4 Bandwagons Transitioners Should Steer Clear Of!


By Christina of The Mane Objective

It doesn’t matter what stage of natural you’re in, there’s always a bandwagon for you to jump on. Cone free. Baggy method. Finger detangling. Hair typing. Paraben free. Organic only. DIY. Ombre. You name it, and there is a legion of natural followers swearing by it.

Not that there’s anything wrong with bandwagons (theoretically), it’s just that some practices/bandwagons aren’t meant for ladies that are transitioning — and the truth is, they can do more harm than good. Here are four bandwagons transitioners should steer clear of:

1. Pineappling


Pineappling. I’m sure if you have a pulse, you’ve heard of this nighttime technique popularized by the likes of Curly Nikki, Francheska of Hey Fran Hey, Jess of Mahogany Curls, and more. Pineappling involves gathering all of your hair at the front of your head with a satin (or other non-damaging) scrunchie, in an effort to protect and not disrupt curl patterns while sleeping. For those that are completely natural, this may be a perfectly viable nighttime option. However, for those transitioning, not so much. Although it does not pull/stretch the hair per-se, those with relaxer or heat damaged hair will find that the pineapple simply reverts whatever twist/braid/bantu/straw set curl or crinkle back to straight and limp. Transitioners are better off letting the pineapple go until they are completely natural.

2. Hair Typing

Of all the hair bandwagons to be on, this is one of the most damaging (second only to the perfect curl witch hunt). Many follks find hair typing to be divisive, and to a certain extent correlated to ethnic background/skin tone. While there may be some truth in this, my purpose in mentioning hair typing has nothing to do with problems of this nature…maybe we’ll get into that later on The Mane Objective. The reason hair typing is damaging for transitioners is because well, you don’t fully have a hair type…yet. It’s difficult to project how kinks, coils, and curls will behave once the heat or relaxer damaged hair is gone. Rather than relying on a typing system to tell you how to care for your new hair, pay attention to your new hair’s density, thickness, porosity, and overall needs. What works, works. And what doesn’t, doesn’t… regardless of hair type.

3. Permanent Color

This one hurts me the most. Back in the day, I had fun with color — at the expense of my hair. As a transitioner, I find that permanent hair dye is counterproductive to the healthy hair journey. For highlights and all-over, not only does permanent color (general rule of thumb: the lighter/harsher the color, the more drastic the impact) make hair more prone to dryness, it also has the potential to loosen/disrupt your curl pattern. Dry hair is a challenge for transitioners and non-transitioners alike; why exacerbate the problem and increase the likelihood of breakage? Even ombre hair color presents a challenge for transitioners. Transitioning hair is more prone to breakage, end splitting, and is trimmed more frequently than most natural hair. I mean, the objective is to eventually get rid of the damaged ends, right? So why would you dye the ends of your hair, if you’re just going to cut them anyway? (This gem comes courtesy of my boyfriend, who actually talked me out of ombre hair color for this very reason). You’re better off experimenting with henna if you want a little color. There have been some reports that henna can also loosen curl patterns, I just personally have not experienced that.

4. “The Perfect Curl” Witch Hunt

This is by far the most damaging bandwagon for anyone to be on. For some reason, many transitioners think that once they go natural, these perfectly behaved ringlets will emerge from their hair, and all they’ll need to do is fluff and go. Ha, if it were that easy, many of us probably wouldn’t be trimming off relaxer and heat damaged hair in the first place. Seeing your natural hair not behave in the aforementioned fashion can lead to one of three things:

1. You become obsessed with finding the perfect curling products, and launch full steam ahead into product junkie-ism, half used bottles of miracle products that failed, and more.
2. You become disappointed in your hair’s natural texture, and start contemplating going back to high heat and Just For Me.
3. You accept your hair as-is, and move on.

For me personally, bullet number three is the goal — to accept my hair and move on. Although admittedly, this can be difficult for transitioners (see #2, Hair Typing). Searching for perfect curl products is usually a waste of time for transitioners because well, it will only work on one part of your hair. Nothing you put on your hair is going to revive that heat or relaxer damage. If you see your natural texture emerge and you get the itch to straighten or perm, that’s a personal preference and I am not at liberty to judge you. I just believe that for me, accepting my natural hair texture is the way to go. In the meantime though, I do get annoyed with tapered ends and halfway straight strands from time-to-time. For me, playing with twist-outs, satin strip braid-outs, bantu knot-outs, and straw sets are fun ways to get that damaged hair to pretend like it has some character. I just know and accept that when wash day comes, it’s back to half curly (with a kinky crown), half straight…and I am perfectly okay with that.

What are some other bandwagons that transitioners and naturals alike should steer clear of?

Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.


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37 thoughts on “4 Bandwagons Transitioners Should Steer Clear Of!

  1. I’ve been transitioning for 13 months and it has been a journey. I’m thankful to the wealth of information we have now on wearing our hair natural and caring for it in the natural state.
    I remember my hair before perm because back in the day, before Jheri and California curls, I wore my hair pressed / hot combed. And with all due respect to the younger generation, I have never heard so much bickering and arguing about natural hair vs permed hair in my life…I feel, whatever suits you and you are comfortable with it….then wear it!!!!
    I know while transitioning or finding a natural hair care regimen, we all need to play around with what works for our hair and people shouldn’t think that one way is the only way.
    Back in the late 60’s early 70’s our sisters wore their natural hair in big, small & medium afro’s with PRIDE!!! BAck then, there was not a wealth of information like it is now for natural hair, nor was it a wealth of information for permed hair…
    I’m thankful this site exist to give options and information.

  2. ?Hello,
    I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  3. I stopped using a relaxer in June 2013 (27 months) but I chose not to do a BC. I did the very short hair/mini curly-fro thing when I joined the military, it wasn’t a good look. Anyway my hair is just below chin length and I visit my stylist for a wash and blow-out (about every 2-3 weeks). I don’t use any heat between salon visits. I would love to stop the blow-outs altogether but there is no real way right now to determine what kind of “natural” curl I have left. I do look at it while I’m in the chair. The roots have a slight wave, then start to curl in the middle then are limp and straight at the ends. Need help

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