5 valuable lessons from my 18-month transition to natural hair

In November 2016, I concluded my 18-month transition to natural hair. It wasn’t the easiest process but I’m glad I went through it. You can check out my big chop in the video below.

With various journeys, we learn so much along the way. I would like to share some valuable lessons from my transition.

(1) Do it at your own pace

When I decided to go natural, I knew I wanted to transition for a long time. 2 years seemed too long so I settled on 18 months. People had varying opinions about the matter. At the end of the day, I had to do what is best for me.

(2) Lay off direct heat

Heat has the potential to cause some serious damage to your tresses. During my transition, I used direct heat twice: once at home and once at a salon. Each time, several precautions were taken to prevent heat damage, such as using heat protectants and using the lowest heat possible.

(3) Style with your curls in mind

Your transition will eventually end so it’s good to try styles that blend with your new hair texture. Personally, I did curly styles, braid-outs, and some flat twists.

Curlformers at one year post relaxer
Flat twists at one year post relaxer
Braid-out at 16 months post relaxer

(4) Keep it moisturized but don’t forget about the protein

If you read many healthy hair blogs, you may notice an emphasis on moisture. While moisture is important, a balance between protein and moisture is truly beneficial. For instance, my hair has a fine texture. I’ve had moisture overload on more than one occasion. Using a protein treatment gets my hair back on track. Protein does not need to wreak havoc on your hair. Try to use a mild to medium reconstructor. A proper moisture-protein balance will keep your delicate line of demarcation (where the relaxed and natural hair meet) intact.

(5) Take time to learn about your hair

A long transition gives you time to learn about the things your hair likes and dislikes. Your relaxed hair may have loved a certain moisturizer but it feels like trash in your natural hair. Your relaxed hair may have flourished with a particular technique. However, it’s not cutting it for your natural hair. Having this knowledge is awesome preparation for when you end your transition.

If you transitioned, what are some lessons you learned?

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