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  • Writer's pictureAdelle Tracey

Transitioning Curly hair : Essentials for curly hair


Transitioning is one of two ways you can go natural. It describes slowly growing out relaxed or heat damaged hair and trimming off the ends gradually as the new hair grows. It may seem less commitment heavy than doing the 'big chop' (which is cutting off ALL remaining relaxed or heat damaged hair) but is still a big commitment to find ways of styling and living with two opposite textures of hair.


The line of demarcation is the point where the new growth curly hair meets the old relaxed hair. Its extremely fragile at this point and can be difficult to manage as it is often more tangled in this section. I now have about an inch of new curly growth at my roots, therefore I am finding it challenging to manage the remaining 8 inches of tangle prone relaxed hair. However I have to say it is motivating to see growth and be reminded of my curl pattern.

The pictures above show my new curly roots and relaxed ends after 1 month and 3 weeks natural. The last photo shows my hair sectioned up, which seems to be the only way I can detangle it safely at the moment without it breaking.


I have been building a kit of essentials to make transitioning and after a little easier. The recommended items have helped me get into a good routine, as I learn how to do my hair as it rapidly changes in texture. I have found the best products for natural hair are ones that are nutrient intensive, organic and free of sulphates and silicones. It's almost as though you need to feed and nourish your hair to encourage it to grow. Afro curly hair need moisture, therefore avoiding sulphates and alcohol (which are drying) can help maintain hydrated hair.

Reading packaging labels is the best way to see what ingredients you are putting on the hair. The order they are listed in, is often in content order - meaning the further down the ingredient, the less of that ingredient there is in the product. Therefore if you aim for hair care with minimal ingredients and less bulking chemicals, its more likely to be better for the hair.

I have been using the recommended essential listings for over a month and I am really pleased with how manageable my hair is at this stage, given the initial difficulties and I am excited to see the progress.

1. Wide tooth comb - Reduces breakage, best used for detangling starting at the ends on damp not saturated hair.

2. Silk head scarf - Reduces breakage by protecting hair while sleeping.

3. Silk pillow case - Combined with scarf helps to reduce breakage by decreasing friction while sleeping.

4. Kinky Curly Knot today - Leave in conditioner that helps detangle hair - great for both hair textures.

5. Camille Rose curl butter - Even though this is more of a Styling product for curly hair, I have found the butter really comforting on my dry ends and it smells unreal.

6. Avocado oil - Deep penetrating oil to absorb into hair strand ( great for skin & cooking too). leaves hair feeling hydrated and shiny.

7. Shea Moistures Strength and restore leave in conditioner - Specifically for natural and chemically processed hair, containing some great growth ingredients like Jamaican black castor oil and apple cider vinegar.

8. Cold pressed pumpkin oil - Stimulates roots and keeps ends moisturised preventing breakage

9. Shea Moistures Raw shea butter Deep treatment Masque - Doing a weekly mask has been really helpful to help make the hair more manageable.

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