Oh hey y’all!
This is a lonnggg overdue, updated version of my transitioning tips blog post. Some of them have changed, some have stayed the same. Don’t trip! I have the original post, right here for you!
When I decided to transition my hair from being pressed to being natural, I had no idea what the journey would be like. There was a learning curve, for sure! I hadn’t even washed my own hair in years, because my hair stylist washed and pressed my hair, every two weeks.
In some odd way, it feels like forever ago, since I transitioned (2018), but I know that there are people who are just getting started on their journey and I’ll always try to provide them with great tips! I don’t think I would have been able to navigate transitioning, if it weren’t for the natural hair community I found on Instagram. Getting suggestions and tips from others made the process easier, and I love sharing those tips with people who are at the beginning of their journey.
Do it for Yourself, sis!
Have you felt it? The pressure to go natural? It’s #trending right now and you may be feeling obligated to go natural, but that is probably one of the worse reasons to do it. Do it because you want to. I thought about transitioning for about a year before I actually did it. I just got to the point where I didn’t like my hair straight anymore. I wanted volume and bawdy-ody, and I got all that, plus some!
But remember that this is a lifestyle change. If you aren't actually ready to put the time and commitment into it, you may find yourself more frustrated than excited. We have a tendency to want to rush things, I get that more than anyone. But if you decide to transition instead of big chop, then you will have a whole set of skills you need to learn, it’s going to require patience + practice. If you’re doing it because you want to and not because you feel like you have to, you’ll be more likely to stay with it and see it through until you’re fully natural.
Limit the Amount of Products You “try”
It's not called transitioning, for nothing! Your hair is going through a transition, and is likely damaged. Transitioning should be a time where you take the time to learn about your hair. You can’t really learn what works and what doesn’t, if you aren’t taking the time to look at the results.
Related Post: How to Hydrate & Retain Moisture in Dry, Natural Hair
Sometimes we get into a mood where we just want to try everything, but it may take more than one use of a product, to really see the results, and you also want to be able to pinpoint issues. When we introduce our skin to a new skincare product, we are told to do one new product at a time, so that if you break out, you know exactly what caused it - this is no different.
I stuck to one brand (Shea Moisture) and one line of products for 6 months, while I got to know my hair. Funny enough, I would never use Shea Moisture on my hair now, but it did me good while transitioning. You don’t need to get the most expensive brand, but do choose a line of products with moisturizing properties and deep condition every time you wash your hair.
Side Note: Knowing what I know now, I wish I had used Olaplex No. 3 while transitioning. Olaplex No. 3. is a bond builder and can help damaged hair build strength.
Be Patient & Trust the Process!
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want results ASAP! But...that’s not how this works. You’ll get it right, but it takes time to get your hair to a point where you start to see progress.
If I’m being completely honest, I didn't see a drastic change, for the first few months. I did, however, notice small things, like my hair didn't smell pressed anymore, when wet. If you're a hair presser then you know that smell. The more you practice doing your transitioning hair, the better you’ll get.
Don’t Compare Your Hair to Others’
This comes back, full circle, make sure you’re doing it for yourself. Yes, it is tempting to look at someone who you feel has perfect, kinky, coily, or curly hair and wish yours was like that, right now, but don’t. If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you may end up disliking your own hair and we never want that to happen!
Take Progress Photos
One thing that I am so happy for, is the fact that I started my Instagram page while transitioning, because it meant that I constantly took photos. Now when I look back, I can actually see how far I have come. If you’re looking at it everyday, it may be hard to notice progress, but pictures never lie! Even on your bad hair days, take pics because your progress will amaze you!
Transitioning can be challenging at times, but it can also be fun to learn about your hair and watch it flourish! Don’t be afraid to try different styles, (such as braid outs or twist outs), connect with other naturals on social media, or even subscribe to some natural hair blogs. Embrace the big and small victories throughout your journey and have fun doing it!