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FEATURES Jan 16 2013 6:07PM

Top 5 Transitioner Questions Answered!

by Precious Henshaw of Precious Curls
Transitioning from relaxed to natural can be very exciting, very confusing, and sometimes very scary! Most of us who are transitioning or who have transitioned did not know much about their hair texture or how to care for it. Here are some of the top 5 questions that transitioners have about their ever-changing hair!
What Will My Natural Hair Look Like?

Many transitioners are admiring the little coils peeping from under the relaxer, wondering what their natural curls will look like once all the relaxed hair is gone. The weight of the relaxed hair can actually pull on the new growth and elongate the curl pattern, making it really tricky to know exactlywhat your natural hair will look like on its own. When the relaxed hair is cut off, it may not look anything like it did while you were transitioning! Your curl pattern also changes a lot as your hair lengthens. Your curls may not look quite the same two or three inches later. Be patient and let it grow, and when your relaxed hair is gone, be happy with how your natural hair looks! It is gorgeous!
How Do I Blend My Two Textures?

The coily new growth and the straight relaxer look pretty strange together, and blending the two different textures together can be tough to do! Here are some great hairstyles that can blend both textures seamlessly.

Twist-Outs, Braid-Outs, and Bantu Knot-Outs

These can help “set” the hair into a single pattern that is taken on by both the natural and relaxed parts of the hair. If the relaxed part of your hair has trouble holding a curl pattern, try using rollers at the ends to help the curl set better.

Curl Sets

Roller sets and the like can also help to blend the two textures of hair. Hairstylers like Curlformers, Strawllers, and flexi-rods work super well to smooth out your natural hair while curling up the relaxed hair.

Twists and Braids

Small twists and braids can help mask the two textures. Curlers at the ends can help give the relaxed ends some texture.
What Hair Products Should I Use?
A lot of transitioners are completely new to natural haircare and want to know what hair products will work for them. There are so many hair products out there! How do you know which ones will work?
My suggestion is to start with the cheaper, affordable ones. Try the hair products you can find at your local beauty supply store or drugstore. Cheap hair products can be just as great as the expensive ones. Just give them a try!
How Do I Find a Simple Haircare Routine?

A simple haircare routine should include washing, conditioning, and moisturizing. Detangling your hair in between washes is also important, as transitioning hair can tangle and mat very easily at the line of demarcation (where the relaxed hair meets the new growth).

Washing and Conditioning

Using your favorite slippery conditioner, wet your hair and apply it liberally to your hair. Split your hair into 4-6 sections and detangle it section by section using a comb or a detangling brush. Twist or braid the sections after detangling to keep them from tangling back up again. Use your favorite shampoo to wash your hair in sections, focusing only on your scalp and letting the shampoo run down the length of your hair as you rinse. This will keep your hair from tangling, as shampoo tends to make the hairs stick together. After shampooing, apply conditioner to your hair, preferably a leave-in conditioner as they are super moisturizing, don’t need to be rinsed out, and can double as both a conditioner and a moisturizer.

Night Time

Twist or braid your hair into large sections at night and cover your hair with a satin scarf to keep it stretched and protected at night.

Day Time
Use your favorite moisturizing product and apply as needed. Moisturize only as often as your hair needs to be, usually every two to three days or when your hair feels dry to the touch.
Do I Have To Big Chop?

The “big chop” is the act of cutting off all of your relaxed hair and leaving only your natural hair! The term “big chop” is usually used when the cut is very drastic with just a few inches of hair left! Some transitioners are self-conscious about how they will look with their natural hair, and want it to reach a certain length before they cut off their relaxed hair. You can definitely grow out your natural hair before cutting off the relaxed hair. However, the more your natural hair grows out, the tougher it becomes to deal with both textures. Once you’ve absolutely had it with the two textures—and you’ll know when that point is - you’ll feel comfortable cutting it off—and it will look great!
What questions do/did you have as a transitioner?


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