How to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair

In order to go from relaxed to natural hair, you have two options: Transitioning or The Big Chop. Which one you choose is entirely up to you. There is no right way or wrong way to start your journey. It doesn’t matter how you get there, its all about what makes you comfortable.

Let’s take a look at the two methods for going natural:


Transitioning is the process of eliminating chemical treatments and allowing the hair to grow out while gradually trimming the chemically processed ends.

Most people slowly trim their relaxed ends away as they grow out their relaxer; this also helps to keep breakage at bay and it gives your hair a more healthy appearance.

transitioning natural hairPros of Transitioning:

  • You have the time to learn about your particular hair type.
  • If you are not comfortable with short hair, then you can avoid that adjustment period, and avoid the wait of growing your hair back out.
  • During transitioning you have the time to perfect your hair styling skills.

Cons of Transitioning

  • The texture of your hair will not be consistent: which means if you decide to wear your hair in a twist out or braid out style the root of your hair might be curly while your ends will be bone straight (To avoid this simply roll the ends of your hair with rods or rollers).
  • The process of transitioning takes longer than if you just did “the big chop”.

Thinking about transitioning? Then you should read 6 Things Transitioners Should Know.


The Big Chop

The Big Chop is for those who want to be natural now. It entails cutting off all of the relaxed hair and wearing a TWA (teeny weeny afro).

The Big ChopPros of the Big Chop

  • You have a consistent hair texture as opposed to transitioning where you have to deal with two.
  • There are no long waits to go natural; your hair is returned to its natural state as soon as your relaxed hair is chopped off.
  • With a big chop you have a fresh start no chemically processed hair and no split ends.

Cons of the Big Chop

  • Waiting to grow your hair longer
  • Learning to deal with an entirely new texture on the spot
  • Coming up with new short natural hairstyles.


It’s all up to you!

What you decide is entirely up to you. Go with what makes you feel good and what you feel fits your lifestyle. Remember there is no right or wrong way to go natural. As long as you get there it does not matter what route you choose.

 shea moisture transition kitShea Moisture’s Repair & Transition Kit

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  1. Ange says

    I haven’t had a relaxer since February, 2013. It hasn’t been easy for the last 2 months, my stylist said I’m half way there, 2 months ago, she is still saying it this month. I need a hairstyle that would help me while I’m transitioning. Any suggestions?

  2. says

    Thank you! I almost tried the big chop but now I’m thankful I did not. Transitioning, which takes a lot of patience, is not paying off for me. :) :)

  3. Ashley says

    I started my transition 2 months ago and I still have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I’ve been following tutorials on YouTube and I’ve noticed that I don’t have the same kind of hair so it may no apply to me. I’ve been getting relaxers in my hair since I was in junior high school (I’m 25 now). I chopped off a great deal of damaged hair since most of my strands were straight. But I noticed yesterday while I was rubbing my scalp a littl bit that the texture is different from the rest of my length. The curls feel like its tighter. I could be wrong about having 3c hair.

    • aiysha says

      i tried to transition last year but gave up after about 3 months. just was toooooo hard. i also did not know what i was doing wrong because my hair had a mind of its own. i am about to try it again as i want locs. i have no ideal what to do differently but i hate relaxing my hair. wish me luck.

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