The longer you have been relaxing your hair, the harder it can be to decide to return to your hair’s natural state. It may seem foreign to you as you begin to explore the procedures and products needed to nurture your new texture. There may be times that you want to cave in and go the chemical relaxer route, but stay the course. As your hair and your knowledge of how to care for it grows, the experience of embracing your hair’s texture becomes liberating and empowering.
Things You'll Need
Cut off the portion of your hair that has relaxer in it. This can be a traumatic move for many women. It does not have to all be cut at once though. While some women opt for “the big chop”, others allow their hair to grow out and slowly trim away the relaxed portions making the switch less drastic. If you are uncomfortable cutting your own hair, have a licensed cosmetologist do it for you.
Create a hairstyle for yourself that will be low on maintenance and manipulation of your hair. Natural hair can be very fragile, and any style that requires constant combing and brushing should be avoided. Consider options like braids, weaves and cornrows; these styles don’t require you to constantly style your hair, allowing it to grow and flourish.
Apply a deep conditioning treatment to your hair at least once a month. This should be applied following your regular washing with a moisture enhancing shampoo. Place the treatment on your hair and then slip a shower cap over your tresses. Sit under a bonnet style hair dryer set to a very low setting for five to 10 minutes before rinsing out the conditioner. If a bonnet dryer is not available, your hair will still reap benefits from steeping under the shower cap. You can wrap a towel around the cap for added heat.
Pamper your hair and treat it gently. Avoid heat appliances and always detangle your hair while it is wet. When detangling, use a wide-toothed comb and work from the edges toward the roots.
Cut split ends regularly. Your hair’s growth can be impeded by split ends that travel up the shaft of your hair, causing breakage and fraying.
Guard your hair against night-time breakage. Always wrap your hair up in a satin scarf or sleep cap. When you toss and turn at night, the friction between your hair and your bedding can lead to tangling and breakage.
Moisturize your hair daily. Natural hair thrives on moisture. Water-based moisturizers are best at adding lasting softness and manageability.
References and ResourcesTreasured Locks: Transitioning To Natural Hair:
All Day Natural: Natural Hair: Making The Transition; 2010
My Natural Styles: Transition To Natural Hair Without Cutting Your Relaxed Hair