Hey y’all, you guys know I’ve been transitioning for quite sometime now, (1year 7months 3weeks and 6 days now to be exact) so I decided to make a short lil’ list of some techniques I’ve used to maintain these two textures with as minimal breakage as possible. Not saying there’s isn’t going to be any, cuz there is, and at the beginning it’s going to seem like a lot. O.O
Be prepared as trying to tame these two completely different textures on your head is going to take a lot of patience, time, care, and love.
The best thing you can do when it comes to two textured hair is be gentle at all times and never dry detangle, brush, or comb when your hair isn’t in a straightened style.
Regular deep conditioning.
Regular deep conditioning is essential while transitioning. I found that during this time my relaxed hair was extremely fragile and for the most part really dry in comparison to my new growth. Avocado and honey DC’s really helped me through the first few months of my transition, one because it was really simple and fairly cheap, and two because I liked the idea of using straight natural products on my hair. Aside from them being super messy, Avocado DC’s with OO and CCO work the best on my dry, dry, hair so I’ve stuck with that mainly through my routine.
Other Deep Conditiong Mixes I’ve had success with for dry hair:
I’ve tried other DC’s that included things like bananas and eggs but that turned out disgusting and left chunks of stuff in my hair, NOT COOL. Avocado DCs do have the potential to leave bits of stuff in your hair too but def not as bad as bananas. With the egg, I was not down with the smell or having to “wash” my hair in cold-lukewarm water for fear of it cooking in my hair. -_-
If you’re not a kitchen mixtress and would rather skip all the messy stuff I have also had success with mixing various conditioners like, trader joes nourish spa, Aussie moist, and other plain ol’ conditioners with added oils like CCO, OO, VEO, etc. Try using conditioners that focus on adding moisture to the hair and watch out for using too many products with added protein. Too much protein in the hair can cause brittleness and breakage. Hair needs a proper balance of moisture and protein to retain elasticity and strength.
Regular protein treatments …
Only when my hair feels weak or Im having severe breakage, focusing on the line of demarcation.
When trying to transition and maintain the two textures, keeping length is a bit of a struggle but not impossible.
Aphogee 2 step protein treatments really saved my ass when it came to breakage.
Relaxed or “permed” hair is weaker than the new growth or natural textured hair because of the cuticle layer being stripped away by the chemicals in the relaxer. A relaxer changes the chemical bonds of curly hair leaving it straight but also very weak and dry. The line of demarcation: the point where both textures meet, is the weakest and most susceptible for breakage when handling.
Because of this, throughout my journey I found Aphogee to be a godsend! This is some heavy duty stuff and should only be used if one is experiencing severe breakage. Overuse or misuse can lead to protein overload which results in dry brittle hair. When I started I would do a treatment once every six weeks like the bottle said but since then I only do it when I start to notice my hair breaking more than usual. When using this stuff make sure, make make make make suuuuuuuuuureee you have the balancing conditioner after because if you don’t you will end up with worse hair than you started so NEVER skip out on the balancing conditioner. I find that this makes my hair much stronger but has the potential to create dryness so I usually follow it up with a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment for an hour.
Religiously practicing the separating and detangling method.
When dealing with two textures on your head its going to get very frustrating at times and you may think to yourself,”why the hell am I doing this, I should just big chop!” And if that is your choice then by all means go for it. Do whatever you feel will make you happiest in the end. Transitioning by all means is not for everybody, but being happy is, so do you. 🙂
Annyywhoo back to the detangling, whilst transitioning you will come to find that your relaxed bits just looooveee to tangle around themselves and create great big knots when left to their own devices so the separating and detangling method really helps. I NEVER wash my hair all down (like the shampoo commercials) anymore since starting my hair routine. Washing your hair that way will guarantee you have a shitload of tangles to contest with when your done. What I like to do now is part my hair straight down the middle as if I were doing two pig tails and then separate each side into three or four smaller sections. I then braid each section and detangle them one by one with lots of conditioner and a spray bottle filled with water and oil. Sometimes I finger detangle but I’m not even going to lie to you guys I’ve been using my tangle teezer a lot. A hella lot. Lol. I find that it gives the thorough detangling I’m looking for lol.
If you plan on using a tangle teezer, use lots o’ conditioner and start from the very bottom of your hair, slllllooowwllyy working your way up. If you start from the top and go down you’re going to be in “Ripped Hair City” which no one wants to visit.
When each section is completely detangled I go to the shower and wash and condition each section separate. So yesss I stand there and undo each one, shampoo each one etc. What I also do is make sure to keep the hair “taught” or pulled downward/straight as not to create any new tangles and then just rub the shampoo down the length for a bit, after I carefully wash my scalp of course.
For extra dry hair: If you wash scalp first in each section you can just hold hair straight and let the shampoo run down the length of your hair, that way you are not overly stripping your hair of its natural oils. Or skip the shampoo all together if your hair isn’t too dirty and go with a co-wash!
Protective styling is a great way to blend two different textures. There are a variety of styles that include curl formers, twists, buns, braids, wigs, weaves etc! And with people’s creativity, the possibilities are endless. I’ve found that I get extremely bored with my hair now that I am transitioning. My main styles I run to when my hair isn’t flat ironed are my buns and twists. I used to go to Senegalese twists back when I first started out but now I find that I can’t keep em in for more than a few weeks without them being too heavy or “too” something haha but they are a really wonderful style for when you want to give your hair a break and still look fab!
Also no matter what, your protective style should not hurt your head! Do not do, or let someone do a style on you that is too tight as this will lead to breakage and severe irritation to your scalp (hair bumps anyone?!) It is ok to have frizzy hair sometimes! Trust! I had to learn. I know most women love that freshly done sleek look but at what cost?
Look at it this way, would you rather have frizzy edges? Or NO edges at all?
Moisture! Moisture! Moisture!
When doing protective styles on transitioning hair some may like to leave them in for a few weeks, maybe months, (but not too long as this can cause knotting, 3-4weeks is like max for my hair before it starts getting really bad.), anyway if its going to be for an extended period of time you must add moisture. Now I’m not saying go spray down your freshly straightened hair with water as that would ruin it but I mean styles like braids, twists, and even buns that tend to get ignored.
A good way to make sure your hair stays nice and moisturized while in one of these protective styles is to have a spray bottle filled with distiller water and a carrier oil of your choice to mist your hair with. I like to moisturize twice a day when in a protective style, once in the morning and once before I go to bed. This keeps my hair from becoming brittle and breaking so much during the takedown. I know people say that hair is technically “dead” cells but I like to think of my hair as being alive and like a plant, and all plants need water to thrive so that’s why I try to stay up on my moisture game when my hair isn’t straightened.
Remember that healthy hair that has elasticity and can withstand normal styling and handling needs a good balance of protein and moisture. Too much of either can totally mess up your hair, although moisture overload is much easier to fix than a protein overload.
Another great way to get moisture is to try the green house method while you sleep!
So there you have it, a few tried and true techniques that I have used to help me maintain these two textures while transitioning!
If you have any techniques you yourself use I’d love to hear em in the comment box below! 🙂