A Guide to Wearing Natural Hair

A Guide to Transitioning to Natural Hair by Kendra Thaler

Stop getting chemical relaxers and using excess heat

Why should you stop using relaxers?

The chemicals in relaxers are extremely harsh and damaging to our hair. In the long run you can suffer from hair loss, balding, thinning and horrible conditions such as alopecia. Even if you do not want to wear your hair in a natural state, and chose to wear it straight I strongly advise giving up relaxers.  

Click here to read a post called The Truth that talks about the damaging effects of chemicals
Another before church pic- breakage from relaxer and color

Why should you stop using excess heat?

 If you chose to use heat, keep in mind that you are subject to heat damage. Make sure that you keep heat usage to a minimum. Always use a heat protectant and keep the heat low! You don't need bone straight hair, unless you want to risk burning it and letting it break off.  
My hair in 2006 before I was in church. Extremely color damaged and heat damaged hair

Click here to read about the effects of heat damage and how to recover from it. 

What will happen to your hair when you stop relaxing it? 

 It will go through a stage of being dry and brittle. But the more TLC you give your hair, the faster this stage will go. You will experience a difference in textures, relaxed and new growth. I think it's great because you slowly begin to get acquainted with your natural hair. It's not an overnight transition from relaxed to a full head of natural curls.  Keep reading for how to care for your hair...  

Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner

What the the benefits of finding a good shampoo and conditioner?

This is imperative. Opt for all natural ingredients. Stay away from these harmful ingredients. 

  • ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL: aka, rubbing alcohol. Sure, thats a great thing to put in your hair! NOT!!! EW! I am sure you wouldn't want to go pour this in your hair, so I am sure you wouldn't want to use shampoo with it either!!
  • PEG & PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG): (abbreviation for polyethylene glycol) Polyethylene glycol is a petroleum product used in commercial cleaners such as oven cleaners. It is also used in personal care products. Over time, this chemical can cause premature aging of the skin. Do you really want something strong enough to clean an OVEN to go in your hair?! I think not!
  • SODIUM LAURYL SUFATE (SLS) & SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES):Both sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate are used asdetergents and surfactants. If you look at MOST hair products, they are used in over 90% of them. They are used because they cause a lot of foam. And to us, foam = clean. Well accordng to research, It is possibly the most dangerous of all ingredients in personal care products.
    • According to the American College of Toxicology both SLE and SLES can cause malformation in children's eyes. Other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties. Hair is made of protein and is affected by SLS and SLES leading to poor quality hair, corroded hair follicles and inhibited hair growth, contributing to hair loss. SLS has the potential to cause cataracts through skin absorption, even without direct contact with the eyes. It can denature the protein of the eyes and delay the healing time of the eyes. Check it out here!
    • Skin contact can cause SLS to be absorbed into the blood circulation and can then concentrate in organs such as the heart, liver or brain. This is potentially dangerous since SLS is a mutagen, capable of changing the information in the genetic material of your cell and organs.
  • SEVERAL TYPES OF CHLORINE for obvious reasons, it is VERY drying!!
  • DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (momoethnanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine):These chemicals are sometimes listed as Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA. These are hormone disrupting chemicals and are known to form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. They are common in shampoos. A study at the University of Illinois found that repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents result in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancers. Children are at greater risk. TEA is used to adjust the pH. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin and can be toxic if absorbed into the body over time.
  • FD & C Color PIGMENTS: Synthetic colours are used in a shampoos and conditioners to make them more visually appealing. Many pigment colours used in hair dye cause skin sensitivity and irritation, and nerve problems. Absorption of certain colours can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death. Many colours contain coal tar, which has been shown to be carcinogenic.
  • FRAGRANCE: If a hair care product lists 'fragrance' on the label it can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients, most of which are synthetic. Symptoms reported from use of these fragrances include headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Studies have shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioural changes.
  • IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA and DMDM HYDANTOIN: Formaldehyde is used in shampoos, and conditioners as an inhibiting agent against carcinogenic nitrosamine production. Yet, formaldehyde is carcinogenic itself. It readily penetrates the skin and can cause serious long term health concerns, and often sensitises individuals to other chemicals. It can seriously weaken the immune system and can cause cancer. It also causes allergic reactions, headaches, and chronic fatigue.
What are some good product lines?

Here is a list of product lines I have used and some that others have used: 

  • Trader Joes Nourish Spa 
  • Trader Joes Tea Tree Tingle 
  • Shea moisture  
  • Burt's Bees 
  • Giovanni's 

 How often should you wash and condition? 

Everyone's hair varies! My rule of thumb? When my hair starts feeling dirty and my scalp itches, I wash it.  I currently use terressentials organic earth wash. 
Click here to read a review

How do you know if your hair is clean?  

Wash your hair once, rinse thoroughly and then condition. Watch this video to see a good technique you can use when wash your hair. Clarifying with apple cider vinegar diluted with water helps to loosen the dirt and product on your hair before you shampoo. 

Invest in a good deep conditioner

Why should you invest in a good deep conditioner?

This is imperative! You don't have to get anything expensive, it can be homemade. Click here to read about the importance of deep conditioners. How often should you deep condition?  You should deep condition once a week or bi monthly. Your hair will appreciate the love and care!  

Want some examples of homemade deep conditioners? Click here!

How do you deep condition your hair?

You can sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the deep conditioner to penetrate. You can simply apply a plastic cap or plastic cap over your head for an hour. You can also deep condition without applied heat. Click here to read how to deep condition without applied heat.  

Make up your mind that you will not cut OR trim your hair 

Can you really grow long and healthy hair without cutting or trimming it?

You absolutely can! You will feel tempted to cut it or clip those ends but trust me you can do a full transition without cutting or trimming. And you can have healthy hair! I did it and my hair transitioned beautifully. You can read my hair testimony here! It is now bra strap length. Let's be obedient to the word of God!  Read more here..

Are you feeling discouraged about your hair? 

Click here! I have written some words of encouragement to help you. 
You are not alone along this journey!

Learn to style your hair while you are transitioning

What styles are safe to do while transitioning?

There are many awesome styles you can do while you transition. Click a style of interest to read more about how to do it.  

Watch this video to see how to do this style

Watch this video for a quick method you can use overnight.. 

Watch this tutorial.. 

How do you moisturize your hair? Start with water. Use a spray bottle. You can add aloe Vera juice and essential oils to the water. Spritz your hair with water and use a leave in conditioner, butter (Shea butter, mango butter, etc) and/or an oil to seal in the moisture. Do your research when you buy leave in conditioners and butters! All natural ingredients are best!

Here are some products that work well for moisture: 

  • Shea moisture styling milk 
  • Olive oil moisturizing hair lotion 
  • Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie 
  • Whipped Shea butter  

Learn your hair

Your hair is what it is. No product will change your hair texture or curl pattern. Products will enhance your curls and moisturize your hair. So don't expect your hair to be something it isn't. Love it for what it is!! There is no such thing as "good hair" or "bad hair". There is only hair texture and classification. Don't fall into a trap of feeling that your hair is inferior.

Do you have any questions that I didn't answer?
 Leave them below in the comment box!


  1. it has been about a year since i transitioned from permed to natural. currently i have been using alot of heat on my hair. I have not noticed any growth but breakage. However, i have noticed more thickness and even in length. Could i please get some advice on how to manage natural hair and do you keep it braided.
    My name is kensta
    email: kensta.laguerre@gmail.com

    1. Hi Kensta, I hope you got my email! Look forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. my hair looks dead at the end but when i straightn my hair it looks healthy. so does that mean my hair is just frizzy? i have never put chemicals in my hair NEEDING HELP FROM ONE APOSTOLIC TO ANOTHER!!

    1. Hi there! You might just have dry ends. I would suggest moisturizing them with an oil that will penetrate them such as coconut oil. This is NORMAL though :) Your ends are the oldest parts of your hair. They age just like anything else. So its normal for them to be drier than the rest of your hair.

  3. Hello, since i was about 12 my mother always cuts my ends and perms my hair. She has long and beautiful hair and that's what i want also, however, i don't want to get my ends cut, but i still want to perm my hair because it gets so out of control that i cant even comb or brush though it. i was just wondering, if my hair will grow even if i keep getting perms and stop cutting my ends?
    Email me please so i can know.

  4. Hi! my name is Ja'Breia and I love your blog I just want to know what type of products can I use that will make my hair manageable but wont break the bank as well as I have been keeping box braids with weave in my hair just so I don't have to deal with it but is that the best thing for me? Email:Jmotin92@gmail.com

  5. today im going to wash my hair for the first time, I have been natural for about 9 months and I have been getting dominican blowouts. This last time I got flexi rods I really likes them,. they lasted about 6 days until they started to look bad in my opinion, so im going to wash it today and start experimenting with my hair. Do you have any tips. my hair is about past my shoulders and really thick when straight. i can only imagine what it will be like natural and wet. I NEED HELP PLEASE! email me @ longjumper04@hotmail.com

  6. Hello as a fellow holiness woman I am transitioning into natural without cutting my relaxed hair. I have been on this journey for about 4 months so I still have quite a bit of relaxed hair. Can you tell me what kind of styles you wore through this transitioning stage and how long it took for you to go completely natural?? keairasteed23@gmail.com

  7. Hi! I just took out my extensions that I've been wearing for the last year until all of my permed hair broke off. I've been wearing my all natural hair for about two weeks. I've been co washing it and moisturizing it regularly. Are there any products I can use that will help my grow faster? Also, how can I wear it in the professional world? I'm going into my last year of college and I'm scared when I start interviewing I won't get the job because of my natural state. Thank you for the help.

    1. Hi BJ, please email me so that I can give you detailed information. mrs.kthaler@gmail.com

  8. Your hair looks AMAZING!!!! Im gonna try not to trim my hair again my last trim was in May my hair did grew a lot too

  9. Your hair is great. I'm going on 5 months with transitioning from relaxer. My husband told me that i don't have to trim my hair during the process. I told him he didn't know what he was talking about. Lord behold, you are a witness that he does know what he's talking about. :)

  10. Thanks for sharing. You proved me wrong. LOL My husband told me that i didn't have to cut or trim my hair. I told him he didn't know what he was talking about. :) Your natural hair looks great! I've been transitioning for 5 months now. Pray for me. It's rough. :)

  11. I have extremely bad dandruff, what products or tricks can I use to alleviate my scalp?

    please and thank you :)



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