Transitioning Hair

The Guide to Long-Term Transitioning

August 11, 2018
If you plan on long term transitioning to natural hair? Here are some of my top tips to follow so you can have a successful journey.

I completed my 16-month transition to natural hair in April 2018. Did I plan on long-term transitioning? Yep! I knew I wanted a comfortable length before cutting the rest of my relaxed ends. When I started my journey, I wasn’t sure if I could reach that goal. However, I did my research and found motivation from other blogs and transformation pictures.

Do you plan on long-term transitioning to natural hair? If so, let me share some tips with you to make your journey easier!

Long-term transitioning can be anywhere from one year or more.


Stay away from heat

I’m sure staying away from heat is difficult for anyone who is used to having straight hair. As I continued my transition, there were times I wanted to straighten my hair. However, learning about heat damage kept me from doing anything to my curls.

I didn’t want to take any chances. My hair already had a ton of breakage and flat ironing wouldn’t have been the best decision. There are heatless styles you can achieve while long-term transitioning such as:

  • Twist outs
  • Braid outs
  • Bantu knots
  • Perm rod sets

Think about it, why would you continue to damage your hair? You wouldn’t want to start your transitioning journey over again!

Get regular trims

Long-term transitioning can become easier if you regularly receive your trims. You will experience breakage while transitioning to natural hair, however, remaining consistent with your trims will reduce it.

Keeping your hair trimmed is important during your transitioning journey. You will experience breakage while transitioning, however, remaining consistent with your trims will lessen the amount you have.

I received my trims every 3-4 months because that’s what my hair needed. You should get your hair trimmed when you feel the time is right. There’s no need to follow a certain schedule.

Pre-poo every wash day

When I first heard about pre-poo treatments, I thought it would be a waste of time. A pre-poo is a treatment that moisturizes your hair before shampooing. Doing this can protect your strands from being stripped of its natural oils and can help you gently detangle before washing your hair.

You can use a cheap rinseout conditioner and/or your favorite oils to pre-poo. There are also pre-made treatments you can use on your hair! You apply your pre-poo treatment either the night before or the same day you decide to shampoo your hair.

As I continued to remain consistent with this step, I saw the benefits of doing them. Not only are you protecting your hair, but you are also improving the manageability. Although this step will take extra time on your wash day, it’s worth it!

Related Post: Sis, You Need to Pre-Poo! Here is Why.

Wash your hair in sections

Washing your hair in sections will save a lot of time and frustration on wash day. It’s important to do this because your two textures will become difficult to manage. Transitioning hair is more prone to tangles and knots, therefore, washing your hair in two or more sections will help you to properly cleanse your scalp without causing unnecessary breakage.

Imagine trying to shampoo your hair with tangles and knots everywhere, it’s not fun! Although sectioning your hair may seem like it’ll add on more time, it’s best to do this if you want to quickly and easily get through your wash day with as little frustration as possible.

Related Post: Popular Ways to Cleanse Natural Hair

Deep condition weekly

Deep conditioning every wash day will keep your new growth healthy and manageable. When you apply your deep conditioners, make sure you pay extra attention to the ends of your hair. Since they are the oldest part of your hair, they need the most care.

It’s important to alternate between moisturizing, hydrating deep conditioners and protein treatments on your journey. Transitioning hair may need protein more often since you’re dealing with two different textures. Depending on the look and feel of your hair, you’ll be able to determine what type of deep conditioning treatment you need every wash day.

I recommend deep conditioning once a week or every wash day. Regularly deep conditioning kept my transitioning hair manageable and strengthened! This step is key if you want to achieve healthy hair, especially once you decide to big chop.

Keep your hair moisturized

The guide to long-term transitioning to natural hair. Keep your hair moisturized. | NaturallyMadisen.com

I can’t stress how important it is to keep your transitioning hair moisturized. Dry hair will lead to breakage! How often you moisturize your two textures will depend on what your hair needs and what your porosity is. Not sure what porosity is? Check out the post below:

Related Post: The Guide to Learning Your Porosity

Knowing your porosity will help you a lot on your journey. No matter which category you fall into, the number one moisturizer you can use is water. Water will become your hair’s best friend!


Long-term transitioning will not be for everyone. You need to make a personal decision and decide what’s best for you and the health of your hair.

Are you willing to have patience dealing with two textures? Can you stay consistent with your regimen? How long do you plan on long-term transitioning? Those are some questions you should ask yourself before making the decision to long-term transition to natural hair. The journey won’t be easy, however, it’ll be worth it at the end.

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Are you thinking about transitioning to natural hair? In this post, we discuss the best tips to follow when you decide to long-term transition to natural hair.
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3 Comments

  • Reply CC December 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    I’m 6.5 months in, and I’ve gone through a few phases. At first twist outs were great, but now I find with the trims and shrinkage, the twist outs aren’t quite that appealing anymore, so i’m blow drying/flat ironing. No issues…yet. But I’m not stupid. There is only so much more of this heat I can do. Transitioning is hard. The biggest reason I haven’t “big chopped” is not because of the length but for fear of the unknown. Will I be able to manage it, will I like it, will I feel confident with it, will I like the texture. That sort of thing.

  • Reply naturally_madisen December 24, 2018 at 2:45 am

    I understand what you mean! I felt the same way before big chopping. Natural hair can become challenging to deal with, however, with practice and learning you get better. No matter what your texture is, it’ll be beautiful. I remember constantly scrolling through social media hoping my curls would look a certain way because it seemed more liked than others. I had to stop that and focus on loving myself and whatever grew from my head. Yes transitioning is hard, but it’s possible to get through 🙂 you just have to be patient with your hair and yourself! Instead of twist outs, try doing braid outs and you can even try some protective styles. I loved wearing box braids and faux locs and it helped a lot when taking a break from my hair. Don’t give up, you got this! ♥️

  • Reply Bella February 15, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Hello, I am starting my transition journey and am so scared honestly. I do not want to do the big chop because of just being scared, I want to do the long-term transition. My hair is light, doesn’t tangle a lot, and its still not to the amount I want( sure you understand). I’ve never used any relaxers or chemicals on my hair. Just blow dry once in a while. What would you advice me…

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