your curl pattern to others
Comparing your curl pattern to the next woman’s creates unattainable aspirations. Linda Gieskes, founder of Suki Suki, said in an interview with DESTINY: “Women need to learn about their own hair, which products work for them and which don’t, and also how their hair reacts to products or treatments. Everyone’s hair is different and by embracing your unique texture, you save yourself time, money and unnecessary stress.”
Establish a regimen
The key to a healthy head of hair is a consistent regimen. The sooner you adopt healthy hair habits and a natural haircare regimen, the better.
These are the products which should be part of your hair regimen while trnasitioning:
- Sulphate-free shampoo: This cleanses the hair gently, without drying it out. Use it at least once a week.
- Moisturising deep-conditioner: This keeps hair moisturised from within the shafts and makes it soft.
- Protein deep-conditioner: For strengthening hair and limiting breakage. Alternate weekly with the moisturising deep-conditioner.
- Leave-in conditioner: Apply it to damp hair after washing for better manageability.
- Water-based moisturiser: This usually looks like a cream and penetrates the hair shafts. It should be used daily, especially on the ends of the hair.
- Natural oil: Coconut and olive oils are good examples. Use them daily after applying the water-based moisturiser, as they seal the moisture in. You can also use a commercial hair oil.