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Should I Press My Hair During a Natural Transition?

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Question: Should I Press My Hair During a Natural Transition?

Transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair isn't always easy. You have to deal with two different textures and this can sometimes put a crimp in daily styling. Some women opt to press their new growth in order to match the texture to relaxed ends. But is this a good option during a transition?

Answer:

The answer to this question really depends on what you hope to achieve and how you want to wear your hair. However, it's important to note that pressing the hair to straighten the roots to match previously straightened ends can be risky business. Here's why:

  • The line of demarcation, or where your natural hair (new growth) meets chemically processed hair, is weak and especially prone to damage and breakage. Regular deep conditioning and protein treatments are crucial for minimizing breakage in this area. When you press or flat iron new growth, the heat can affect this line, increasing the risk for damage.
  • If you're not careful with the amount of heat you apply, you may lose the texture in your new growth. Hair can be "damaged straight" with too much heat or heat applied too often. All of the time you invested into transitioning can be wasted with one careless ironing session.
  • You're prolonging the inevitable. The point of transitioning to natural hair is wearing your hair in its natural state, right? If you constantly press your roots to match your straightened locks, you're not learning how to style your natural hair; you're still clinging to straight hairstyles and techniques, which are often very different from natural ones. A better bet is to choose styles that curl the relaxed ends and make them match your new growth instead of trying to get natural hair to do something unnatural.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional press during transitioning. Make sure you practice smart flat ironing techniques to minimize your breakage risk. Ultimately, if natural hair is your goal, learning what it needs and wants sooner rather than later, will not only make your hair happier, it can make you happier by cutting down on the frustration of working with different textures.

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