Various transitions from processed to natural hair

a19By Gail Newbold and edited by Nicole Samson
Are you tired of maintaining your permed or relaxed hair and desire a natural hair do? Well if so, two solutions can help you get that natural hair do without damaging your hair. Going natural, you must realize that in order to begin the process the first thing you must concentrate is on the “new growth” and no more touch ups. Once that is accomplished we have two avenues you may take towards your natural style.

Cut it all off

This is considered a “bold” move for African American women, especially if there is some length to the hair. This is the fastest, easiest option as it requires the fewest amounts of steps and will definitely avoid moments of breakage, especially at the point where the processed hair meets natural hair, or the line of demarcation, which also is the most sensitive to damage.   With this option, a woman can wear what is called a TWA or “Teeny Weeny Afro“.

Extensions

Cornrows, braids, full head sewn in weaves, or wigs are other ways you can prevent getting another touch up and growing out your “new growth”.

What to Do: Once you chose a path

Whichever style you choose for your hair during its transitional period, the most important thing to do is condition the hair. Even though you are no longer applying chemical relaxers, the hair still needs extra moisture and so a deep conditioner once a week is still in order.  Make sure that the conditioner used contains proteins and humectants that reduce dryness. Other ingredients to look for are glycerin, panthenol, and quaternion-22.

What Not To Do

Do not Hot Comb your hair.  Hot combing hair while it is transitioning makes the natural hair you are trying to grow vulnerable and prone to breakage. Another method to avoid is using a number of products that claim to help change your hair back to its “natural” state. These products may leave your hair frizzy, but that’s not necessarily “natural”.  It is not a good idea to put a chemical treatment on top of another chemical treatment. Doing this leads to over processing the hair which only causes further damage to your hair. Over shampooing and slicking your hair back are also culprits to causing damage, especially during the transitional phase. Find a Hair Care Products who is “sympathetic” to the natural hair way of styling and care will be better for you, as some products frown upon natural hair because they believe there are limited styles. And it is always good to ask your stylists or Ask Vissa any questions about how to handle your hair while it’s undergoing this sensitive change, and how to care for it afterwards.

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