How Do I Transition My Hair from Straight to Natural?

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

Transitioning from straight to natural hair can be an exciting journey of self-discovery and we’re more than pleased to show you the best way to becoming a naturalista. However, you should know that it is not an entirely easy process since you need a lot of discipline and patience, and no more chemicals, heat and/or relaxers. 

There are two ultimate routes to transitioning: the big chop and the slow transition. 


The big chop is the fastest way to transform your hair from straight to natural. It involves cutting off a large chunk of your hair, leaving just a small portion very close to the scalp.

The slow transition requires extra care because of the super delicate demarcation line, i.e. the point at which the natural and straight textures of your hair meet. It’s more suited to those who can’t stand the thought of losing their hair in one chop. 

The hair is left to grow out its natural texture before the processed ends are chopped off. Depending on the growth rate of your hair, natural hair is achievable anywhere around four months and beyond. You must stay off chemicals, heat and/or relaxers at this time, however. 

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Whichever route you choose based on your preference, the following tips will guide you eventually to that 100% natural hair of your dreams.


Keep your hair moisturized 


Natural hair requires a lot of moisture because it has a tendency to dry out quicker than processed hair; dryness contributes to hair breakage. Therefore, it is important to keep your hair moisturised. 

Water is the number one moisturizer. Essential oils are also good for keeping your hair moisturized and nourished. Apply both to your hair every night before bed to replenish whatever moisture you might have lost during the day. 

Also, gently and properly detangle your hair as you observe your hair moisture routine for healthier hair ends. 


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Develop the right hair wash routine 


Say goodbye to an everyday hair wash routine. Instead, wash once or twice a week as regular washing strips your hair of moisture and subsequently makes your hair weaker. Ensure that you use organic sulphate free shampoos and apply a good leave-in conditioner after every wash. 

Deep conditioning at least once every month is a priority in your wash routine. 


Trim regularly 


Regular hair trimming (once every 4 to 6 weeks) helps you get rid of split ends and damaged hair and subsequently mitigates breakage. You can do this yourself if you are comfortable doing so, but its best to leave it to a professional.

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Embrace new hair accessories 


Silk scarves, turbans and pillowcases are perfect for natural hair. The scarves and turbans can be worn during the day and at night, while the pillowcases are a vital part of your overnight hair regimen. Perm rods and foam rollers are also good tools for drying and/or curling without heat.

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Create a transitioning style 


Whether short or long, natural hairstyles like Bantu knots and twist outs are good for protecting your edges. They also help to blend the different hair textures associated with slow transitioning. 

You can also embrace protective styles like braids, weaves, and wigs to cover up new growth. However, make sure that these styles do not inflict pain on your scalp which needs to be treated very delicately. 

Embrace Silk into Your Sleep Routine

Adding wearing a silk hair wrap to your routine will protect your new growth, whatever method you choose.  This is particularly important if you have had a big chop, as you will ensure all your new growth is contained, allowing for it to naturally moisturise itself and stop any abrasion against bed linen.


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Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.