Transitioning to Natural Hair: Health and Moisture
If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard “why don’t you wear your hair curly?” your whole life. You’ve been reaching for that flat iron (and curling iron!) as long as you can remember to get those post-salon visit red carpet beachy waves. After a lifetime of fighting nature, you’re now seeing how beautiful curly hair is and so is the rest of the world. Natural hair is having a major moment and your birthright is an all-access pass. From celebrities and influencers to editorials and salon guests, the request for show-stopping curls via perms and styling is on the rise. This is your moment. There’s only one problem, you have curly hair, but you’ve never worn your hair curly and you’ve hit an obstacle. After years of styling with heat, your curls are upset and *queue curly hair at the root, straight hair on the ends* not living their best life. Don’t give up, your curly hair is still there, it’s just going to make you work for it.
Transitioning to natural hair is exactly that, a transition, a process– something that’s going to take patience and work. Let’s start with this, put the heat down. Next step, book an OLAPLEX Stand-Alone Treatment at a salon near you. The OLAPLEX Stand-Alone Treatment is going to jumpstart this process by rebuilding the bonds in your hair, with the intention of getting it back to its natural state with every treatment. This is absolutely essential. You will see and feel the difference after just one treatment and soon enough this journey is going to feel like it has hope. If it’s in your budget, get monthly Stand Alone Treatments for a few months to give your hair the high strength treatment it needs to recover from years of damage.
You may have noticed I haven’t recommended getting ‘the big chop’ many have mentioned yet. In my experience, regular, healthy trims along with OLAPLEX treatments have made the most difference. Embracing your curls is a big enough adaptation, a big chop may be a quick way to address damage, but it likely isn’t going to make you feel the most comfortable with an already awkward phase. One change at a time! A small trim every few months is just the formula you need for this transition.
Onto at-home care, this is where the honor roll student determination I know you have comes into the equation. Invest in a bottle of OLAPLEX No.3 and use it to give your hair weekly treatments at home. No.3 treatments are similar to Stand Alone Treatments, they have the same patented bond building technology, the only difference being No.3 is formulated for consumer use and less concentrated than the professional treatment. I like to leave my treatments on for at least an hour while I zone out on cleaning my apartment, computer work, or when I’m bed catching up on TV (ahem, Big Little Lies Season 2).
Next in at-home care, is some serious hydration. Curly hair is naturally very dry, like, all-the-time dry. So in addition to No.3, find a moisture mask to fall in love with. Some are heavier than others, depending on how thick your hair is, so trust the process until you find one that works best on you. There are tons of natural options out there like coconut oil or olive oil with mashed avocado. If you prefer products, one that has worked for me is the OLAPLEX No.5 Conditioner, which I love because it also repairs my hair at the same time. I quite enjoy mixing the No.5 with avocado oil which is great for promoting a healthy scalp, hair growth, and an extra boost of hydration! I also love Davines moisture masks.
As far as addressing the health of your hair internally and externally goes, this will get you on the right track. Half the battle is won, because the healthier and more hydrated your curls are, the better they look, feel, and the better canvas they will be for styling products! For months I was air drying my hair and putting a little serum through it for shine. *shake my head* Little did I know that getting my hair back to health with the help of OLAPLEX was the easy part, the next journey would be to find the right products to style my curls with. I now have a styling routine I love, although I still experiment here and there with new products. Personally, this was the most challenging (and costly) part of transitioning to natural. When you flat iron and curl your hair, a little hair serum and hair spray is all you know when it comes to products. I found it really helpful to talk to other curlies to find out out what they were using along with researching articles by curly haired folk to find a starting point. Read the next article, ‘Transitioning to Natural Hair: Styling’ to dive into the world of curly hair products!