A re-post for our new transitioners! 
Kayla



When
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.


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With
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
    style.
  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.



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