How to transition from relaxed hair to natural texture

Oh trends, you fickle mistresses. Poker straight one season, coily curls the next… you keep us all on our toes! So now we’re embracing our natural waves and texture (yay!), but what if you’ve been dedicated to relaxing your hair for ages? We asked Charlotte Mensah, owner of the Hair Lounge on London’s Portobello Road and creator of the Charlotte Mensah Manketti Oil Haircare Collection, to tell us how to transition from relaxer to natural texture with aplomb…

“Transitioning from straight to natural hair requires patience and effort. Years ago, Pricilla’s (pictured) only option would have been to cut off all off the relaxed hair and start with a short natural regrowth. Thankfully this is no longer the case as there are several ways to grow out the relaxer whilst keeping hair healthy and looking great. Pricilla will need a cut and a rod set that will last two to three weeks.”

So, Charlotte cut Pricilla’s hair into a graduated bob, keeping the length longer at the front. She then used a mix of Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil and Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer on damp hair, and used medium sized rods before Pricilla sat under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes (perfect cuppa-and-a-catch-up-on-Insta time!). Charlotte again used her Manketti Hair Oil to lift the hair for fabulous fullness without disturbing the newly-created curls.

 So, what are Charlotte’s top tips to anyone thinking of making the move from relaxer to natural texture?

“Rod sets will give you a head full of curls to hide the bulkiness of the new growth, while booking in for a fashion-forward short precision cut will also look amazing,” she says. “Braiding with hair extensions is also a winner – the new growth is hidden with individual braids or corn-rows.”