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Curly Nikki

Thoughts on Transitioning to Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202111 Comments

Thoughts on Transitioning to Natural Hair

The Nappy Race- The Beginning

A little bit of breakage here, a little bit of breakage there – And that’s how it starts.

“Well maybe a treatment will help,” you think to yourself. After a few treatments, trims, a weave, some Dominican blow outs, a couple headaches, and a few pain relievers (need I go on) your hair screams, “Enough is enough, I’m going natural!” However, the look on your face is not that convincing. 

Yes, the idea of going natural can be scary and confusing. A laundry list of questions begin to ring in your head as you consider how the change will affect you. Of course, you see the wonderful pictures of ladies with healthy, natural hair everywhere. From the latest black hair magazines to GAP commercials, curls & kinks are in. But as you dig a little deeper, you find that there ARE even more options with wearing your hair natural. From a natural ‘fro, to locs, double-strands, coils, straw sets, pressing, and the list goes on. Through your research, you discover the cool idea of ‘transitioning’. Since everyone told you that the only way to go natural was to India Arie it, you’re relieved to find options (there goes that word again).

The transition is either viewed as a wonderful inner beauty experience or a plague. This phase is only the beginning but the hardest obstacle to overcome. Unfortunately, this is the place where many of our sistas decide to drop out of the nappy race to Their Natural Wonder. But for the sistas who hang in there, put their boxing gloves on and go comb-to-comb with their coils, get a greater reward, confidence and higher sense of self to match that beautiful healthy hair.

This post originally appeared on Your Natural Wonder. Republished with permission.

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  • estrella says:

    I'm a newbie at this transitioning thing and the problem i have is i don't know what styles are good for my hair.I'm tired of sewed in weaves and i've read so much on braid outs and bantu knots and twists but i'm not sure if i can wear these styles to work? i got a lot of grief from my colleges when i corn rowed my hair to the office.They all said i looked like some village girl! can you suggest the best styles for my hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently on my 3rd time around. I've had thick hair all my life. My dad wouldn't allow me to get a relaxer until I was 16 and that was after much begging. I experienced some breakage over the years and eventually had to cut it pretty short (that's relative – short to me, it was cut to my shoulders).
    Since being diagnosed with lupus in 2008 (post my 1st attempt), I decided that with all the medicines I take, a relaxer is one less chemical I would expose my body too. My 2nd reason for transitioning is because I am curious as to how my hair would look curly. Before my relaxer I wore my hair blown out and eventually got regular dates with the hot comb. My final reason is because I like the versatility of wearing my hair in it's natural state.
    Third time's a charm for me. I have been transitioning since July of 2009. I have no desire to BC because prior to my decision, I was trying to get some length retention since I had been wearing my hair very short (again relative – it was in a tapered bob) for about 3 years. I've applied no heat since July and I'm very skeptical of doing so, at least until my relaxed ends are gone. Now I can finally wear it in a bun or a ponytail so essentially a bun has been my "go-to style."
    I do a flat twist set occasionally and a twist out surprisingly works on my hair. My hair is also so much softer than what I am accustomed to and I'm not complaining. The biggest change is that when I had relaxed hair, I never really had to oil my hair or scalp. Now, my hair does not retain moisture at all. I have to oil every day. I try to remember to do it at night also when I go to bed. But I am very anxious to try curl cremes to see how my hair, particularly the relaxed ends, respond to that.

  • Unknown says:

    From the author of this article:

    Hi ladies! Thanks for the comments.

    @Marsha – I have a recent article on my blog about How to maintain the moisture in your hair. Hopefully this will help.

    @BlueSkyPinky – I haven't tried DE's line of natural products yet. But they are next on my list of things to do. And it is difficult when blending the textures. And no, any curl defining products will not work to well while your transitioning because the relaxed hair has no 'curl' to define.

    If any of you ladies have any more questions, feel free to check my blog or email me at

  • Breana says:

    @Marsha I am 1 year into my transition and I always rollerset my hair. I put a leave-in conditioner on my hair (usually VO5 or HE). I take a little bit of Lotta Body (I get the purple/white bottle that is already premixed) and put it on each piece before rolling, paying special attention to the roots. Then I overlay it with Cantu shea. My curls always come out smooth, shiny and bouncy, and they last a whole week.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am currently transitioning and I am having the hardest time obtaining fullness. It always looks "see through" even in the back where the majority of my hair is natural. I have ultra fine hair and I know it may sound crazy, but I am beginning to think that I am not an ideal candidate for natural hair. My hair texture is not very kinky nor is it straight. It is not very curly, but it has a slight wave pattern. I have retained about 4 to 5 inches of length (stretched)in 11 months, but it feels brittle and looks lifeless. I am having such a difficult time finding products and I have become utterly confused about this journey. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Anonymous says:

    @Marsha September 28, 2010 8:59 AM: I transitioned for a year and just BC'd on 9/22/10. I used Giovanni Direct Leave as my leave in before styling AND to remoisten my hair especially the relaxed ends, when my hair was dry. It may not work if your hair is protein sensitive.

  • Anonymous says:

    Marsha, have you tried Curls Milkshake Organic Curl Lotion – for fine curly hair? It really keeps my natural roots moisturized without weighing down the relaxed part of my hair. I also love Bee Mine Balanced Cream moisturizer. I always make sure to put the most moisturizer on the natural part and work a little down to the relaxed part.

  • Marsha says:

    I'm transitioning, too. Roller setting seems to work the best. My biggest challenge is keeping my hair – roots and relaxed,sufficiently moisturized. The curls look great in the morning, but the ends get frizzy in the afternoon. I'm using Carol's Daughter's Hair Elixir and Hair Balm. Yet, my cheap Motions moisturizing lotion is the only product that moistens my hair. The lotion also drenches my curls and makes my relaxed hair go flat. I've seen YouTube videos where the naturals are using coconut oil and shea butter. I'll have to try it, too. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous says:

    BlueSkyPinky, I have not tried the DE natural defining creme gel yet. However, I do love DE moisture retention shampoo and conditioner. It detangles so well.

  • BlueSkyPinky says:

    Good morning, Iam one of those sistas who decided to transition my hair this time. Iam also a product junky and i think i have found a system that works for me. I also wonder about product that offer to define your curls. I wonder does it really work when your in the transitioning phase? Has anyone tried the Design Essentials natural defining curl creme gel? thanks

  • Sol says:

    I am currently transitioning and have been doing so for a year. The most difficult part is maintaining and caring for the two textures, somethings that work for the roots doesn't work for the tips. but i must say that having transition edis the best thing for me, as it has given me time to research and play about with my hair and find out what works best for me, i feel that had i cut it all off i may have been overwhelmed.

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