Kinky Hair 101: Getting Kinky (Transitioning tips)


There is no ‘right time’ to do the Big Chop. Whether you shave off all the relaxed hair straight away and sport a twa (teeny weeny afro) or elect to have a long transition with braids, weaves, etc until your kinks are at a length you are comfortable with, just do whatever is best for you!

If you’re not brave enough to do a Big Chop, you can gradually cut your relaxed ends off with a series of Little Chops over several months.

Treat all your hair as if it is natural
. That means using products for natural hair, avoiding heat, etc. You don’t want to damage the new growth as it appears.

Make sure you give your hair the moisture it craves. Cowash, or use a mild/diluted shampoo on a weekly basis. Deep conditioning often is a must (aim for every week)!

The line of demarcation (the point where the relaxed and kinky hair meets) is the most delicate part of the hair shaft. Make sure you handle this area with care.

If wearing your hair out, getting the two distinctly different textures of hair to blend can be difficult. The options available are:

- If you prefer to wear your hair straight, stretch hair out by either doing a rollerset, and then quickly passing a flat-iron over your hair, or use a blowdryer. Choose one or the other, never both. Remember it is imperative you use a heat protectant and limit the number of times you pass the flatiron over your hair. If you decide to blowdry instead, do not keep the dryer concentrated on one area. Heat damage can result in the permanent straightening of your kinky hair, which can be disappointing after trying to grow it out. Also bear in mind that attempting to keep hair straight might be futile in the Nigerian humidity!

- Twist sets are a way to get your relaxed hair to resemble your kinky hair, and was my preferred style when transitioning. The best way to do this is a two-strand twist on damp hair, and then curling the relaxed ends with perm/flexi rods. Undo when dry

- Straw sets, roller sets on perm rods, flat twists and bantu knots are other ways to achieve the curly look.

Enjoy every moment of your natural hair journey. You might look forward to having a big fro, but make the most of all the stages in between, because there will be a time when your hair grows and you begin to envy the cute tiny fro on the next girl.

Understand that kinky hair varies from person to person. Most of us will not end up with Scary Spice-type ringlets. Embrace the hair you were given, and don’t try and achieve what the next person has. All healthy hair is beautiful hair!

Good luck on your journey, and don’t hesitate to email if you need further transitioning advice.

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