Those of you who are considering going back natural, understand that it is a process that you have to be ready for. First and formost I ask all my clients that think they want to go natural, what made them come to this decision. Most of the reasons are summed up by the following:
1. Relaxers are breaking my hair and/or I always burn
2. I can’t afford to go to the salon as often
3. I just want to be natural, and rid myself of all chemicals
4. I like the look of natural styles
Out of these reasons only 2 are valid reasons to change your routine and go natural.
1. Relaxers can’t damage your hair, now you can use the wrong relaxer for your hair and it will have damaging resluts if its too strong for your hair, not a professional product, or not the right formula for your hair. This is your stylist job to analyze your hair and scalp to use the proper chemical on your hair. If you suffer from a sensitive scalp, there are formulas for that, and you also have to be careful not to irritate your scalp prior to being serviced.
2. If you can’t afford to go to the salon for just your relaxers, then you wont be able to afford to change your hair routine unless you cut your hair low enough for you to be able to shampoo it care for it yourself. It will still cost you because you will have to replace your products for relaxed hair with natural hair care products. If you don’t want to cut it low, then you will still have to come to the shop for treatments and maintenance so that you can still look decent during the process. Or you will have to get braids for a while which will still cost you.
If your reason is one of the first 2, i would reconsider after reading this. Statistics show that people tend to go back to the relaxer because they are not ready for the change, or their situation will change and they can afford the relaxer, or they realize that is not really saving them money, or they will get fed up with dealing with the regrowth and relax again.
Now the problem with starting and not finishing is that your hair is basically being shocked and confused. Read below and it will explain why you hair will go through a confused state of shock and you will have to still get a deep trim and a few treatments to get it back to good health.
3 & 4 – These are the reasons that are the most valid and have a low turnover rate (meaning the likelihood of finishing the process is a lot better). People are more likely to continue something that is in their heart as apposed to quick fixes to a problem. This can not be a quick fix it is literally a process that can take 6 months to a year until you are completely natural, so you have to be mentally ready. The people that are going natural for these reasons normally are more successful and happy with the end result.
It is not as simple as just not retouching your relaxer, by the time your hair is ready for a retouch, you will need to make sure that your hair is properly moisturized to postpone the breaking off of the relaxed ends. The line of demarcation is the point where your new growth and relaxed hair meet, this is the most fragile point off your hair shaft. This is the part where your hair will break, so it needs to be treated and conditioned more often. Another way to control the automatic shedding due to inconsistancy of texture is to try to make the texture as consistant as possible. I recommend twist sets, spiral set, straw sets because this is a set so its healthy, and it gives you a natural look without being compleetely natural. The other style that I will recommend is professional flat ironing in moderation, in conjuction with the moisture treatments, because this will straighten your regrowth to make the texture consistant as well.
The next portion of your growing out process, you will notice the ends beginning to thin, but that is normal, your hair is ridding itself of the relaxed hair so eventually all of the relaxed hair will break off, if you don’t cut it. I recommend to trim about an inch every month, depending on what you can handle emotionally. The more you cut off the better you will be able to style your hair with it looking healthy and not stringy at the ends. If your ends are stringy, that means that you are in need of a deep trim.
Thats the basic process that you will have to go through to grow out of your relaxer into natural hair again. You will need to make sure that your hair care professional that will be taking you through this process is aware of your goals for your hair and the process will be a smooth one for you .
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