3 Months Post Relaxer

Photo: Britt Smith Photography

"Somewhere in between" is what I'll call my current feelings about transitioning to natural hair. October has marked three months post relaxer and I have learned so much about how to literally and naturally take care of this mane of mine. Every other week, I still want to do the big chop but then I love the roller sets that keep getting better with time and practice. I have really enjoyed spending time taking care of these unique strands of my hair, which is something I've never done before.

Wash days have gotten better (it still takes a full day to complete). I've learned more about my hair type, which helps me know what kind of products to use on my hair. If you are transitioning to natural hair or considering the big chop, these are key things you need to know about your hair:

Your hair type: My hair type is between 4b/4c

Your hair density: My hair density is high

Your hair porosity: My hair porosity is low

There are tons of Youtube videos that can help you learn your hair type, density and porosity. Knowing this, has helped me tremendously know what products are great for my hair. Speaking of products, I have decided that once I hit the three month post relaxer mark, I will start mixing and matching products to test out. As you know, I've only used up until this month, the Mielle Organics line which I absolutely love. I have accepted that I am a product junkie and so ready to use other products in these next three months.

Women are always complimenting me on my hair and I have to give honor where honor is due: the power of perm rods. It took some time to mastering this style in the photo, because we (me and perm rods and satin rollers) had a love/hate relationship but again, learning what products to use and how to use the products on your hair type is important. I would be so stressed out because on the YouTube videos, the woman's hair would be dried overnight and my hair was still wet 2-3 days later. Here's why, because I have low density and high porosity hair, it takes my hair longer to dry. On my type of hair using heavy products just sits on top of my hair which makes the air drying stage take long. Now I sit under the dryer for 2 hours and let my hair air dry overnight, then my curls come out popping the next day.

Pre-pooing oils I use are olive oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, mint and almond oil. This loosens my tight curls after a perm rod set so I can detangle my hair and prepooing helps lifts any product buildup on my scalp. Those oils work great on my hair but again, research what oils and methods you should use for your hair type. I wash my hair with a sulfate free shampoo only once a month to avoid drying out my hair and co-wash my hair weekly.

Next, I learned to use the LCO (liquid, cream and oil) method and not the LOC (liquid, oil and cream) method and I hope I'm not losing you here. Because I have low porosity hair, it's difficult to keep moisture locked into my hair. So the order of products I use has to be the LCO method to keep my strands moisturized.

My hair is half permed (the ends) and half natural (the roots), and detangling can be a challenge at time. I noticed that the denman brush was pulling a lot of my hair out so I've put that away for now, and detangle with a wide toothed comb or a brush you would use to blow dry your hair. Doing a heated deep conditioner weekly, also helps soften and detangle, my hair. I'm tender headed so I don't like products that don't help detangle my hair. If you have low porosity hair, your hair loves heat and you must include it in your wash day routine.

Lastly, I get frustrated at times transitioning but overall, I really enjoy the process and it is imperative to stay consistent with your wash day routine. I wash my hair once a week, no if and's or buts about it. Like anything else in my life, I make time for my hair every week. I don't do my hair when I'm in a rush. I usually do it at night when I know I'm done with my day and I have nothing but time to take care of it. I'm three months post relaxer and over the next nine months, I'm sure I will learn new ways to style and take care of my hair but these are the basic things that works for me transitioning to natural hair.

Are you transitioning to natural hair? What is your experience like? Or if you're natural what are some tips you have that can help us transition to natural hair, post your thoughts in the comments.