Hi guys! this post I share with you MY top 10 tips for transitioning from relaxed/heat damage back to natural and generally to maintain healthy hair. Over the years my hair has endured a lot of abuse! from having relaxers at a very young age- to straightening my hair near enough every other day. My hair journey began with me wanting to transition back to natural and once the transition phase finished I saw how healthy my hair became and so maintaining the health of my hair has now become the norm for me and I no longer see it as a ‘journey’ but a way of living(like how someone chooses to eat healthy). Below are the tips which have worked for me and seem to continue to work so why not give them a try? they may work for you too.
1. Stop Relaxing – The first thing I did when I decided I wanted to improve the strength and health of my hair was to make the decision to never put a relaxer on my hair again!
2. Deep condition – When I decided to repair my hair from all the damage, I began to deep condition. Regular deep conditioning (at least once a week) will rebuild the strength of your hair and over time you will see a massive improvement in the overall appearance and health of your hair.
3. Cleanse – Keeping your scalp clean is very important to improve the health of your hair because the hair follicles will eventually get blocked as a result of all the product you’ve applied without cleansing, which then makes it hard for any moisturisers, oils and conditioners to actually reach the hair strand. Although you may think that you’re feeding your hair with all this goodness- the product(s) will build up and not provide any nourishment to your hair. I shampoo my scalp at least once a week with a sulphate free shampoo.
4. Avoid direct heat – Minimising your use of straighteners and blow dryers will massively improve the health of your hair. Direct heat can cause your hair to become dry and brittle. Why not try air-drying? (allowing your hair to dry naturally using the temperature in the air) or use a diffuser on a low/medium setting. It may be hard at first so set yourself realistic goals. If you’re someone who straightens and blow dry’s their hair daily; change that to weekly, or if you straighten your hair weekly; change that to monthly. I apply direct heat to my hair no more than twice a year.
5. Be gentle- Limit manipulation For example pulling the hair back tight in ponytails or buns, tight weaves/braids and detangling harshly can cause damage and breakage as too much pressure on the hair strand can cause them to become brittle and easy to snap. I love a wash’n’go because my hair is free and manipulation is at its minimum but if you’re not keen on having your hair out all the time; why not try ‘protective styles’ which includes wigs, twists and up-do’s.
6. Keep your hair moisturised – Moisture is an essential part of maintaining healthy hair. The dryer the hair, the more easier it’ll become damaged and susceptible to breakage. I apply moisture to my hair by firstly saturating it in water using a spray water bottle and apply a leave-conditioner or moisturiser of my choice at least 3 times a week. Whatever works for you to keep your hair moisturised – keep doing it! and anytime you feel your hair getting dry just re-moisture your hair.
7. Trim your ends gradually – Once you see your natural curls coming back you may feel like you want to get rid of all the existing damage by gradually trimming your ends. This will allow you to manage your hair better because essentially you won’t have to deal with two different textures and once the dead/damaged ends have gone you will see that the elasticity and ‘bounce’ of your hair will improve.
8. Sleep on a satin pillowcase or use a satin scarf – I don’t think we realise how dry we make our hair by sleeping on cotton pillowcases. Sleeping on a satin pillow case allows your hair to maintain the moisture you applied because satin doesn’t absorb moisture unlike cotton. I personally prefer to sleep with a satin scarf as I find that my curls stay in formation and frizz is kept to a minimum.
9. Be consistent – Once you have found the right routine and regimen that works for you; keep it consistent! the most accurate way of seeing the improvement in the health of your hair is to be consistent and give your hair time to adjust to its new routine otherwise you may not see any results. Why not take pictures and document the improvement of your hair as and when you notice a difference?
10. Embrace your texture- I sincerely believe that embracing my hair texture can contribute to building your self confidence. My hair is an expression of how I feel and the bigger my hair – the bigger my dreams! whether you have loose waves or tight curls/coils embrace it! – after all its a part of who you are and how can anyone love your hair if you don’t love your hair?