FIRST STEP: THE BIG CHOP VS LONG-TERM TRANSITION
Once you decide to go natural you have one of two options: to cut all of your relaxed hair off (leaving behind new growth) or growing your relaxed hair out. The benefits of the big chop are that you go natural from the get-go, and you don’t have to manage two different hair textures. Growing processed hair out means slowly trimming it as your hair grows, which means no short hair problems. This is the time to forgo all forms of heat such as blow dryers and hot irons because your relaxed hair is delicate and needs a fighting chance. Invest in flexi rods or perm rollers to curl your hair as a way to disguise the different textures. And remember, natural hair needs a lot of moisture so get products that boost the hair’s hydration.
STEP TWO: NOW THAT YOU’RE NATURAL, NOW WHAT?
Start by establishing a weekly hair routine to make the process less daunting. This can consist of a weekly shampoo and conditioning regime, deep conditioning every fortnight and daily application of an oil or lotion for hydration. Don’t worry about the slow pace of the growth as natural hair experiences almost 60% shrinkage due to its tight curls. The LCO (Liquid, Cream, Oil) method is a popular way of keeping coils hydrated. Liquid means you start by slightly dampening hair, followed by a cream, which can be anything from leave-in conditioners or shea butter mixes, and then finish with an oil – castor or olive oil are great for sealing in moisture.