Transitioning Hair

Start a Transitioning Hair Regimen in 6 Easy Steps

April 21, 2018
Learn how to start your transitioning hair regimen

Are you currently transitioning to natural hair or thinking about doing so? One thing you’ll need before deciding to transition is a regimen. A regimen is a process where you perform steps regularly to keep your hair healthy and flourishing.

To have a successful journey, you must start a transitioning hair regimen you can stay consistent with. It doesn’t have to include a bunch of steps or become complicated.

In this post, we’re going to discuss the 6 steps you need to start a transitioning hair regimen. Including these steps will put you on the right track to achieving healthy, natural hair in the future.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Transitioning Hair Regimen Steps

Pre-Poo Treatments

A pre-poo is an oil treatment that you apply to your hair before shampooing. One thing you’ll notice about your transitioning hair is it’ll become more prone to tangles and knots. Doing a pre-poo will help you gently detangle and also protect your hair from the stripping effects of your shampoo.

When I learned about this step, I didn’t understand why it was necessary until I started doing it regularly. Your hair will become more manageable throughout your wash days and it’ll make the process less frustrating!

Here are two of my favorite pre-poo treatments that I recommend:

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


Have you ever had that squeaky feeling after washing your hair? If so, you must be using sulfates in your shampoo, which isn’t the best option! Sulfates can strip the natural oils from your hair + scalp and cause your hair to become dry and brittle. It can also cause scalp irritation.

You want to find a quality shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates. Sulfate-free shampoos provide a gentle cleanse without drying out your hair. You also want to look for a clarifying shampoo that will help to remove product build-up when it’s needed. It’s great to use a clarifying shampoo once a month to give your hair a fresh start!

Another way to cleanse your hair is by using a co-wash or cleansing conditioner. It’s a good alternative if you don’t want to use shampoo every week, however, it’s not a product that can replace it completely.

Related Post: 6 Amazing Shampoos That Won’t Dry Out Your Curls

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning should be a priority when you start a transitioning hair regimen. Doing this regularly will replenish your hair’s moisture and provide more manageability. One thing you want to keep in mind when it comes to this step is keeping a good moisture-protein balance. What do I mean by that?

Your hair needs the perfect balance of moisture and protein to continue to flourish. To keep this balance, you want to alternate between using moisturizing deep conditioners and protein treatments. Most people use protein once a month, however, transitioning hair may need it more often since you’re dealing with two different textures.

For deep conditioning, I recommend investing in a Thermal Hot Head. This is a convenient way to add heat while deep conditioning and it will allow the product to penetrate your strands more effectively. Trust me, it’s way better than sitting underneath a dryer!

Related Post: 10 of the Best Deep Conditioners for High Porosity Hair

Styling Transitioning Hair

After deep conditioning, the next step will be styling your hair. One method used in the natural hair community for moisture retention is called the LOC method. LOC stands for:

  • Liquid or Leave-in
  • Oil (to seal in the moisture)
  • Cream (prevents moisture loss)

This method helps you apply products in a specific order that will help you achieve long-lasting moisture. You want to use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner first, follow up with an oil to lock in moisture, and then use a styling cream last. Following the LOC method is easy and can be done with the products you already have in your collection.

Nighttime Routine

Another important step you want to include in your transitioning hair regimen is a nighttime routine. Taking care of your hair at night will determine how amazing it looks the next morning. You want to make sure your hair is moisturized and protected every night before going to sleep.

With transitioning hair, you may have to re-twist or braid your hair before going to bed to keep the definition. It’s also beneficial to apply a moisturizer since your hair is more prone to dryness. The longest I’ve been able to wear a style is one week and I usually re-twist every other night depending on how my hair looks.

To protect your hair, it’s best to purchase a Satin Bonnet or a Satin Pillowcase. Laying on satin will help you retain moisture, keep your curls intact, and prevent split ends + breakage.

Get Regular Trims

Keeping your hair trimmed is important when transitioning to natural hair. If you plan on trimming your own hair, I recommend purchasing the correct pair of shears and watching YouTube for tutorials.

Using shears will help you achieve a precise cut, you don’t want to use household or craft scissors. Another option is to visit a professional that you trust!

How often you trim your hair depends on its overall health of it. There’s no schedule to follow, however, if you notice split-ends or your breakage becoming excessive during your journey, it’s best to get a fresh trim. I love getting a trim every 3-4 months because it keeps my two textures manageable and reduces the amount of breakage that I experience every wash day.

Starting your regimen will take time and patience to get used to, however, getting into the habit of taking care of your hair consistently will keep you on the path to healthy, natural hair. Follow these 6 steps and watch your hair continue to flourish!

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  • Reply Anais June 8, 2020 at 11:43 am

    How long did it take you to get your hair to the fourth picture?

  • Reply Sheila Hundley August 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you for explaining the LOC method more clearly for natural hair transition.

    • Reply Madisen August 25, 2020 at 1:58 am

      You’re very welcome!

  • Reply Anthea August 24, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for this. I’m deep conditioning as I’m writing. Feeling both excited and lost. Started my transition roughly 2 months ago -though I’ve been product-free since December last year. Just didn’t know then that I would be embarking on this journey. I neglected my hair and is now earnestly working on strengthening and loving my own hair! Still have a lot to learn and often get frustrated. Can I manage my hair myself? Can I make it look good? Questions! Questions! Questions! 🙂

    • Reply Madisen August 25, 2020 at 2:00 am

      You’re welcome! That’s so exciting and I’m proud of you for taking this new journey. It’s full of excitement and challenges. You’ll learn as you go and I hope my blog posts help you as well. My transitioning journey gave me time to learn more about caring for natural hair and it helped me prepare myself.

  • Reply Lindiwe October 9, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Hi my name is Lindiwe and I live in South Africa Soweto, it’s really exciting to know that I can also transition my Hair and learn to really take care of my hair

    • Reply Madisen October 14, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Lindiwe! Thank you for reading my blog post. Yes, I’m glad transitioning is an option. I took that time to learn as much as I could about natural hair care and it truly benefited me.

  • Reply Parris January 3, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Great blog with helpful information.

    • Reply Madisen January 10, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply Keke March 30, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Which would be better for transitioning hair the LOC or the LCO method

    • Reply Madisen March 30, 2021 at 4:21 pm

      You have to test both methods out and see which one would work best.

  • Reply Tumani July 22, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Hi there, my name is Tumani and I’m from South Africa. I’ve started my transitioning journey last month and I already have a little growth popping out which is exciting.

    Thank you so much for your tips, I will be using them going forward. Question, is it safe for my hair (both textures) to be washed on a weekly basis?

    • Reply Madisen July 27, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Tumani, thank you for reading and I hope that my tips help you on your new journey! It’s okay to wash your hair either weekly or biweekly, it depends on what your scalp/hair needs.

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