Sunday, July 21, 2013

Transitioning Hair is NOT What You Think

Deep Conditioning, Detangling, Cleansing to Manage Transitioning Hair Roots

One popular thought about transitioning hair? 
Answer: Dry, tough, knotted roots. I've heard it over and over from messages I receive and from people I meet. Another popular issue with transitioning hair is: BREAKAGE. The breakage is the nightmare situation, I have to agree.

Mostly the relaxed hair needs the protein treatment for strength because of the broken bonds that occur during the chemical process. On the flip side, both relaxed and un-processed hair will benefit from a deep conditioning treatment most of the time. Typically, once a week deep conditioning is just fine for transitioning (and natural) hair.
Bantu Knots (Pictured Above) Results

  • Rough, dry, breaking roots
  • Breakage (ends)
  • Styling (matching up textures)
  • De-tangling/Tangles
  • Finding products perfect for extremely different textures
What does this post mean by "transitioning hair is not what you think"?

All of the problems listed above are mostly problems that can be solved. Yes, they take a little patience and gathering of information...but it's all "fixable".

In regards to the rough, dry, breaking roots, I found that at about 3-6 months, the hair that grew out of my scalp was very rough, dry and hard. Like BRILLO PAD hard. I won't even begin to attempt to explain the science behind it. Just know that this is only temporary. With consistent and thorough deep conditioning, that hair at the roots will evolve into soft, luxurious coily hair. The roots will just require attention (pre-cleansing oil application, cleansing, deep conditioning, proper de-tangling, moisturizing and sealing with the proper products). I like to do this required beauty hair regimen about once a week (especially with transitioning hair). If I would go over 10 days without the proper hair care, I would have to live with dry, rough, breaking roots.

In regards to breakage (at the ends), I found that little trims were most effective with solving breakage. I never had to deal with breakage during my transition. My best friend, on the other hand, had most of her relaxed hair break away from her natural hair during her transition. Needless to say, her transition was literally "cut" short. The minute her hair started randomly breaking, I helped her to cut it to a healthy place to stop the breakage. I also helped her with deep conditioning and protein treatments. Usually, trims and moisture/protein balance will solve that transitioning hair issue (breakage). You can do it! If you don't feel comfortable trimming your own hair, get someone you trust (a friend or a licensed hair stylist/beautician). Be very specific about how much you want trimmed off. A skilled hair stylist should be able to tell you if that specified amount will do the trick to getting rid of any damage at the ends.

Transitioning Hair Can Be Styled Any Way You'd Like. Just Don't Skip out on Deep Conditioning for Easy Styling

In regards to the styling problems with transitioning hair, I always say this: "create 1 texture, and style on that". Since transitioning hair has two extreme textures (straight and coily), then it's easier to first make those two textures match, and then proceed with styling. The best time to create 1 single texture out of the two transitioning hair textures is after a wash/conditioning or co-wash. When the hair is wet or damp, it is easily "set" into whatever texture you'd like (curls, braidout, twistout, bantu-knots). I used to love to use perm rod rollers on my relaxed hair once I had braid or twist my roots. This created a waterfall of curls and waves that could be easily styled all week without drama. Whatever you decide to do, find your staple hairstyle and take the frustration out of your week.

To cut this post short, detangling and products go hand in hand. I had to find the most safe and effective de-tangling tool for my transitioning hair. Everyone's needs will be different, so play around with a few different tools until you find one that will not cause breakage, and will get the job done. Effective de-tangling is essential to styling. I didn't de-tangle my transitioning hair often (ABOUT 1 x EVERY 7 DAYS), because I feel that low manipulation is key to length.Less pulling and raking= less breakage. Products like moisturizers and other "lubrication products" are meant to assist in the de-tangling process. It can get tricky (due to the straight and coily hair contrast), but with lots of patience, the right tools and products, and the right technique, it can be done safely.

All in all, if you plan to transition long term (grow out your un-processed hair without cutting off your relaxed hair), hopefully these tips can help. It took me about 8 months to figure out that I had to have a regimen and stick with it for best results. 

When will you be ready to cut off all of the relaxed hair and sport your curls? 
ANSWER: When YOU are ready.

With lots of Love...............................................................................................................................................Tia

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