The struggle has been real throughout the last 20 months, but I’ve made it this far and I couldn’t be happier. There were times when I wanted to give up but decided I wanted to push myself and see it through. Whether you are transitioning from relaxers, heat damage or just want your natural curls back, there IS light at the end of the tunnel. My own experiences have taught me that transitioning is an art to learning your hair all over again. 2 curls 1 mission is my truth, seeing my natural curls. Going to the Curly Treats Festival a few years ago really inspired me to want to get my natural curls back.
the relaxer days
I have always been tender headed, hence why I would always stretch my relaxers to 6 months. Stretching for this long not only made me take care of my hair, but I also learnt how to build a healthy relaxed hair regime and prove that relaxed hair CAN grow. Before transitioning I had reached bra strap length and would wash my hair once every 2 weeks and moisture and seal every other day.
the transitioning stages
After my last relaxer, transitioning up to 6 months was a breeze. 6 – 12 months is where I felt like I wanted to give up. The longer my new growth got, the harder transitioning became. The line of demarcation is where the natural and relaxed hair meet, and was the most vulnerable point especially when wet. Detangling became more difficult, and I did experience a lot of breakage. Getting past the one year mark has been a breeze. I actually enjoy wash days now as I find my hair has accepted the fact that change is happening.
hair products galore
Being a hair blogger can be hard sometimes as reviewing products is what I do. I guess this is one of the best parts of transitioning, being able to see what products work and what don’t work for my hair.
I have come to realise my hair LOVES co-washes. I tend to shampoo once a month and co-wash weekly, only ever using sulphate free shampoos. For my hair, I find some sulphate free shampoos give my hair such a cleanse, it feels like I’m using a product with sulphates. My go to sulphate free shampoo is the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo, and when I do feel like my hair needs a real deep clean, I cleanse my hair with a sulphate shampoo. I like to use the ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. This is a routine I find works best for my hair.
I have tried many co-washes, but have my top three which I like to rotate. The As I Am Coconut Co Wash, Shea Moisture High Porosity Moisture Seal Co Wash, and the Keracare Honey Shea Co Wash. My hair is always left feeling extremely moisturised, hydrated and cleansed without feeling stripped.
Say yasssss to the deep conditioners. This is my favourite part of wash day, with Shea Moisture being one of my fav brands for deep conditioning. My top 3 are their Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Hair Masque, JBCO Strength & Restore Treatment Masque and the Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque for transitioning hair. An oldie but goody at keeping my curls soft and moisturised is the Aunt Jackie’s Girls Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner. Can you say heaven in a tub! I have also discovered the Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner. A conditioner that is so natural you can see little specks of natural goodness inside. For maximum moisture, I love to DC using indirect heat with my Hot Head Thermal Hair Care Heat Cap and my Curls and Co Hydration Steamer. Both have been a game changer and have taken deep conditioning to the next level. I highly recommend incorporating deep conditioning with heat into your weekly regime, whether relaxed, transitioning or natural. My one top tip for a successful transition would be to deep condition weekly and do a hot oil treatment at the same time. I love using either warmed Coconut and Olive Oil, or the Camille Rose Naturals Cocoa Nibs & Honey Ultimate Growth Serum. A little heavy on the conditioners I know, but can you tell I just love them!
MOISTURE AND SEAL
Aside from the wash day process, am I the only one who loves adding the moisture back to my parched tresses? There’s nothing better than feeling soft moisturised happy curls. After trial and error, I have figured out a few products that for now have been keeping my curls happy and never dry. As part of my LCO method (liquid, cream, oil), I like to moisturise every 3 days. I moisturise with Jane Carter Solutions Quench Curl Hydrator (silicone free – as I know they have recently changed their ingredients) for my liquid. Omg! This curl hydrator is amazing at turning my dry hair soft, manageable and gives great curl definition. It melts into my hair with ease. I then go in with the Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturising Hair Milk. Introduced to me through Treasure Tress (a monthly subscription box for kinky curly girls), this hair milk is everything and more. It is lightweight and not too greasy. Not much of a scent but leaves my hair moisturised. Finishing with one of my favourite sealing oils, I like to use the Flora & Curl Superfruit Hair Oil. Not only is it great to add to your deep conditioners, it is made up of 12 natural oils that protect and penetrate the hair. Not to mention the smell is gorgeous. Another top tip, using the steam while you shower will help soften the hair. A perfect way do deep steam I’d say.
Once fully natural, the inner product junkie will be out again trying to find products that make my newly natural curls happy. This shouldn’t be too hard as I have already found products that take well to my hair while transitioning, but I’m a product junkie at heart, I can’t help that! I’m looking forward to the natural world of wash & go’s, and braid out and twist outs with lots of definition.
Big chop next week maybe?