You have made the decision to transition to natural hair: Now what?
By Leah Fletcher
It's a new year. You are looking for a new you. You are looking for a hair makeover. That person starring back at you in the mirror gives you the inspiration to choose a new hairstyle. You ask yourself, "Why not go natural and leave those harsh chemicals and products behind?" The response, a resounding "Yes!"
The first step to making the leap to natural hair is deciding how drastically you plan to approach the process. Some people elect to completely "chop" off all of their chemically treated hair and start from scratch with new hair growth that has never been chemically treated. Others decide to keep their current length and move forward without continuing to use chemical products, slowly trimming away their relaxed hair as new growth occurs.
For those who have traveled this journey, you know with patience and the right means your journey can be a personal triumph with sensational results. After deciding which method you will employ, you can adopt techniques that will aid in the growth of your hair and keeping it healthy and attractive.
Before you launch into your transition, it's always a good idea to consult a stylist who specializes in natural hair. It's also important to find natural styles that are similar to the relaxed styles you are accustomed to wearing. Stylist can give you some pointers about what to expect on your journey to the land of "au natural"; and they can guide you through the unknown and help make the transitioning trek engaging and rewarding. Read on for some tips on the transitioning process.
Research trends in natural hairstyles
Speak to your stylist
These days there are lots of places to find out about hair tends from your stylist to your computer.
While your stylist may be your number one source for finding a new hairstyle, he or she can give you some great ideas on what will work with your hair type and face shape and show you how to style it.
Magazines are a great place to research some style you like and bring them to your stylist. Seek advice on whether your choice is the best one for you.
Browse the Internet
Browse the Internet, which has millions of pictures of different hairstyles you can research. Some websites are specifically aimed at helping you find different hairstyles and many will tell you how to achieve them. Some of them even have programs that allow you to upload a photo of yourself and try on different looks so you will get a good idea of how your new do will look on you.
Play hairdresser with different hairstyles on your own. Use the pictures and directions you find in magazines and on the Internet and try different hairstyles.
Select a transitional hairstyle
Select hairstyles that will not require excessive manipulation of your hair. African American hair is delicate by nature. There are numerous hair style options including, but not limited to, braids (with or without extensions), twists, cornrows, sister locks and sewn in weaves. What these styles have in common is that they do not require constant styling procedures.
Transitioning requires solid hair care routine
• Undertake a routine that includes regularly conditioning your hair. In addition to a regular conditioner after washing, use a monthly deep conditioning treatment to nurture your hair.
• Trim those split ends regularly. Split ends can travel up the hair shaft, causing breakage, and preventing your hair from growing to your desired length.
• Treat your hair delicately. Avoid heat appliances and always detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb, working from the edges toward the roots.
• Keep your hair constantly moisturized. Some industry experts suggest water-based moisturizes, which they believe can help prevent breakage and make your hair look healthier.
• Protect your hair when sleeping. Use a satin scarf; sleep cap or satin pillowcase to prevent friction between your hair and your bedding. Constant rubbing of your hair against these items can lead to breakage.
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