As you transition to natural hair you may be finding that breakage comes easy but there are ways that you can mitigate this damage until you have completed your transition. Here are seven ways you can keep breakage to a minimum:
1. Keep your new growth protected.
This can be achieved by using a braid, a twist, a roller set or some sort of low manipulation style. The use of braids, twist, and roller sets also has the advantage of giving you a blended and consistent texture.
2. Limit how much you comb.
When I had relaxed my hair regularly, it was my second nature to comb all the time. This becomes counterproductive as you transition. You will find that combing hair often actually causes more tangles and unnecessary breakage. Therefore, opt to use fingers regularly to detangle, that can help you to feel for single strand knots and pre-tangles to trim. Also, applying slight oil or conditioner on dry or damp hair can help with the detangling. Detangle SLOW! Me personally I use both my fingers and a wide-tooth comb with conditioner to detangle prior to shampooing. Both methods works (fingers or wide-tooth comb) during the transition.
3. Choose your hair accessories wisely.
You may need to make a change from the ones you are use to using. Standard elastic bands may have been the preferred method for creating styles such as ponytails, but during your transition your hair is in a fragile state. Puff Cuff, Clamps and Elastic Banana Clamps are good alternatives for achieving secure styles as they provide ample space for your voluminous and fast-growing natural hair. And of course, Bobby pins are ideal for securing your styles.
4. When all else fails wrap it.
Headwraps are the ultimate go to as you learn how to style your natural hair to your liking, when you are having a bad hair day or just for style! There are many colors, patterns and there are many ways to become creative.
5. Keep your hair hydrated.
This will prevent drying and breaking of the hair. Use a leave in conditioner that is water based and then follow up by sealing in the moisture. Using butters and oils helps to reduce moisture loss, but you must use water or a leave in first on their own you will not get the full benefit. In addition, sleeping with a silk or satin scarf, silk pillowcase, or satin cap is a great help to keep your hair moist at night.
6. Use protective styles.
The most effective way to transition is to leave your hair alone and let it grow! This doesn’t mean you should abandoned your hair. Style examples include: box braids, twists, or wigs. Just make sure you are still moisturizing and cleansing your hair. Spray products are really good for when you protective style and need to moisturize.
7. Use a strengthening treatment.
This will keep hair strong and less prone to breakage. If you opt to use a professional strength solution like Aphogee you only need to worry about reapplying every 6 weeks as needed.