Moisturizing Dry, Transitioning Hair

dry-transitioning-hair Dryness is the #1 problem I hear from other transitioners.

I had this problem the first 4 months of my transition so I’ll discuss a few of the reasons you may be experiencing dryness and offer some solutions.

Great Moisturizers

Below are some wonderful moisturizers for transitioning or natural hair.

Jane Carter Nourish and Shine
Shea Moisture Products (Found at Walgreens or Target)
Shea Moisture Leave In Conditioner
Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream
Oyin Hair Dew

Application Tip:  After shampooing your hair, apply the moisturizer to wet or slightly damp hair for best results.  Then use a sealant (oils or butters) to lock in the moisture when the hair is dry.

Jane Carter Nourish and Shine can actually act as a moisturizer and sealant.

Remember, true moisturizers have water as the first or second ingredient.  Oils and butters are sealants and should be applied after the moisturizer.

Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil treatments are fabulous for dry hair — especially in the colder months.  This is a great way to revive your dull, brittle hair.

Learn how to make your own hot oil treatment for your transitioning hair.

Scab Hair

Scab hair results when your follicles produce a protective coating over your hair to shield against too much processing (relaxers).

When you have scab hair, your hair is dry, brittle and does not absorb moisture well. You may find yourself applying every moisturizer under the sun, but nothing seems to work.

As long as you cease using chemicals, scab hair is temporary.  How long it lasts, depends on the person.  Mine lasted about 4 months post chemicals, but it can take up to a year for some people.

So don’t be discouraged if your hair is super dry in the early months of transitioning.  It may be scab hair and not your actual texture.  You’ll just have to wait it out and see.

Continue to deep condition your hair weekly, limit heat and use moisturizers that list water as the first or second ingredient.

We were always trained to believe water is the enemy when it comes to our hair, but you will soon discover as a transitioner and natural, that water equals moisture.

I always use conditioners (Oyin Honey Hemp, for example) that contain a lot of water (i.e. the first ingredient).

Natural Hair Growth

Too Much Product

This is a bigger problem than most people realize.

When you get into that 3rd month or so and your texture starts showing, you may be tempted to change it or want it to look like someone else’s.  Or perhaps you’re suffering from scab hair and you’re just trying to soften your tresses up.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

First of all, it’s expensive to keep buying products.  Second, you are suffocating your hair and the more you coat it with products, the less it will absorb anything.  This can lead to dryness and ultimately more breakage.

Your hair is delicate enough in its transitioning state, so excess product just makes the problem worse.

Let your hair breathe. (wooooo-saaaaahhh!)

Find a good moisturizer that works for your hair and stick with it.  And when styling your hair (roller sets, twists, etc.) keep a water bottle handy and spray the hair prior to setting/styling.

Remember, water equals moisture.  Again, it really is your friend, not the enemy.


Limit The Heat

I say “limit” but I really should say STAY AWAY from it.  Now, you want to talk enemies?  Heat is definitely one of them when you are transitioning.

But if you must use it, always apply a heat protectant (grapeseed oil is a great natural one), and try not to use it more than once or twice a month.

And if you’re sitting under the dryer, that’s fine.  Just use medium heat and try to limit your time to 20-30 minutes.  I often let my hair air dry when transitioning.

If you must use heat on your hair for styling, be sure to read my guide on flat ironing/straightening your hair.

Deep Condition

I think this is what saved me in my early days.

And when I say deep condition, I REALLY deep conditioned.  I sat under the dryer for 30 minutes with a plastic cap then I let it sit for an additional hour before rinsing.

I kept it simple with the product and used Organics Olive Oil Replenisher (purchase at local beauty supply and Target).

Always remember to coat your ends.  The ends of your hair are the most delicate and worn because they are the oldest.  So take care of them.  Especially if you are doing a long-term transition.

You may even want to try steaming your hair.  The Heutiful Hair Steamer is quite the investment, but many people say it’s really helped soften their hair and make it feel more moisturized.

Pre-Poo Before Shampooing

Your hair is most delicate when wet so give it some strength before you shampoo.  Keep it simple.  Just apply a natural oil like olive oil and perhaps a cheap rinse-out, moisturizing conditioner.

Don’t forget the ends and add a plastic cap to create added moisture.

Eliminate Sulfate Shampoos

Sulfate dries the hair and strips all moisture.  Many, many companies are now making sulfate-free shampoos.  I use Come Clean by Kinky Curly (Target) and Giovanni products (Walmart).

Co-Washing

I never did this because I like suds (lol), but many transitioners and even naturals find co-washing (shampooing with conditioner only) is a great way to keep the hair soft and manageable.

Instead of co-washing, I often dilute my shampoo with water before applying it to my hair.  You’ll be surprised at how little product you need to clean your hair and scalp.  You really only need to focus on cleansing your scalp.

The shampoo will run down the shaft to clean the rest of your hair.  Not to mention, this saves product and money! :)

Update:  After I transitioned, I did start co-washing when I began wearing wash and go puffs.

Comments

  1. Vanessa says

    Thanks Lisa! This post was really helpful! What you said about using too much product is very true. I am especially a product junkie. I first started off with Shea Moisture products when I began transitioning and moved up to Jane Carter, Kinky Curly…then some of the over the counter products like B&B pink moisture lotion with Castor Oil, I’ve tried Mizani True Textures…all that to get to the As I Am products that I now find myself using along with the Organic Roots Stimulator products and the Nourish and Shine that I still use. I tried Apricot Oil but found that it just stayed on top of my hair instead of my hair absorbing it. I have a full bag of products that are just sitting on the “failed attempt shelf” I’ve created for myself LOL. As for the shampoos, I found it odd that some sulfate free shampoos tended to still be drying on my hair which is why I started just cowashing. However, I did use more shampoo than I should have, at the time, and my hair came out stripped. It was a full time job just putting the moisture back in. When wash day comes ’round again, I’ll attempt to try my shampoo in a much smaller amount. I love my As I Am cowash and deep conditioning treatment because this actually works for me at this point and my hair is so easy to detangle with it. It’s after wash day, when my dries, that the challenge begins. I try not to even comb but finger style because, when my hair dries, it’s like brick and mortar, unless I remoisturize with my leave-in or spritz water on it. However, I will keep you posted!! Thanks again!

    • Sherry Jones says

      At this point I am 4 mths. post relaxer and am learning to deal with two textures. I also love the As I Am Coconut CoWash. It helps me with detangling my hair and leaves it moisturized and soft. I keep my hair moisturized daily by applying a dime size amount of leave in conditioner and oil.

  2. Lowry says

    Reading the information you provided has been a great help! I finally got in touch with my stylist I haven’t seen in months and she will yell at me but she said a few things you did. I have a few friends that have gone natural. I have one that has been natural for a few years and she has coached me through this transition as I enter month 4 and a coworker who is almost a year going natural. Wish me luck!!

  3. Vanee says

    I would like to thank you for the valuable information provided on this site. I just decided to go natural, I always wanted to do the process but my hair is so thick and coarse I did not think it would work for me. Right now I have braids in my hair and was wondering what I could use while they were in my hair and how long I should leave them in before doing them over again. Currently I am using carrot oil on my hair, but prior to braiding it I did the homemade deep conditioning treatment with mayo, an egg, and olive oil in my hair and used an olive oil perm as well. It has been over a month since then and all I have done is keep my scalp oiled. Should I wash and condition my hair while the braids are in, or should I just continue doing what I am and wait until I loose them out? Also is Shea butter good for your hair during this transformation process? I have been using Miss Jessie’s products on my daughter and my hair for some time now and the rapid recovery treatment has done a lot for both of our hair, should I continue to use these products or invest in other. I read early that you should not keep switching products so I just wanted to see if I was even close to being on the right path? Thanking you in advance for the advice…

    • lisa says

      Hi Vanee

      I just bought any ole braid moisturizing spray. I would wait at least a month before getting them again to let your hair and scalp rest. I washed my braids every week and used a braid shampoo spray. I don’t think I conditioned my hair but not saying I shouldn’t have. It never hurts to condition. I never used shea butter when transitioning but one thing I can tell you is you have to really experiment with what works on your hair. I could tell you what worked for me, but it could have the exact opposite effect on you.

      The only way I learned what to use was by testing. That’s why I’m hesitant to tell people exactly what they should use. You’ll probably have to do the same. Good luck!

  4. Sarah says

    Hi Lisa,
    I found your video’s on youtube and subscribed to your channel. Thank you for taking the time to educate and help all of the natural newbee’s such as myself. I am 3 months post relaxer and decided to go natural. Like you I want to try to go natural without the “BC”. I still have a lot of relaxed hair and little new growth. I’ve been wearing my hair in rod curls (because I can get a week out of the style) for the last 3 weeks (have them redone every week) and sit under the hair dryer. Sine you say to limit” direct heat, should I let my hair air dry and not use the hair dryer even with mostly permed hair? I should I moisture my hair if I don’t want to use water? I lose most of my curls when I do. I have been taking all of your advise and using them faithly with my daughters hair regimens to give me some practice. Overall going ok but why does my daughters hair shrink and get fuzzy after a streched twist out? Hair looks great when I first take them down with a nice defined curl but after a couple of hours their hair is a train wreck, lol. Is their hair under moisturized? What can I do to improve this! Once again, thanks for your help and sorry for all of the questions.

    • lisa says

      Hi Sarah

      I usually sit under the dryer for 20 minutes or so on medium heat and let the rest air dry. You can use another moisturizer. If your hair is still mostly permed, water is just going to frizz it out if you don’t use it with another moisturizer and then set the hair with rods or twists.

      One thing we all have to realize is that some people’s hair frizzes more than others. And there’s really nothing you can do about it if that’s a person’s pattern. If you think about it, our hair frizzes naturally — that’s what it wants to do. So you can stave it off in the beginning by rod setting, twisting, etc. but daily wear, moisture in the air, and other factors will cause your hair to convert. Climate matters too. That’s just what our hair does.

      You can use things like twisting gels (Taliah Waajid Lock it Up is great!) when you twist or rod to help hold the curls, but frizz is usually inevitable unless you have a less kinky pattern. It’s going to be different for everyone.

    • ashley harrison says

      Is using the greenhouse effect good for tranistioners..I’m 5 months post relaxer?????

      Help please!!!

  5. Tammie Blalock says

    Hi Lisa, First of all, I love your site. It’s very informative and kind of simple to understand. I love that you give visuals and you’re taking us through your journey.

    This week I decided to go natural. I’m 3 weeks though, into a fresh relaxer, so patience is what I’m praying for. But I’m so excited and anxious to get started. I need a little guidance though because with all the deep conditioning, leave in conditioning, rinse out conditioning, I’m getting confused. Help me out please!

    1. I plan to use the dandruff treatment you recommended, before I was my hair.
    2. Co-wash with a conditioner. (What do you recommend? How often?)
    3. Shampoo. Purchased Shea Moisture today. (Is this the correct order?)
    4. Deep condition? (What do you recommend)
    5. Leave in conditioner? (I will be purchasing Honey Hemp)
    6. Oil mixture. (Will purchase oils you recommended)

    I know these are only your recommendations but I must start somewhere. I will wean myself off of flat iron. Never liked heat, only used them about once a week. I plan to start with the protective styles in a few more weeks. My hair is still really straight.

    What is the deal with the protein. Should I alternate? I thought too much protein was not good????
    Again thanks for your help. You have been very helpful and encouraging!

    • lisa says

      Hi Tammie

      I never co-washed so I can’t really offer any suggestions there. My scalp needs suds! LOL But I heard a lot of transitioners love cowashing because it doesn’t strip your hair. Some did it every week, others did it once a month.

      For deep conditioning get Organics Olive Oil Replenisher from any beauty supply. It has a yellow and green label. My favorite oils are jojoba and castor oil. Jojoba is light and good when you need a touch up. Castor is heavier and I used that more when I was further into my transition.

      Some people are sensitive to protein, others are not. So it’s best to start off using it no more than every 6 weeks to see what your hair can handle. I don’t do many protein treatments now that I’m natural but during my transition I did every 6 weeks. It really seemed to help strengthen my hair.

      I’m not sure what you mean by correct order re the shampoo. If you co-wash then you don’t shampoo. Co-washing takes the place of shampooing.

  6. Toni Brooks says

    Hi Lisa, Thank you soooo much for sharing your journey with us, I am in the transitioning process, its been a month since my last relaxer, I tried this once before about 6 years ago using bees wax locs gel, I was doing twist and was getting bored with the style, but I did not know of these styles that you showned for natural styles, Loved them! so I’m transitioning again, do I have to use Carol’s Daughter New transitioning kit?? how can you tell if your hair has moisture in it or enough moisture in it. Everyone uses different products to get that moisture, but how will I know what’s the right one for me? I love all the steps of your journey. They do not have Miss Jessies products here where I live, do you suggest other products, I know you don’t like to do that, but I don’t know what to look for and I’m having trouble finding shampoos with no sulfate in them, any suggestions? Thanks again!!!

    • lisa says

      Hi Toni

      As I stated, I never used it. It wasn’t around when I was transitioning but people here have said they love it. The key to transitioning is finding out what works for you. Yes that may mean experimenting and spending extra money but it’s really the only way to know. Unfortunately I can’t know how it will act in your hair. What about Shea Moisture? Do you have access to that? Any kind of “moisturizing” shampoo that is sulfate free should get you started. The key is to look for shampoos that are sulfate free and conditioners that say “moisturizing” and the first ingredient should be water.

  7. Toni Brooks says

    LISA, I WANTED TO ALSO TELL YOU THAT YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE IT!!!! I KNOW PATIENCE IS VIRTUE!!!! BUT I AM DETERMINE!!!

  8. Brandy Buck says

    ok, have been in the transitioning process for going on four months, i am very athletic and my hair is very thick. it is growing faster than i thought it would, but i really do not know what kind of products to use many people tell me different products but i need a opinion from someone who has already been through the transitioning stage. i watch all your videos and I’ve tried to use Hawaiian Silky products and Mizani but my hair still manage to be dry and the roots i wash and deep condition every three to five days but i do not know anything that can really help my hair. i do not know if its the fact that i play sports or if im just not using the right thing and I NEED HELP!

    • lisa says

      Hi Brandy,

      I can really only tell you what I used since it’s hard for me to know what works for you. I listed the products here http://napturallycurly.com/category/products/ I’ve never used Mizani or Hawaiian silky. I bet that working out is probably a big reason for the dryness. Have you ever tried cowashing your hair with just condition only without shampoo to see if it will soften it up?

  9. claudene says

    Wow you have helped me sooooo much. Now that I’m educated on what to do I will. I will make it so much easier. I only decided to transition my hair 2days ago (lol) and I was frighten because I have very dry hair but know I feel much more confident and excited about it. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see my natuarl hair. Yeah!!!!!!

  10. Linda says

    I should have read the article about dry hair first before sending my question this site has everything I was concerned about – Thank you, Thank you!!!

  11. Ariana says

    Hi! i love your site, very helpful. One thing. My last relaxer was the end of September last year and I last straightened my hair before Christmas the same year. I found that although my natural hair is soft and kind of moisturize, mu relaxed hair gets really dry really quick. It’s also hard just to keep doing my hair all the time b/c it gets dry. I just wanted to know if you know of anything homemade to help moisturize my hair and to keep it up for a while. Thanks!

    • lisa says

      Hi Ariana

      You’ll have to experiment but a lot of people found shea butter to be great for moisture. I have a mixture where I blend raw, African shea butter and a few natural oils together into a creamy mixture. It works well for moisture.

  12. Deidra says

    I must say, I stumbled upon the “no-poo” washing process last week, and I am absolutely IN LOVE! You’ve been stating often that everyone’s hair is different, and the one thing I finally discovered for my hair is that by washing my hair with the conditioner (still using the Shea Moisture’s “gold” label line) instead of the shampoo, my hair is as light, and poofy as ever. I had always been a fan of suds, for some reason. NOW, my hair feels the way I’ve been attempting to get it to feel and look via many other ways. It’s like night and day. And, thanks to you and your wonderful site, I adopted the “pre-poo” method (using just castor oil for at least an hour or overnight sometimes). Your pre-poo method is absolutely GRANDTASTIC! Thanks, Ms. Lisa!

    • lisa says

      So glad to hear this Deidra!! You know….. I’m going to try it again. I haven’t no-pooed in a long time because I’m a suds girl (lol) but I haven’t done this since my hair has gotten longer. Plus I’ve got a new conditioner I wanna try anyway. :)

  13. Desiree says

    Lisa I really love your site I found it on google and it made me more confident to go natural I’m starting my transition now it’s been a month or so since my last relaxer I’m lad you suggest products because I was so lost on what to do. Also I was scared about doin the “Big Chop” and now that I see you have done it with out choping your hair off I will keep going with my transition.!! Thank you so much for this site.!

  14. Sidney says

    Hi Lisa! I have been post relaxer since October of last year, but I fully started transitioning since May of this year because I stopped putting heat on my hair. Since then I have been using orangic root stimulator carrot oil, doo gro stimulating growth oil, I wash and condition my hair with Creme of nature products and I also use organic extra virgin coconut oil for hot oil treatments, and lastly I usually do protein treatments as well with an egg and conditioner weekly, I am not sure if I’m doing too much or not enough, but my hair is really thick and I’m guessing that it does not hold moisture because looks really dry and my ends feel horrible and I’m not sure if it is because I need to cut them, since they have not been cut in a long time. Can you give me some advice as to what I should do. My host type is either 4b or 4c

    • lisa says

      Hi Sidney

      I wonder if you need to clarify your hair. When I first stated transitioning I was putting too many products on my hair and it felt course, dry and brittle. I bought Kinky Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo and got rid of all the product build up and stopped using so much products and my hair started to feel better. Sometimes product build up can make your hair feel worse than it is.

  15. sandra says

    Hi isa love your site.Its ve hlpulI decided to go natural june 29 last pem may 18.So its been 3months,Im so excited to start my natural journey.As of june 29,i been wearing kink twist.I deep Coditon evry 2 weeks and spray leave in condition every day(carol daughter )My problem is dry scalp.(I take biotins) What do you recommend for dry itchy scalp.I heard tea tree oil,can’t stand the smell.PLEASE HELP

    • lisa says

      Hi Sandra

      Sorry but tea tree oil works wonders for me when I mix it with a natural oil. I put a few drops in 1 ounce of oil, massage it in before shampooing and let it sit for an hour. Then I shampoo it out. Tea tree oil slows the sebum production that may be causing your dry scalp. If you don’t like the smell, try just adding one or two drops to your shampoo to see if that works.

  16. Judine says

    First, I wanted to say a big Thanks to Lisa for creating this website. This website has helped me a lot !!! My last texturizer was in March and before I would wait at least 12 to 16 weeks to get a touch up. Anyway, I have been transitioning and it has been a real nightmare combing my hair in the morning. I have been putting my hair in a ponytail everyday and I am getting tired of it. I am thinking about braiding in the upcoming weeks but the problem is that i have very dry scalp and I cant hold on to braids for more than a few days. My real issue is finding a way to comb through the roots of my hair, it’s so hard and that’s where the shedding occurs mostly. I trim my hair every 8 weeks and just did it 2 weeks ago. I am really hoping that you could give me some tips as to what I should put in the morning to help soften the roots so I can comb with no problem. I have been spending so much money on different products but so far I have not been satisfied. I guess, I have to wait and see. In addition my hair is super thick so it’s very discouraging and with the gym, the summer does not make it any easier…Please help me !!! Thanks in advance

    • lisa says

      Hi Judine

      At that point in my transition, I stopped combing my hair. I would wear my hair in rod sets or styles that didn’t require finger combing because, like you, it was impossible and I would get breakage. Have you thought of bantu knot outs or rod sets? The only time I comb my hair now is if I am detangling after shampooing and I don’t think I have combed my hair dry since the 2nd month of my transition and that was over 2 years ago. The key is finding styles that don’t require combing. And what I loved about rod sets is I could gel the sides and wear a big headband if it got old or if I was working out. You can turn it into a puff and not worry about your roots/sweating.

  17. Sabrina says

    Hi Lisa,
    First, I’d like to thank you for creating this site. It’s been extremely helpful in helping me deal with my current hair state. I have been fully natural for at least four years now, however, looking at my hair today, it looks like I’m transitioning again. My hair has lost its natural kinks/curls throughout my hair, mostly in the front where my ends are bone straight. About a year ago I started getting my hair flat ironed. I didn’t realize the damage that I was having done to my hair…. I wasn’t informed of the damage that such heat process would cause. After the very first flat iron I noticed that parts of my hair were still straight on the ends, but since my hair dresser assured me that once I deep conditioned it would curl/kink back I didn’t think anything of it. I continued to flat iron about twice a month, since I didn’t have to fuss with my hair much throughout the week. Recently, I began to notice that my hair had broken off significantly in a section of my hair, initially I thought it was from stress. Then I realized exactly where the breakage was …. the point where the new growth met the straight ends caused from too much heat process. To make a long story short, I finally woke up to the damage… June 2012 was the last time I applied heat in the form of a blow dryer and/or flat iron to my hair. After much more hair breakage and some trimming, I’m re-transitioning my hair back to my natural healthy state. I’m grateful for your site to help me with additional styles I can attempt (I only two strand twisted before) and tips for keeping my hair healthy. :-)

    To all other naturals – BEWARE of the Flat Iron!

    Sabrina

  18. Mashonda S. says

    Just wanted to say that I love this site. It has given me tons of ideas while I was transitioning. I tried the twist out (first time, not so good, second time much better). However, I got a little impatient with the transitioning process and I chopped on the 28th, my birthday. Was sort of a “coming” out, hair wise, for me. Feels good. Thanks for your videos and posts.

  19. Kathy says

    m

    Greetings,

    I just want to start of saying thanks for this site and your videos it has helped me a lot. I have just started my transitioning process. I am about a month 1/2 from my last touch up. I never thought I would go natural b/c i have always been very insecure with how kinky my edges are. Over the years I have over process my hair and damaged it tremendously. My hair now is about BSL. My hair grows fast, about an inch to 1 1/2 inches a month. However, the back of my hair from my hair line to about 1 1/2 inc.

    above is Soo badly damage that it doesn’t grow at all. I believe its patchy from over processing it for years. I have gotten the Wet. Condition and seal routine down. However, I want to know how often do I to this? Daily? Or as needed. My new routes feel soft and moisturize but again, my edges are horribly rough and kinky. Is this scab hair you think? And how often should I wet ky hair? Not shampoo but just weting/ moisturizing it.

    Sorry for the miss spelling my phone auto correct is horrible.

    Thanks in advance.
    Kathy

  20. Reeno says

    I shampoo and roller set every 2 days; 45 – 50 minutes under a hood dryer. I am transitioning and have been since January 2012. Shampooing only on Saturdays, all other days co-washing. What advice or alerts do you have for me?

    • lisa says

      Hi Reeno

      Keep your hair moisturized as much as you can. That will go along way. Also make sure you are deep conditioning weekly.

  21. Vusi says

    Hey Lisa!

    My biggest problem with transitioning hair is maintaining the twist out curls till the end of the day. I always find that they tend too look limp and then ends go back to being straight. I have very strong hair and I am 6 months post relaxer. Any tips??

    • lisa says

      Do you use a setting lotion or twisting gel like Taliah Waajid when you set your hair? That will give your twists a bit of hold.

  22. Rebecca Hudson says

    Hi,
    My hair is very curly, dry, over processed, but worst of all, short. And hasn’t grown in 13 years. I get it trimmed regularly, but it has never grown back since I cut it significantly over 13 years ago. A year ago, I decided I would do something to learn how to make my hair grow again. I stopped dying it. I began taking a collection of daily vitamins, I continued to eat healthy, and still, my hair has remained nearly the same length. It’s beyond depressing. I still don’t know what I can do differently, but my quest continues onward.
    Today, I decided to concentrate my efforts on consideration for the shampoo/conditioner and protects I use daily to tame the chaos on my head, hoping maybe these will reveal the problem with my stunted hair growth. I learned that they can be very harmful and also that I can do at home remedies in attempts to stimulate the hair follicles. I cross compared information from varying websites and tried to weed out the most popular minerals and oils suggested for the mission of seeking healthy hair. I found these to be the leading suggestions: coconut oil, coconut milk, vitamin e oil, castor oil, and lemon juice. So with my list in hand, I headed to the local health food store. Put these items in my basket as well as my cache of hopes for lucious locks. At home, I found a great Tupperware container and proceeded to empty all the contents into it and stirred it up. It was white and creamy, but not too thick. Like yogurt, I’d say. I began smearing. I had no intentions or game plan to follow. I just left it in and when I finally decided to wash it out, it had been lathered in my head for 6 hours.
    The reveal: it felt good. Refreshed. I let my hair dry naturally. It took an hour. Normally, this is when the gradual process of applying product begins. It’s typically a non-option if I want to be seen in public without a hood or cap. I’d normally start with leave in conditioner. After that dried a bit, I’d add a little crunching gel, or whatever I thought may help tame the beast that day. But today was different. My hair couldn’t belong to me! No way was this my hair!! Since I was 15 years old, I’ve had to put junk in my hair after the shower. Something, anything, products varied throughout the years, but something was the constant. Applying nothing was not a luxury I had with these crazy locks of mine. I’ve never had soft hair a day in my life. Never had shiny, healthy looking hair. Nope. It is a great source of sadness for me as I get older, but I was resigned, my hair is like straw, like hay.
    But today, I literally am in shock as I have come to learn that miracles can happen! My lucky concoction transformed my hair!! It’s ultra soft and perfectly shiny, not greasy like products often leave. But best of all, I DID NOT put even one product in it all day! Haven’t had to! It looks great! And doesn’t even feel like my own hair. It’s totally nuts! …now if only it will help my hair to grow again, I will literally be the happiest girl in the world. But only time will tell!!

  23. Vanessa says

    Hi! I was one to really stuggle with retaining moisture for my hair. I tried many products even attempted to do the curly girl method using conditioner only. My hair still ended up very dry on most days so I reverted back to using pomade-like products. I just recently cleaned out my closet throwing away some that were old and then giving away others I knew I would not use again. The only things I have left are my Shea Moisture products, 1 pound of raw shea butter, and my products I got from Devacurl. However, I have been sticking to Shea Moisture and finally figured out how to use it for my hair. Since then, my hair has retained more moisture. It really is about finding what works best for your hair. I simply just spritz the Shea moisture mist in my hair apply the curl enhancing smoothie (which to me is like a whipped shea butter mix) to my ends and hair and plait in several parts. I put on my satin bonnet and in the morning when I take my plaits down, my hair is sooooooooo moisturized!!! Now that I found out how to properly use these products for my hair, I believe this will be my staple from now on. It took me long enough to get it right, but practice makes perfect!!

  24. Latoya says

    My last relaxer was October 2012. I have a couple friends that went natural and their hair is beautiful. I litwrally decided one day to go natural. (My husband actually cheered for me because he has been wanting me to do it because of the condition of my scalp- I have psoriasis)
    My hair is shoulder length so I was afraid to do the big chop. I began getting tips from my friend because I had NO CLUE how to start. She simply said “First, STOP GETTING RELAXERS!”
    It is now March and I have a lot of new growth (and surprisingly most of it is soft and wavy)
    However, my hair is thick so I have a hard time figuring out how to transition, but your site has helped.
    Do you have any recommendations for someone dealing with psoriasis in the transition process?

    • lisa says

      Hi Latoya

      No I’m afraid I don’t. Have you tried Googling this issue and maybe there are some qualified sites to help? Wish I had more info but I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong.

      • Latoya says

        No, I haven’t and it seems like coconut oil helps, just wondered what products would keep my
        Scalp nice and moisturized since that’s the biggest issue along with itching. I believe that too many relaxers contributed to the issue, but who knows? Maybe going natural will eliminate it :) *crosses fingers*

        • lisa says

          Going natural will help dryness. What also helps me is doing regular hot oil treatments. I did them for 6-7 weeks straight and you are talking about a major difference in scalp moisture. Mixing organic apple cider vinegar and water and using as a final rinse after shampooing also helps.

  25. Brittany says

    I have just started my transition without the BC and I am clueless on what to do when. I am wearing braids with the my bangs left out because I am wearing a half-wig daily. I am about 8 weeks post relaxer. I keep heat off of my hair. I try to oil it every other day. I love Shea Moisture but I don’t know what type of regimen I should be following daily, weekly, or monthly . I am so confused and I feel I may have to go back to my chemicals.

    • lisa says

      Hi Brittany

      When you take your braids out, look for low maintenance styles like rod sets and straw sets. Buy some straws or really small rods and try to do a rod set. I have videos here (search box) and these were my go-to styles because they lasted.

      Make sure you find a good leave-in moisturizer. Sounds like you already use Shea Moisture so that’s good. You’ll know when you need moisture because your hair will feel dry. Also make sure you get a good trim after you remove your braids to rid your hair of any scraggly ends.

      Deep condition weekly and limit the heat as much as possible (if you can rid yourself of it totally that’s even better). You can do it!

  26. chelsea says

    Hi. I am trying to go natural. my last perm was in january and since the crown of my hair is short, it is already 1 inch natural. my mom wanted me to get a perm necuse she said that without it my hair would keep breaking off. is that true? my mom keeps saying that my hair looks a hit mess ( it does i am wearing quick weaves over it for style). she really tries to get my self esteem low i guess to convince me to get a perm. i want tree braids in yhe summer snd its best to get them done with natural hair. what should i do and is my mom right?

    • Sidney says

      Hi Chelsea!
      Please do not perm your hair! Especially if you are transitioning to natural, it defeats the purpose. I also would stop wearing quick weaves. I would only stick to sew in and braids for now since you’re not really confortable with your hair. Also make sure you are keeping you hair moisturized. Keeping your hair moisturized will prevent the breakage. If your hair is breaking throwing a perm in it will not solve the breakage issue. The tree braids are a great idea. I have my hair in crochet braids at the moment (not the actual braids though lol) and it is a good protective style for me! Protective styles are life savers especially when transitioning! I hope this helps!

  27. says

    I came across you on youtube, and then got lead here to read some of your post from google. Im in the process of transition, and I know its going to be a long and learning process. Thank you for all your tips :) Many Blessings

  28. Tasha says

    I have had my hair pressed, relaxed and flat ironed regularly the past 35 years and I am trying to transition away from relaxers. My hair seems to grow quickly (1/2 inch of new growth in about 3 weeks). I am guessing that I can’t/don’t maintain length because I touched up my relaxer every 3-4 weeks and keep the ends trimmed from it becoming dry. It’s has now been about 6 weeks since my last relaxer and I have been utilizing wash and roller sets the past 3 weeks. My hair is fairly thick and my length is at my collar so I am under the hair drier for almost 1.5 hours for my hair to dry. I have heard great things about the Shea Moisture line (my “natural” daughter uses and loves it!). I work out a lot and want to maintain my curls from my weekly set, keep some sheen and softness to my hair. I would like to start by using the Shea Moisture line but hope that you have advise on what products I should use from that line and at what stage for a regular regime to get started.

  29. Charlene says

    I have been relaxer free for 8 months. My natural hair turned out to be curly but my ends are frizzy. What can I try for my fizzy/dry ends?

  30. Shen says

    Hi Lisa,
    I have jus decided to go natural so areas of my roots are still processed while other areas are grown out what product do you think I should purchase first if I can’t purchase them all at once.

  31. Kimberly says

    Hey, I have a quick question for you! I’m transitioning for the second time & I really want to do it right this time. Retaining moisture has become a problem these past few months and I was considering getting a conditioning cap to help with deep conditioning. Do you have experience with both or have an idea which would be better? Steamers are a little more expensive … but if it would be a better investment I don’t mind saving up.

    Thanks!

    • lisa says

      Hi Kimberly

      To be honest, here’s a cheaper alternative. Get a very large shower cap. After you shampoo your hair, add a generous amount of your deep conditioner to your hair. Now take a warm wash cloth and put it under the cap. This works almost just as good as a steamer and it costs you nothing (other than shower caps).

  32. miss jay says

    I have a question. I have not had a perm since Easter 2013 (April). My hair still looks permed! It’s only now that the back is starting to show my natural hair and the front is starting to stick out. But it’s October 2013 and I’m wondering how much longer will it take? I am trimming it little by little and my hair length is right at my neck. My hair was really thick before I had a perm and would be like an elastic texture when I was younger. I remember it being really long to my shoulders and then when I would wet it, it would shrink to my neck and curl. I guess my question is how much longer does it usually take? I also wanted to know if WEN is a good moisturizer for my hair as well not sure I saw it on tv a few weeks back. I don’t know…I need a lot of help with this because I want my hair healthy but I don’t want to braid it looking like a kid either. I just hope that I it will work out because it if doesn’t I might have to go back to……………THE PERM :( HELP ME PLEASE!

  33. says

    Thank you for having such in depth information. I love the step by steps. They are really helping me on this journey. I even started a blog of my own since you were one of the only Naturalistas that I found who had in depth info for Transitioning Hair. http://coiledglory.wordpress.com/ I mentioned you on my tidbit about protective styling. Thank you again !!

  34. BlessedLuv says

    This is extremely helpful information. I’m about 7 months into my transition and my hair has been very dry. Thanks for clearing up the water myth. I want to improve my journey to being natural and will surely implement many of the tips you provided. My hairdresser is looking into a product line that she thinks will work best for my hair. I’m excited to see what she shares, I’ve mostly been in braids and now a full head of natural weave for my transition (attempting to maintain my length), and can’t wait to rock out my own trained hair to the fullest. Thanks again!

  35. long hair a stuggle says

    Iam wondering how can I keep my roots soft during the days I am not shampooing? I am am in a 3 month transitional stage.

  36. says

    My hair is finally growing out after losing all buy an inch of it. It’s dry and brittle and the gray is growing like weeds in the Mojave Desert! :) I want to go with a “Twist” style that I’m seeing on this website, but I’m wondering if I should seek out a professional or is this something that I can master on my own?

  37. Quanique says

    How often should transitioners co-wash, use leave-in conditioners, and wash their hair normally in between deep conditioning? I’ve been conditioning for 2 months so far.

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