Transitioning to Natural (TransToNat) – Just how easy is it?
The ease of transitioning to natural is different for everyone. I give the reminder that you are an individual so your transition will be unique to you. Everyone does not have the rollerset for 6-9 months hair. The kinkier and more coiled the hair is, the more likely that you will need to just cut off all the perm by the 5th month – especially if you are the type who struggles with maintenance but does not have the time to be seen for regular haircare.
Transitioning comes by way of: braided extensions with cutting one inch every 6-8 weeks; two & three strand flat twisting into buns/updos; kinky or senegalese twists (just like braids schedule), ceramic press for the roots with blow outs (consult for p0ssibility of this option -usually for curlies or wavies); roller and rod setting, braiding the natural growth hair for wear beneath a wig and also traditional sew-in weaving and crochet weaving.
You know you better than anyone else. This means you know what you are willing to or have time to do at home to maintain a roller or rod set. Basically you need bobby pins -large & small, satin covered rollers, a great natural oil moisturizer (soft textured looks only) or natural setting mousse. My all time favorite mousses for sets are from Giovanni, Kiss My Face and Jane Carter.
Mousse gives it a crisp, healthy sheen with medium hold while natural butters, and oil mixes will give a more natural subtle texture. All will be soft but not as long lasting. Be sure to sleep on Silk or Satin and take Dr. Brown’s Healing Water twice a day.
These pics show a client whose last relaxer touch up was Feb 2010. Rollersetting was done until Dec 2010 and gradually inches were cut until she was oh-natural!
What is the difference between a trim and a cut?
To me, a trim is anything less than an inch. If a natural curly has split ends, it is mostly likely from years of improper haircare, blowouts, ceramic presses and press-n-curl styling. Those split ends are usually up to inch of the hair strand and may be split up to three times in three places within that inch. A little bit more: split ends on curly hair can also stem from dryness. If you let your ends get like sandpaper and do not give them the extra special treatment they need (being the oldest part of the hair strands) then you are asking for more trimming and more often. Try extra conditioner, mixed with raw honey on those ends.
A cut is deeper and like carving into the hair for a more drastic length reduction. Based on the hair density and texture, the look will be more pronounced and the ends will be more crisp, clear cut, defined and straight.
This may not be the best for some hair types since the angled or feathered cutting is needed for those wearing their hair curly more often than straight. That has to be discussed before having me cut your hair. When wearing the hair curly you get a curly cut that accentuates and enhances the natural curl patterns in your hair. How do you plan to wear it most often? Curly, blown bone straight or blown out the original Macy Gray way…
How often do I need to shampoo? This answer is different based on your hair texture, density and sometimes length. For the naturally curly (lightly to heavily seasoned) a general guideline is every 14 days. Your lifestyle as a naturally curly individual involves regular co-washing or no-poo. Conditioning is a must and oil moisture based on your hair and scalp needs. That guideline is based on the assumption that you will use some type of natural styling product, gel, cream or setting lotion that -although it’s hair & body food- needs to be washed out so you can cleanse and start over with a new style. So I do believe in using shampoo as needed for deep cleaning of certain styling products that require a fresh start. Some examples are: Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard, Joie MyGel For Locks that Rock and Taliah Waajid’s Lock It Up.
If you are using mostly oil & butter rich products with ingredients like coconut oil, safflower, cocoa butter, illipe, mango butter and the like, these hair foods penetrate & assist in the healing of the hair follicles and scalp and do not require the deep cleaning shampoo that is necessary to start over from the still positive effects of sugars, pectin, extracts and botanicals that are in many of the natural gels. It’s about a clean palette to create something new and wonderful with more natural ingredients and have fun in the process.
What do I do with the leftover tea from my homemade tea spray detangler? My first recommendation is to see how much you have left after making your tea spray for the first time. One tea bag is usually potent enough for 8-10 ounces. Drink 6 and detangle with 2 to 4. If you want to reserve your tea spray for your hair alone it’s best to refrigerate it so it will last longer. If you want to be able to leave it out, just drop about 2 drops of cinnamon essential oil or vegetable glycerin in the bottle and try to use within a week. This is just a guideline -your tea may have herbs that are also preservatives so check your box and have fun!
What do I do about dry ends?
When your ends are dry you can always deep treat them directly with honey mixed in a fragrance free or other natural conditioner. This is best done when wet or the hair is in its most natural kinky, curly or wavy state and being worn that way. This goes for naturally straight hair as well.
If you are hair is straight from being ceramic pressed you want to avoid water and use a non-drying or semi-drying oil on the ends and you can seal them with a plastic baggie for about 15-20 minutes. Examples of non-drying oils are olive, wheat germ and avocado. Semi-drying oils include safflower and sunflower.
If your straight hair has gotten wet and reverted back look below. If you want to ceramic press again, blow it out with a little oil of your choice and press in 1inch by inch sections. I love the Conair Infiniti line and the Cortex irons are great too.
Another option is making sure to concentrate your deep moisturizing conditioner on your ends and whatever natural cream/butter you use. I recommend Curl Prep’s Sweet Buttah and Jane Carter’s Curl Defining Cream which are found easily at a natural market. There are a lot of great natural creams and butter based moisturizers out there – online check out Karen’s Body Beautiful also. She has a store in Brooklyn too!