10 Tips for Natural Hair Transitioners

Making the transition from relaxed to natural hair does a total 180 to your hair care regime. Going natural is often described by women who choose this chemical-free route as totally freeing, but with newfound freedom can come fear. How to treat hair? What will your new texture need? What kind of maintenance routine to follow? Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when looking to go au naturale. Click through the slideshow for a few of our naturally inspired photo faves via Tumblr too!

Hydrate Hair. Corse, natural texture loves a good dose of daily moisture. It's what keeps hair truly nourished, moisturized, and strengthened. You don't have to go crazy with product, but a little maintenance goes a long way. Olive oil, Shea butter, coconut oil, rosemary oil, and good old-fashioned water can combine into a fabulous DIY elixir to keep handy for tresses to drink in and stay strong as they grow.

Covet Your Hairline. One of the most delicate parts of your crown are your edges. This area is the most prone to breakage and often goes through a lot, facing our makeup, skincare creams, and exfoliating treatments on a daily basis. To help protect these precious baby hairs, avoid styles that pull hair back and gels that can cause additional damage.

Keep Trimming. This may be a little painful, but beauty is often pain. Trimming hair every month or so is important to the maintenance of healthy tresses during the transitional period. Choosing to grow out hair before the big chop is totally up to you, but know that where natural hair meets relaxed hair (a.k.a. the demarcation), is where your locks will be the weakest. If you think trimming hair promotes growth, dispel this myth from your mind now. Getting a little scissor happy (cutting shears are best!) doesn't make hair grow longer faster, but it does make hair look healthier once it's free of dry, damaged, and split ends.

Greet Nights with a Headscarf. Ditching chemical relaxers doesn't mean you can ditch your silk headscarf. Tying hair up at night before you go to sleep is still just as important. This protective measure ensures any styles you've prepped hair to rock the next day are preserved and that pillow tossing doesn't cause breakage. Relaxed or natural, this hair care tip is always a must.

Deep Condition. As an added component to nourishing your crown, utilize deep conditioner treatments often. Treating hair to this now vital part of your hair care routine is crucial. About once a month, deep conditioning allows for nutrients to be replenished back to the hair follicle, helping to promote healthy tresses that aren't brittle or prone to breakage. Stronger hair is thus able to withstand the tension of wearing certain hairstyles as well. Opt for water-based conditioners and treatments that are infused with nourishing proteins.

Rock Protective Styles. Embracing your natural texture means wearing hairstyles that work with and not against it. The Twist Out is the classic go-to option. Or, keep your tresses safely tucked away and have fun with trendy braids like Marley, Havana, or Senegalese Twists. If you're missing the length you trimmed, these long-hair-don't-care styles are great for extending as low as you can go. Box Braids and Sew-in Weaves also offer great hair-flipping options.

Stay Heat Free. As tempting as the simplicity of a little heat can be to make hair as easily manageable as relaxed days gone by, resist the urge to use this as your styling remedy. Heat is the nemesis of any crown, no matter what your texture. Whether pressing hair or innocently picking up a blow dryer after you wash it, the heat from these tools is sucking out all the moisture from your hair shaft. Naturalistas beware.

Try Accessories. Stylish headbands, bows, and wraps are a great way to give hair a break from harsh hairstyling and still look the part of a fierce fashionista. Match hair flair to outfits for added coordination, or spice up an ensemble with a touch of the unexpected up top. The beauty about this tip? The possibilities are truly endless. There are tons of online tutorials that can show you how to make a simple piece of fabric for hair worthy of any event, no matter how formal or casual.

Promote New Growth. Considered the holy grail of natural hair lengthening, Jamaican Black Castor Oil should definitely be a new addition to your hair care arsenal. Add this potent elixir to your daily moisture regime, massaging a small amount into your scalp to help to stimulate hair follicles. This inexpensive, age-old leave in treatment can be found at you local supermarket or drugstore.

Have Patience. Making the decision to transition is often a choice that has been in the making for a while, so if you've begun the commitment, stick with it. It may be a culture shock to your crown at first, but embrace the change in styling and maintenance options. Weeks quickly turn into months and by keeping track of your growth, you'll be inspired to continue the journey towards totally transitioned hair.

Are you transitioning? Let us know what topics you'd like covered by dropping us a note below!

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