For some women transitioning back to natural hair is a breather from chemical treatments. But to grow a healthy head of hair, does take time and care. Speaking with Trichologist consultant Nicola Smart of Smart Hair Clinic to provide the below transitioning tips that you can easily adopt.
- Take it easy – the line of demarcation (the hair between the virgin roots and processed ends) is very delicate. If you choose to transition over the long term, expect for some of that processed hair to break naturally but being gentle especially when hair is wet, can help mitigate against that.
- Moisturise – I think we all now understand how imperative moisture is for flexibility and elasticity in a hair strand. Hydrate your hair and scalp with regular cleansing and seal that moisture in with butters, creams, oils (providing you don’t have any scalp issues) of your choice. Also maintain moisture levels between wash days.
- Protein – protein goes hand in hand with moisture. Some strands do well with a mild protein treatment every wash day, for others it might be less frequent. Figure out which approach works best for your hair and use protein treatments to maintain the hairs tensile strength and support moisture retention. A good protein/ moisture balance will be crucial to keeping processed hair, in particular, strong during the transition.
- Hands off – keep it simple, transitioning hair is delicate so keep handling to a minimum.
- Be consistent – find a routine that works for your lifestyle and employ it religiously.
- Be patient – 16-inch hair doesn’t grow overnight. In fact, contrary to popular belief, your hair might only grow 4 inches instead of the well touted 6 inches per year. If nothing else, this process is going to teach you to be patient with your growth both on and in your head.
- Remember your goal – while you are being patient, be kind to yourself. Practise saying positive affirmations on your good and bad hair days. On the good days it might give you an extra pep in your step, on the frustrating days it might be your saviour. Remember why you are going on this journey and if it helps, create a vision board – perhaps it will prevent you from reaching for the relaxer or even the scissors on those bad days.
- Look after your body – remember when India Arie sang “I am not my hair”? You are so much more than just your hair. It’s important to make sure you are nourishing your body from the inside out for optimal hair growth.
- Research, research, research – there is a lot of information out there about transitioning and natural hair. Use this time to do some due diligence on ingredients, trial different brands and products and really work to understand how your hair behaves when it needs cleansing, a trim or cut, when it is dry or overloaded with products, and protein or moisture needs rebalancing.
- Comparison is the thief of all joy – You are uniquely beautiful, and your individuality is your strength. Avoid comparing your journey or your hair, in a way that discredits your experience or outcome. Enjoy every stage of growth, find your style with your natural kinks and curls and embrace your originality. After all, you are one of a kind and so are your curls!
Bidii Health Supplement – Issue 2