I am currently 14 weeks 2 days post relaxer, the longest I've ever been in my 7 years of being relaxed. The journey thus far has been better than anticipated and I couldn't have got this far without *drum roll* ....... PATIENCE! I am still intending to transition for around 24 months so I have a way to go but I'm feeling motivated. Here are some tips for transitioning that have helped this far.
1) Patience- Yes, I said it before and I'll say it again: Patience. You will not go from shoulder length relaxed hair to shoulder length natural hair overnight! Not only do you need to be patient with the journey from chemically treated to natural hair you also need to be patient with taking care of your hair. The comb will not pass through your hair the way it did when you got a fresh touch up and detangling will take some time.
2) Minimal Heat to No Heat - Direct heat is not, nor has it ever been your friend... Don't be Fooled! Transitioning hair is weak at the line of demarcation, where the two textures meet, heat can encourage the hair to break. Heat can also damage your natural hair before your natural hair journey has even begun.
3) Wash your hair in Sections - This helps ridiculously in reducing the amount of tangles during washing, it also makes the hair more manageable and ensures all your hair gets an even distribution of product. I use plastic clips and section my hair in 4, you could use hair bands, 4 isn't a set number just use as much as you need.
4) Keep your hands out of your hair- This is something I'm guilty of, I like to play in my new growth. Playing in your hair can lead to breakage.
5) Check the ingredients in your products- Buying hair products can be a daunting experience, so much variety but how many of us actually check the ingredients before we buy? A lot of hair products are full of chemicals that do our strands no favours. I try to use products with wholly natural ingredients but this can be expensive and close to impossible. Stay away from products with ingredients which look like they belong in a science lab.