5 Things You Need to Do When You Transition

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This is for my sisters who decided to big chop from relaxed or loc’d hair.  It is such a dramatic change that I would be remised not to address the mental adjustment after a big chop.  First step is to embrace your hair and that gorgeous face.   Tell yourself you are beautiful just the way you are today at this very moment.  I developed affirmations I would say every morning.

When a newbie completes a big chop, the first question they ask is “what do I do with it now?” Well you need to devise routines to help you detangle, cleanse, condition and moisturize your hair. Every routine will differ in some ways.  It’s all contingent upon hair performance and preference.  As a guide, I will provide insight on my routines and some recipes I use throughout this article.

The 5 routines you will need for your transition are:

1.      Detangling routine

2.      Wash and conditioning routine

3.      Deep conditioning routine

4.      Scalp treatment routine

5.      Moisturizing (Sealing) routine

It took me some trial and error to develop a wash and conditioning routine. I also had to tweak it over time to adjust for my hair changes.  My wash day is usually on a Sunday.  It’s a great day to lounge and play in my hair.  To cleanse my hair, I first start by pre-pooing with coconut oil and detangling my hair.

Term explanation: Pre-pooing is the method of prepping your hair with a coating oil, like coconut oil, prior to cleansing.

1   Detangling Routine

A detangling routine helps you to manipulate your hair easily and prevents breakage.  Natural hair and especially newly transitioned hair is very fragile.  You will need to handle with care to retain length and avoid split ends.

To detangle your strands

1.      Dampen your hair and apply a detangling agent.  (My recipe is below)

2.      Separate you hair into four sections (if you have a lot to detangle)

3.      Apply clamps or hair ties to keep hair separated

4.      Gentle finger detangle each section, segmenting each section as you are done.

5.      You may use a wide tooth comb after as extra detangling step

Note:  To detangle your hair, you want to use products that will create slip.  (Below you will find my detangling recipe)

2   Wash and Conditioning Routine

Your wash routine serves a base to your process. In order for hair to grow, your scalp will need to be cleared of impurities that may be blocking or harming your strands. You want to ensure that you devise a routine that will be cleansing but not drying.  I know you see all the blogs that navigates you away from sulfates.  They are doing so because sulfates are known to have a very drying effect. I would strongly recommend using a gentle cleanser or a no lather product.  For my cleansing routines, I toggle between Rhassoul clay, Liquid Black Soap, and Co-Washing.  I will usually clarify once a week and co-wash if I need a cleansing in between wash days.

Term Explanation: Co-washing is cleansing your hair with conditioner only.

Please note: This will be messy.  So cover clothing and all areas you don’t want to get product on. (Rhassoul Clay Recipe)

What are the benefits of Rhassoul Clay?  Rhassoul clay is rich in magnesium, silica, potassium, and calcium, which all help to nourish your skin and hair. The molecular structure of Rhassoul clay gives it a unique ability to absorb excess dirt and oil, as well as extract impurities from the skin and hair. 

After you thoroughly detangle my hair,  apply Rhassoul Clay blend to detangled sections and my scalp.  Be sure to meticulously work in the clay to coat every strand.  This blend will cleanse your hair so you want to make sure each strands are well coated.  Once you have saturated every strand, then use a plastic bag to cover your strands.  Allow to sit for 10-15 mins. After 15 mins rinse out methodically letting your fingers gently massage your scalp.  Do not massage vigorously.  You don’t want to re-tangle your hair. Rinse your hair and scalp until you see clear water.

3   Deep Conditioning

Since I use the Rhassoul clay, I don’t deep condition every week.  I usually deep condition every other week.  On weeks that I deep condition, I use Charlie Renee’s Liquid Black Soap as a clarifier.  For a conditioning routine, you want to make sure your blend/product offers ultra-moisturizing benefits.   This is also a time to attempt to repair any damage to your hair.  You can add protein to your mixture, when needed.  I’m protein sensitive so I rarely perform protein treatments.  If I do add any, I usually add 1T of Goats Milk.  If you use a blend/product that leaves your hair hard, discontinue use and identify the culprit.  I tried to use a blend of yogurt and Manuka honey and it made my hair feel like a brick.  It could be user error but this user never re-visited that blend.

4   Scalp Treatment

Your scalp treatment should address your specific scalp issues.  My scalp is fairly normal so I created a blend that will address all issues to be safe.  My blend of oils offers moisturizing anti-dandruff, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial benefits. 

Oils that offer the properties above are:

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Check out Our Shop this week for the release of our Hair and Scalp Oil.

5   Moisturizing

Moisturizing natural hair is the biggest issue and the most important step when caring for natural hair.  There are a lot of false promises made by products.  The key is to understand how the hair receives moisture.  Products will never produce moisture.  They can help you seal in moisture, in efforts to retain moisture, over a course of time.  The only way to create moisture is by using water.  Water is Mother Nature’s moisturizer.  The mystery is how to retain the moisture as we operate throughout the day.

For moisturizing there are a few techniques I use that are my staples.  I use the L.O.C. (Liquid, Oil, and Cream) method. It is a technique that helps seal in moisture for my color treated hair.  There are times where I will need to use the L.C.O (Liquid, Cream, and Oil) method but my staple is the L.O.C method.

I moisturize my hair routinely every other day. This is when my hair is dry and starving for moisture.  You will need to watch your hair and determine the amount of days you will need to moisturize.  After I moisturize my hair, I section my hair into 4 to 6 sections and two-strand twist my sections. This creates chunky twist-out for me.  In the a.m., I use apply a light amount of Charlie Renee’s Coco-Mango, gently remove my twist, then I use my trusty hair pick to remove noticeable lines and to create my fro.  

Pick technique:  Only pick your hair at the roots to not disturb the texture and to control frizz.  BE GENTLE

Instructions for L.O.C

1.      Apply a water base product (I use water with Aloe Vera Juice or a leave-in conditioner)

2.      Apply Hair Oil (I use the Charlie Renee’s Coco-Mango to provide an oil and cream sealant)

3.      Apply Hair Cream (I substitute this part for a light gel for hold and frizz control)

Instructions for L.C.O

1.      Apply a water base product (I use water with Aloe Vera Juice or a leave-in conditioner)

2.      Apply Hair Cream (I substitute this part for a light gel for hold and frizz control)

3.      Apply Hair Oil (I use the Charlie Renee’s Coco-Mango to provide an oil and cream sealant)

DIY Recipes

Detangle Recipe

What you will need:

·         3T Marshmallow Root

·         1T Slippery Elm

·         3c purified water

·         1/3 c Aloe Vera Juice

·         2T Aloe Vera Gel

In a small pot on the stove, add the Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, and purified water.  Bring combination to a boil.  You will see the gel like film start to form.  Let simmer for 15 mins.  In a water bottle add Aloe Vera Juice and Aloe Vera Gel.  Strain herbs and add to water bottle.  Allow the mixture to cool before using.  Wet/Dampen hair, apply mixture and gently detangle

Or

You can use your favorite store bought conditioner with SLIP. I recommend Aussie Moisturizing conditioner or Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner.  Use a water bottle and add a 2parts conditioner to 1water mixture.

Rhassoul Clay Blend

What you will need:

1.      3T Rhassoul Clay (clarifier and conditioner)

2.      1T ACV (pH balance)

3.      1T Natural Butter (Gently melted using a double boiler effect with a cup of hot water in a coffee cup)

4.      Plastic bowl

5.      Plastic cap

6.      Plastic Spoon

7.      Towel

(I use Charlie Renee’s Coco-Mango Fruity Apricot or Unrefined Shea Butter scented with Lavender Black Currant. I use them because they smell heavenly and they add all the properties I need for cleanse my hair. See our Natural Butter shops for options)

Optional (if you choose not to use our Charlie Renee’s Coco-Mango, you can add the oils below)

·         1T Castor oil (emollient)

·         1T Avocado oil (emollient)

·         Add water as needed to achieve a creamy consistency.  The blend should resemble smooth mud.

After your hair is thoroughly detangled, use a Rhassoul Clay blend as a clarifier and conditioner.  Please note: This will be messy.  So cover clothing and all areas you don’t want to get product on. (Rhassoul Clay Recipe)

Apply Rhassoul Clay blend to detangled sections and to your scalp.  Be sure to meticulously work in the clay to coat every strand.  This blend will cleanse your hair so you want to make sure each strands are well coated.

Once you have saturated every strand, use a plastic bag to cover your strands.  Allow to sit for 10-15 mins. Then rinse out methodically letting your fingers gently massage your scalp.  Do not massage vigorously.  You don’t want to re-tangle your hair. Rinse your hair and scalp until you see clear water.

 

Liquid Black Soap

1.      Liquid black soap (Charlie Renee liquid black soap)

2.      ACV rinse (1 part ACV to 3 parts water)

3.      Purified water

4.      Water bottle

Prep: Prior to clarifying, I usually pre-poo my hair with raw coconut oil and detangle and section my hair.    The pre-poo provides some protection to the strands. I then combine the ACV and water in a spray bottle. The ACV will balance any effects to your pH and add restore some moisture after shampooing. 

As always, detangle your hair. Gently wash and rinse each section and scalp.  You want to be gentle to avoid tangles.  After clarifying, I spray my strands and scalp with ACV.  Let sit for 5 mins and rinse. 

Deep Condition recipe

What you will need:

1.      ¼ Purified Water

2.      1 Can of Coconut milk (conditioner)

3.      ½ of an Avocado( moisturizer)

4.      ½ banana (moisturizer)

5.      1T castor oil (emollient)

6.      Small strainer

7.      Plastic cap

8.      Plastic bowl

9.      Plastic whisk/fork

10.  Blender

In a blender, combine the water, banana and avocado.  Add additional water as needed to reach a smooth consistency.  Strain mixture into plastic bowl.  Stir mixture to ensure you have removed all solid bits of banana.  They will be a devil to get out of your hair.

Tip: As you are straining your mixture, tap the sides to maneuver through the strainer.

Combine coconut milk and castor oil.  Apply to detangled and freshly washed hair.  Cover strands with a plastic cap and allow to sit for a minimum of 30mins.  I heat a towel in the dryer and wrap over my plastic cap to add heat. 

I hope my tips and recipes helps anyone struggling with the next step.  I know the journey is tough, confusing and downright frustrating but you have an entire community here to help walk with you.  Every journey is different but we all feel the same pains.  Feel free to email me with questions and I will attempt to provide a guidance.

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