4 Things All Transitioners Should Do for Healthy Hair and Less Breakage

As you all know, I'm not a tremendous fan of regimens. Never have, and I probably never will be. There's something incredibly banal about using the exact same products, in the exact same order, the exact same way, on the exact same day every week. One way or another, some thangs have got to switch up! Even while I'm on this Max Hydration Method journey, I still find ways to keep it interesting -- whether it be through switching up my leave in, curl definer, or deep conditioner.

But that's neither here nor there. This post is all about transitioning! I'm keeping my Q&A series going with the following question I got via Instagram (thanks @princess_dejaaaa):

What regimen should transitioners follow in order to 
keep their hair healthy and have less breakage?

Although I just told ya'll previously that I don't believe in regimens like that, I do believe there are some general parameters transitioners should follow to treat the line of demarcation with care, avoid breakage and further damage, maximize growth, and strike a healthy balance between trimming and length retention.Without further delay, here is my list of 4 things all transitioners should do on a regular basis (with suggested time frames for each):

Rehydrate Hair Between Wash Days (daily - every 2 or 3 days)

Properly hydrated hair is stronger and more elastic, which helps prevent breakage and allows your transitioning tresses to better withstand the manipulation caused by texture blending styles (like twist & curls, bantu knots, braidouts). Properly hydrated hair also frizzes less, because the hair is not looking to grab water from the air, because there has been enough absorbed into the strands already. How do you make sure your hair is continually hydrated between wash days? Here are my 3 favorite methods:
1. Q Redew: As a transitioner (and now as a natural), I love to gently rehydrate with the Q-Redew. The steamer is perfect for gently infusing moisture into the hair without making it wet all over again. After using the Q-Redew, locking the water in with a creamy, water-based moisturizer helps seal the deal. I recommend Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl or Curl Love Moisture Milk, TreLuxe Curl Supreme Styling Cream, Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Pudding Souffle, and CURLS Creme Brulee.
2. DIY Spray & Seal: If you don't own a Q-Redew, this is the next best thing. A DIY, water-based spray mixing water, your favorite conditioner, and a light moisturizer (essential oils optional) is perfect for waking up, refreshing, and rehydrating transitioning hair. My personal recipe is (in a 2oz spray bottle): fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with water, add in 1 short squeeze of Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, and 3 pumps of Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl. Shake and enjoy! This recipe is enough to last for a few days. I don't recommend making more than 2oz at a time, so as to not impact the preservatives in the products. Lock in the hydration with any of the products mentioned in option #1.

3.Store-Bought Spritzes: My favorite spray for rehydrating right now is the Ouidad Botanical Boost. Prior to embarking on this Max Hydration Method journey, I would also use ApHogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In and It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin. But the last two have cones, which I must avoid for the time being. Just like options 1 and 2, following them up with a moisturizing and sealing product like the ones mentioned in #1.

Deep Condition Regularly (weekly - every 2 weeks)

Every time you wash your hair, you need to deep condition to maintain strength, elasticity, and water levels inside of the hair. Deep conditioning will also help smooth cuticles and make hair softer and more manageable while preventing breakage. It can even temporarily repair damaged patches in your relaxed/heat damaged ends (it won't make them curl, but it it will keep them from breaking off). Of all things, deep conditioning is the single step that will practically guarantee the improved and sustained health of your hair. You don't have to deep condition every single time you cleanse your hair, but I do recommend that you take some time out (20 - 30 minutes max) at minimum every two weeks to deep condition. Need a good deep conditioner? Here are some of my faves from my transitioning time and currently:
Strengthening Treatment (monthly)
I started using henna before I even began transitioning, because I was looking for an emergency/miracle fix to "cure" my thinning and breaking hair. Clearly, this was before I accepted the fact that my hair was heat damaged beyond repair. But once I got that through my thick scull, I kept henna in rotation because it helped relieve some of my scalp psoriasis symptoms. Fast forward over 2.5 years, and I'm still henna-ing once a month. Why? It doesn't do too much for my scalp anymore (psoriasis adapts to treatments...that finnicky bugger), but it works wonders for my hair. Beyond red cellophane-like stain, henna binds to the shaft of the hair, creating a permeable, protective coating (that is light weight, but some folks will claim it makes their hair heavier and curl looser). This coating makes the hair stronger, and feel a little thicker.

Related: My Henna Mix

You don't have to use henna (it's worth a try if you have protein-sensitive hair), but I do recommend regular strengthening treatments for transitioners to balance moisture and protein, strengthen the line of demarcation, and ward off breakage. Any strengthening mask, concoction, or treatment with hydrolyzed proteins, ceramides and/or aminos will replenish and restore strength to the hair. I recommend Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment (a transitioning favorite), Ouidad 12 Minute Deep Treatment (super expensive but can be used sparingly), and ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment. Of course, the ApHogee 2-Step Treatment is an option, but I only recommend that if you are under the care of a hair professional. That stuff is scary, and can snap your hair right off.

Trim (every 2 - 4 months)
As your new hair comes in, getting rid of your weathered, damaged ends is a part of the process. How much and how often you trim is up to you, but if you have no trim schedule whatsoever, aim for every 2 - 4 months. This is more frequent than you'll be trimming once completely natural, and that's because your damaged hair is, well, damaged. Damaged cuticles, splits, and weathered ends are a more frequent occurence due to the fact that your old hair has been subjected to repeated relaxing and heat tools. With this in mind, being preemptive in ridding yourself of the most damaged 1/2 inch or so of hair regularly can help ensure that the rest of your hair doesn't suffer.

Related: How and When to Trim Transitioning Hair

That it, ladies! From my experience long-term transitioning, these 4 things helped keep me sane and my hair relatively healthy. What are some things you did to maintain the health of your hair during your transition and prevent breakage?

More for Transitioners:
How Do I Transition to Natural Hair?
The Difference Between Breakage and Shedding
Preventing Breakage
Detangling 101
How to Build a Regimen for Transitioning Hair


  1. Thank you Christina Patrice! Your transitioning photos are amazing. Awesome that Q-Redew is a part of your healthy hair journey! ~Heidi

  2. Sorry that I'm just now seeing this. Thank you Heidi!!! You know I love my Q-Redew <3