I have been wanting to write many many posts on Curlacious. But there are just wayyyy too many reasons to postpone writing a post. Usually, 2 of my friends always call and ask if I am alive since nothing is up on the blog and then I rushhh and write… 😉 This time, I am writing a post for you curlies out there…. Day before yesterday, I had a nice long chat with another curlie who was new to my blog (that’s the best part about blogging..I get to talk and interact with such sweet & awesome people!!). She had landed here looking to revive her straightened hair. She wants to grow out her hair and was asking about ways and steps to do that. Since this question is something that I often get asked and this post was already due for really long, I thought why not to write a whole new post. Well another curly asked me a similar question yesterday.. so here is my very first “On-Demand” post!!
So let’s start with the very basics and cover all points related………..
What is “Transitioning” in Curly or Wavy Hair Care?
Transitioning with regards to curly and wavy hair refers to the phase where we are growing out our heat damaged or chemically straightened or smoothened hair (which has lost its natural pattern) and trying to get back our natural hair texture.
2 Ways to embrace your natural hair(after heat/chemical processing):
- To do the “big chop”: basically you chop off all the straight or damaged hair and start out with fresh roots. Like if you have ear length natural hair, you get a bob and chop off all the straight ends. This helps in faster growth since all the hair that you have on your head is healthy and bouncy and will grow faster without any stringy ends hanging around.
- To transition: in this method, you get frequent trims every 2-3 months and keep doing so till all the damaged ends are chopped off slowly. You carry two textured hair till your damaged ends are removed. You might find that the uncut damaged hair creates stringy ends. Best suited for people who just cannot let go of their lengths (like me!). People with mild heat damaged ends can carry this off a bit easily since the difference in textures might not be drastic. But people with chemically straightened or smoothened hair will find it difficult to carry two such drastic textures.
- My Suggestion: Since none of us girls would choose to be bald at any given point, It is better to grow your hair to a certain length…say a little longer (to take shrinkage into account) than where you can accept your short hair’s length to be and then to chop off the damaged ends.
- What I am doing? I am transitioning very slowly. I am a sucker for length. I just cannot let go of my hair in a chunk. Luckily I had just heat damaged my hair so transitioning just makes my ends look messy and not downright weird. So I get trims every 2-3 months.
Now that we have this point clear, lets plunge into the MOST asked question…
What should be my hair care regimen for Transitioning?
The regimen doesn’t really differ ‘much’ from the normal curly hair routine. Still I am giving a summary here which included the few changes that you need to make. First step is to Form a proper hair care regimen which includes oiling session, hair massage, deep conditioning & protein treatment on a regular basis. I will elaborate on this in following points.
- Decide if you want to go Sulfate-free on your shampoo and Silicone-free on your conditioner. Since after all the chemical or heat damage our hair would feel all weak and brittle, it is better to switch to hair care which is mild and doesn’t further dry out or damage our hair. Switching to sulfate and silicone free products will make sure that the hair that grows out from the roots is healthier. Even if you don’t commit to being sulfate-silicone free, do follow the remaining points religiously.
- Oiling: helps in nourishing scalp and promotes hair growth. since at this point in time you need to focus more on hair growth, chose hair oils that suit you the best. Chose 2-3 oils, mix and form a concoction to be used while you massage hair and scalp. Use coldpressed, virgin/extra virgin hair oils. I recommend adding 2-3 drops(not more) of peppermint essential oil to your mix since it promotes hair growth. cold pressed virgin coconut oil, coldpressed extra virgin olive oil, coldpressed jojoba oil, almond oil, bhringraj oil etc. are all good. Castor oil is said to be awesome for hair growth but it is too heave and doesn’t easily wash off with mild shampoo. You can add just few drops if you want. Even the oils we get freshly milled in our hometowns are super awesome for hair. (our grannies knew better, afterall!)
- Massaging scalp: even if you do not apply oil, give your scalp a quick massage with your finger pads whenever you get time. Do at least once daily. I mostly do this just before going to bed. It helpd regulate blood circulation to scalp and aids in hair growth.
- Deep Conditioning Treatment: this is one step that you need to follow irrespective of having straight, wavy, curly, damaged or straightened hair. If you have heat damaged hair or chemically processed hair with natural hair grown noticeably, I recommend to do this once a week at the least. If you have straightened your hair just recently, may be once every 2 weeks till you see your roots growing. There are few DIY mentioned and the links can be found here: Detailed Index for Curlacious. DIY is the bestest! However you can find few store bought here along with the list o f silicone-free hair conditioners.
- Protein Treatment: Since our hair is most probably damaged and needs a lot of repairing and strengthening, doing frequent protein treatment is very much necessary. DIY protein treatment options are here: using Gelatin, even Egg works well. Initially do Protein treatment once every 2 weeks. It will help reduce hair breakage caused due to protein loss and hair being brittle due to all the chemical and heat treatments!! Also will strengthen the newly growing natural roots. After certain time, you can reduce the frequency of protein treatment to once every month or month and a half.
- Frequent Trims: to promote hair growth, get frequent hair cuts or trims till you get rid of all the damaged ends. Trims help to oxygenize ends and help in keeping hair healthy. Also, this is the best way to get the straighter hair to slowly be removed without any drastic changes in hair length. Get trims at the most every 2 months. Go by the feel of your hair too.
- Supplements: taking hair growth supplements always gives added benefit. If you feel that you need it, do consult a dermatologist and get one prescribed. These are usually dietary supplements for vitamins and minerals so no harm in taking. 🙂 But do not take OTC. Better to consult a professional. This is an optional step.
- Satin/silk Pillowcase: get a satin or silk pillowcase to sleep on! helps in not frizing hair much. Prevents hair from tugging and pulling and breaking. Doesn’t dry out our hair. Indirectly aids in hair growth. If you have heat damaged ends, don’t skip this.
The above collated pic that I have uploaded, both the pics were taken exactly 1 year apart. Left was on 28Sep2015(totally heat damaged hair) and right was on 26Sep2016. Well if you overlook the quality of the photo and compare how my hair looks, you can see that my hair looks more healthy, bouncy and better defined now. However, the lower end of my hair is still not that defined and if you see carefully, you will notice the change in pattern near my shoulder length. 🙂 Well, I personally believe that my hair has become better… what do you think? Be frank.. I won’t mind if your opinion differs…but please do explain why you think which is better? aaaaaand excuse the face 😛 😀
Hope this post helps curlies who are new to curly hair love…do let me know your thoughts and doubts in comment below or in the Forum. So, are you transitioning? or planning to transition?
I have another post planned for the Do’s and Don’ts of Transitioning which should be up this week itself. 🙂 Do come back for that. Since it might give you more clarity on what exactly to expect or do when you decide to transition. 🙂