Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.
Now, I am sure if you are natural you have been asked the question, 'Do I have to do a big chop in order for me to go natural?' Ahhhh, the apprehension of cutting off the glorious locks. Well, when I get a question such as this, I always let them know that they DO NOT have to do a big chop, especially if their hair is not damaged overall and need a complete restart. I explain that they can transition (allowing their natural virgin hair to grow in while having relaxed ends) and gradually clip their relaxed ends off, little by little, until they are completely gone.
Now, I was one who was a long term trasitioner..I transitioned for 8 months before I did a BC. I became tired of the long detangling sessions and trying to constantly blend the two textures..so I BC'd in August 2010. However, everyone is different, and one method is no better than the other.
If you choose to transition, instead of doing a BC (Big Chop), then here are some techniques to consider to decrease breakage.
- Detangle hair, starting from ends working up to your roots, in the shower while hair is slippery with conditioner,with a WIDE tooth comb. Sectioning hair into four parts and use clips to keep those parts separated, will make your detangling session easier.
- Be sure to take extra precaution, while detangling, at the line of demarcation. The line of demarcation is where your natural virgin hair meets the relaxed hair (or ends that have had excessive heat use).
- Detangle one section at a time, and when one section has been detangled, re-twist or re-braid so it will not become tangled again.
- Once you have detangled each section, rinse just by letting the water run through the detangled hair. Be sure not to tussle hair while rinsing, so that you will not re-tangle. Let your final rinse be using cool water and a 2 TSP of Apple Cider Vinegar (cool water closes the cuticle and ACV protects the scalp and hair from mineral buildup, fungus and bacteria..It also imparts shine and softness) If a section becomes loosed by rinsing, just re-twist or re-braid.
- Either leave a little of the conditioner in your hair, while rinsing, or add a little once you have completed your rinse.
- Seal the moisture (conditioner) in with a carrier oil (Jojoba, Coconut, Grapeseed, Olive Oil) or with a natural butter (Shea, Mango, Capuacu)
- Style..Styles that work great for transitioners are twist outs, braid outs, twist n curls, cornrows, braids, etc. These styles allow the two textures (virgin hair/relaxed ends) to blend.
- Be sure to protect your hair at night either with a satin bonnet, satin or silk scarf, satin or silk pillowcase.
- Be sure to deep condition. You can opt to use heat (using a heat cap), a steamer or just allow your hair to condition under a plastic cap, weekly, using an all natural deep conditioner. For an added boost of moisture, you can add a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) and essential oil (tea tree, peppermint, lavender, ylang ylang, etc) of your choice.
- And don't forget to trim those ends gradually, using shears that have been used only for hair.
- Recap...Shampoo or Co-Wash (conditioner wash), Section Hair into 4 parts, Detangle (while wet and slippery with conditioner), Rinse with lukewarm water. Final rinse with cool water and ACV. Moisturize. Seal in moisture. Style. Deep Condition (weekly). Protect Hair at night. TRIM ends.
Happy Healthy Hair
Photo credits: www.heyfraney.tumblr.com