Healthy Hair Care Blog From A Professional Hairstylist

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Transitioning Help- How to Go From Relaxed to Natural Without Cutting Your Hair

A lot of you have been emailing and asking how to stretch out your relaxers as well as how to transition into natural hair.  Doing both are similar and fairly easy.  I say easy because I am now used to it but for those just starting out, it can be a bit confusing and sometimes frustrating.


Ok, first let me say that if you are just wanting to stretch your relaxer out you are more than likely not going to go from a six week girl to a six month girl overnight.  It takes a lot of time and patience.  The good part about it is that you can look forward to having that chemical after your stretch to help you continue to stretch.  Transitioning girls don't have that to look forward to so sometimes that is what makes it harder for those transitioning to commit to it.  Here are a few steps to take to transition or stretch your relaxer out.


  1. Be patient- First get it in your mind that this will take some time.  If you are transitioning it could take up to two years for your new growth to reach the length you are comfortable with before cutting all of the relaxer off.  If you are stretching, you can't cave in as soon as you see a little ripple of new growth.  You have to be willing to accept the fact that your hair is not going to be bone straight as it begins to grow out.
  2. Start slow- For those wanting to stretch, start by pushing your relaxer out one to two weeks than your normal time.  If you are used to getting your relaxers every six weeks, push it to eight weeks.  Once you make it to eight weeks, rejoice!  Do something nice for yourself for reaching that goal.  Continue with eight weeks until you are very comfortable with it and then push it to ten weeks.  For transitioners, remember that your hair is going to grow at approximately half an inch per month.  It may not seem like your hair is growing because you are looking at it daily but trust me it is.
  3. Get transition/stretching hairstyles- Try styles that will help make the transition period/stretch easier to handle like rods (flexi rods or hard rods), twist set, etc.  Even wigs, half and whole, can help you out when it seems like you want to give up.
  4. Treat your hair- Sometimes when its time for a relaxer a lot of women's hair will begin to break and shed.  I recommend getting a protein treatment at two weeks prior to your retouch time to stop this.  The protein will help make the hair stronger and will make it harder for breakage to occur.  Also keep it properly moisturized to help it stretch. Try Silk Hydration by L. Jones Intense Moisturizing Treatment for this.  If you are transitioning get a protein treatment every six to eight weeks.  That will strengthen your line of demarcation, or the line where the relaxer free hair meets the relaxed hair.
  5. Keep the heat out- Limit your heat usage to once per week or less on your hair to avoid heat damage which can make your hair a lot weaker than usual.  It may seem tempting when you see the new growth pop up but don't do it!  Instead wrap your hair and make edge control your friend.
  6. Be consistent- Once you get used to the idea of either ditchng the relaxer totally or stretching, it will get easier and easier.  They key is to be consistent and learn to embrace the new changes your hair is going through.

The client shown above is transitioning to natural hair.  Before, when she was getting relaxers every six weeks, it seemed like her hair would not grow past a certain length.  She started getting braids and sew ins to help keep the heat out of it and her hair started growing past the point she was once stuck at.

Are you transitioning or in the process of stretching out your relaxer? How is it going for you? What have you been doing?
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