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Curly Nikki

The 10 Commandments of Transitioning

By January 27th, 202117 Comments
A re-post for our new transitioners! 
The 10 Commandments of Transitioning

you’re doing a long-term transition to natural hair, there are many
days where you feel completely lost and you miss the familiarity you had
with your relaxed hair. I get questions from women all the time wanting
to know how I got through it, what products I used and what styles I
wore. I try to be as helpful as I can, but the truth of the matter is
that everyone’s hair is different and you really have to discover and
learn for yourself.

that said, there are some principles of transitioning that are
applicable to any and every woman who chooses to take the journey. Here
I’ve summarized those principles into 10 Commandments of Transitioning.

  1. Love your hair. 
    You will surely see some amazingly beautiful natural hair and think to
    yourself: “Wow, my hair will never look like that.” Maybe it won’t. But
    your hair can be just as healthy and fabulous in its own right. Admire,
    but don’t envy others and always appreciate the uniqueness of your hair.
  2. Be protective.
    When it comes to hair health and length retention, you must protect
    your hair. We live in an impatient world where we want quick fixes that
    require minimal discipline. But this is not realistic, particularly when
    it comes to caring for highly textured hair. Your delicate strands need
    to be handled with care, wrapped up at night and detangled gently.
  3. Keep your scalp clean. While
    you may shampoo your hair less, it is still important to keep your
    scalp clean. Keeping those pores open and clear will allow stronger hair
    to grow from them.
  4. Moisturize. This
    is a big one.One of the most challenging aspects of transitioning is
    learning how to keep your hair from drying out. Experiment with
    sulfate-free shampoos and learn which ingredients promote moisture
    retention and which do not. Avoid mineral oil unless you fully
    understand the downside of using it. Occasionally, you should use some
    type of protein conditioner or treatment as this will help fill in your
    hair cuticles and retain more moisture. On a daily basis, spray the hair
    with water and seal the moisture in with a good moisturizer.
  5. Trim your ends.
    Naturally, if you are transitioning you will want to cut off the
    relaxed ends frequently to move closer to your goal of 100% natural
    hair. Plus, the healthier your ends are, the easier your hair will be to
  6. Minimize heat usage. Particularly
    at the line of demarcation, where the natural and relaxed hair meet,
    your hair will be very delicate. Avoid heat damage and keep your hair as
    strong as possible by using heat sparingly, if at all.
  7. Deep condition. Particularly
    when shampooing, you want to impart moisture to your hair in stages.
    The benefits of deep conditioning can include moisturizing and smoothing
    damaged hair cuticles. The jury is out as to what truly constitutes
    deep conditioning and if it really helps to leave the conditioner in for
    more than five to 10 minutes. For the purposes of this list, it’s
    important to find an effective conditioner that noticeably softens your
    hair and prepares it for styling.
  8. Find a signature style. The
    only way to figure out your new signature style is to experiment. It
    will make your life much easier if you have a go-to style that is
    flattering and reliable in any weather, but still realistic for your
    hair type and lifestyle. We all like to feel some semblance of control
    when it comes to our hair, and many of us feel that control goes out the
    window when we give up relaxers. So, finding a signature style will
    give you some of that comfort and consistency back.
  9. Dedicate sufficient time for hair care. Many
    times, our frustration comes from the fact that we don’t set aside
    sufficient resources for the things that we want to do. Before you
    decide to do a long-term transition, take an honest look at everything
    on your plate and make sure you have the capacity to spend time on your
    hair. If you really don’t have time to care for it yourself, perhaps it
    would work better for you to transition with a long-term protective
    style like braids or weave. Consider all your options and be practical.
  10. Open your mind. The
    first time I decided to wear my hair in a bush, I was so worried about
    what people would think and say. Since then, I’ve found so much freedom
    and self-confidence from wearing my hair as big and unruly as I want.
    Feel free to be open-minded, creative, rebellious,
    contradictory—whatever you want. Be prepared to roll with the punches
    and be flexible.

other principles have helped you transition your hair? 
What have been
the biggest transitioning challenges for you? 
Share with us in the


  • Adams21 says:

    Ugh!! the daily struggles of transitioning
    Here is a video that gave me better insight
    All worth it in the end just have to stay strong

  • Derika says:

    Finding out my porosity helped me know what steps to take with caring for my hair. Cowashing doesn't work for me because of product build up. So I wash my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo every week and DC afterwards. It took me a while to figure this out because I heard so many naturals swear by cowashing. I had to find out what worked for me. Next week will be 6 months into my transition and it has been quite a journey.

  • SavanahRae says:

    Transitioning was hard but with patience and practice it can become easy

  • SavanahRae says:

    Agree on it being more fun and fulfilling.

  • Knittingarch says:

    Four months in, and I love my roots, although the detangling is getting tricky. While I've heard most of these tips before, #8 is really a great piece of advice that never occurred to me until a few weeks ago. I was trying a bunch of different styles that only lasted a day or two, and was kind of at a loss for what to do week after week. My go-to style now is two flat-twists down my sides and I either bobby-pin the ends under or I use a tie on the ends. When it's longer, I'll braid them together. It's quick, easy, and flattering!

  • Jessica Coletrain says:

    Great tips! I passed this along to a friend who decided on a long-term transition.

  • Gwenn4ya says:

    I'm on month 19 of being natural and although it is great for me, I have had some times where it was quite difficult. I had to learn what MY hair likes as far as stylers and what styles work and what moisturizers to use. Sometimes it is still a lil difficult. I haven't mastered it yet. I'm still working on it. Thanks for the reminder about doing a trim. It's about that time! Great article!!

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    I'm 9 months in, and learning new things every week. I'm still have a lot to learn, but I finally got to the point where my hair stays moisturized. I'm doing this long term, so I am sure there is more to learn along the way, Nice post!

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Please do share what your "holy grail deep conditioner is … ;)

  • NancyM says:

    I'm 18 months into my transition. I agree with the ladies who have said that it gets easier with time. My original timeline was to transition for 24 months, but I may do it sooner. My new growth is now down to my shoulders when stretched, and I have about 2-4 inches of relaxed ends left. Now that I have more new growth than relaxed ends, I'm itching to just chop them off. Great post!

  • Megan M. says:

    Excellent article I will tell my friend to view this because she is thinking about going natural. Thanks.

  • safarascurls says:

    transitioning for 13 months now. I've had about 7 inches cut off from heat damage and now its back to touching my shoulders again. Looking back I'm glad for the experience & the different stages. Its definitely been lots of ups & downs. I finally understand the meaning of moisture/protein balance. Too far either way can be disastrous. I thought a year would be enough but its not. I'm still learning and it has become my hobby. I do agree with the other post that as time goes on it becomes easier. With all said & done I still don't have any interest in going back straight. This is way more fun & fulfilling.

  • Bobby says:

    11 and a half months into this transitioning game and Im loving it!! The longer it has gone on the easier it has become, my hair is about 50% natural and it just love the look of my new growth!! My go to style is braid n curl out…its my staple. Im going to continue til my hair is completely natural.

  • Dr Mermaid says:

    It was easy in the beginning. At the 6 month mark it became challenging when my roller sets began to look crazy. I am now 7 months post relaxer and cut. Finding a good detangler was key, I wanted something to detangle well like Kinky curly knot today but would not leave my relaxed ends so mushy. I've finally found my holy grail deep conditioner–OMG, amazing. I think I have finally found something that works, it is an awesome feeling.

  • Keisha says:

    Eight months into a what I hope will be long term transition. I've learn not to be so hard on myself, and most of all, that I have to be ALL IN.

  • Davina916 says:

    Great info!

  • Esther Komolafe says:

    Great article

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