Don’t make the same mistake I did and feel like you have to buy every product on the market.
I am a self-proclaimed product junkie. I have always been. If they have a support group for such a thing, just sign me up!
Nevertheless, I quickly discovered you don’t really need a lot of hair products while you transition. Yes, it may take some time and money to discover what works best for your hair, but all you really need is…
1) A couple of sulfate-free shampoos (The reason I say “a couple” is your hair may become immune to using the same products over time, so it’s good to have at least two so you can alternate.)
2) A good moisturizing leave-in and deep conditioner
3) Natural moisturizers and sealants
Sulfate-free shampoos are a must. Sulfates strip your hair of moisture, and that’s the last thing you want when transitioning. Natural hair dries out a lot more than relaxed hair so you don’t need any help with sulfate-laced shampoos.
At first, I used the Giovanni product line then moved to Kinky Curly’s Come Clean shampoo. I started noticing that the Come Clean shampoo made my hair feel a little hard/stiff after washing. So I went back to the Giovanni line.
At the very end of my transition I realized the reason Kinky Curly made my hair hard was because I was using too much. Now that I’ve learned, I use it quite often. So I switched back and forth between Giovanni and Kinky Curly.
I buy them both at Whole Foods or Amazon.com.
My favorite leave-in conditioners are Knot Today by Kinky Curly (buy @ Whole Foods or Target) and Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp. You can actually use both of these as a rinse-out or leave-in.
Knot today is a bit pricey, but it gives my hair an incredible shine and it’s a great detangler. Oyin Handmade is a lighter conditioner that can be used as a rinse-out or leave-in. I like to add a teaspoon or so to my spray bottle of water. I mist my hair with this mix when styling my wet hair.
I also like the Herbal Essence line. I use Hello Hydration and Totally Twisted conditioners. They are very economical (especially compared to Kinky Curly) and you can find them at almost any drugstore or Amazon.com. I like to use their products to pre-poo my hair (along with olive oil).
Pre-pooing is the process of applying moisture to your hair before you shampoo. This helps keep your hair soft, shiny and moisturized. Pre-pooing also prevents breakage by improving your hair’s elasticity.
I also like the Giovanni line. They have several conditioners and all of them have worked well for me.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on deep conditioning. My favorite is Organics Olive Oil Replenisher. You can buy this at almost any beauty supply store.
Also try to look for deep conditioners that say “moisturizing.” And if you have thick, coarse hair you’ll want a thicker conditioner to penetrate your strands.
To deep condition, just apply a generous amount to your hair while wet and work it through. Some people like to comb it through with a wide-tooth comb. I just section my hair into 4 parts and work it in with my fingers.
Next, cover your hair with a plastic cap and sit under a warm dryer for 20-45 minutes. Rinse well with cold water. Cold water seals the cuticle and helps promote shine.
No dryer? No problem! Just rinse a wash cloth in water as warm as you can stand it and place it inside a plastic cap and place on your head. Leave on for at least 30 minutes and let the steam created from the wash cloth and plastic cap condition your hair.
Moisturizers and Sealants
The words moisturizers and sealants are thrown around a lot in the natural hair community. A moisturizer is a water-based product (so the first ingredient listed should be water).
That means a leave-in conditioner could be a good moisturizer for your hair, depending on the ingredients.
A sealant should be applied after your moisturizer and will help lock in the moisture from your leave-in. Natural oils like castor, olive, jojoba, coconut, shea butter etc. make great sealants.
My hair absolutely loves castor oil. I like to dab my fingertips in the oil and lightly apply it to my strands — especially after removing rods or taking down two-strand twists. A little goes a long way. Jane Carter’s Nourish and Shine is also a great sealant.
This post wouldn’t be complete without giving a shout out to Aloe Vera gel. Who knew our hair loved this so much? This is a fabulous curl-definer. I use it along with setting lotion when doing rod sets. It helps give my hair a great shine.
I used to use Lily of The Desert (all natural), but have switched to Fruit of the Earth. It has a few preservatives, but I like the slight hold it gives. It’s great for rod sets and twist outs.
Keep it Simple
I am by no means recommending you buy all these products. You may not need to. Remember, I’m a product junkie so I like experimenting. As I said above, I don’t use all these at once. They are all part of my product repertoire.
Even though this may seem like a lot of products, trust me, I’ve toned it down TREMENDOUSLY!
1) Use as few products as you can between washings
2) Have at least 2 options from each category (Conditioners, Shampoos, Moisturizers)
3) Try to buy as many natural products as possible. Look for words like “100% Pure” on the labels and try to minimize the use of products that list mineral oil and ingredients that end in “CONE”. (Not everyone’s hair responds negatively to these ingredients, so do what works for you.)
Not all products recommended here are 100% natural (Herbal Essence, Giovanni, etc.) but the majority of them are. All the oils I use are 100% natural.
Tip: If you don’t have any of the stores I mentioned in this post, you can get most of these products at Amazon.com (and probably a bit cheaper too!)
4) Consider buying a transitioning kit. Not only does it help with manageability and combat dryness/brittleness, but it nourishes your scalp — which is often neglected during the transitioning phase. A healthier scalp means healthier new growth!
How to Save $$ on Products
Going natural doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn how to save big by creating your own moisturizers, shampoos, etc.
I love your site, it’s a great inspiration!! I am 10 months into transitioning (Yaay!!!) but I am having some problems with getting the hang of different styles. I love rod sets but that’s pretty much the limit of my expertise. I have tried flat twists but the edges of my hair are a completely different from the rest of my hair. They’re fine and curly while the rest of my hair is very thick and not too curly. I have tried organics extra virgin olive oil gel to slick down the front but all it does is make it even more curly! Do you have any suggestions as to either what I could use to slick the front down or ways I could rock it with it with the front being so curly?
Hi Hope, have you tried any gels like Eco Styler or Fantasia? They are good for slicking down hair but not making it so flaky.
I am so happy that I found your site. It has been so helpful and I have learned so much about taking the stress out of going natural. I have not had a touch up(perm) since March 2012. I did not know about the sulfates in shampoos but recently purchased the Giovanni brand. My hair is naturally curly and I get lots of compliments on my curls which I enhance with a liquid gel. Permed strands remain on the top which is my dilemma. I know that a good haircut makes all the difference but who should I seek out for the cut? I want the straight ends off but should I go to someone who specializes in natural hair, a barber, my old stylist, hair cuttery, etc. what do you do when you need a trim? Thanks
I have never gone to anyone professionally to get trims. I hate salons, barbershops and all the above so I just do it myself. LOL But since you still have relaxed ends I would go to a salon, preferably one that is well versed with managing transitioning and natural hair.
Lias,I did the BC today. 8-25-12. Wow . I want that curly look.. What can I get. I have been out of work since March. I go back in a week or two. I want to rock the curly look. Help me. Anyone
It depends on your texture. Not everyone’s hair is curly/coily so you may need the help of products to do it temporarily. For example, while your hair is wet you can apply Eco Styler Gel or Kinky Curly Curling Custard. You have to experiment and find out what brings your curls out. What works for me may not work for you. No doubt your texture is different from mine. Congrats on your BC!
Im new 2 transitioning & probably is 4-5 months in…..I LUV UR SITE!!!
I just decided I wanna try a transitioning kit & was wondering if u heard any reviews on Shea Moisture Hair Repair Kits, Ive seen them in Walgreens but Im sure other places have them.
This must be fairly new b/c I’m just now hearing about it. Never really heard much about it.
I found this post inspiring. A couple months ago I decided to go a natural but I was having trouble styling since I let go of the sew ins. I gave in and texturized my hair and now I feel guilty like I cheated my self. I really wanted to do a big chop but my boyfriend is very against it. I’m glad to find out with a little patience I can have beautiful natural locks too. The only thing that really has me stuck is that my edges are badly damaged and it almost looks my hair is receding are there any tips or styles that can help with this problem?
A lot of people with thinning edges have told me that Jamaican black castor oil has worked well for them. I have never used it so I can’t personally recommend it but castor oil in general is good for thinning hair.
I came across your site about 5 months ago and can’t seem to stay away, because of your site I’ve FINALLY decided to go natural (after several attempts and discouragement from my hairdresser -who btw i’ve canned. I found me a natural hair hairdresser). My last perm was Dec 2011. I’ve decided to transition w/o cutting my hair (about shoulder length) and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I wash my hair (Kinky Kurly products) using the 4 sections which is so much easier. I’m seeing my natural hair and I’m getting so excited!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me the push that i needed and making it so easy.
Isn’t the 4 section routine great??? Made such a big difference when washing my hair. Takes longer but it’s so much more manageable. So glad you are doing great!
I have been using ur site and videos every step of my transition. I had my last relaxer may 2012. Lately I have had an itchy scab and my hair has a dull look. I just purchased the honey hemp conditioner and can’t wait to see how this helps. Any suggestions????
Oh, if I’m not mistaking I believe you do a mix of honey, evoo, and the oyin honey hemp. If so please tell me how u mix it. Thanks for everything. You have been so very helpful. :)l
Check out this page on my dry scalp routine. https://napturallycurly.com/2012/04/get-rid-of-dandruff-natural-hair/ As far as the honey mix, I don’t use the honey hemp. That’s my pre-poo routine I use sometimes and I use honey, evoo and a cheap-rinse out conditioner. I mix it up and try different combinations. I don’t always use the same products.
I wonder if the dullness is from product build up. When is the last time your hair has been clarified with a clarifying shampoo? I use Kinky Curly’s Come Clean. You can buy them at any health food store or beauty supply store. When I started transitioning, I kept trying so many different products that my hair was coated. Even regular shampoo won’t thoroughly clean all that stuff out after awhile.
So I learned to stop trying to many things and just stick with a few products. I also clarified once a month to make sure my hair stayed free of build up. That may be why your hair feel dull. Mine was dull, dry and wouldn’t respond to any product because I had too much residue built up.
Hi lisa i have kanky twist braids i dnt kno how long i need to leave them up do u kno and do i need to oil it while i have braids in thanks deanna
I left my twists in for 6 weeks. Here’s how I maintained them. https://napturallycurly.com/2010/05/wearing-braids/
I just found your website and its been very helpful. I am currently wearing a weave so I havn’t actually dealt with my hair yet since I decided to transtion while in the weave. My question is when do you use certain products. Like when I take out my weave should I shampoo, condition, deep condition, moisutirze, and then seal or is there another method? Also how many times should I shampoo or even cowash?
You’ll have to experiment as I wouldn’t know exactly what your hair will respond to but generally shampooing once a week and re-moisturizing a few times throughout the week is good. But of course if your hair is dryer/not so dry then you would vary up your routine. Definitely shampoo, deep condition and use a leave in. Then from there monitor your hair to see when more moisture is needed.
I never cowashed. My scalp is too dry and needs suds lol.
Hey Stephanie! My hair was very short too at the beginning of my transition (January 2012) and its growing quite nicely! I even trimmed my ends a couple of times too, probably a quarter of an inch – not much LOL! Lisa has great ideas, advice and suggestions – I’m still following many of her tips since I started! She really helped me alot and helped me to feel confident. To give you some idea, in about 6 months time, my hair grew from a Halle Berry cut to just about the length of Wanda Sykes’ hair. I don’t bother with length checks, but I’ve been taking pictures to see my growth. Best of luck, and thanks Lisa!
Thanks for the words of encouragement currently I have a weave so it’s grown alittle it’s been a very interesting process so far. But I just started my transition not even a month ago so I’m still in the “finding products that work for me” stage lol
Hi my name is Stephanie. I am trying to transition to natural. Its been a challenge since I have a short cut. My hair in the back is shorter than my hair on top. I really look for to what my hair is going to look like but I’m still trying to figure out what to do to it in the meantime and what products should I use. I also have really bad scalp dryness so I need a product that will help with that. Thanks in advance for the advice 🙂
I already have some info on pretty much everything you mentioned. For products, here’s my list https://napturallycurly.com/2010/07/my-favorite-transitioning-products/ For scalp dryness, read this article. https://napturallycurly.com/moisturizing-dry-transitioning-hair/
Hi lisa i have decided to transition i havent used a perm since april of dis year my hair is at the nape of my neck when i wash it it gets real curly and wavvy i like the look n i would like to wear it that way but when i let it air dry it looks like a dry curly fro please help do u have any suggestion on how i can keep the wet curly look alall day
I can relate. I had to eventually learn that this was my texture and there was nothing I could do to change it. Now, you can probably put gel on it while it it’s wet and achieve the “wet look” for awhile but sounds like your hair texture is similar to mine. It will only hold that for so long. Kinky Curly is another product that may help you achieve that look temporarily.
Thanks 4d tips were can i get the kinky curly from i also have another question will kanky twist help my hair to grow if so how long can i leave them in because im really not tryn to not put a relaxer in my head i also wanna c how long it can get by decemember of dis year
So, can you just give me a simplified list of the products I will need from washing to styling? I am transitioning without the big chop and it seems I will need:
shampoo (of course)
some sort of deep conditioner
leave in conditioner
some sort of oil ( coconut or Jane Carter’s nourish shine)
Jessie’s buttercreme or some other product to create twist
loc & twist gel
Am I missing anything?
Yep. You got it covered. Keep in mind, though these are what I used for the hairstyles I created. You may find you need more or less depending on how you want to wear your hair. Of course the shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioner are musts (Remember, the brands I used may not work as well for you) but everything else you buy is up to you. So for example if you aren’t going to do twists, no need to buy twisting creme.
Also, if you’re going to do rod sets, you’ll need setting lotion (I prefer B&B’s foam wrapping lotion because it doesn’t have alcohol) I just don’t want you to feel you have to buy every single product I bought.
Great, thank you so much! I have one more question for you. Today I bought the Cantu leave in conditioning repair cream, Jane carters spray leave in conditioner, and I have the olive oil replenishing conditioner. After I wash my hair do I need to put all 3 conditioners in my hair? I also bought the natures shine spray oil that has a combination of coconut oil and soybean oil in it. When should I use the oil? I also got Miss Jessie’s buttercreme, for twist.
I always tried to put as little in my hair as possible once I figured out what my hair liked. So I would suggest trying one at a time and see how it goes. Not only will you not be coating your hair with too much product, but you’ll save money. 🙂 I found that it’s less about how much you use, but finding what your hair likes. The fewer products the better.
Thank you so much Lisa…you have been very helpful and I love the website!
Rosalyn Lark says
Lisa, I have been researching for months and realized that quite a few people besides myself are transitioning. My problem is I am almost entirely grey except for the back of my hair which is black. I have found a few products at Whole foods that work well and a young woman suggested curly knot sham0oo and conditioner. It does leave my hair soft. I have been getting palm twist which seem to work to work well and then she rod sets the part that still has perm. The grey hair is the problem. It does what it wants . Any suggestions? Thank you. Love your site. It”s now in my favorites.
I honestly don’t know what to tell you since I haven’t greyed that much… yet. Do you have a natural hair stylist in your area you can consult with?
Rosalyn Lark says
I do have someone and did ask. I thought you might haven some experience she didn’t I appreciate you getting back to me.
I am so excited about going natural. It has been 1 month and 1 week since I have had a relaxer. I am ready to go out and buy some products for my hair and is looking forward to the transition.
Hello! I appreciate your website so much! I am going to try the twist that you did… I am in the transitioning stage right now but I am about 4 months in…so my roots are very curly i did trim my hair but idk if I have to do more trimming…but the products that I have already are the some of the cantu collections…I have the Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo, Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair coconut curling cream…and I also have Olive Oil and Isoplus Castor Oil are those products good enough to maintain my hair and can I use the Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair coconut curling cream to do the twists?? I appreciate you taking out the time to reading and answering my questions…and when i do the twist can I put the rods at the ends like the day after I dry my hair and make the twist smaller and dip my hair in hot water to make it curly??
Because everyone’s hair behaves differently with different products, there’s no way I could know what is best for your hair. I personally hate the Cantu line. It does nothing for my hair, but other people swear by it. So you have to just experiment.
The dipping trick I believe only works on synthetic hair. I don’t think you can do that on real hair but I may be mistaken. You can definitely rod the ends the next day but the curls will hold better if you do when the hair is wet.
So do you prefer that I do the twist small when my hair is wet or braid my hair in big braids and then the next day twist them smaller like you did in one of your videos??
Hi Kathie, it depends on the look you want. If you want them to be a bit longer then do the big twists and twist them after they dry. That’s the way I do it usually… unless I’m in a hurry.
Hi Ms. Lisa
I have an eleven year old daughter whose transitioning from relaxed to natural hair for about 8months. I dont know where to start. I dont want to make that move by doing the big chop, but her is breaking off and it is brittle. It’s dry. I need help on what to do please.
What is your routine like? Do you deep condition once a week? How is she wearing her hair? A lot of breakage after 8 months is not really unusual. If you’re not ready to trim have you ever considered getting her some kinky twist extensions (loosely done of course). That will keep you from having to manipulate the hair so much.
Its been 2 months since my last relaxer and honestly i don’t feel a bit out of place when i’m out in public with my 2 textures. I’m so proud of not only myself but all women that are part of the Natural Movement. I really love reading all the information you put out there for us transitioners. I cant wait to be 100% in. Thank You 🙂
Yaaaay! Good for you, neen. 🙂
I’m with you, Neen!!!
Hi there Ms. Lisa!!!
I must say that your website napturallycurly.com has been more than helpful. I have 3 daughters (13,8 &5) and made the major decision May 2011 that we will no longer get perms. Why you ask? Well, we live in Louisiana and if you know anything about the weather in the south, you would know that the summers are brutal. The 4 of us have been transitioning since then. I have been using Ion with Keratin shampoo & conditioner and straightening with KeraCare creme press. It’s gorgeous when it’s done but I’m looking now for that natural curl that they each started with. I started their perms at 3 because their hair was soooo thick & curly and hard to manage. I am not familiar with the types of hair (4a, 3c) but once the water hits it, it curls up.
I am a true product junky!!! I found the products mentioned on your site and just don’t know where to begin. My oldest has the thickest hair, the 8 yr old has fine to medium shoulder length hair& the youngest has thick long hair(mid back length). I have yet to cut the 5 yr olds hair because of her impatience. No major chop for the older girls and myself, just an even trim. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The styles that are shown on your YouTube videos were styles I did for them when they were kids.
More than likely their hair pattern has changed so they may not be able to get that same curly pattern they had when they were small. It’s really hard to recommend products for other people because what works for me may work completely different for someone else. So you really have to just start experiment with different product lines and see how their hair responds to it. I really like the Oyin products as well as Miss Jessie’s curl cremes. Have you tried any of those?
Teresa T says
Hi quick question what’s your take on Lustrsilk Moisture Max moisturizing oil lotion
I’ve never even heard of this to be honest.
Teresa T says
Hi I new to going natural! my last perm was in march but it was only around the edges not the whole head I have not put any heat at all. my new growth is thick and dry I have coarse hair anyway now that i dont have a perm boy! oh boy but I wont give up what’s someting I could do nightly for softness and to help with the dryness
The best thing you can do is wait. It’s probably scab hair. This is VERY common when you first start transitioning. Scab hair comes from a coating your follicles create to protect themselves from the chemical. So it makes your hair feel hard and dry. It takes some time to grow it out (a few months) but if you stay away from heat and deep condition regularly you will notice your hair softening up later.
Try to find a water based, leave-in moisturizing product (water = moisture) to help with the moisture. (I like Oyin’s Hair Dew). You can use any moisturizer but try to find one that’s natural and the first ingredient is water.
But unfortunately scab hair can trick you into thinking this is how your hair will always be. Not necessarily. Once your follicles realize the perm is not coming back it will stop making that coating. I went through the EXACT same thing and after about 4 months my hair softened up.
Teresa T says
Thank You so much my mind is on overload with all the products youtube has been very helpful now I just have to figure out what syles to try decisions decisions 🙂
Claysie Woods says
Basically no curls pop, or curl definition.
It just straightens the hair, stares at me saying, you are joking right!!!! Not even kinky!!!!!
It worked on my Dad´s hair though, hahahahahaha, really it did!!!
I will try that one and i think I will try the Aloe Vera Gel 100%, never knew I would be able to find that down here in Central America, surprises, surprises!!!!
Take care Girl!!!
Will write in the results, doing a twist this Saturday, should take 3 hours but will see if it can last 1 week, so it´s worth it!!!!!
Claysie Woods says
Hi Miss Lisa,
SO far so good with my hair. Question, my hair is now 2 inches of pure natural hair which is yayyyy!! But it’s so thick, I tried the Eco Styler gel and it did not work, I think I even heard my hair laughing as I was putting it on, hahahahaha. So I washed her with conditioner only and applied the gel to soaked hair, did not work. Another day, I washed her and applied leave in conditioner then gel, did not work, then another day, I washed applied shea butter then gel, did not work. 1 week later I just applied the gel to my dry hair and that really did not work. So I have come to conclusion, this gel does not work on my hair, I think I have 4b, 4c or maybe 4z hair (it’s probably a new species, ahahaha). Any advice on how to define my curls, there are there, they are just hiding from me.
I have tons of accessories so I will do that and just rock the fro, for the record, black hair does defy gravity, she is growing up!!!!
Thanks a mil dearest and take care,
Loving your hair by the way!!!
You’re cracking me up. OK, I have to say, I’ve never heard of gel not working at all. So when you say it doesn’t work, does it just straighten your hair out? Does your hair remain kinky? Have you ever tried Kinky Curly Curling Custard? It’s a little lighter than gel, but more pricey.
Shaunice Alexander says
Hi! It’s me again with a new concern. I’m wondering about ways to prevent…or, well when I wet my hair at all ( co-wash or shampoo wash) and put conditioner in to comb it out alot of hair comes out in the brush. i try to be gentle with the tangles and knots… I know there’s going to be shedding and everything especially because i usually bantu knot my hair and dont comb it out for days at a time. I’d like to know if there’s a strategy to lessen the amount of hair that’s breaking.
As long as its natural shedding and not excess then there is nothing you can do. But I usually get a lot of the shed hairs when I prepoo with conditioner. I pull them out as I finger detangle. That way I haw way less shedding during and after shampooing.
Shaunice Alexander says
Hi Lisa! I’m a new transitioner, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner, and I loved the way it made my hair feel when I co-washed with it. However, I can’t seem to be satisfied with an every-day moisturizer; my hair feels really dry and brittle half-way through the day. Any suggestions on what I could try to really lock in moisture? Greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for this information! This is my go-to site for eveything NATURAL!
I had this problem when I first started transitioning. I think part of my problem was scab hair — which is a coating that grows out over your hair the first 1-6 months after you stop relaxing. Not all women get it, but I think I did. I remember the back of my hair feeling horrible at the start of my transition.
But as I continued to be heat free, deep condition, use castor oil, etc. it began to change.
I don’t know what style you’re wearing your hair in so this may not work. But one way to lock in moisture is to mist some water in the air with a spray bottle (not a lot to frizz your hair out) and let it fall on your hair so your hair. Then sleep in a plastic cap to help re-moisturize your hair.
The key is to not spray it directly just mist it as if you were out in the humidity. Your hair should hardly feel wet.
Or, you could try it without water and just try a light moisturizer and sleep in a plastic cap.
HI! I love your website! Im 14, when I was in Elementary I always wore my hair in cute twist etc. Then in 6th grade kids told me, “You should wear your hair straight” then after all the pressure I got my hair relaxed. My hair used to touch my shoulder and now its a little higher than my ear lobe. Im so mad, but yet it was my decision and I made a bad one. Im full black, now im in 9th grade and have stopped perms for about 2 1/2 years. My hair is a little longer, now a little under my ear lobe, your website gives me hope. So many kids with long hair dont know what its like living in a community where you are being pressured to have hair you dont have. Everyone says, “Grow your hair out!” WHAT DO THEY THINK IM DOING! Its so hard, just too hard. They dont know. Im so mad, and it makes me so sad that dont “look” like the other kids. I hide behind hoodies and big jackets.. What Im trying to say is…
Your site gives me hope! THANK YOU!!
I completely understand what you mean. When you are in high school, nothing matters more than fitting in. It sucks to be teased or feel like you are different, but trust me…. stay strong. You are beautiful just as you are and society has programmed us to believe that only one kind of hair is pretty. It’s simply a state of mind. The next time someone asks you why don’t you straighten your hair just ask them why is so important to them what you do with your hair? Tell them all kinds of hair is beautiful you and it’s just not important for you to let society tell you what beautiful is. Work it girl!
okay i will try the leave in conditioner and observe the results over a period of time. So anxious for my hair to be looking healthy again. One thing i can say Lisa is that the first time i rocked the rod curl i felt so confident personally about myself and felt comfortable with me.(smile)
am really glad for the technology we have today, because of that we can share our experiences with one another,so grateful.
hey lisa i wanted to know if you’re suppose to apply the caster oil after washing the hair then add moisturizer and then style. Am not certain as to what products should be added after washing. I know i have to add back moisture in the hair but not quite sure how to do it dont want to put too much of products. Need some direction
thanks inadvance for the advice
-ps your transitioning hair styles are really cool hope i can look half as sensible rocking my transition hair. (lol)
I always apply castor oil to my finished hair – never wet because it doesn’t absorb well when the hair is wet. Try to look for leave in conditioners that have water as the first ingredient. Those are going to give you the best moisture after shampooing. I use Oyin’s Honey Hemp. I mix it with water in a spray bottle and spray my hair with it. I find that if I use it full strength, it leaves residue.
Thanks, you are a life saver!
Thanks for all the information..It is very helpful! I only started this journey in Dec of 11, so haven’t really got that far yet. I have really looking for more info about transitioning WITHOUT THE BC!!! My hair wasn’t bad with a perm except for the back that broke off two or three years ago and cant grow all the way back. my hair is all the the way down the middle of my back, so I know tht i will have to transition for about a yr and a half to two, but its ok i can do it. I recently moved to Korea and the water here is horrible so with that being said lets get this hair growing healthier. I could write for days…lol!
Earea, can you please keep me posted on how you take care of your hair? I’m planning to move to China next January. The reason why I’ve gone natural, is because I may not be able to get relaxers there, but I also am trying to figure out how I will take care of my hair over there and what products I can find there that I can use without damaging my hair. Thanks in advance, Nikki. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Lisa! Hope you’re doing well….haven’t seen you on YT lately! I’m going to have to buy myself an aloe vera plant. I love plants anyway so now it can do double duty! Quick question: I’m new in my transitioning (last relaxer in November 2011) and don’t want to use alot of different products in my hair. Could I use my homemade shea butter whip in place of a leave-in conditioner? What do you think?
I did a video last week. You may have missed it.
Shea butter makes for a better sealant to seal in your moisture/leave-in conditioner. This is because it doesn’t dissolve well on wet hair so that may be one issue you run into. I often use shea butter the day after I wash my hair and then once again every few days (as needed).
Leave-in conditioners with water listed as the first ingredient make the best leave-ins because water is the foundation for moisture. Then you follow up with shea butter to lock in (seal) that moisture.
I love that I found your website. I’m finally transitioning to natural hair and tackling that process by myself. Is the Herbal Essence Totally Twisted a product I can use everyday? Or what would you recommend for daily moisturizing usage?
I only use the Totally Twisted for conditioning on wash day. I used castor oil for moisture and it’s so thick, you only need to use it every 2-3 days. A little amount goes a long way.
Hi, I just luv the loads of in4mation U provide on ur site. I am one month natural and I must say I love what I see. The day I cut it, I had just taken my braids out, looked in teh mirror, said 2myself NOMOPERMS need something new. It literally took me less then a minute 2pick up the scissors, grabbed a chunk of hair & CHOP. I said 2myself do it now, do it now. When I did I knew there was no turning back.
I washed my hair and conditioned it, added moisture, began playing with it & 2my surprise I noticed the curls. I wet my hair some more with more moisture, slicked it with my hands & that’s when I saw my curls …my eyes popped. Now mind U I didnt cut it short, short but after seeing the strings attached 2the curls…HA! Let’s just say I went from 6-7inches 2 (3-4 inches) a day later 1inch.
Ok I’m a long winded person so let me just say I have 2 textures…wierd where it begins. My sides, back and tight and coily curls. From my 4head 2 less then halfway back it’s wavy. I sooooo hope it changes, but I know u said don’t judge the texture yet.
So on finally to my question…What do Uthink about Jamaican Black Castor Oil (Tropic Isle brand)? I ordered it and waiting 4 it now. I compared the reviews & more pro’s then con. I want growth exceleration really bad, I’m ready 4twist outs or some lengthy coils…with all this said what are some suggestions?
Products I use currently: KinkyCurly Custard (LOVE), Knot 2day Conditioner (AWESOME), I rotate Eco Style w/olive oil from the custard but (EXCELLENT plus I add extra olive oil to that. Shea Butter Raw, Vatika (coconut,lemon,henna &amla) moisturizers (EX-CEL-LENT-TAY!!!). And in a few days Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Shampoos I use no comment because I Co-Wash and use Apple Cider Vinegar after a week of build up.
Whew…done……So what do you think?
Congrats!! I wish I could have been that brave. They say once you get a taste of your curls after start snipping, it’s hard to stop! LOL
I think the texture difference is permanent. I think most people have more than one texture. For example the back of my hair is more defined/wavy when wet. The crown is more kinky and tangles easier.
Never tried the JB Castor Oil. I am not really a believer that products speed up growth much more than keeping your hair clean, exercising and eating a healthy diet.
I love Apple Cider Vinegar!! Not only does it refresh my scalp but it’s great for a moisture sealant with cold water after conditioning your hair.
Yaay! So happy for ya!
It has been about 5 months since my last relaxer and I have been trying different styles. Because my ends are still straight, my flat twists or two stand twists always unravel. Do you have any suggestions that would help with this problem?
Yes, I would buy some of those tiny perm rods from a beauty supply. Make your twists fairly small and use the rods to roll the ends. That will keep your ends sealed and you can get a little curl on the ends. You can also add a tad bit of gel to the ends too. Not too much though because gel can be drying and cause breakage.
My last relaxer happened to mid-August of this year. My hair always shed (not small sheds that shows breakage, but from the root). Anyways, after my last relaxer my hair shed like never before. Along with the shedding, I sweat, given that I am a chef. The sweating would cause my relaxers to not hold so long.
I decided to go the natural route. However, I started out with my current hairstyle, kinky twist extensions. Prior to getting the kinky twists, I had 1.5” of new growth. I’ve only had these twists in for a month now but I have so much new growth. My hair is extremely thick and past my collar bone but not to my shoulders.
Once I take these kinky twists out, can you please give me an idea of what products to start out with? Should I get a professional trim/cut? What regimen should I be doing? How long before can I get a sew in or braids after taking out my kinky twists? Sorry for many questions, I am just unsure about alot and have no support on this journey.
Great site & I like your product reviews. I just celebrated my 1yr Locversary with Sisterlocs and currently I only use their products.
Prior to locking I used a great product Miss Jessie’s curly pudding and my neices use the Baby Creme. It’s gotten a bit pricey, but it’s now sold in Target stores. Have you ever tried their line??
Yes, they aren’t on this list because this was when I was transitioning and I didn’t use it then. But now that I’m natural the Curly Buttercreme is one of my favorites for twists and twist outs! Congrats on your Locverary!
Do you know anything about the products called MixedChicks? I’ve heard they are great for natural hair, but don’t know a lot of people that have used it. Its quite expensive and I don’t want to spend a ton on money on products that may not work for my hair.
I’ve heard about it, but never used it. Just like anything else I’ve heard some love it and others hate it. So it’s one of those things I guess you just have to try. But as you said, it’s very pricey so hopefully if you buy it and don’t like it you can do a product swap with someone. 🙂
I used it on my sister’s hair and showed a little of that in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBFL_Wiagvk
It looked nice on her hair but she wouldn’t wear her hair out so it’s hard to tell.
I love your site, it has a lot of great information I’m knew to the transition process, I wanted to know If I should oil my scalp and if so with what? Can I use the Extra virgina olive oil as well, and also I see a lot of people use the olive oil but do I have to wash it out? Thanks for all of your help.
Hi Tammy, I rarely oil my scalp because I feel it clogs my pores. If I do use olive oil I’ll use it when I pre-poo and then wash it out. Sometimes I use it as a light moisturizer but very rarely. But you don’t have to watch it out. It’s a great moisturizer for the hair.
Thanks for the quick response, have you ever tried an ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar) I’ve been reading a lot about that about how its good and brings the Ph back to your hair, if so, in what order did you do the regimen?
Your website is very inspiring, I find myself logging on quite often over the last couple of days anxious to try some of the products and start a better regimen. My last perm was probably some time around March or April of this year, it’s getting really difficult to figure out what to do with my new growth, I hope the texture does change into something a little softer. I don’t know if it’s bad or not but but I’ve always had hair a little past my shoulders, so I have been wearing ponytails. I don’t wear them tight, but now it’s to the point where you can tell that I have 2 textures. I guess I have to set it more often. Where do you get your scarfs from, are they regular long scarfs that you are wearing as headbands and maybe then ends are tucked in?
I can so relate. So you are about 6 months post relaxer and during this time I wore nothing but rod sets. They lasted at least a week for the most part and I used very little heat (sitting under the dryer). I get my scarfs and headbands from all over…. CVS, Target, Walgreens, etc. Some are scarfs but most are headbands. Also it is very likely your texture will soften, especially if you deep condition weekly. Can’t emphasize that enough.
I tried to transition but was at a stand still. I went three months without a perm but it was breaking off. Went to my beautician and she decided that I needed a perm. Hair is still breaking off. Trying not to do the BC because I just started to grow my hair back after being short for two years. Now, I am still indecisive about my
I would suggest researching a new hair stylist that is skilled with maintaining natural hair. I know it can be difficult to change stylists… especially if you’ve been with them for awhile. But if you are serious about healthier hair and are considering going natural, you need someone who is going to be supportive of the decision and not just relax your hair if there is breakage. That’s just my opinion.
Marcha Couyoute says
First I must say that this is a lovely website. I love that you are encouraging black women to love their natural. I cut my hair pretty short in July; it close to October and my hair grew a little bit passed my ears. So far I haven’t gotten a perm since then. The shampoo I have is Creme of Nature but I just read the back and it said it had sulfates. Should I finish with this bottle of shampoo and then purchase a different? I want to go natural but I can’t afford to by all these products at the this moment : ( Also, I’ve been using coconut oil to massage my scalp before I go to bed. My cousin recommend the Softee’s Indian Hemp to grease my scalp but I don’t want to clog up my pores. Please help.
Hi Marcha, I think if you drink enough water and cleanse your scalp good, there should be no reason to grease your scalp. It will just add build up and clog your pores. Now I’m not expert but that’s just my opinion.
Go ahead and use up your shampoo. No sense in wasting product. Just add olive oil to your hair prior to shampooing and leave in for at least 1 hr.. That way you will retain moisture and your hair won’t be stripped dry when you shampoo.
I am close to 2 months into transitioning and my hair is super thick and dry. I would not have made it these last couple of weeks if it wasn’t for Aussie Moist Conditioner and Kinky Curly Knot Today. I know Aussie has “cones” in it, so I plan to try the Giovanni line, but it makes m hair so slippery, I love it. By the way, I found Giovanni products at Marshall’s and TJMaxx in Northern Virginia. My hair texture is very close to yours. Your website it truly inspiring. I need motivation to get through this. 🙂
Thanks for the tip! I’ve never tried Aussie Moist but I’ve heard sooooooo many good things about it. Gotta try it!
I use creme brûlée from beijaflornaturals for my twist outs. It is great and I would highly recommend it.
Hi, am doing the transition process. At the moment I use Carroll’s daughter monoi products like the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask but I dnt have a good leave in moisturizer. What can u recommend? Plus I was thinkin of tryin she’s moisture shea butter leave-in conditioner plus they have this shea moisture coconut and hibiscus curl n hold smoothie…. Do u think that’s something I can try?????? Cuz my hair is dry, u can check it out on amazon… Thanks I will really appreciate ur feedback.
I love Oyin Handmade’s Honey Hemp leave in. That’s my staple leave in. Shea butter products are usually good to help seal in moisture. So I would give it a try. Just make sure you use a good moisturizing leave in conditioner before applying (the first ingredient should be water in the conditioner) and the shea butter will help lock in moisture.
Hey Ms. Lisa I just done the big chop and I so confused on what to use on my hair it havent started growing yet I just cut it off on the 3rd but I was always told to use one product for your hair so I wanted to know what will be a good product to use thats reasonable everybody been telling me to use just shea butter as my conditioner and i can make my own shampoo using shea butter and yucca root powder and just add whatever oils I like I been using suave and v05 products for the longest not knowing all the harsh chemicals in it and i also bought tresemme moisture shampoo and conditioner about a month ago and it has the same products
Congrats, girl! So happy for you! I have only used one brand of shampoo / conditioner the last 5-6 months and will continue to use it when I’m all natural. It’s Giovanni. You can get it at Walmart, Whole Foods and I think Target. Their shampoo and condish work great for me. As far as moisture, get some caster oil if your hair is thick and kinky. I use that as an every other day moisturizer.
But you really don’t need to buy a lot of products. All you need is 1) a good shampoo/condish 2) good leave in condish (I use Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp) and 3) good sealants like any natural oils and shea butter. No need to spend too much on product. Good luck!
I am new to this and a friend recommend your website to me. I love it, it’s so helpful! I was scared to start the transition but after looking at your site I’m actually excited!! I have A LOT of relaxed hair so I’m going to buy so products and try the flat twist. Thanks for creating this site, I’m no where near as nervous as I was when I made the decision to go natural. I have already recommended your site to a couple of my friends who are also transitioning!
Thank you so much, DeVita!
Hey just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks for creating this site for transitioning women such as myself. Just at the 3 month stage and I have a lot of perm still in my hair and I think I may have that scab hair you were talking about. Still trying to figure out what to do but pretty sure I want to go natural just nervous about it. I’ve been flat twisting my hair with setting lotion and it’s been okay. Mixed results…some days are better than others. I will condition more and I know I need to trim my ends more. I just picked up some of the that Knot Today and Kinky Curly Custard. Today I will try a twist out and let you know how it comes out. Thanks again for you encouragement…didn’t really want to do the BC…lol
Thank you for all the information you share! I’m very grateful!!!!
Shout out to aloe vera! You still got that plant from back in the day??? Just use a lil of that lol
Something good about being a product freak is that some of the natural black products are starting to be sold in stores like Target (Jane Carter Solution for instance).
Girl, you remember that? I think my mom killed the plant. lol Yes! Miss Jessie’s is also in certain Targets now. Cool! (Although I’m still on the fence about some of her stuff.) I didn’t know about Jane Carter tho. Sweet! Now I can get my Nourish and Shine locally. Yay!
Bonita Hampton says
Thank you for your helping African American women learn more about hair care. I am 43 years old and I got my first relaxer in college after getting my hair pressed. I had always had long coarse hair but something happened after the relaxers began. I decided in 2005 that I would no longer relax my hair and started wearing weave. I have also worn two strand twists in between. Since this decision, my hair is very dry, weak looking and not as coarse as it used to be. My stylist says hair thins out as we age. I am having a hard time with this statement because I really haven’t given my hair much of a break at all since started the sew ins. I think I was just “hooked on weave”. I have decided to take the step toward at least toward trying regrow and regain the healthiness of my hair. However, one area apprehension is working in a very professional environment where I am often times the only minority. Honestly, the thought of wearing natural hair styles in this environment makes me uncomfortable. Also, I feel when I decide to wear my hair, I will have to hear my family and others that know me criticize me for “messing up” my pretty hair. I’m not a hair person and I am not looking forward to purchasing a bunch of hair products and spending a lot of time doing hair as I have a very busy schedule. I really appreciate your sharing about the products. I have had a lot of people tell me about a lot of products and I don’t want to go out and purchase them all…Now I am fearful about the process and my thought it is that I will waste money. I have also come to the realization that some stylists are not familiar with natural care, and natural hair salons are quite pricey. Thank you for listening and caring!
A friend of mine was in a very similar position. She is in a higher up HR position in management in a predominately Caucasian environment. She has worn weaves most of her life but recently took the plunge and is now wearing her afro. Did she get some stares? Yes, that’s to be expected. But is she still employed? Yes. Even more important. She had so much damage from weaves that it was either wear her afro or go bald.
She chose the afro. lol
I remember reading a natural hair book (can’t remember the name…. sorry) when transitioning and it was written by a lady who was afraid of going to her job with her natural hair. She realized it was all in her mind and confidence was really mattered. Since going natural, she received 2 promotions and hasn’t looked back.
Yes, some aren’t going to like your hair. There is absolutely nothing we can do about it. But today, natural hair is much more common than it was 10-15 years ago and I think you will be fine. It’s more about you learning to feel comfortable with your new look. You’ll get there.
As far as products, try Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat or any of their shampoos that say “Moisturizing.” You can get them at Walmart at about $5-6 a piece. It’s hard to go wrong with them. See how your hair responds to it. I haven’t heard too many say they don’t like that line. And if you don’t want to spend that on Giovanni’s conditioner, get Suave Naturals ($1.99) at Walgreens or CVS. Just make sure it says “moisturizing.”