Tips for Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair

Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair can be overwhelming. There is so much information on natural hair care and so many products to try that most people don’t know where to start. Before I transitioned, I watched A LOT of natural hair videos on Youtube. I tried and failed plenty of  hairstyles in the process trying to mimic what I saw. It’s been three years since my last relaxer and I can now do those same hairstyles plus more.


Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
If you’re wanting to transition because everyone else is doing it, you’re probably going to give up eventually. Make sure this is something you want for yourself. If you really want it, you’ll stick with it and reap all of the benefits in the end.

Stop relaxing your hair.
This should go without saying. The first real step to going natural is to give up the “creamy crack.” Your hair will thank you later.

Avoid using heat.
Easier said than done, right? When transitioning, you’ll eventually end up with two different hair textures and the flat-iron will be calling your name.  Fight the feeling, excessive heat can damage the curl pattern you’re working towards.

Trim your ends more often.
I have a confession, I didn’t big chop. I didn’t think it was necessary for me and my hair. Everyone’s hair is different, so if you want to big chop, do what’s best for you. If you’re like me, and can’t bring yourself to chop all of your hair off, trimming your ends more often will help rid you of your relaxed ends.

Invest in a wide tooth comb for detangling.
It makes the detangling process so much easier

I can’t say this enough. You should also learn more about your hair’s porosity. That will help you with finding out what products to use and how often you should moisturize your hair.

Low manipulation styles are your friend.
Low manipulation styles are styles that don’t require you combing, pulling, and tugging your hair every day. Twistouts, braidouts, and roller sets are a few you to try. They can last for days, sometimes weeks at a time.

Deep condition weekly.
Deep conditioning helps maintain the health and strength of your hair. You can find a great deep conditioner at your local hair store, or you can make your own at home.

Embrace your own curl pattern.
Hair envy is real. It’s easy to get caught up in how someone else’s hair looks. Focus on your own hair health and embrace what God gave you.

Patience is key!!
I cannot stress this enough. Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair is a process. It takes time to figure out what works for your hair and what doesn’t. Years of chemically processed/damaged hair can’t be repaired in months. Stick  with these 10 transitioning tips and you’ll began to see the change in your hair.

To learn about creating a natural hair regimen, click here.

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Hi, I’m Chantal. I’m a mom of two, self proclaimed naturalista, and Author of Growing Girls With Curls: Short Stories For Girls of Color. Being a mom is hard. Pair that with being a single, black, millennial in America and it’s a whole different monster. Feel free to join my mailing list and follow along as I blog through this crazy thing called life.

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  1. October 30, 2017 / 10:27 am

    I tried going all natural, I kinda succeeded but what makes me fail is heating my hair. I probably have the hardest hair on earth, even deep conditioning doesn’t help. But I follow your blog to give me the urge to drop heat and go full natural.

    • Chantal
      November 1, 2017 / 9:43 am

      I had an issue with putting my flat irons down too, so I understand the struggle lol. Is there anything in particular that you need help with other than that?

  2. October 28, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Great tips Chantal. I’m not ready to transition yet but I loved my curly hair before. Not if I want to leave it curly it’s not the same. My curls are long gone! ?

  3. October 28, 2017 / 1:31 am

    great you said patience is a key..I have to wait for the results. Thanks for the post

  4. LaToya
    October 28, 2017 / 12:39 am

    When I transitioned I didn’t big chop either. I trimmed my ends and started to wear a lot of protective styles. And that deohelped my hair to grow and get healthy. Love your tips!

  5. Brittany
    October 28, 2017 / 12:21 am

    This is so intriguing! I’m always amazed by how much work goes into natural hair and natural hair styles. I think you and your girls have absolutely beautiful hair.

  6. October 27, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    These are fantastic tips specially the last one “patience is key”, anything that’s worth doing takes time and patience.

  7. October 26, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I just did my big chop. Not currently going natural but I will eventually. Still learning about my hair and you are right about needing patience. Thanks for this article.

  8. October 25, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    It took me a while to get to hair porosity. Even though I now know my hair had very low porosity, I still am seeing no growth in spite of using the right moisturizers and oils.
    It is hard out there for 4C chicks lol! Great tips!

    • Chantal
      October 25, 2017 / 10:56 pm

      I just learned about hair porosity myself lol. My oldest daughter has 4c hair and it’s long and healthy, but it’s tough to handle.

  9. October 25, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    These are all great tips! I’ve been natural for over 7 years and big chopped after transitioning for only 5 months. I wish I had known this advice back when I was on my initial journey. Nevertheless, great post.

    • Chantal
      October 25, 2017 / 10:49 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  10. Myisha
    October 25, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    These are so amazing tips. I remember my attempt to transition and it was dreadful. I didn’t have any tips to go with so I winged it. This is so good for those who are as clueless as I was.

    • Chantal
      October 25, 2017 / 10:49 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. I struggled with wanting instant results during my transition.

  11. October 25, 2017 / 11:16 am

    Perfect tips ? I’ve been natural 11 years now and no Youtube videos was available yet…I had to speak with my Aunts on hair care and made a ton of mistakes whew I’m glad I didnt give Up the best decision ever ?

    • Chantal
      October 25, 2017 / 10:46 pm

      I don’t know what I would’ve done without youtube during my transition lol. Thank you for reading!!