How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair
How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair

Best Advice & Tips on How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair

Learning how to transition from relaxed to natural hair can be a challenge, but it does not have to be. 

This article will give you practical tips and advice on how to make your transition and easy and smooth one. Natural hair is a growing trend in North America. And it is a growing trend that’s sweeping the globe. According to a 2018 study by Mintel, nearly 80% of black women in the U.S. have either transitioned to natural hair or are considering the transition. This statistic shows how popular natural hair transitioning has become in recent years.

Did you know that hair is the second fastest growing tissue in the body? This fact alone shows why it’s important for us to take great care of our hair at all times. By the end of this article you will better understand the transitioning process and what it entails. Now let’s get on with it. Let’s learn how to transition from relaxed to natural hair.

How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair: Understanding the Differences Between Relaxed and Natural Hair

When it comes to the topic How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair, it is important for you to understand the differences between relaxed hair and natural hair. Understanding these differences will aid in making your transition easier and help you to avoid any problems during the process. Here is more information below.

Relaxed Hair: Definition and Effects

Relaxed hair is simply hair that has been permanently altered with chemicals to make it change from curly or wavy to straight. This process involves the use of what we call, “relaxer”. It is a potent alkaline chemical, which permanently disrupts the hair’s protein structure. Many people opt for relaxed hair because it is easier to manage than thicker curly hair and it offers more variety for styling.

natural hair lady

The Impact of Relaxers

As we said previously, relaxers breakdown the hair’s protein structure. This was a process known as ‘lanthionization.’ This process makes the hair strands weaker and drier and prone to breakage. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology found that the use of relaxers is associated with scalp and hair shaft disorders in some people. These chemicals are seen as harmful and this is one of the main reasons why so many people are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair.

Natural Hair: Definition and Care

Now let’s discuss natural hair. Natural hair simply means the hair you were born with in its unaltered state.Since natural hair goals under no chemical treatment, it tends to be more healthy and stronger.Although natural hair is not chemically treated, it can still break if not well taken care of. Some textures, such as very wavy and kinky textures, may require more specialized care. If you have natural hair protective styling is a great alternative to protect your real hair and prevent breakage.

big chop

The Journey from Relaxed to Natural Hair

Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair is a journey. It is one that does not happen overnight and it needs commitment for the results to be beneficial in the end. During your transition, you may encounter some challenges, but do not let this discourage you. And with the right knowledge, you will be able to take the steps to protect your hair while it’s going through its transitioning process.

Preparing for the Transition from Relaxed to Natural Hair

When it comes to the question How to Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair, preparing for the transition is an important step. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your hair transition.

Building Your Knowledge Base:

Before you begin your hair transition, you need to arm yourself with a wealth of knowledge. Research different hair products that have worked for others. Also research different protective styles such as crochet braids, that are beneficial during this process. Visualize the use of online videos and see what works for others that might work for you. Talk to your stylist and see what he or she thinks about the best steps for you to take based on your hair type. Learn as much as you can about the process before you take the next step.

woman after the big chop

Crafting a Customized Hair Care Routine: Listen to Your Hair

Everyone’s transitioning process may be different. Since everyone’s hair is different including the texture and the condition, processes may need to be tweaked a bit. Everyone’s hair needs are also different. But if your hair is deficient in something, it will let you know. Is it dry? Then give it more hydration. Is it breaking? Then give it more protein. During the transitioning stage, your hair will require more intense care. So listen to your hair and give it what it needs in order to get the best end result. 

Choosing Your Transition Style: Big Chop or Gradual Transition

The biggest decision when it comes to the question “how to transition from relaxed to natural hair” is how much to cut when it is time to do so. The decision between the ‘big chop’ or a gradual transition is a personal one and depends on how drastic you want to go. If you’re bold and ready for an immediate change, you could be ready for what we call “the big chop”. On the other hand, if you are on the more conservative side, you may be more comfortable with intermittent trims until all the relaxed hair is cut off.

Investing in Quality Tools and Products: Your Hair Deserves the Best

In order to make your transition a success, you will need quality tools. Here are some suggestions below.

  1. Wide-toothed combs: They are perfect because they don’t snag your hair.They are also great for detangling.And for dense textures.
  2. Silk or satin scarves: Perfect for protecting your hair at night while you sleep by retaining the hair’s moisture. 
  3. High-quality hair steamers or a bonnet dryer: Excellent for deep conditioning treatments to infuse moisture into the hair.

And remember, choose your products wisely. By conditioners that are thick and rich. And use products that are alcohol free. 

Leveraging Professional Expertise: Don’t Walk Alone 

When you’re transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair, you may want to go at it alone. This is always not a good idea, especially if your hair is severely damaged. Seek the help of your stylist, especially in the beginning stages. Get the best advice on what you need to do for your hair type and condition. And remember protective styles such as crochet braids or a hair weave can be saviors during the transitioning process.

woman with natural hair

Product Recommendations for Transitioning Hair

The process of how to transition from relaxed to natural hair does not involve only the process itself. It also involves selecting the best products to get the best end result. As we mentioned before, moisture is very important when it comes to transitioning hair. Below are some products that we recommend you use while transitioning. You may not need to use all of these products, but use the ones that are suitable based on the condition of your hair at any given point in time. 

Nourishing Shampoos: The Foundation of Healthy Hair 
Nourishing shampoos are the best ones to use for cleansing. These shampoos cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils, which is very important during the transitioning process. Opt for sulfate-free shampoos enriched with natural ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, or jojoba oil. Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo is a popular choice, known for its hydrating properties. Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Moisture & Shine Shampoo is another excellent option.

Deep Conditioners: Your Hair’s Thirst Quencher 
Deep conditioning is a must for transitioning here.It will make all of the difference when it comes to your hair’s moisture levels. Deep conditioning prevents breakage, while keeping your hair looking healthy and frizz-free. Look for deep conditioners with hydrating ingredients like avocado oil, honey, or coconut oil. TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask is known for its intense moisturizing properties. Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner is another favorite.

Leave-in Conditioners: Your Hair’s Daily Dose of Hydration 
A good quality leave-in conditioner can be a game-changer for your hair. It makes the detangling process easier and gives your hair extra moisture. Opt for lightweight yet hydrating products. Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner is a popular choice, as well as As I Am Leave-In Conditioner.

Hair Oils: The Seal of Moisture 
Your orders are very important for transitioning here because they seal in moisture and add shine. Depending on what your hair needs, you might prefer lighter oils like jojoba oil or heavier ones like castor oil. Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a well-loved product in the natural hair community and NOW Solutions’ Jojoba Oil is another excellent choice.

Styling Products: Define Your Curls Without Compromising on Moisture
When you are shopping for styling products for transitioning hair, make sure that you buy products that do not promote drying. Cream-based products like Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream can help define your natural texture while keeping your hair moisturized. If hair gel is your preference, Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel is a great option, providing excellent hold without leaving your hair crunchy or flaky.

straight weave hair bundles
Straight Weave Protective Styling

Dealing with Challenges During the Transition

Navigating Dual Textures: The Art of Balance
If you are still trying to figure out how to transition from relaxed to natural hair, this is where the art of balance comes in. One of the biggest challenges during the transition process is managing two different textures at once. The point where your natural hair meets the relaxed hair, known as the line of demarcation, is particularly fragile and prone to breakage. Being gentle in your hair care practices will stop your hair from snapping. Use your fingers for detangling if you have to or use a wide tooth comb. And remember to always start from the ends and work your way to the roots.

Product Experimentation: A Journey of Discovery 
When it comes to the topic of how to transition from relaxed to natural hair, you may have to do some product experimentation. Since everything does not work for everyone, this will be a trial and error process. The issue of what worked for relaxed hair that may not work for natural hair is another challenge. Patients will be a virtue and you will need to experiment with different combinations of products to find out the perfect combination that works just for you. Although the process may seem frustrating at first, it is one that you need to go through in order to find out what products are specifically best for you.

During your transition you will experience some styling challenges. Dealing with two textures can be frustrating especially when you are at the halfway point. Your hair may not be long enough to wear in a ponytail and may also be too short to wear in an afro for instance.

However, do not lose hope.When it comes to learning how to transition from relaxed to natural hair, you need to embrace the dual texture situation. See it as an opportunity to try out new styles that you’ve never worn before. There are several styles, like bantu knots, twist outs, or braids, that can help blend the two textures. Protective styles such as braids or weaves or even wigs can also give your hair a break and protect your fragile ends. However, remember not to leave these styles in for too long as it can lead to matting and breakage.

faux loc crochet braid extensions
Crochet Braids Protective Styling


When it comes to the question “how to transition from relaxed to natural hair”, there is more to it than meets the eye. It is a lengthy process. And it can be frustrating and challenging at times.

In preparing for your transition, it’s essential to gain the most knowledge you can about your particular hair type and what steps are best for your transitioning process. You will also need to make some tough choices. Should you just go all in and do the ‘big chop’ or should you stick with a gradual transition?

As we discussed, there are several products and tools that can help with your transition. From deep conditioners to specialized shampoos and moisturizers to hair oils. You will need to try them all to find out which combination works best for your hair type and your hair condition.
He also mentioned that you should invest in a good hair steamer or Bonnet hair dryer.This is because your hair will need regular deep treatments to ensure that dryness is kept at bay. Combined with the high quality deep conditioner, your hair will be well moisturized and in great condition during your transition process. Also remember the line of demarcation where you relaxed and natural hair meet. It will be fragile, so treat your hair with care if you do not want it to snap. Also remember to use your fingers for the tangling or a white tooth comb and start from the ends working your way to the roots.

And there you have it, folks.Now you have learned how to transition from relaxed to natural hair. Follow these tips and the advice that we have given in order to make your hair transition as smooth. And when all else fails, when it comes to your DIY transitioning, seek the help of your professional stylist who will be able to guide you down the right path to healthy, natural hair.

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