Transitioning to Natural Hair: Don’t Let It Wreck Your Workout Flow

I stopped relaxing my hair about nine months ago. Hands down it’s THE best thing I’ve ever done for my hair. I have the most healthy, shiny, voluminous, moisturized hair that is growing faster than I’ve ever seen; I am in LOVE with it! I started transitioning from relaxed to natural hair at a time of the year when it was just starting to get cold.

When the weather got (ridiculously) hot and humid, I got a little concerned about women who might be in the beginning stages of transitioning that live in warm climates. If you’re not informed about styling and hair care tips for transitioning in humid areas of the country, you might get frustrated, interrupt your workout routine or wreck your beauty regimen flow all together. I’d hate to see that happen just when you’re getting to the good stuff.

Why It’s Hard to Go Natural In Humid Regions

The problems really come into play if you’re like me and you heat straighten your hair as you transition. Sweat and humidity will make your natural new growth curl/frizz so that the texture doesn’t match the relaxed part of your hair. Again, if you’re like me, you might respond with styling and hair care techniques more suitable for relaxed hair since you’re not familiar with curly/kinky hair regimens and products yet. That’s a big mistake.

Breakin’ All the Rules

Rule #1

The first rule of transitioning to natural hair is to throw away all the hair rules from relaxed days. You will need an almost completely new education about hair care now that you’re off the creamy crack.

Rule #2

Use different techniques and products on your natural roots than your relaxed ends. The roots need to be styled/straightened when very wet unlike your relaxed hair. Your roots need a water-based moisturizer (I like Cantu Shea Butter leave-in with the orange lid), then a little oil (olive oil from the kitchen is great), then a max hold styling gel (I like the clear, alcohol-free Eco-Styler gel). Add the products, brush the roots flat and let them dry that way. Then style as usual.

The oil and gel will keep sweat from reverting them back to curly. If you sweat after a workout or shower , brush your roots flat, add a dab of oil or gel (you may not need to), then tie a scarf on your head for about 10-15 minutes until it dries. Presto! Straight hair without the heat.

Rule #3

Consider heat-free styling for your relaxed and natural hair. This is what natural girls call protective styling. I like styles such as braid-outs, twist-outs or slick-back ponytails/buns. Pretty much any style that allows you to mist with water, add moisturizer/natural oil, then finish with gel and a scarf to dry flat = a winner. These styles are very healthy, prevent heat damage (that can ruin your coils), are fast and easy, and look very cute.

Stay the Hair/Body Improvement Course

Follow the tips above and you won’t have to worry about frizz, sweat or humidity anymore. You can enjoy the outdoors despite the humidity and stick to your workout routine without worry. Also, it’s a great time to give your hair a break and grow it out a bit. Hair grows about 1/2 inch per month, by the way. Do weekly deep conditioning treatments (you can use a homemade mix recipe) and detangle gently in the shower while hair is soaked with conditioner to minimize breakage at the line of demarcation (where relaxed and natural hair meet).

You’ve started the task of improving yourself inside and out. Don’t sweat (pun intended) the little challenges you might face on the way. There’s always a solution.