Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tips to Having a Successful Transition - Part 1

To seamlessly blend your two different textures, opt for a flexi rod set like the model above. Not only does rod-setting help blend the textures well, but you also cut down on manipulating the hair.  

Ease Detangling Woes & Save Your Hair
Detangling at any point in your hair journey can cause breakage, & splits; but you must take extreme care while transitioning as the line of demarcation is extremely fragile. You can make your own "detangling serum" in a snap out of herbs that can easily be found in your local health food store, or online at places like

Here's my favorite mix:
1 tablespoon Marshmallow Root
1 tablespoon Irish Moss
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add herbs to boiling water, and stir frequently until the consistency is that of a light gel. Once mixture has reached the desired consistency, strain mixture through cheesecloth, or a fine sieve. Add olive oil to serum, pour into a spray bottle, and use immediately.

How do you use this? Section clean, damp hair into four quadrants, adding the serum to each quadrant. Detangle each section thoroughly, and either braid/twist to keep each section neat, then rinse. 

Why this works? Irish Moss is rich in trace minerals which is very beneficial for your hair. Also, Marshmallow Root, & Irish Moss both release a mucilaginous substance that has abundance of minerals and proteins, and the mucilage that is released offers an incredible amount of "slip".


Protein is one of the key components when it comes to reducing breakage during your transition. Hair that lacks protein is exceptionally weak, and susceptible to breakage; especially around the line of demarcation. Your hair is comprised of mostly what is known as Keratin. Each time you chemically process your hair [relaxers, color treatments etc], it weakens the keratin protein structure, so regular protein treatments are recommend to temporarily strengthen the hair. How often you do protein treatments is determined by assessing the condition of your hair, an assessment is necessary as too much protein can cause breakage as well.
I also want to point out that thermal straightening, improper blow-drying techniques, and excessive use of heat can also contribute to a weakened protein structure. 

How to assess if your hair is in need of a protein treatment? Is your hair "mushy", or "limp" when wet, does your hair "stretch" a lot when combed? Chances are you need a protein treatment.

What type of protein treatment should I use? For those that are weary of hard core protein treatments like Aphogee, there are always other options. One of my favorite treatments is a 2+1 by Sebastian. It's two parts moisture, to one part protein, and the result is silky, soft, healthy, manageable hair. This product works so well, a deep conditioning treatment is not necessary.

Another favorite of mine is Dudley's Hair Rebuilder, this is a little heavier in the protein department, but also imparts an incredible amount of moisture. This was also a go-to product for me because it corrects issues with elasticity, porosity, lack of protein, and lack of moisture. - This is the perfect product for transitioner's, as most tend to have issues with elasticity, porosity, moisture, and protein deficiencies.

You can find both products at most professional beauty supply stores.

Moisture Retention
I have already talked about the effects of chemical treatments in relation to the porosity of your hair. This time I want to touch on other products that can also temporarily "fill the gaps" along the hair shaft to ensure moisture retention.

Cellophane: Cellophane's can also temporarily deposit proteins that bind to the hair shaft; what this does is fills the gaps along the shaft to ensure that moisture loss is kept to a minimum. Not only can cellophane's help temporarily correct porosity issues, but they also help impart an incredible amount of shine as well.
Jazzings, Adore, & Sebastian Colorshine's are all cellophane's that I have used with great results.

You can find Jazzing at most Sally's beauty supply stores, and you can find Adore & Sebastian at most professional beauty supply stores. 

Henna Treatments: Can also work to temporarily correct porosity in the same way that cellophane's work. If you have a relaxer it is highly recommended that you use Body Art Quality Henna, as Henna that isn't BAQ is purported to have chemicals in it that can cause an adverse reaction when applied to relaxed hair.

One of the most reputable vendors I can recommend for BAQ Henna is

Moisturizing Products
Once you have corrected issues with porosity, it's time to feed your folicles with products to keep it soft, and moisturized. I tend to like products with added herbs, and essential oils, here are a few of my favorites:

Amla & Olive Heavy Cream - Qhemet Biologics: This is probably one of the BEST moisturizing products I have used to date, and highly popular amongst transitioner's and naturals respectively. It contains a few of my favorite ingredients like Amla, Aloe, Olive Oil, and Brahmi!

Leave In Conditioner + Water Combo - Take your favorite light leave-in, dilute with a little distilled water, and add it to a spray bottle. For a more softeness, opt for rose water or spring water in lieu of distilled. Rosewater can be found in most Indian Grocery stores in the cooking isle for about $3/32oz

Seal In The Moisture!
You can use any oil to seal in the moisture from your daily moisturizing treatments. To seal in the moisture apply a light layer of oil to your hair. Oil molecules are a lot larger than the tiny spaces along your hair shaft, so they cannot be absorbed; instead oil acts as a barrier to lock the moisture molecules in. Beware that a build-up of oils can also lock moisture out, so it is imperative that you remove product build-up regularly. Any easy non-abrasive way would be to use Apple Cider Vinegar as a final rinse, this is used by many as a gentle clarifier.


  1. Great tips, I have to try the Amla & Olive oil, my mom introduced me to the combo a while back, lol! I should have listened to her before, I kind of ignored the fact that her hair is so "ooolalala" haha!

    I also like leave in Conditioners, that seems to be my "it" thing right now, especially because my schedule has picked up a bit and low maintenance hair styles are what gets me out the door on time.


  2. A college friend of mine told me about the usage of Cellophane's years ago. It works really well!!Not only does your hair look shinier,but it will also feel smoother, and you will mos def. see a reduction in split ends. I tend to get one about once a month(every other time i go to the shop)as it washes out whenever you poo. The longer you use it the better your hair feels.

  3. I really appreciate your hair tips, but some of these products are hard to obtain in certain areas, no all of us have great natural or whole food-esque products in our neigborhood, could you do some posts on products easier to find?

  4. I love that photo! Her skin & hair is amazing! Good tips.

  5. again,just want to thank you for sharing your tips on transitioning. I have printed ALL of your posts on hair care and transitioning. I currently have "singles" but haven't had a perm in at least a year or more. Every time I read one of your posts on transitioning it makes me want to take my braids down and just start right now..LOL!

  6. Thank you so much!!

  7. Great tips... as always! Thank you so much for helping me through my transition!!! I LOVE my new head of hair!!!

  8. Great post thanks for sharing all your hair wisdom lol I can't believe I've been in transition for 5 months now. Time sure does fly by when you're having fun ;0)

  9. Thanks for this girl.I was just about to give in to the creamy crack. Hopefully this will pull me back :P

  10. great tips. i'll have to try the steaming on my hair!

    Fashion DIY @

  11. Hi,

    Do I use the Leave-In/Water combo every day? Thanks for your inspiration!

  12. @ the Anonymous comment on hard to find products try visiting Unfortunately you may just have to order specialty brands if they are inaccessible in your area.

  13. I tried the irish moss thing and it didn't work on my hair....I still had knots!


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