Body Women’s Health

9 Transition Tips From Permed Hair to Natural Hair

Written by Jessie Kimani

Change is usually not easy, and transitioning from permed to natural hair can be a major switch. Not only does the transition require a lot of commitment and patience, but a complete change to natural hair care products and routine. This switch requires understanding how your hair grows and the length to maintain without doing a big chop. Whether you decide to cut it or not, here are a few tips to make the transition easier and more exciting:

1.     Be Patient

Transitioning to natural hair from permed or relaxer requires a lot of patience to see the results that you want. Whether you decide to gradually grow out of a relaxer or do a big chop, it’s going to take you at least three to four months to start seeing the real change. Some people even take a year to be completely chemical-free. Being patient helps you manage expectations and avoid being frustrated by the slow process.

2.     Opt for Protective Hairstyles

Daily hair styling and combing can be painful and damaging. As you transition to natural hair, consider using protective hairstyles to minimize the pain as well as make the transition easier. Some of the good choices include Bantu knots, braids, weaves, and wigs. Clearly map out your styling options to keep the curls growing. You could go for a few months with box braids, followed by a few weeks of flexi-rod sets.

3.     Minimize Heat Styling

Heat styling can be damaging to your natural hair transition. It can strip your hair of moisture and damage your natural curl pattern. If you prefer wearing bone-straight styles during the transition, consider using a flat iron on low setting to keep heat damage as little as possible. Remember to always use a heat protectant before applying heat to further protect the hair.

4.     Use the Right Hair Tools

The natural hair journey becomes easier with the right hair tools that reduce damage to the hair. Consider using wide-tooth combs, detangling brushes, and silk bonnets. Adding these into your hair care routine can make combing and bushing easy, preventing hair breakage. When using wide-tooth combs and detangling brushes, start from the bottom up to reduce friction and pain. A silk bonnet, on the other hand, helps prevent moisture loss and reduce hair breakage while you sleep a night.

5.     Hide Your Straight Ends with a Curl

You will likely have two different textures during your natural hair transition journey. You will have the new natural hair on the bottom and the old hair texture on top. This can cause people to stare, or even feel insecure about how your hair looks, but you can blend in some well-placed curls to hide the differences. You can try a foam roller set or a two-strand twist-out to hide the appearance of the permed hair by making it look more uniform.

6.     Deep Condition Weekly

As you transition to natural hair, you will notice it tends to feel drier than relaxed ends. To keep the hair moisturized, deep condition it at least once a week. Weekly deep conditioning will keep the hair healthy and hydrated.

7.     Switch to Co-Washing

You are probably used to washing your hair with shampoo, followed by a conditioner. As you transition to natural hair, it may be better to co-wash your hair instead of shampooing every time. Using shampoo only will strip away a lot of moisture, leaving your hair dry even after using a conditioner. Since natural hair is already dry, you need to retain as much moisture as possible. Choosing a condition wash (co-wash) can be a great way to retain moisture.

8.     Trim Monthly

Transitioning to natural hair from a relaxed or chemically-treated one requires a lot of patience and dedication. You will be dealing with two different hair textures, that would normally require special care and attention. One of the important hair care routines is trimming the hair at least once a month. This will help get rid of processed ends, making way for a more natural texture to grow out. Trimming also keeps the hair healthy and thriving in the long term.

9.     Avoid Texturizers

As you transition to natural hair, you will notice that some products are no longer suitable. Such products include texturizers as they can cause harm to your natural hair. Unfortunately, texturizers are not always labeled on packages but go with terms like “loosen your curl” or “give you added manageability.” Avoid such products because they are not natural, but include chemicals that can break down the protein that bonds in your hair.

Transitioning to natural hair from permed or relaxed is a process that requires a lot of patience and commitment. Your priority should be maintaining healthy hair throughout the process. Focus on keeping the hair moisturized, avoid heating style, and opt for protective hairstyles instead. It also helps to trim the ends at least twice monthly and deep conditioning weekly.


What Are Protective Hairstyles and Why Are They Important?

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Co-Wash: How to Do It, What It Is, and Products to Try.

What You Should Know About Natural Hair Texturizers.

Goodbye, Dry Hair: Here’s How to Deep Condition at Home Like a Pro.

6 Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster and Stronger.

QQ: Will Trimming My Hair Make It Grow Faster?

About the author

Jessie Kimani

Jess is a dedicated natural hair enthusiast, stylist, and writer. From tips on how to style your curls to product recommendations, she is your go-to source for all things natural hair care. She is passionate about helping women embrace their natural beauty; a firm believer that every woman should feel confident and beautiful in their natural hair.

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