Do’s and Don’ts of Transitioning to Natural Hair

The Do's and Don'ts of Transitioning to Natural Hair


Eliminate direct heat like flat irons, blow dryers, etc. as much as possible.  Use hooded dryers on a medium setting (or lower) for as little time possible.  (Read my guide on straightening transitioning hair).

I stopped using direct heat 2 months into my transition.


natural-girl Learn to embrace your texture.  It’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s head, but chances are your hair isn’t like theirs.  So don’t waste your time wishing you had someone else’s crown. It will leave you disappointed and exhausted. Love what God gave you.  Read my post about changing your hair texture here.


Deep condition weekly with moisturizing conditioners. This will help strengthen and soften your new growth, relaxed hair and prevent breakage.

A lot of new transitioners complain about coarse and unmanageable new growth. Let me tell you that deep conditioning is key to dealing with this. After doing this consistently for 6-8 weeks (I use Organics Olive Oil Replenisher), I noticed a changed in my hair’s manageability and texture.

This is especially important if you’ve used a lot of direct heat (flat irons, blow dryers) on your hair. Even a minimal amount of heat damage can make your hair texture feel worse than it truly is.

And unless you carefully moisturize your new growth before flat ironing (and most people don’t) you probably have some heat damage. This can be misleading and it makes you think your hair is more coarse than it is. Your hair is probably just fried and starving for moisture.


Wear a lot of protective styles.  Rod sets, twist outs, braid outs, flat twists, buns, braids/extensions (not too tight), straw sets, etc. should become your go-to styles.  See my posts on styling transitioning hair.


Find out if you have high or low porosity hair.  If your hair is damaged and prone to frizzing (high porosity), you need to nurture your hair because it’s probably very delicate, dry and prone to breakage.

Plus, it will help explain why your hair reacts in such a way (or doesn’t respond) to moisturizing products.


Limit combing, pulling (tight ponytails) and manipulation.  The above hairstyles do not require combing.  The only time you should comb your hair is when you detangle on wash day.

Use sulfate-free shampoos.  Sulfates strip your hair of its natural oils.  Natural hair can be dry enough, you don’t need help from sulfates.  The Giovanni line is my fave.


Trim your ends every 4-6 weeks.  If you have split ends, they will travel up to your natural hair and cause breakage.


Give yourself a hot oil treatment at least once a month.  You will be amazed at how this will strengthen your hair!


Try a transitioning kit. Man, I wish these had been around in my early days of transitioning when my hair was dry, brittle and I didn’t know what products to try.

I spent a bunch of money testing different products until I found a collection that worked for me.

Since so many people are going natural now, you can bet more and more companies will start creating products targeted toward transitioning to natural hair.  It’s about time!


Thank God I'm Natural Read Thank God I’m Natural.

I bought this book right after I began transitioning. It was such a good read, I almost finished the entire book in one sitting.

The author squashes a lot of myths about going natural and I especially enjoyed the part where she discusses natural hair in the workplace.

A lot of women worry that going natural will prevent them from getting a job or cause discrimination in the workplace.

Chris-Tia used her own experiences to illustrate how having natural hair had no negative impact on her job.  She continued to excel and even got promoted.

This is a good book if you struggle with the confidence to go natural and need inspiration.


Visit and join the Napturally Curly Transitioning and Natural Hair Forums and get support and questions answered from other transitioners and naturals.

It’s a growing, friendly community where you can come share your joys and woes about your natural hair journey.

If you don’t have the support of friends and family, this is a great place to commune with like-minded people who can relate to what you’re going through.

You must register here first.


Read my FAQ’s on transitioning.  People often ask me the same questions about transitioning — from products, dryness, to hairstyling, breakage and more.  So I’ve compiled all my answers on one page.

Twist Out Puff

Twist Out Puff – 13 Months


Make assumptions about your hair texture too early.  It will likely change as you continue to transition.  In my 2nd month of transitioning, my new growth felt dry, coarse and brittle.

My hair follicles were extremely damaged, so even after I stopped relaxing I was still growing scab hair.  At first, I thought this was my hair’s texture, but it wasn’t.  This is the very reason many people stop transitioning.

But as I continued to deep condition weekly and lay off the direct heat, my hair softened up.  I started seeing curl definition and my hair began retaining moisture better.

So don’t be fooled by your new growth’s texture while you are relaxing and when you start transitioning.  You may be going through the scab hair period.

The good news is, most people stop growing scab hair 3-6 months after starting their transition.


Listen to ignorant peers, friends and family.  Why should there be anything wrong with wanting to wear your hair the way you came into this world?

Unfortunately kinky hair is often seen as the ugliest/worst kind of hair to have, but that’s only because we are comparing it to the majority, which is straight, Euro-centric hair.

If everyone had kinky hair there would be no class system of hair and comparisons.  We have been brainwashed to believe straighter hair is more beautiful because that’s what society feeds us (through magazines, TV, etc.)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.   As long as you feel your hair is beautiful, why should anyone else’s opinion matter?  Trust me, it may take some time to get to this level, but it will happen eventually.

Worried that men won’t find you as attractive, read this article on men and natural hair.

Also check out this article on how to handle naysayers of natural hair.

Are you a teen transitioning or considering it? Check out this motivational article I wrote in case you are struggling with your decision to go natural or worried about not fitting in.


Coat your hair with too many products. As your hair grows out, you may feel the need to “fix it” by using multiple products. Product overload can suffocate your strands, cause breakage and make your hair appear dull.

Your hair does not need to be “fixed.” Learn to embrace whatever grows out of your head.

My Hair Doesn't Need to Be Fixed. Society's View of Beauty is Broken

Click here to get the above picture on a T-shirt and wear it with pride!

A light moisturizer 3-5 times a week should be enough for most people. You can seal in the moisture with a natural oil like olive, castor, coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.

How often you need to moisturize will depend on your hair.  Go by how it feels. When your hair is moisturized it feels soft and may even have a dull sheen/shine.  If your hair starts feeling dry/rough, it’s time to re-apply.


Become a product junkie.  This is sort of like the pot calling the kettle here.  I’m a self-proclaimed product junkie.  I have been for many years, even when I was relaxing.

It got worse when I started transitioning because I was obsessed with trying to achieve someone else’s hair by using the products they use.  I talk about this very issue in this video.

The only products you need are a good shampoo, conditioner (leave-in and rinse out) and a few daily moisturizers (preferably natural oils.)  See my favorite transitioning product page.


Get caught up in rules and judgments.  There are a lot of naturals who have definitions of what wearing natural hair means.  Some become anti weave, anti colored contacts, anti straight hair, and anything that is not “natural.”

Remember, this is your journey.  Find out what being natural means to you.  Don’t let other’s opinions shape your actions and beliefs about what you have to do and cannot do because you wear natural hair.  Also be careful of criticizing others just because they don’t share your journey or opinions.

I think it’s great when going natural inspires people to live healthier lives.  But it’s not cool when that turns into judging others for their choices and opinions.


Expect acceptance from everyone.  Let’s just keep it real for a minute.  A lot of people don’t like and will never like natural hair.  Period.  End of story.  There’s nothing you can do to make everyone approve of your choice.

But your real friends and people who genuinely love and support you will respect your decision, even if they don’t embrace your choice of hairstyle.

Naysayers of natural hair are everywhere, but at some point you have to live life for yourself and not for other people’s acceptance.

I can tell you now.  Going natural is not for people who are too concerned with other people’s opinions.  You will quickly discover how confident you have to be to take this journey.

PLEASE READ: I am often asked for product recommendations. I can only tell you what worked for me. You have to experiment to figure out the best regimen/products for your hair. So please use my information as a guide and understand everyone’s hair responds to products differently.

View my transitioning hairstyles.


  1. AlmondBrown16 says

    I will be completely honest! When I read the first DON’T, I cried! Because every time I see my new growth I get so discouraged, so I keep it in braids or weaves or whatever because I can’t stand to look at it, but the fact I know my hair is so damaged and I am not alone with it I know I can do it. Of course I have to learn to keep up with it. I plan to transition very soon. I have not had a relaxer since March and I want to grow out all of my permed hair and cut and grow as I go. I do not want to do the big chop because of my head shape; it’s not made for a very short cut haha. My face is mad for it though. I am TERRIFIED! I will be honest! I like to comb my hair; I like to feel it shake. And how I know I do NOT have confidence in my hair to be anything but the classic 70s Afro. I am afraid to embrace that. I actually don’t mind having it when it gets larger, but not high. I would love something like Tamara Dobson because that’s how my texture is. Well what it is now in the scab stage. But to get to that length will take YEARS! I am an ambitious person to the point I don’t want to take time and patience in seeing things grow. I have so many anxious emotions towards it I don’t know how to act haha! But don’t get me wrong, I DO want to do it! And I am SO glad I looked this up. You have inspired me so much!

    (I will be posting this on a trend somewhat later so you might reread this.)

  2. Zyquetta says

    Hi mrs lisa i am a teen who is currently 3 months transitioned and my hair is drier then the sahra desert. ehat should i do a protein treatment I mean after i co wash or deep condition my hair what should i put in it? oil? My is dry and coarse i just dont know how to start my pathwath to healthier hair.

  3. jamyia says

    hey lisa i just start to go natural about 3 months ago and my hair was in a short bob and i dont want to do the bc and it is really hard for me to find good products that i can use. i wash and do a deep condition every week. are there any suggestion that you can give me on what are some good products to use and what are some good styles to try since i am just start out i am almost to the point were i want o relax my hair bc i dont know what to do.

  4. Kammie W. says

    I have been transitioning now for 8 months – Biggest struggle of my life! :) I am going through a period of not loving my hair. Mainly because of the battle that is taking place on my head. There are knots forming where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet. I was nearly in tears yesterday thinking that I would just wash my hair and deep condition. I had 10-15 knots that were the size of half a pencial eraser. So now I am facing the BIG CHOP – Something I dreaded which is why I decided to slow transition in the first place. Sigh – But my fault for wearing my hair up in a pony tail and not working through it daily. But I am going to go into protective styling once it is cut and hopefully I will embrace the journey – This Thursday is the cut – Pray for me!!! – Thank you so much for the information on this site – I have a great support system but it is nice to see that others who are not connected to me also feel the struggle but embrace the journey.

    • lisa says

      Hang in there Kammie,

      We all go through some sort of struggle as we get to know our natural hair. So you are not alone. Trust me, though. It’s worth it in the end. And if you are not comfortable with your length after the chop, you can get extensions or do something like that until you are ready. Many people do that to ease themselves into their natural journey. I wish you the best!

  5. Taelor says

    Lisa, thank you so much for this site!! I’ve been getting relaxers and texturizers since I was about twelve-thirteen because I thought my hair would look cuter that way. I enjoyed it but I started noticing my hair gets dry easier by the day and my ends were splitting like heck. I recently tried going natural but my hair is already thick, so the scab hair that was coming in was so thick, I could barely get my comb through it without it hurting. I don’t want to do the BC because I’m not sure I’m willing/ready to get it all cut like that. What do you think is the best way to grow out relaxed hair without me having to do a BC?
    P.S. thanks for the link to Carol’s Daughter. I’m definitely going to give it a try.

  6. Sharonda says

    Hello Lisa,
    I am really wanting to go naturally. My only problem is that my hair is currently long and I really didn’t want to cut it that much. Will I need to BC in order to achieve the natural look? (I haven’t relaxed my hair in two months and it’s starting to curl on it’s own).

    • lisa says

      Hi Sharonda

      You can transition with long hair. And the healthier it is, the easier it will be to keep your ends. I had to trim mine to bob length ’cause mine was so damaged. But there was this girl on youtube with loooong hair — way past her shoulders — and she stretched her relaxer for a year (can’t remember her name) but she kept the health of her hair until that next relaxer. She conditioned her hair faithfully and took good care of it.

  7. lisa says

    Hey ladies, due to the numerous questions this blog is starting to generate it’s getting harder and harder to answer everyone personally so I launched a forum where we can all chat together and learn from one another. You can also get opinions from others so you can get different perspectives. I hope you join. Should be fun!

  8. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Lisa,
    I thought I’d pass this discovery along. After I shampoo, mositurize and seal my hair, I use ECO Styler gel to help define my curls. Because I’m new to being natural, I was reapplying it to sections where the curls/coils were gone or I wanted them more defined. I did this daily. Probably a function of me “playing with my hair.”
    Anyway, at night, I would spritz my hair with a combination of water, inexpensive conditioner, castor and jojoba oil. Put on my satin scarf and crawl into bed. No twists or anything.
    Well, 2 days ago, i saw some product buildup on the ends of my hair. Too heavy handed with the gel and I did apply some BioLandia Organic AloeVera styling gel to my hair as well.
    It was very late and I didn’t feel like washing my hair. I gently detangled my hair with my shower comb and saw all pieces of products flake off. My hair was soft. Instead of the water, conditioner, oil combo, I spritzed my hair with water and sealed it with castor oil and made med/small 2 strand twists. The next day, to my surprise, I had CURLY, not wavy, well defined strands! If you stretched them, they’d bounce back. And they lasted throughout the day.
    I’ll see if I achieve the same results when I pre-poo and wash my hair, etc. tomorrow. I keep you posted.

  9. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Wanda,
    I newly natural, 2.5 weeks, and I colored my hair. Well, my stylist did. Grays strands moved in on my head, too. lol She deep conditioned my hair before she applied the color. Since color is drying, it’s really important to deep condition your hair whether it’s relaxed or Au naturale.

  10. Wanda says

    Can you color your hair during the transitional stage of going from relaxed to natural hair. Because i have some gray strains that pops out in the front crown of my head. If so, what would you suggest to use for that stage. I need of some coloring

    • lisa says

      Hi Wanda

      Your hair is already going to be delicate enough during the transition so I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are going to do it, I’d wait until you are natural. I don’t have any experience with color though. Just a hunch.

    • Denise says

      Wanda, I henna’d my hair this month (my last relaxer was in November). I had been used to getting highlights in the summer (and also to hide the greys lol), and so I was really at a loss as to what to do! I knew for sure I wasn’t putting any more chemicals in my hair. I got the idea from another site, researched it, and decided to go for it! The color is beautifully natural, it looks reddish-brown in the sun, and the greys are a bit lighter so they look like highlights. Henna is actually very similar to a protein treatment, and my hair does seem stronger. I may do it again next month or in September. How long have you been transitioning and what’s the general state of your hair right now? I’ll also look for you on the new forum!

  11. Wanda says

    I have been thinking about going natural for some time now, and have made up my mind that I’m going to do it. Even though I’m at the early stage, because I have Kinky Twist in now and it only been almost three months. My question is what would you suggest my next move should be, I don’t want to cut it all my hair off and start totally fresh. Once I take out these Twist, I do plan on getting my hair trimmed. Also what styles do you suggest for me because at this stage. Should I get more Kinky Twist or what? HELP

    • lisa says

      Hi Wanda

      When I was at your stage, I wore my hair in pin ups and rod sets. That was the only thing I did for the first few months. I would jazz them up with headbands to keep them fresh. Sometimes I’d buy goody bands and turn them into a curly puff by pushing the bands back. Check the top of the site where it says “Hairstyles”. You can see the hairstyles I wore.

  12. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Charlissa,
    If you’ve been wearing your hair in a natural state for 4 years, I don’t know if Carol’s Daughter transition kit would help you. It’s my understanding that it’s for women who have natural and relaxed hair and who are in the process of transitioning.
    I;m 2 weeks newly natural and I think I’ve found a couple of products that help define my curls: Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner, I seal my strands with Jojoba oil and then apply Eco Styler Olive oll gel and let it air dry. So far, no complaints. I spritz my hair in the morning and at night with a combination of water, TresseMme Anti-breakage moisturizer, castor oil and jojoba oil.
    Good luck!

    • charlissa says

      ok thanks wear do u fine those products you use? have you tried kinky curly custard ?i hav been wanting to try that on.

  13. Charlissa says

    Hi I haven’t had a perm since 2008. I been wearing natural since I have tried alot of products to enhance my natural curls but my had sheds alot when washing and combing my hair is long should I have done the big cute? Orshould I try carols daughter transition kit please help me thanks

    • lisa says

      I’m also not sure how the kit would work. Have you considered consulting a professional? I’m not an expert and I’m always careful about giving advice to people who have breakage and shedding — especially shedding. Outside of conditioning your hair regularly. trimming dead ends and staying away from heat, I’m not sure what to tell you. Excess shedding could also mean an internal issue (thyroid, etc.) So I would consult with a professional if you can’t get the problem under control.

      • charlissa says

        ok thanks lisa my friend that does hair told me to try egg sounds like it need protein so i tried it this saturday i washed it then put bout 3eggs since my hair is long and blow dried it and let it stay for bout 3hrs then rinse it out and put oilve oil deep conditioner with a cap for hour it seems to help. thanks

        • lisa says

          Yes, about every 6 weeks I use an egg/olive oil/honey/whole mayo protein treatment and my hair loves it. Great for protein. Just be careful as your hair doesn’t need a lot of protein.

  14. Alesia says

    I haven’t had a relaxer since May 2012….and to be honest I’m a little lost. I moisturize just about every night…depending on how my hair is feeling and then I tie my hair up in a silk scarf. I’ve noticed the new growth everywhere but around my edges. My hair is seeming to come in thicker, and since I started deep conditioning once a week, my new growth feels a lot softer. But my edges are still kind of coarse, very brittle, and a lot shorter than the rest of my hair. I’m wondering if me tying my hair up with that silk scarf could be the cause of it. And also I know deep conditioning is a must at least once a week…but how often should I shampoo??

    • lisa says

      Hi Alesia

      I had this problem too but when I got to my 6th month or so, the edges began softening up. I think my edges were the most damaged because that’s the area that often burns when relaxing. We also have a tendency to over process in that area because we are trying to get our hair straight when relaxing. So my ends finally did start changing.

      Also your edges may have a slightly different pattern so it’s not unusual to have different textures on your head.

  15. Sonya says

    Hi Lisa,
    I have not put a relaxer in my hair for about four months now, but before that I notice again that my hair was coming out in hand full’s each time I did my hair. But not I am just going to get the BC tomorrow (I am kind of nervous about this I have never done short hair) and not sure how I will look or stile my hair. I have been natural before but I did a long transition during that time ( I was overseas so kept my hair in braids during that time) then I did press and comb styles then went back to the relaxers (which I have regretted). I am looking forward to my change but truly nervous.

    • lisa says

      Hang in there Sonya! You are in good company and if you read thru these comments you will find lots of people just like you. We’re here for ya! If your hair is shedding/breaking that much you may want to consider finding a stylist in your area that can at least get you on track.

      One thing I learned is that if you don’t get the breakage under control you will eventually have to chop. So it’s best to fight the damage now.

  16. Leah says

    I have not had a relaxer in my hair for eight weeks and have decided to go natural, but I really do not know where to begin. I have been using keratin smoothing treatments on my hair for about four months now to help soften my new growth and stretch out my time between relaxers. Can/do I continue using the keratin as I transition? I’m so lost as to what to do.

  17. Kim says

    Hey Lisa,

    First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to reach back to help out sistas like me, who are trying to navigate the ‘hazy waters’ of transitioning hair. Your website has helped me a lot thus far; however, I do have a few questions. I like yourself, happened to texlax prior to making the decision to go all natural. To be honest, I only anticipated starting a ‘healthy’ hair journey while keeping my relaxed hair. But, what can I say, sometimes journeys take up places we never imagined going. Anywho, with that being said, in dealing with multiple textures did you ever experience a point where the difference in hair thicknesses was a problem in trying to style and or wash your hair? For me, my new growth is really thick at the root and then it gets really thin on the ends from when I used to relax my hair. I haven’t used any heat whatsoever in 9 months and am currently 4 month post TEXLAX / 9 month post RELAXER). I’ve done the Bantu knots, and braidouts which I LOVED and I am adamant about co-washing and moisturizing & sealing. But, as with any journey, I’m starting to experience what feels like a set back. I’m starting to experience a phase where the hair at the root is so thick with new growth that my hair tends to ‘stand up’, instead of fall, when I air dry. (I usually air dry in a ponytail). But I am STRUGGLIN’ to make it work! What are some methods that you used to air dry? I feel like I’m doing something wrong.

  18. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Houston, we have curls!!!
    Those limp black,relaxed ends had to be kicked to the curb. I was nervous when placed the scissors to the sections of hair. I cut about 1.5-2 inches of hair. I have 7/8 inches of new growth. Immediately, my hair looked different. Last week, I combined Tresemme Anti-breakage conditioner, castor oil, Jojoba oil and water. I saturated my hair, then I applied the Eco Styler with Olive oil gel. Raked the product through my hair. Viola! Spiral curls appeared. *Happy dance* My hair took forever to dry. Upon inspection, 4 hours later, I saw a few areas that I missed. I applied more gel. I did have major shrinkage in some spots. Next time, I won’t saturate my hair but apply the gel after I wash, condition and seal my hair with a light oil and see if that will reduce shrinkage. I’ll check your site to see if there are some tips on this issue. Slept in my satin scarf. The curls are still there and my hair feels soft and moisturized. I just have to play around with a style.
    I’m soooo glad did this.

    • lisa says

      Didn’t see this before I replied to your other post. So glad you are seeing progress. See it just takes time to experiment and learn what’s best for your hair. :)

      • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

        You speak the truth. This is not the last time you’ll hear from me. I know that I’ll have other natural hair care questions. Actually, I do. I don’t like the look of cornrows or flat twist on me. Too scalpy.
        I keep reading that protective styles are a must if you want to retain length. I am vain. Plus, I don’t want to look like the “help” in this country-Panama. Talk about a class system. That’s another story. Anyway, I like twist outs and I don’t have a problem keeping them in my hair when I’m at home. I’ll have to find some head bands to wear when I work out. Question: Am I taking a chance with twists or curly fro being my styling choices? I am more than wiling to to moisturize everyday, and deep condition each week. I don’t want to jeopardize retaining length.
        Girl, you do ever sleep? Look at you, responding to questions in the wee hours of the morning. You’re the person who wakes up the chickens! LOL
        Thanks for help!

          • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

            Hahaha! Good evening, night owl!
            I think I threw you off with my last two
            Will you please reread my post and let me know if I have the “green” light to continue my current curly afro style? If so, is there any thing “extra” I can do as to not damage it since I have limited protected style options? Let me correct one of my statements. My twists, at this time, don’t last. I tried twisting my hair the other day and I had to revert to shingling my hair with gel.
            Thanks from a semi night owl! I turn in around Midnight.
            Again, you do a great job with this site.

          • lisa says

            I think it’s fine. I didn’t start doing protective styles until I learned to flat twist. I wore rod sets for the first half of my transition and it was fine. So I think you’ll be fine.

  19. lauren says

    hey lisa i am eleven and i just want to say thanks for helping me.I wrote everything down,i hade a texurizer and and now im on my way on being natural again.The kids at school say my hair is naturaly nappy and some say i make them want to go back natural,because they thought all you could do was wear it in a afro but thats not true at all.But i just want to say thanks for your help and god bless you bye :]

  20. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Lisa,
    Well, I can’t take the relaxed ends anymore. I’d do a 2 strand twist and before the end of the day the ends were all limp and unattractive. Plus, I don’t want to sleep on perm rods every night. I purchased some hair scissors and when I return from class this afternoon, buh bye ends.
    In one week’s time, I have never experienced so much frustration with my hair.
    Saturday was wash day. I pre-pooed .Shampooed my hair with Giovanni Silky Smooth (?) My hair didn’t feel soft afterwards. Applied the Giovanni Direct Leave-in, detangled, rinsed and did a final rinse with cold water. Applied the Giovanni Direct-Leave in and sealed with Jojoba oil. 2 strand twist, rolled them up, placed the satin scarf on my head and went to bed. The next morning, I didn’t care for the results and couldn’t wash it again because we were meeting friends for lunch. I wore a headband. I was very self-conscience about my hair. Last night, I tried Hawaiian Silky 14-1 with a foam lotion., thinking I would get stronger hold. Twist, rollers, scarf. This morning, after I untwisted my hair. My hair felt moisturized but after I separated the twist and attempted to style it, the curls were gone and the ends are slick and limp. Perhaps I applied too much of the Hawaiian silky. This week I’m attending a lunch, have a doctor’s appointment and getting my drivers license. I don’t want to have jacked-up hair. SIgh!
    I think if I lived in the U.S., I wouldn’t feel a strongly about this transition but I live in Panama where the majority of woman have long hair. If I’m going to rock short curly hair, it has to look good. I’m not feeling it.
    No, I’m not eye balling the creamy crack after a week,I just feel defeated in my efforts to have a great hairstyle. In my mind, I thought it would be easy to pick several products and I’d have the desire results. Not so. It appears that I will have play the alchemist until I find what is good for my hair. Unfortunately, that sounds like I’ll have to spend mo money, mo money, money! lol Or perhaps, my holy grail is under my bathroom sink.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

    • lisa says

      Hi Rolanda

      Hang in there. Remember this is something new so it will take time to learn. Too much product may have been the case. I’ve learned less is more so try limiting products. I know it must e frustrating with limited choices where you live. Did you make sure the twists were fully dry?

  21. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Happy Friday Lisa!
    A forum on your site would be awesome. I know it will require a lot of work on your part, but a slew of women will benefit from it.
    Well, tomorrow is wash day. It’s been exactly one week. My hair feels dryer toward the roots but then again , they may not be because I’m unfamiliar with my hair in its natural state.
    I plan to wash with the Giovanni Smooth s Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo. But I do not have a deep conditioner. I purchased a jar of Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Instant Repair Treatment but Pantene products are available in drugstores in Panama. And Redkin and Kerastase products are in hair salons. Should I use the Giovanni Direct Leave-In as my deep conditioner? I do have a half bottle of the Kerastase Resistance Reinforcing and refinishing treatment for damaged lengths and ends. I purchased a bonnet dryer several days ago. Along with Aloe Vera Styling gel. Thanks for your assistance.
    Have a curly weekend!

    • lisa says

      Sorry, I realize that you have probably already washed your hair by now. LOL

      That should work. Use a plastic cap and sit under the dryer (or use a blow dryer if you don’t have a hooded dryer) and you can still do a decent deep condition.

  22. LolaMarie says

    I’ve been transitioning for 4 months now, I don’t know which curl pattern I have, I’ve exhausted hairstyles, and ultimately I am about 2 weeks from giving up. My new growth isn’t tangled or hard to manage, I can just about take a comb straight through it whenever I please. However my natural hair is far beyond being able to blend with my relaxed hair making it hard to keep hairstyles that look nice. I’m not exactly opposed to the BC now because it seems like my only option but I kinda want to keep my relaxed ends a little longer. How do I find out what curl pattern I have? Are there any quick hairstyles I can do? I don’t have any hair products besides shampoo and conditioner (Dudley’s) and apricot oil which I’ve been using. I tried a henna and placenta treatment…didn’t really do much. I was thinking about doing the BC and then going right to braids but I don’t want my hair pulled too tightly. SOMEONE HELP!!!!!!!

  23. Valerie says

    I am struggling to find transition hair styles that last for me. I like the roller set and 2-strand twist styles, but I’m really pushing to make them last a week. My hair gets pretty matted overnight (using a satin bonnet) and it’s hard to fluff the curls out so they look nice and not frizzy i also get tangles & knots in the relaxed hair (still have more relaxed than natural hair). Flat twists won’t work because my edges are thinned out. I’m using Oyin hair dew as a daily moisturizer, weekly DC, and my hair still seems dry. I’m terrible at judging how my hair feels. Most of the time, it never feels like it’s got enough moisture. I have low-porosity hair also, some scab hair (i think), and my hair sheds/breaks. I have a stylist who I like with natural hair, but her texture is way different than mine and I natural hair isn’t her specialty. I think a visit to a natural salon is coming soon! I’m just frustrated because I don’t have a routine that’s totally working for me yet. Please share tips and advice.

  24. NaTasha says

    Hi Lisa!
    I am VERY interested and thoughtful about going natural; even more so now because I’ve been running for the last few months and my shoulder length hair is DEFINITELY getting in the way. I think I am also ready for a change, so I have been perm free since April and am currently wearing a protective style to help grow out my hair a little more; however, I CAN’T TAKE IT!!! I’m not a weave person and I want to hurry the transition process. I don’t want to trim a few inches a month for a number of months; however, I don’t want to cut down to a fade either. My question to you is is it plausible and reasonable to cut my hair SHORTER in order to do straw sets and use perm rods until my hair grows out some more? My hair is bra-strap length or a little longer and I don’t have a problem with a big chop; however, I would rather keep some length so that if I got the urge to braid or weave I could. What I’m imagining is something like a grown out Halle Berry….with length all around, especially on top…but enough to braid if necessary. Do you know if that would be a good idea or do you know anyone who has done that? I just can’t see myself with a fade and I dont want to do a long-term transition….PLEASE HELP!

    • lisa says

      Hi NaTasha,

      It certainly won’t hurt and will probably be easier than trying to transition with your longer hair. The more of your ends you cut off, the healthier your hair will be since the ends of our hair are older anyway. You could buy some really small rods and do some rod sets and have it a little longer on top for that Halle Berry look. I think that would be cute.

  25. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hey Lisa,
    Okay. I’m 2 days into my natural journey. I’m noticing that parts of my hair will not hold a curl. Saturday night, I did 2 strand twists and used perm rods but not all the way. I wore a satin scarf to bed. Sunday morning I removed the rollers and separated my curls. By the afternoon, half of the curls had lost their definition. Do I need to apply a styling lotion or gel when I twist my hair and place them on rollers? Also, what is the order I should I apply the products?

    • lisa says

      Hi, yes I always used setting lotion (Bronner Brothers Foam Wrap Lotion) and aloe vera gel to help set the curls.

      • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

        Hey Lisa,
        I have the Aloe Vera gel but any ole styling lotion? Bronner Brothers Foam Wrap is unavailable in Panama. Can you recommend another popular brand? Do all styling lotions contain alcohol? If so, does this add to the issue of dry hair.
        As always, thanks!

        • lisa says

          I use that one because it has no alcohol. Just see if you can find one that doesn’t have any alcohol because it can dry your hair.

          • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

            Hey Lisa,
            I guess I’ll have to see if it is available online. I looked for setting lotions today, and I didn’t find ANY. Boo!!! In the meantime, I’ll have to use a little Aloe Vera gel, moisturizer and oil.
            Side note: Lisa, I know you get the same questions from newly naturals all the time. And you wonder if any of us read what’s on your site. I’m sure most of us do. We’re just nervous about this new journey. I just want to take this time to say THANK YOU for your responses. I’ve read all of the articles on your website and I’m very impressed with the amount of information available. You’ve done a great job. And I’ve watched your videos on YouTube along with other “veteran” naturals. Sometimes having too much info can be just as confusing as not having any. LOL
            With that said, we need positive reinforcement and a little hand holding so thanks for being here for us.

          • lisa says

            Hi Rolanda,

            Thanks for the those kind words. I know it can be overwhelming with all the information. Just glad you came by. I’m thinking of starting a forum here for people to actually chat and post pictures, etc. to start building a community just for transitioners and new naturals.

  26. Traci-Ann says

    I have to say I love your website. I stumbled upon your page and found that you had some great advice and helpful tips for the transitioning process. I do have one question: Do you think the WEN product would be a good line of natural sulfate-free shampoo for women with Ethnic hair while going through the transitioning process? I’m so excited about going back to my natural roots!

    • lisa says

      Hi Traci-Ann

      My cousin used this and got decent results. I don’t really know much about this product to be honest.

  27. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Lisa,
    This is day 2 of being natural. I’m still adjusting to how light my head feels:-) However, my hair is dry. I wonder if it could be due to the products my stylist used on my hair, included GEL. Yesterday, my hair was shampooed,deep conditioned, colored then styled, is it okay to co-wash my hair even though it hasn’t been a week? Or should I continue to apply moisturizer and castor or jojoba to my hair at night?

    • lisa says

      Yes, gel can be very drying. Co-washing should be fine after a week. Since you have color, you should definitely make sure you are deep conditioning often. Color can dry your hair a lot.

  28. cassie says

    Hi lisa thnx for d article…- relaxed my hair 3 wks ago nd dyed it red d nxt day nw d hair looks dead nd dead…hav been fixn 2 cover it up…I’m hoping to go all natural but I dnt know if I should cut it all off or just stop relaxing it?thnx

    • lisa says

      Hi Cassie

      If your hair is too dry and brittle it may be best to chop it off. Or you could try to nurture it with deep conditioning. The other option is cutting it off and wearing extensions until you have the length you are comfortable with. A lot of people do that.

  29. Dawna says

    Lisa, thanks for all the info. I’m 4 months into this transition. My hair is thin especially in the crown area. I’m hoping going natural will thicken the crown (and everywhere else). Did you or anyone have thin spots that were strengthened by going natural?

    • lisa says

      My edges were very thin but grew back in about 4-5 months. I always had a noticeably thinner side (as I think most people do) but I don’t notice it as much anymore now that I’m natural.

  30. Dehja says

    HI Lisa,
    Your site has been very helpful! I have been transitioning for 3 or 4 months now. My front and crown is 3b, sides are 4a & the back is a 3c. The only products I have tried have been beautiful textures (shampoo, leave-in, deep conditioner, curl to straight oil & the shine and silken oil) and Organics Africa’s Best Tea- Tree oil. I have been cutting an inch off every 6 weeks to avoid the BC. That regime has been working for me as far as growth, BUT I just don’t know what to do once I rinse out my conditioner. When I was relaxing my hair, I kept it in wraps and now my hair wont even do that anymore. I’ve tried doing a few twists out that ended up looking like a mess. The only thing that has worked so far is wet rolling my hair with ORS Wrap/set mousse. Do you have any styling suggestions??

  31. Jennifer says

    i have about 2 inches of new growth around my head so far. ive been conditioning with carols daughter products and moroccan oil, i use mizani oil only on wash days to get my hair texture smooth like my prewashed state (im scared to use anything else lol). I used carols daughter transitioning kit for the first time monday and my new growth looked pretty good. i wanted to know how often should i wash my hair with it? i was going to try washing my hair once a week and then condition 3-5x a week depending on how dry my hair may be. is once a week too often? how often did you guys wash your hair with transitioning products? do you think once every two weeks is better? or should i just throw in the towel and get a professional to do it? i believe i can do this myself im just lacking SUPPORT at the moment from scared/concerned family. thanks alot

    • lisa says

      Hi Jennifer, I always washed once a week. It’s important to remember that an important part of the transitioning process is to also nurture your scalp. So keeping it clean will also ensure your hair is growing optimally.

      I understand about the lack of support. Just wait… this time next year when your hair is healthier and thicker than it’s ever been, they will start transitioning too. It happened to me! At least 6 of my friends have started transitioning since I did. And many of them weren’t even interested in natural hair. Hang in there!

      And you may decide that going to a professional is best. That’s fine. If it will keep you from getting frustrated, I say go for it!

      • Jennifer says

        hi lisa,
        thanks for the needed advice. how many times during the week did u condition your hair? At night time i try to moisturize it with oil or this hair balm i have from CD. and thats only when i feel its dry. i wear my hair in a loose bun during the day to let my hair soak up the moisture and at night i wrap my hair with a large tooth comb then don a silk doo rag. i will keep up the washing once a week but how often should i be deep conditioning during the week? i did cut my hair like u had mentioned ( the cut ends felt like tumbleweed for some reason, and i put loads of oil on them), ill be sure to get it cut a little more in august. what did u use to transition? and did u only use your transitioning kit when your new growth came in? and then washed with a sulfate free shampoo the other times? im trying to figure out how i can still use my sulfate free shampoo and conditioner while transitioning. thanks alot for all your support!

        • lisa says

          I conditioned once/week after shampooing and that was it. I only moisturized 2-3 times per week with one of the natural oils (I switched it up).

          The transitioning kit wasn’t available when I transitioned so I only washed with sulfate free shampoos. But wait…. I thought the kit already have sulfate free shampoos. Kind of surprised it doesn’t.

  32. Jennifer says

    im currently transitioning from relaxed to natural with BSL hair. i have about 2 inches of new growth around my head so far. ive been conditioning with carols daughter products and moroccan oil, i use mizani oil only on wash days to get my hair texture smooth like my prewashed state (im scared to use anything else lol). I used carols daughter transitioning kit for the first time monday and my new growth looked pretty good. i wanted to know how often should i wash my hair with it? i was going to try washing my hair once a week and then condition 3-5x a week depending on how dry my hair may be. is once a week too often? how often did you guys wash your hair with transitioning products? do you think once every two weeks is better? or should i just throw in the towel and get a professional to do it? i believe i can do this myself im just lacking SUPPORT at the moment from scared/concerned family. thanks alot

    • Denise says

      Hey Jennifer! I thought about having a professional do my hair as well, but I live in a predominantly white suburb and the black hair care salons out here only do relaxers (from what I’ve been able to determine). I decided with all the information online, I can do it myself. But again, everybody’s different. I just felt comfortable and confident enough. Anyway, if you exercise/run regularly, you might want to shampoo more than once a week (maybe a co-wash one day and a sulfate-free shampoo another day of the week). I only exercise twice a week and don’t really sweat much in my head, so once a week works just fine for me. I typically use kimmaytube’s leave in conditioner maybe 4 times a week, sometimes I may use Cantu’s leave in conditioner once a week. I haven’t tried Carol’s Daughter’s transitioning kit; I started out with Shea Moisture’s kit and I love it. If CD is working for you, and it sounds like it is, then stick with that! You’ll find alot of support here and other places online too. And eventually you’ll meet other naturals in person, and they’ll help to give you a boost.

      • Jennifer says

        thank u all for the much needed support! i feel more confident now :) One thing that im noticing with my new growth is that unless i moisturize it really well and detanlge with my fingers, its a hotmess to comb through and style. im trying to be patient and just use a soft scrungie to put my hair in a ponytail and call it a wrap. im too lazy to deal with my hair. what did u guys do at night time for wrapping your natural hair? i comb mine as carefully as i can around my head and then put on a silk doo rag. Thanks for the feedback on washing hair. I will continue to do the once a week with my transitioning kit from carols daughter. do u guys think i should just stick with the transitioning kit until all my natural growth comes or can i still alternate and wash my hair with my sulfate free shampoo/conditioner? the shampoo is called hair one (copy of wen lol) and i use black vanilla smoothie from carolsdaughter as a deep condition. Thank u to denise and lisa for your help. my resolve is to not step foot in a salon and do this on my own.

  33. Maya says

    I used to have 3a/3b curls with type 2 waves in the front and back. Against my mom’s advice, I relaxed my hair for the first (and last) time. To make it worse, I relaxed it with African products. Usually, treated hair looks straight but strangely, mine did not straighten. In fact, it became worse! My hair became stiff, dull and very unnatural looking. It was so bad that I wanted to shave my head. It has been one year and three months since I relaxed my hair but my hair has not returned to its original form. Its more curly and unruly. How do I get my hair back to the way before I relaxed it?

    • Jennifer says

      have u tried carols daughters transitioning kit yet? it is really awesome and is a must to help the new growth become managable and healthy, give it a try. also how often are you moisturizing your hair? what type of moisturizing products are u using? do u use sulfate free shampoos? depending on what shampoo ur using, if it has sulfates in it- itll make your natural hair dryer. also look into getting a ionic dryer and flat iron. these are supposed to heat ur hair from the inside out and cut down on heat damage. hope this helps

    • lisa says

      You’ll probably just have to wait and grow it out. Have you tried deep conditioning your hair since using the product? Maybe you need a few treatments to nurse your hair back to health.

  34. Lamone says

    I absolutely LOVE this post. It was very encouraging for me, being that I’m only 3 months in!!!!…. I’m going a lil nuts because I’m a one style type of gal. That one style used to be just relaxed and straight. Now I’m really wanting to go natural. My husband doesn’t mind but sometimes it’s hard to even comb so I end up walking around looking like who done it and why… Or with a head wrap on…. My hair is SOOO dry, itchy, and dandruff filled…. I try not to wash so much because it’s so dry but I’m beginning to think that’s not too smart. IF ANYONE HAS EXPERIENCE WITH THIS I am definitely open for input. And my hair is also falling out at both my temples????? Idk what to do…. THE CREAMY CRACK IS SCREAMING MY NAME…. ;((((

    • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

      Sounds like you need to deep condition your hair. It’s crying for moisture.
      I just had a great conversation with a friend in Florida about natural hair. Hair needs moisture-lots of it. I told her all of the products I purchased and she chuckled. Side note: I’m having my weave removed tomorrow and will begin my natural journey. I’ve been unaware that I’ve been transition for eleven months. No BC, just dealing with what I got. She told me all I needed was water, extra virgin olive oil and either Argan (which less expensive and available at Sally’s Beauty Supply) or Mororoccan oil( which more expensive). Twist or braid the hair and go. Be free.
      When the creamy crack calls-hang up.Lol Good luck and much support.

    • lisa says

      LOL @ who done it and why! Cracked me up. I agree with Rolanda, have you tried a good deep condition. I mean the kind where you are sitting under the dryer for at least 30-45 minutes with a plastic cap? Do this regularly and see if your hair softens up.

        • lisa says

          Ha ha! And my best friend STILL says it which is why it struck a chord with me! Too funny! Yes, gotta luv headbands. My go-to move when my style gets old.

          I’ve never heard of conditioning too much, but I guess anything is possible. However, if you did, your hair would probably tell you. It may stop responding to the product, but I think it would be hard to over condition. I know of naturals who co-wash their TWA’s everyday.

  35. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Lisa,
    I’m happy to write that I found and purchased some products at two stores in Panama city, Panama!!! The following were purchased from a Organica, a health food store: Giovanni Shampoo, Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner. Jojoba oil; Home Health castor oil; Home Health Oliva Olive & Aloe Conditioner w/aloe vera, jojoba,silk protein and panthenol; Organic coconut oil. At Arrocha, which is like a Walgreens, I bought Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice; a large bottle of Tressame conditioner, and Soft Sheen Curl Activator. This product was picked up on a whim. The first three ingredients are:Water Glycerin and Isostearyl Ethylimdazolinum EthoslfateI. Yikes! Alcohol is listed in the fourth line of the ingredient list. I don’t know if I’ll use it. I did not find any products that contained Shea butter.
    My question is, do I have enough products to go forward? Do I need a gel for hold? I plan to order some of the Shea Moisture products from Target.
    I hope you can respond soon. I’m ready to go forward. The tracks of my weave are beginning to show. LOL
    Thank you for your time.

    • lisa says

      Hi Rolanda

      I think you have more than enough. My biggest mistake when I started was buying all this stuff I didn’t really need. When I look back on it, all I needed was a couple of good shampoos, conditioners and oils/sealants. Oh and yes I did use the aloe vera gel and setting lotion because I did a lot of rod sets.

      I never used activator, but even if you do, you probably won’t need it until you’re fully transitioned. I bought gel and never used it until I was done with my transition. That full jar is still sitting in my cabinet from two years ago. I guess if you are going to be slicking your sides down then you may need the gel, but I always used headbands to cover any unruly edges.

      I think you will find that once you start using/testing the products, you’ll have a couple of favorites and stick to those.

      • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

        Hi Lisa,
        Thank you for your response. Well, I went to the salon today and discovered that I have spiral curls! My stylist did 2 strand twist and partially untwisted them. I’m and not sure if I like it. Maybe because it’s a major change. I was wearing a shoulder length weave with bangs yesterday. I removed it last night and applied moisturizer and coconut to my hair just to get a sneak peak.And I did snip about an inch or inch and half off my relaxed ends. My stylist also cut about an inch. It’s been 3 hours since I returned from the salon and my curls are dry. I will be moisturizing my hair like crazy. I’m sure I will not use all of the products I purchased. It was as if I was trying to buy products that several people on hair care forums said they liked and what I could find in Panama. When I visit the U.S., I’ll purchase the Shea Moisture line. I did find Aloe Vera gel today and sweet my stylist also gave me 3 packages of rod perms! Roller sets are in my future.
        I’m on my natural hair care journey and I expect some bumps along the way. Epic learning curve. LOL I’m happy I have you to turn to for support:-)

        • lisa says

          Yep, I too had some bumps and you’re going thru exactly what I went through. You just have to experiment and find out what your hair likes. It is definitely a learning curve. And even after being natural for nearly a year, I’m STILL learning. lol So hang in there!

          And yes, roller sets literally are what kept me going thru my long-term transition. I might have given up without them and flat twists!

  36. Lynnette says

    Hi Lisa I stumbled upon your page today and very happy that I did I have been wearing weaves for God knows how long and decided to go natural. I had my last relaxer in November of 2011 and up until a few days ago I was still wearing my weaves. I am at the point where half of my hair is natural and the other half is still relaxed and you can tell the difference and i cannot seem to figure out what to do with it. I don’t want to do a big chop but I’m clueless as to ways to manage my hair and still look cute with the humidity and all. I tried spiral curling it and that only lasted for two hours before half my hair turned into a big poof. Any suggestions on what I can do to manage it. Thanks

    • lisa says

      Hi Lynnette

      When I was at that point, I wore a lot of flat twists with rod sets. The flat twists would cover the new growth and the rod set was great for my straight ends. Also rod sets (if you use a good setting lotion) can help withstand some humidity. And you can always put it into a puff if it gets too moist outside. I also did a lot of flat twist pin up styles. That’s what helped keep my hair manageable during that phase. I know it’s tough but hang in there. You’re almost there!

  37. Kim says

    Well I eased into it without the big chop (I just decided to keep cutting off the relaxed ends til they were all gone) and now I’m loving my new hair…only, I still find myself conditioning daily just to keep the curl pattern. Is there another way? When I sleep, with a scarf or not, my curls lose their shape/ definition :/

    • lisa says

      Hi Kim,

      This is just your texture. Not everyone’s hair holds curls naturally. Mine doesn’t either. Sure, I can put gel in it when it’s wet or use the Kinky Curly Curling Custard but most afro hair wants to be in an afro and will eventually revert naturally. My hair is the same way. I had to learn to accept that my hair will only hold definition temporarily.

      • Kim says

        It’s cool because I actually like it on the first day and the second day. On the first day it’s all Rachel True, and the second day it’s like Spike Lee’s sis from back in the day (can’t recall her name right now). That’s the day I put on my headbands and wooden earrings 😉

        I just worry if I’m conditioning it too much…is there such a thing?

  38. omarie says

    Hi, I’m 4 months into my transition. I have definite curls for the most part, except in the middle where I cut it just to see what the texture looks like. I know scab hair is dry and brittle, but does that mean it doesn’t curl? And will it curl eventually or will I have to cut it once my hair grows?

    • lisa says

      Yes, scab hair is often wirey and doesn’t look like the rest of your hair pattern. My scab hair in the front was almost straight. I didn’t have to cut mine. It just eventually softened up with the deep conditioning.

  39. Shima says

    Hi Lisa!
    I’m so glad that I found your page because I am severely clueless about hair and attempting to go natural has just blown my mind. I have never had to do my own hair because I went from my mother doing to it to my bestfriend who learned to do every hairstyle imaginable with me as her model. I recently moved away from my bestie and I’m having to learn how to do my own hair so you can imagine the anxiety I’m feeling. My last relaxer was Aug/Sept. 2011 and I have been flat ironing my hair almost daily because I had no clue what to do with it other than wear it down. I attempted my first twist out yesterday and my twists looked identical to your first ones. Should I just go ahead and chop off the ends because I know they are extremely damaged. I did my first deep condition and protein treatment in only Lord knows how long last night as well and when I rinsed it out and began combing through my hair with a wide tooth comb, I had a lot of hair come out. I’m assuming that just all damaged/dead hair, is that a possibility or is there something else possibly going on?? Anyone can help because I am completely outside of my realm of knowledge and I don’t know what to do now.

    • lisa says

      If your ends keep breaking and you can no longer do styles that look nice then I would cut them off. That’s what my friend had to do. She just couldn’t maintain decent styles with the broken ends. I doubt there’s anything else going on. If you have been flat ironing your hair, the demarcation line where your relaxed and natural hair meet is so weak your hair is probably just falling out. Nothing to be worried about and to be expected if you have been using heat.

      • Shima says

        Thank you!! After reading more on your site, I realized I have really been frying my hair. I have selected my products to use & I will start a weekly routine for washing & conditioning my hair & scalp. I will also get my cut/trimmed immediately & more often. I am really excited about going natural & I’m so thankful that you are sharing all you know with us. :-)

  40. Jonee' says

    Hello Lisa,
    I stumbled onto your site and i find it very informative. I have been trasitioning since last october and i have been trying many different styles and my hair seems to be doing quite well. But in the crown of my head i have noticed that the hair grows alot slower than the rest. I was wondering do you know any products that could possible help with the hair growth in this area????… Also in the back of my hair it is almost completely natural but the top still has alot of relaxer on the ends… why is this????? Thanks for your help!

    • lisa says

      Hi Jonee’

      I have the same issue and I don’t think there’s anything to do that as most people have different growth rates. I’ve just learned to live with it. My hair is just in layers and it looks fine. The top is straight??? That is weird. I’ve never heard of that!

  41. Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

    Hi Lisa,
    I stumbled upon your site today. I’ve spent the past 2 days watching YouTube videos on transitioning, products, etc.
    Currently, I am wearing a weave. April/May 2011 was my last relaxer. I’ve grown tired of the weave and the last time the wefts were removed, my hair was longer than the weave. Side note-I also work out 3/4 times a week.
    Watching all of the videos has made it difficult to select products for my hair. Also, I live in a country in Central America and every woman here has very long hair pulled back in a ponytail. You don’t see many natural hairstyles. The humidity is great for skin and the sun fries your hair. 1 of the large drugstores and 1 of the grocery stores carry black hair products but they are limited and in Spanish. LOL I’m not opposed to ordering products on line. And one last thing, and this is a wild guess: I don’t think my stylist (soon to be former) knows anything about natural hair. Everyone comes in and gets a blow out, a weave, relaxer or color. I do want her to color my hair because I do have some gray hair. Lisa, what do you suggest? Thanks for your assistance.

    • lisa says

      Have you tried the Shea Moisture line. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like that product. They are very, very moisturizing and quite popular around the world. Can you get them in your country?

      • Rolanda Taylor Enroth says

        Thank you for answering my question. I have not purchased ANY products. I want to have them in my possession before I have the weave removed. As I stated, I’m not opposed to purchasing the products from Amazon. I just need to know which products for the transition. I’ll check out Shea Moisture on line and see what they offer. Do you think the line would be available in an organic health food store?

  42. danielle says

    I have already did the transition from perm to natural for about two years. I have kept my hair in braids, because everyone says braids grow your hair out. My hair actually isn’t growing very fast , it is the same length as it was about last year. My sister is natural too, for about a year but she doesn’t braid her hair and her hair is longer than mines now. I don’t know why my hair is not growing can you please help my situation thank you! and how did u get your hair so long in a short amount of time and do you know any products that would make my hair very soft because i have very thick hair?

    • lisa says

      Hey Danielle,

      Well, your hair has to grow — otherwise you would have never needed a touch up relaxer when you were relaxing your hair. So it must be breaking off at some stage. I wonder if it’s breaking when you remove the braids. Do you have a lot of breakage during that process? I know sometimes it’s hard to tell because your hair sheds anyway after braid removal because it hasn’t had a chance to shed. But that has to be what it is.

      I bet your hair is growing, but if you’re not seeing progress then you are not retaining length for some reason. Did you also have hair growth problems when you were relaxing? Did you have breakage then? Some people have extremely dry hair and it’s more prone to breakage than others.

      • danielle says

        I actually didn’t have any breakage with my perms , but the last recent perm was 2 years ago and i guess i got a perm too close to my other perm, so it broke off. Do u think it is better for me not to braid it then ? or just once in a while? and how could i tell that my hair is shedding when i take the braids out? Do u think there would be a product that would go good, for bthe type of hair i have, because my hair is really thick , but my mom says its growing, but i dont see it :/ help me if possible thanks!

  43. Dana Ford says

    I am two months post b/c and my hair is so brittle, mainly because i dyed it five times, and four of those were bleach….anyway when i had a relaxer I could do those things and get away with it, but now my hair is extremly hard and dry. And when my hair was relaxed it didnt like a lot of products and i don’t think it likes alot being natural, so i am just shampooing every five to six days, co washing almost every day for that needed ummmphh, and if any body has any more suggestions, please please let me know!

    • Denise says

      Hey Dana! What are you shampooing and co-washing with? Do you use a water/oil spritz daily, sealing your ends, using a leave-in conditioner? Deep condition weekly? It sounds to me like your hair needs alot of moisture and conditioning and maybe a tweaking of your routine. Hang in there!

  44. Monica says

    U haven’t relaxed my hair in a month and some change. My plan is to go natural I have a short hair cut and I’m wondering what is best? I recently started doing hot oil treatments and it makes my hair feel like it has a relaxer but as soon as I begin to sweat its a done deal. I truly don’t wanna do the BC right now cause NY hair is so short and still growing from the hair cut I got in February! I just want to know some hair styles I can wear without putting heat to my hair, and it still be short and in the transitioning stage. Please help a sister out because I truly don’t wanna relax anymore!

    • Denise says

      Hey Monica! I know Lisa has some good advice (hey Lisa!), but since I can relate I thought I’d chime in. My last relaxer was in November 2011, and my hair was in a short, tapered cut as well (think Halle Berry short!) I simply did two strand twists on as much hair as I could until the back and sides started to grow out. I remember how excited I was when I was finally able to twist the back! I don’t think there’s any need to do a BC, especially not now, because it’s already short (at least I didn’t). It was in April when I purchased some shears from Sally’s and SLIGHTLY trimmed the ends. My hair continues to grow and I’m wearing a flat twist out in the front and regular two-strand twist outs in the back – mainly because I can’t see in the back. I haven’t used any heat in my hair since December. Browse the web and youtube for styles for you to try, there are so many out there! Best of luck with your transition…..try not to get discouraged! Hang in there, you can do it!

      • lisa says

        Thanks for responding to this! My hair was never really that short during the transition so it’s great to hear from someone who experienced that phase.

    • Paula says

      I’m sorry but what is a BC? I wore my hair faded for 17yrs and let it grow back off and on with perms. Right now I’m rock’n a short permed style and would like to go back natural without having to cut it off. Lisa I read your Do’s and Don’ts but I’m like Monica, I need some hairstyles for short permed hair to make it thru the transition or I’m not going to make it!!!! I’m also 48 and single and have been told that my hair now makes me look soft, but I have had enough with these perms. HELP!!!!

      • lisa says

        A BC is a big chop when you cut all the ends of your relaxer. When your hair is short your styling may be limited, but you can always do extension until it grows out some or do a rod set with really tiny rods.

        • Paula says

          Thank-You Lisa after reading more I realized what a bc was (lol). I decided to eliminate the stress and worry with the transition stage and went with the BC last Wednesday, my friends love it and most of all I LOVE IT!!!! The video with the young man helped me also, I posted it to FB to help my other girlfriends that are thinking about going natural.

  45. TiffNic81 says

    Hi Lisa…I have been transitioning for 8 months, and I still have a TON of scab hair. I deep condition weekly, moisturize daily, but I haven’t seen any real change. It seems to be the worst in the front and at the crown. My hair also seems to be growing the slowest in those two areas. Will I ever be able to work with my natural texture without doing a BC?

    • lisa says

      My hair still grows the slowest in the front and crown. My hair grows almost twice as fast in the back so my hair is very layered. Scab hair can take up to a year to go away and it also may just be your texture. The key is to keep experimenting with a regimen that works for you. If I were you, I’d consult with a natural hair stylist in your area for a one on one. They can tell you if it’s a texture issue or it is indeed scab hair. They may also be able to suggest some products.

      • TiffNic81 says

        Thanks Lisa! I did consult with a stylist right after I posted, and she believes it is scab hair. The very back of my hair is a 3c/4a mix, but the areas in question are rough, wiry, and non-responsive to products. Basically, unless I’m willing to rock a fade, I will have to be patient and trim twice a month in order to see some changes.

  46. eritrue says

    I’ve been transitioning for exactly four months now. I was so happy to see that well-defined, little spirals have unexpectedly appeared at the roots of my twists, even though I only use coconut oil. Now that I’ve read about scab hair, I was wondering–is it possible that I won’t have these little curls later on? In other words, is scab hair ever less kinky than one’s true texture? I’m ready to accept my hair whatever it is and have seen beautiful styles of every type, but I’m dying of curiosity nonetheless!

    • lisa says


      Scab hair is normally more coarse and brittle than your own. Trust me, I remember that curiosity. Those months couldn’t pass fast enough so I could see my REAL texture. The only real way to know is just to wait and see. Hang in there! :)

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