How to transition from chemically straightened to naturally curly hair

Enjoy your natural hair. Picture: Pexels Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Enjoy your natural hair. Picture: Pexels Jorge Fakhouri Filho

Published Oct 14, 2023


Having naturally curly hair can at times be challenging, therefore it’s no surprise that many people opt to chemically relax their hair.

However, while straight hair might be easier to manage, the chemicals used really damage your hair.

Never mind the fact that it’s high maintenance since you regularly have to touch up your roots in order to maintain a straight hair look.

While there are still many out there who continue to relax their hair, there is a greater movement towards embracing one's natural hair.

Going from chemically straightened hair back to its natural hair texture is called transitioning, and this can be a challenging process that requires patience and dedication.

Here’s how you can get your natural curls back.

Understand the transition phase

When you stop chemically straightening your hair, there will be a period of transition where you may have both curly roots and straight ends. This can be frustrating, but it's essential to be patient and embrace the journey.

Consider the big chop

If you're ready for a more dramatic transition, consider the big chop. This involves cutting off all of your chemically straightened hair and starting fresh with your natural curls. While it may feel daunting, many people find it to be an empowering and liberating experience.

Learn your curl type

Understanding your curl pattern can help you choose the right products and techniques for your hair. Curly hair ranges from loose waves to tight coils, and each type has different needs. Research and experiment to find what works best for your unique curls.

Learn your curl type. Picture: Freepik

Hydrate and moisturise

Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, so it's crucial to focus on hydrating and moisturising your locks. Invest in a good sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner designed for curly hair. Additionally, incorporate deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners into your routine to keep your curls nourished and hydrated.

Avoid heat styling

Minimise heat styling tools like flat irons and blow dryers as they can further damage your transitioning hair. Instead, embrace air-drying or use diffusers to enhance your natural curl pattern.

Experiment with different styles

As your natural curls start to grow, experiment with various styling techniques to enhance their shape and definition. Try finger coiling, twist-outs, bantu knots, or other methods that suit your hair texture. This will help you discover what works best for enhancing your curls.

Experiment with different styles. Picture: Freepik

Be gentle with detangling

Curly hair is prone to tangling, so it's crucial to be gentle during the detangling process. Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to remove knots, starting from the ends and working your way up. Applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling product can also make the process easier.

Protect your hair at night

To maintain your natural curls, protect them at night by sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase or using a satin bonnet. These materials reduce friction and prevent frizz, helping your curls stay intact and defined.