When it comes to tran­si­tion­ing, there are three ques­tions I am asked most fre­quent­ly:

1. How do I tran­si­tion to nat­ur­al hair?

2. What hair styles can I do?

3. Is there a reg­i­men I can fol­low?

Right now, we’re going to tack­le ques­tion num­ber 3. For answers to 1 and 2, click the ques­tions to find those answers!


Although I nev­er devel­oped a rock-sol­id reg­i­men dur­ing my tran­si­tion, I did have some gen­er­al ideas around how fre­quent­ly to do cer­tain things based upon main­tain­ing the health of my new nat­ur­al hair, and sal­vaging what was left of my stringy heat dam­age. Here’s an over­all guide to reg­i­men build­ing, stem­ming from how I han­dled things dur­ing my 21 month tran­si­tion to nat­ur­al hair:


Note: These are mere­ly sug­ges­tions based upon my tran­si­tion­ing expe­ri­ence. These sug­ges­tions are meant to help new tran­si­tion­ers devel­op a sys­tem for man­ag­ing new growth along­side old­er relaxed or heat dam­aged hair. This is by no means gospel, or a strict set of guide­lines. Feel free to add, remove, move around, or com­plete­ly ignore some of the sug­ges­tions — every head of hair is dif­fer­ent, and will respond dif­fer­ent­ly!


Pre-Poo Treat­ments, Detan­gling, and Cleans­ing

As a tran­si­tion­er, I found that pre-poo­ing, detan­gling, and wash­ing my hair on a week­ly basis was opti­mal in terms of man­ag­ing break­age, tan­gling, and giv­ing my hair and scalp a clean slate. Although over-manip­u­la­tion is the ene­my of tran­si­tion­ing hair, going too long between wash­es is an even more egre­gious offense. Tran­si­tion­ing hair is more prone to tan­gling and knot­ting, because the ends of the hair that are relaxed or heat dam­aged tend to have rough or raised cuti­cles and get caught in one anoth­er. To help pro­tect strands, a pre-poo treat­ment is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed before wash­ing. A hydrat­ing treat­ment with vir­gin unre­fined coconut oil, Infu­sium 23 Renew and Repair Leave-In Treat­ment, or a con­di­tion­er of your choice left on the hair for at least 30 min­utes before cleans­ing will help strands glide past each oth­er in the detan­gling process. Even if you choose not to wash your hair week­ly, detan­gling it at least once a week will help pre­vent unnec­es­sary knot­ting and tan­gles while suf­fi­cient­ly hydrat­ing your hair along the line of demar­ca­tion to pre­vent break­age. Infu­sium 23 Repair and Renew, Kinky Cury Knot Today, Lawrence Ray Con­cepts Shake & Go, and Soul­tan­i­cals Man­go Dip Detan­gling Slip are all great pre-sham­poo and mid­week detan­glers.


Deep Con­di­tion­ing

Deep con­di­tion­ing is absolute­ly vital in terms of hydra­tion, mois­ture reten­tion, break­age pre­ven­tion and length reten­tion. No wash day should pass with­out a deep con­di­tion­ing ses­sion. Even if it only lasts the dura­tion of your show­er, that is bet­ter than skip­ping entire­ly. Hair that is prop­er­ly and reg­u­lar­ly deep con­di­tioned is soft­er, shinier, smoother, retains mois­ture bet­ter, and is over­all less prone to break­age. Pro­tein or strength­en­ing treat­ments are only nec­es­sary on a once every 1–3 month basis, depend­ing on the health of your hair. Click here for some great deep con­di­tion­ers for tran­si­tion­ing hair.


Mois­ture, Seal­ing, and Styling

Hydrat­ing and seal­ing in mois­ture before styling are also inte­gral to pre­vent­ing break­age along the line of demar­ca­tion. After pre-poo­ing, cleans­ing, and deep con­di­tion­ing, lay­er­ing a leave-in con­di­tion­er and a creamy mois­tur­iz­er onto the hair will help ensure max­i­mum hydra­tion and improve elas­tic­i­ty in the hair. Click here for some of my favorite mois­tur­iz­ers for tran­si­tion­ing hair. If your hair can han­dle addi­tion­al oil or but­ter on top for seal­ing, you can def­i­nite­ly do so. I rec­om­mend jojo­ba, argan oil (blends, pure can be quite expen­sive), and apri­cot oils for seal­ing tran­si­tion­ing hair, as the are the light­est.



Night­time Rou­tine and Refresh­ing

How often you rehy­drate and seal mois­ture into your hair is total­ly depen­dent upon how you style it. If you keep your hair in a bun or updo for most of the week, you can afford to add mois­ture and seal your hair as many times as you wish, because water or water-based prod­ucts will not have any impact on the out­come of your style. If you pre­fer tex­ture blend­ing styles like braid­outs, twist and curls, or ban­tu knot-outs, refresh­ing and night­time main­te­nance gets a lit­tle tricky. For the dura­tion of your tex­ture blend­ing style, adding any prod­ucts with water sig­nals instant demise. If you can work enough mois­ture into your hair pri­or to styling (pre­poo, cow­ash or sul­fate-free sham­poo, deep con­di­tion, hydrate and seal in mois­ture, air dry­ing hair), you will be able to suc­cess­ful­ly avoid adding more prod­uct for the dura­tion of your style. How­ev­er if you must, I sug­gest using as lit­tle as you can get away with — rub­bing that infa­mous “dime size” amount in your hands, and scrunch­ing it del­i­cate­ly into the areas that need it the most. Or if you’re feel­ing fan­cy, the Q-Redew is a great way to rehy­drate and refresh the hair with­out ruin­ing tran­si­tion­ing styles.


As far as night­time rou­tines go, things get even stick­i­er. The key here is to accept that in some way, shape, or form, your day 2 style will not look exact­ly like day 1. When­ev­er I rocked buns (a sta­ple for me in the first year of tran­si­tion­ing, I kept my night­time rou­tine sim­ple by adding a lit­tle water-based mois­tur­iz­er and keep­ing my hair stretched with a few chunky, loose braids or by band­ing. But if you’re look­ing to pre­serve a braid-out or twist and curl, a lit­tle more inge­nu­ity will be required. I nev­er, ever, EVER advo­cate that tran­si­tion­ers pineap­ple, because it will stretch your braid­ed, twist­ed, or ban­tu-knot­ted hair back straight. You can re-curl, twist, braid, or knot the hair for bed­time if you wish, but I per­son­al­ly find that to be a lit­tle too much on the manip­u­la­tion front. As a tran­si­tion­er, when I slept on braid-outs or ban­tu knot-outs, I pushed my hair back, and cov­ered it with a satin scarf, and left the ends out while I slept on a satin pil­low­case. Yes, some strands will fall flat, but with a lit­tle fluff­ing or a bob­by pin here and there, the style comes back to life the next day.



There is not set sched­ule for trim­ming tran­si­tion­ing hair, or even how much to trim. You can trim month­ly, every 4 months, or every 6 months depend­ing upon the health of your hair. But to give you a gen­er­al idea of fre­quen­cy, bar­ring any major inci­dences of break­age or hair fall that would sug­gest a more imme­di­ate need, trim­ming every 3–4 months is suf­fi­cient. Depend­ing on the over­all health of your ends and the growth rate of your hair, trim­ming any­where from 1/4 of an inch to an inch of hair should do the job. Of course, if you want to accel­er­ate your tran­si­tion, trim more. To stretch it out, trim less. For more gen­er­al trim­ming guide­lines and tips for tran­si­tion­ers, click here.


A note about pro­tec­tive styling:

Many ladies turn to pro­tec­tive styling as a means of length reten­tion and bust­ing over length reten­tion plateaus. There is noth­ing wrong with want­i­ng to tuck your hair away from time to time, for con­ve­nience and length reten­tion rea­sons. But doing it exces­sive­ly and repet­i­tive­ly can lead to scalp trau­ma, break­age, and trac­tion alope­cia among oth­er things. I do encour­age all tran­si­tion­ing ladies to spend some time learn­ing and work­ing with your hair. Lov­ing, learn­ing, and under­stand­ing your hair through­out the tran­si­tion­ing process makes embrac­ing the nat­ur­al hair jour­ney and even­tu­al chop that much eas­i­er.


Hap­py tran­si­tion­ing! Be sure to vis­it “All Things Tran­si­tion­ing” on my blog for more infor­ma­tion on the jour­ney!

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.

Leave a Reply

8 Comments on "How to Build a Regimen for Transitioning Hair"

Notify of

Nutress Hair prod­ucts are GREAT for tran­si­tion­ing! They have a full size tran­si­tion kit that includes pro­tein treat­ments, stop-break shampoo/conditioner, and a leave-in enhancer. This is what I used on my jour­ney and this should help you ladies that are tran­si­tion­ing as well :) http://nutresshair.com/products/nutress-transitioning-kit

This is my third time tran­si­tion­ing. I first suc­cess­ful­ly tran­si­tioned when I was 16 for around 18 months. I grew out all of my relaxed and heat dam­aged hair with no rou­tine at all. My curly hair became thick, lus­cious and long but as soon as it grew out I booked myself straight in to the hair­dressers for a relax­er. I even remem­ber my hair dress­er ask­ing “why on earth would you want to ruin your beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al curls?” I just thought it would make life eas­i­er. (Boy dont I regret it now!!) My sec­ond attempt was after I went… Read more »

I’ve noticed that Nutress Hair Prod­ucts work real­ly well! They have a FULL SIZE tran­si­tion kit for only 24.98 and it was worth every pen­ny. It comes with a pro­tein pack con­di­tion­er, stop break leave in con­di­tion­er, sul­fate free stop break sham­poo and con­di­tion­er. I pur­chased them at http://www.nutresshair.com

Consulta tratamiento pelo

Do you have any video to see more details? tnks from mex­i­co


I like the bit on exces­sive pro­tec­tive styling. I’m tran­si­tion­ing right now, and at one point I left a set of mar­ley twists in my hair for near­ly 3 months. The amount of shed hair I had to take out was unbe­liev­able, but luck­i­ly there was no dam­age. Les­son? Don’t go over 2 months with a pro­tec­tive style :)


Nice arti­cle, thanks for post­ing! Dur­ing my tran­si­tion­ing, it was all updos for me because i couldn’t stand the scrag­gly ends so i tucked them away. I didn’t know that i could make them blend in with my nat­ur­al hair tex­ture through twist n curl’s, satin braid outs and the like so my twist outs and braid outs annoyed me with the relaxed ends which refused to curl prop­er­ly. Thus, I’m real­ly grate­ful for posts like this so that oth­er tran­si­tion­ers will see that they have those options.


I dont have I just go with the flow on what my hair needs at the moment im 17 and 14 months post relax­er. Giv­en how time I real­ly dont have to do my hair it still turned out great. I only have lit­tle snip­pets of relax­er left I cant wait for them to be gone

Hav­ing a reg­i­men def­i­nite­ly helps make things go smoother! I am on my 10 month tran­si­tion­ing as of yes­ter­day :D I’ve done it with­out the addi­tion of long term pro­tec­tive styles, although I would def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend that to any­body who isn’t dri­ven crazy by not being able to “touch” their hair/scalp like I am lol. My reg­i­men is not too dif­fer­ent from the arti­cle — I pre­poo, wash, and deep con­di­tion my hair once a week, have a “big” detan­gling ses­sion on wash day (with a few mini ses­sions that just include light fin­ger detan­gling between styles). I usu­al­ly do… Read more »