Breakage and Damaged Hair
Transitioning to natural hair? Here's what you need to consider
28 August 2018
So, you’ve decided to embrace your natural hair, or you’re thinking about it. It’s one of the most important and empowering hair decisions you’ll ever make. However, it will demand a change in lifestyle and a willingness to learn and develop new habits. It’s a process that takes commitment and readiness. Before you take on this transformative task, here are a few things to consider.
One of the most important factors to consider is time, because natural hair will take plenty of it. With everything from daily combing, treating and moisturising, to bi-weekly conditioning and styling – not to mention constant research – you’re sure to have your hands full! Depending on the state of your hair before transitioning, getting back to a full head of natural hair can take months, even years. Through this time, you will need to wear protective styles and commit to continuous conditioning and moisturising.
Adopting new hair means adopting new rules. Forming new healthy habits to support your hair is essential to a successful transition. This includes gentler combing, less heat, using silk wraps, and braiding twists and knots onto the scalp. Then, there’s air-drying your hair, deep conditioning every two weeks and lowering temperatures on heat tools. Learning these new rules and which hair habits to ditch is important – and they’ll also end up being your hair rules for life.
Maintaining your hair to get it optimal for natural growth will take up a healthy chunk of your budget. This is due to the products continuously used, and the tools needed to perform natural hair-specific techniques. Prepare to replace your current hair equipment and purchase tools that are compatible with natural hair, such as detangling combs, roller sets, non-grabbing elastics and ion-based thermal tools.
What type of hair did you have before the transition, and for how long? Have you been relaxing your hair for years? Is your hair recovering from breakage? Were you semi-permanently wearing protective plaits? All these factors will determine both the condition of your hair during the transition, and the level of difficulty in maintaining hair once it’s fully natural. Some hair types that have been straightened for too long may not have the ability to revert to full natural, for example.
If you’re on a mission to go natural, then jump in! You’re not alone in this process. You’ll be part of a growing international community advocating the acceptance of natural hair. But be warned – since hair is about being an individual, the natural hair that looks banging on someone else, might not work for you. Part of the transitioning phase is rediscovering your identity and wearing your hair in a way makes you feel proud and confident.
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