Hair Q&A: Transitioning To Natural Hair Without Cutting It All Off

January 30, 2012  |  

In our new Hair Q&A series with hair experts, we connect Madame Noire readers with various experts and stylists to answer their most pressing questions about hair care. In this edition, Toni Love responds to a reader-submitted question about transitioning to natural hair without having to cut off most of her hair. If you have a hair care issue you’d like to have addressed, Facebook us or email us at 

Disclaimer: the one question is broken up into two parts:

Reader Question: Is there anyway to transition to natural hair without doing a big chop?

Yes, you can transition to natural hair without doing the “big chop” by wearing wigs, weaves, and extensions for a period of time. Be sure to shampoo your hair, oil the scalp and massage it, and apply a leave-in conditioner on the hair before preparing it for such styles as braids, weave techniques, and wigs. These steps keep the hair hydrated and scalp circulated while lying dormant. After receiving the new style, continue to massage the scalp. Be sure to keep the hair ends clipped in between styles. As the hair is transitioning to it’s natural state, another style option is hair pressing. As the chemical grows out, press only the new growth.

Reader Question: I’ve always had long hair and hair “options”, I’m not familiar with weaves or wigs but I want something different but I’m scared at the thought of not having options and not being able to do anything about it until it grows back. I assume takes years to get to a decent length..

There is a wonderful book on the market entitled “The World of Wigs, Weaves, and Extensions” and it really does an excellent job explaining the different wigs and weaves options. (,, and anywhere books are sold) The book gives background information on the different commercial hair types, application procedures, as well as removal processes. It details how to maintain your hair while wearing commercial hair. I refer this book to help educate you and others. The more educated on commercial hair, the better your selection, and you will be aware of your options. Therefore, you don’t have to be “scared of not having options,” as you have braids, Interlocking weave techniques (No braids, No glue), braid and sew-in weave, dreadlock extensions, hair pressing, and so much more.

It doesn’t take long to get to a decent length, as the hair grows everyday. It depends on how fast your hair grows, the condition of the hair, the texture, etc. So, it does take patience. Being most African-Americans hair usually grow from the scalp kinky or curly, as you are transitioning to natural, it may appear to take longer. But, when the hair is blown dry, you should see the progress. It is very important to keep the ends clipped and the hair shaft hydrated, as you will go from chemically treated hair to natural. The hair in both states need moisture and the hair ends need to be clipped to ensure a successful transition without breakage.

Toni Love is an International educator and published author. She holds a BA in Business Management and a MA in Continuing Education. She has been in the hair industry for over 25 years and is a licensed cosmetologist, instructor, barber, and product owner of Toni Love’s Hair Cleansing System. She also trains licensed professionals on advanced hair techniques, and is celebrating 10 years of owning Toni Love’s Training Center in Atlanta, GA.

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