Updated: Apr 18
Making the decision to go natural is not always the easiest. It's one that takes into account lifestyle habits, personal preferences and time....it takes the time it takes and everyone is different.
Because your hair texture is changed with chemical straightening, many people "big chop"- that is, cut off as much of the chemically processed ends as possible for a fresh start in growing out their hair from the root. But that method doesn't suit everyone's wants or needs. Insert transitioning.
Transitioning is when you allow your natural texture to grow from the roots and remove processed ends over time. Here are some tips to help you through the changes healthily:
1. Release your expectations of time
Don't give yourself a deadline for when you will start rocking your 100% natural curls. Instead, give yourself around 4 or 5 months to let your hair grow out. Around that time, you should have enough growth to know if you're ready to cut off all your processed ends or if you should give it a bit more time.
2. Find your style
Transitioning hair means that your goal will be to blend 2 different textures of hair that will look, feel and respond differently to the same techniques. Twist outs are a great option for stretching hair and giving curls a more unified look.
While you're at it, protect your edges by choosing styles that don't place too much tension around your temples or the nape of your neck. Hair on these parts of your head is much finer and more delicate than the rest of your head. Finding a style can be hard when you're starting out, but getting a consultation will help you learn about products and techniques you can do at home to achieve your hair goals.
3. Detangle wet hair
Detangle your hair when it is wet and slippery with conditioner and always work your way from the bottom up. For this process, we recommend a moisturizing, reparative conditioner such as our Curl Conditioner with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.
Be especially gentle at your line of demarcation (the point on each strand where your natural texture meets your processed texture) as this is the absolute weakest part of your hair. The detangling process will take time, patience and will be a labor of love, so you should mentally prepare yourself to avoid frustration and unnecessary breakage.
5. Keep your hair & scalp clean & moisturized
Healthy hair starts with a healthy, clean scalp. You will need to experiment a bit to find what frequency is right for you, and that could mean cleansing anywhere between every 2 days and every 2 weeks.
Dry strands become brittle and break. Water is your hair's best friend, but you can also use moisturizing hair products to seal in moisture. The Charlotte Noire OG Haircare Line is a full line of all-natural, moisturizing products made with every type of curl in mind. We also suggest deep conditioning regularly.
6. Let go of heat
Try letting go of regular blow dryer use and get rid of your flat iron. Instead, opt for air drying your hairstyles, which is the healthier and least damaging option for your hair.
7. Gradually cut the dead weight
Over time as your natural texture grows out you should be cutting off the processed ends. Depending on the length of your hair when you started, that might look like a monthly trim. To be absolutely sure, book an appointment with us for your first trim so we can give you recommendations on the frequency of your trims and the amount. If you prefer to do your trims yourself, be sure to use proper hair shears and not regular scissors!
There are so many benefits that come with wearing your hair in its most natural state that more and more people are making the switch. No matter the reasons you are choosing to wear your natural texture, by going through the process of nurturing your natural curls through the transition, you have the potential to take intentional time for self care, to love your hair exactly the way it grows from your scalp, to introduce or "firm up" healthy lifestyle habits and you may even learn some things about yourself through caring for your hair. Through it all, the Charlotte Noire team is here to support you!