Lies About Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair




Lies About Transitioning from Relaxed to Natural Hair

I transitioned from relaxed to natural hair over the course of 2 years and along the way I discovered several things that are just not true about natural hair.

The biggest lie that you will hear is that natural hair is stronger than relaxed hair.  This is not true at all.  Yes, flat ironed healthy natural hair can look thicker than flat ironed relaxed hair; however, natural hair is just a fragile as relaxed hair.  In fact, the tighter the curl of a strand of natural hair the more fragile that strand of hair will be – meaning it can break easily.  You have to be very careful when combing and brushing curly hair while you can use a rattail comb on relaxed hair from root to tip.

Another misconception about natural hair is that it is somehow easier to take care of than relaxed hair.  This is an urban myth.  With natural hair you will need to reduce the use of direct heat (blow dryers & flat irons); you will need to stop manipulating your hair regularly (called low manipulation styles); and you will need to hide your hair in protective styles or risk breakage from wearing it out too often.  You will spend much of your time trying to make sure your hair is protected and well moisturized.  I do not find that relaxed hair is any more or less difficult to manage than natural hair.

Some people say that natural hair is faster to wash and style than relaxed hair.  With respect to timing, I have spent many hours taking care of my transitioning hair.  In fact, I know that I have spent at least 6 hours doing my hair on more than one occasion.  That included a pre-shampoo treatment (called a pre-poo); shampooing, deep conditioning under a hood dryer, detangling, and styling, then sitting under the hood dryer to set the style and taking down the style (braid out, twist out, rod set).  There have even been times where I finished washing and conditioning my hair, and it did not feel right, so I rewashed and conditioned with different products.  As you get to know your hair over the course of your transition, you will know what you hair should feel like once it clean and conditioned.

Wash days were, at least for me, much longer for transitioning hair than they ever were for my relaxed hair.  Granted, I often had to rod set my relaxed ends to blend with my naturally curly roots so that may also be the most time consuming aspect for you too.  Transitioning to natural hair without the big chop meant having straight ends and curly roots that needed to blend.

Knowing the truth and not having unrealistic expectations will make your transition from relaxed to natural hair much less difficult.