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Transitioning - Relaxed to Natural
by Janice Johnson


Going from relaxed hair to natural hair is a process that involves patience, love and dedication. This is the time you decide you no longer want to relax your hair. At this point, you are "transitioning".

During this period, proper care must be taken to care for your hair. It may be frustrating sometimes dealing with the two textures Ė thatís why some opt for "the big chop". This is the point where the relaxed hair is completely removed. Depending on how much natural growth you have, this may mean shaving your head or if you have an inch or two of new growth, you can cut the hair to the point of the new growth. This is known as a TWA (teeny weeny afro) - which looks great on most women!

If "the big chop" or TWA are not options youíre willing to forgo, try to embrace your hair during the transition period by practicing the following tips:

Take the time and energy to care for your hair with the right styling options. In order to hide the two textures, you may opt for styles that require very little or no daily grooming like cornrows, braids, extensions, straw-sets or twist-outs. But, you must remember that during this transitioning period Ė LOVE YOUR HAIR!

One of the most important things to do is condition, condition, condition! Also, trim your hair gradually to get rid of the straight ends. This also aids in helping the hair avoid breakage. Another way to avoid breakage is to use a wide tooth comb, conditioning the hair regularly, and by giving your hair a hot-oil deep conditioning treatment. This is essential to restore moisture and balance.

Many women have sworn by this method and have said they have experienced very little breakage or no breakage at all.

Remember when your hairdresser told you to make sure you don't wait too long for your next relaxer? (6-8 weeks was the recommended time frame). Well, the reason she/he said this was because when you relax the hair, the structure of the hair is now modified. And depending on how straight your relaxed hair is this meant that the hair structure was altered that much more.

When you transition, the point where the two textures meet is known as the "line of demarcation". This is the weakest point. The curly/coily hair meets the relaxed or straight hair. At this point the structure of the hair is completely different due to the two different textures. This is the point where the hair is susceptible to breakage.

While transitioning, if you are conditioning your hair, comb the hair carefully with the wide tooth comb while the conditioner is still in the hair. Leave the conditioner in the hair for 10 minutes and then rinse out. A great after wash and conditioner is Infusium Leave-In Conditioner. Add to the hair after washing and conditioning with the creamy conditioner. Infusium Leave-In Conditioner is a great product to use after every wash because it rids the hair of tangles.

Try to consult with a professional stylist to help you through your transitioning period. A visit to the stylist for a professional deep conditioning will also be very beneficial and helpful during the transition period. Itís best to go to a stylist that embraces natural hair. The last thing you need is a stylist who makes you feel like youíve lost your mind because youíve decided to go the natural route. You need to surround yourself with people who support your decision. Itís amazing how many stylists frown upon natural hair.

Your stylist will also be able to recommend the best products and methods to use for your hair. Another key point to having good hair (whether transitioning or not), is a healthy diet. So, get healthy! Try to eat right so that your hair will grow quickly and grow thick and healthy. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli are great at growing long healthy locks.

Transitioning Tip: Try to avoid slicking your hair back because the tension may cause breakage. Your hair is more susceptible to breakage because of the two different textures.

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