THIS is How You Avoid Breakage During a Transition to Natural Hair

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by Sabrina Perkins of

If you’ve made the decision to transition long-term, then you already understand the difficulty that comes with dealing with two textures. The line of demarcation (between the relaxed hair and natural hair) is a weak spot that is very prone to breakage and needs to be handled with kid gloves to minimize damage.

Handling your hair carefully is an obvious step, but what else can be done to prevent breakage? Check out these 5 pointers that will help your long-term transitioning go smoother and happier!


4 Signs a Long Term Transition to Natural Hair Isn't for You

Photo by NADOFOTOS -- Getty Images

Transitioning is not for everyone. Like many, I also wanted to seamlessly transition to a full head of natural coils in two years, only to find myself with scissors in front of a mirror ten months later. Washing, detangling, and styling my hair had become unbearably challenging in my later months. My schedule began to revolve around my hair and I had to realize that it is not that serious.

Hair means something different to each individual, but stress and frustration should not. Transitioning is ideal for someone who is patient, busy, and enjoys the simple things in life. I understand the discomfort of wearing a length you do not or are not ready to accept, but consider these four things to decide if a healthy transition is possible for you.

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Transitioning to Natural Hair Without a Big Chop

by Audrey Sivasothy of The Science of Black Hair

Going from relaxed to natural hair can be an exciting, liberating experience, and there are two basic ways to get there. The fastest, no nonsense way to go natural is by simply cutting off all the relaxed hair in one fell swoop, or big chopping. But big chopping can require a strength that not everyone is equipped with at the outset of a hair care journey. For some, deliberate transitioning complete with mini chops is a necessary part of the “back to natural” process. And, if we really look at it, everyone who makes the journey must transition. Whether you big chop on day one of your thought, or a year after the initial thought, transitioning always starts with the mind well before any actionable steps are taken. In some circles, however, transitioning— especially long term transitioning, is seen as a sign of weakness. I argue, quite the contrary!

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Tips for Transitioning Little Girls to Natural Hair

By Shaunic of

My daughter has never had a perm, but I did! I had a perm for more than 20 years before I decided to transition my hair to natural in 2009. (My daughter’s hair inspired me to transition to natural.) I knew that if I could be patient and figure out how to manage her natural hair, I could certainly do the same with mine.

If you gave your little girl a perm and now regret it, or you've transitioned like me and want to do the same with your daughter, or whatever your situation maybe, I am going to share my transitioning tips and suggestions with you.

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How to Minimize Breakage During Your Transition to Natural Hair

 by Kanisha Parks of

When it comes to transitioning, breakage has always been a big concern. Maintaining and manipulating two completely different textures yields a significant amount of “wear and tear” on the hair. As your natural texture begins to grow in, your relaxed hair will become increasingly more and more fragile with time. But that doesn’t mean that you have to experience severe shedding and breakage. There are definitely ways to keep your hair relatively healthy throughout your transition. Keep in mind that the way your hair responds to transitioning will depend heavily on the state of your hair at the start. So if your hair is already broken, damaged, and/or prone to breakage at the onset of your transition, you may have a more difficult time minimizing breakage than someone with a healthy head of relaxed hair. Either way, you can successfully transition to natural hair without experiencing heavy breakage by following a few simple tips:

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5 Chic Hairstyles for Transitioners!

 by Kanisha Parks of

If you are currently transitioning, then you know how difficult it can be to maintain two different textures. Detangling becomes a bit more challenging so when it comes to styling, you really want to keep it simple. Sticking to styles that are easy to do will decrease manipulation of the two textures and therefore lessen the chances of breakage and shedding.

If you’ve had trouble styling or simply want to discover a few styles to implement in your transitioning regimen that are easy to achieve but also fabulous, we’ve got you covered! These styles will help blend your textures and get you through the week. Plus, we made it easy for you: all of these styles start with the letter B, just like Black Naps. (See what we did there?) As always, make the style your own and have fun with it!

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Transitioning Hair: Knowing When and How Much to Cut!

by Kanisha Parks of

Trimming looks different for every transitioner. When and how much you should trim will depend on how long you plan to be on your transition. Most transitions last somewhere from six months to two years, or sometimes even longer. Here are a few steps to help you decide how often and how much you should trim:

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Struggling with Transitioning to Natural Hair?

 by Amanda

The main reason people struggle to transition is because of their expectations, not their hair. Transitioning hair requires extremely low manipulation and proper moisture and protein balance. The line of demarcation is vulnerable to break when it is not properly moisturized, strengthened, and handled too frequently. Most successful long-term transitioners have a bare bones regimen. They sacrifice frequent styling for length retention. So what is a long-term transitioning? I consider long-term transitioning anywhere from 1.5-2.5 years. Anything past that time frame is probably a new head of hair that likely to break along the length of the virgin hair, if the relaxed hair is not cut off. Here are the observations, tips, and commitments I encourage you to accept if you want to be a successful long-term transitioner.

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Transitioners: 5 Detangling Techniques for an Easier Wash Day

 by Kanisha Parks of

When you decide to transition to natural hair, it’s important to have patience when detangling. Sometimes dealing with two textures can be rather frustrating: there will be times you wish you could just glide the wide tooth comb through your hair quickly and easily. Well, detangling can be made much easier if you have a few tricks up your sleeve, so if you’re having trouble enduring detangling sessions with your transitioning hair, try employing a few of these methods:

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Go Natural Without Doing the Big Chop!

When contemplating returning to your natural hair texture, the idea of cutting off all of your hair may seem super scary, and that makes complete sense. Do you want to embark on this hair journey but don't want to cut 90-95% of your hair in the meantime? If you have thought long and hard about going on this tremendous journey and feel like it's the right decision for you, do not be dissuaded just because you think you have to do the big chop.

The big chop is the right choice for some curly girls who have decided to cease relaxing their tresses -- but not all. It is not the end all be all of the first steps of your hair. You can do whatever you want to arrive at the same result. If you're a little (or really) scared, rest assured that there are other ways to get from point A to point Z. Take a deep breath and relax. You have options! There is no one right way to do this thing! You have a choice and here are alternatives that will help you if you're on the ledge of taking that natural leap but don't want to snip off your strands.

3 Ways to Stretch Natural Hair for Transitioners

Although the transitioning process can be difficult, learning how to properly stretch your hair can make the journey to natural hair a little easier to digest. Proper stretching can help transitioners in a few different ways:
  • Easing the detangling process, and decreasing the amount of breakage from tangles. 
  • Providing flexible styling options -- transitioners can enjoy twist-outs, braid-outs, bantu knot-outs, Curlformers, flexi rods, and more on stretched hair. 
  • Allowing you to show more length. One of the hardest things about transitioning is when that shrinkage kicks in around months 4 and 5 -- your hair begins to seem shorter than it was. It can be quite a shock to ladies used to seeing longer, flowing locks as their hair grows. Stretching will help ease that.
How can you safely stretch your hair and prevent breakage at the same time? Here are 3 gentle ways to make it happen.

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Survival Tips for Transitioning to Natural Hair

 by Kanisha of

Transitioning to natural hair is certainly not for the faint of heart, especially if you plan on transitioning for six months or more. The first few months may start off a little rough, but in due time you will perfect your regimen and it’ll become easier. You may still get the itch from time to time to go ahead and make the jump to natural hair, but if you want to survive your transition, here are a few tips to help you make it through to the finish line:

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One Surprising Must-Have Tool for Your Transition

By Danielle Faust of and

You’ve decided to transition from permed to natural hair. That’s great! You’ve read up on the hair blogs and forums and you feel you’re ready. Now it’s time to gather what it takes for your transition.

Your transition will take energy. It will take consistent positive effort, patience, a mindset change, and a re-learning of hair care practices. You’ll also need practical tools such as a wide tooth comb, a scarf and a variety of (moisturizing) hair products. There is also one unexpected item you’ll need for a successful transition:

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How to Long Term Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair

One of the questions I’m asked most often is how I was able to do such a long transition. For me it was a fairly easy transition once I learned to handle my two textures. Here is a “how to transition” rundown of things to consider. I hope it helps!

Decide to go back to natural hair:

Definitely step one. Is natural hair really the move for you?

Some things to consider:
  • Do you really want to have natural hair and why?
  • What are your hair goals?

Should I Transition or Should I Big Chop?

by Danielle of Long Natural Hair Care

I’m honestly surprised at how often I am asked this question by future-naturals. I love being asked for advice and helping when I can, but this question is so personal it’s really hardly my place to say. In the past I have answered this question with something evasive yet friendly…but now that feels like too much of a cop out. In my first go round as a natural, I did a big chop after a 6 month transition taking me from below bra-strap length up to a little afro. In my second (and final) conversion back to natural, I did a long transition of almost 2 years.

While it’s true, only YOU can determine whether you should transition or do a big chop, there are some important things to consider when making your decision.

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How to Be Happy While You Transition

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, I moved from the extremely humid climate of New Orleans to the dryness of Denver. Although my hands were full with relocating with my husband and small children, I decided to go natural. Hair was not priority at the time, and I regret that because my hair suffered.

When we moved in September 2005 I stopped perming and just knew it would be a breeze. Well, it was a nightmare! I started damaging my hair by wearing wigs, weaves, and braids with no concern for my own tresses. I know it seems strange to say my hair suffered when I stopped relaxing, but I took better care of my hair while it was relaxed. Later it dawned on me that the chemicals weren’t good for my hair. I realized that because my hair would never retain length past my shoulders.

Kadijah- 'I'm a Long-Term Transitioner'.

Hi, My name is Kadijah Poston. I’m a 20 year old college student just finishing up my sophomore year. I’m in school studying apparel design because fashion has always been a passion of mine. I’m from North Carolina and I’ve lived here all my life. I’m that country girl that has big dreams of living in the city. Ever since I was little, I always had long relaxed hair. Getting a relaxer was the norm and I was always ready for the beginning of a new school year because I’d always get that “creamy crack” a few days before school started and have my hair blowing in the wind. I was gone with the wind fabulous! I never really took care of my hair up until my sophmore year in high school. I discovered Megz (Ulovemegz) and Tracey (KISSseventyseven) on youtube and became inspired by their hair growth. And for the next two years I was on a healthy hair journey. I was able to grow my hair from shoulder length to bra strap length. On October 21, 2012, my 19th birthday, I was browsing youtube for hours and became very interesting in natural hair. I began wondering what my natural texture was like and started contemplating my transition to natural hair. And here I am now one year and 8 months into my transition!

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How to Be Confident During Your Transition to Natural Hair

Whether it was the excitement of the New Year or a transformed perspective that inspired you to transition, you may be descending from that initial high of this decision. Once reality has set in and the fun fizzles, you may notice that there are days where you are not feeling your hair at all. You can feel your confidence beginning to slowly wither away. Before you know it, you’ll be haunted with all kinds of questions, but mainly you’ll be wondering why you did this in the first place.

Don’t let a few bad hair days during your transitioning get you down. Keep your head up and try these tips if you find yourself feeling less than stellar about your 'do.

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7 Tips for Transitioning to Natural Hair

by Tiffany Nicole of

Many women struggle with the decision to take the leap into returning to natural hair. Lots of us have never really seen our natural hair because we were introduced to relaxers at a very young age. Within the last few years, I've seen many women that are coming together and embracing their natural God given tresses. Once you've taken the leap of faith you will find that there will be times along the way when you may feel discouraged and others where you may feel empowered. It's all apart of the journey. Here are 7 Tips on Transitioning to Natural Hair.

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Reyna is Naturally Glam!

My name is Reyna and I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m currently in graduate school for
​School counseling. I earned my Bachelors degree in Psychology from Miami University (OH). My hair ​journey has had its ups and downs, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. I love it.

How long have you been natural?
​I’ve been 100% natural for 2 years.

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