I get hundreds of questions on styling short tresses and often these are women who are transitioning. Not everyone does the big chop and not everyone is starting off with medium or long relaxed hair when they go natural. Short hair is gorgeous and while some feel it can be limiting, we are here to share just how versatile your hair is with some amazing transitioning styles.
This blog is here for you whether you are starting out, regrouping, or even going natural for the 2nd or 3rd time. The best way to make this journey work is by giving you what you need to stay successful and transitioners need a lot of help with hairstyles that not just work, but cut down on tangles and last. We’ve got some of the best natural styles for transitioners with short tresses below!
Bantu knots have a rich history in African culture and by no means ever called or seen as “mini buns”. These beautiful coils are not knots at all but are buns of sectioned twisted coif secured against the side of the head. They are a sexy style all by themselves but if wanting to create a uniform curl for your relaxed and natural strands, taking them down and creating a Bantu knot out is the other style you can create with this transitioning hairstyle.
You can create the Bantu knot out on stretched strands or even on your two (or more) different textures of relaxed and natural fibers. The knots create a curvy, coily set to the mane allowing you to mask the difference in textures and to look like you are all natural. Relaxed hair tends to be limp and lack structure so this style gives it back to those strands and give hair life.
Feverish for fullness and fun? Try adding extensions to your knots to create an a unique and funky look that can add color, depth and a protective style great for your short transitioning hair. Never forget part of the creative piece to this style is how you choose to part your sections as they add character to this look.
Braid and Twist outs are one of the most popular hairstyles for transitioners. Easy to install, long-lasting and a great way to stretch natural hair; these styles are great if you are new to the natural girlie game. One of the biggest lessons to learn when transitioning and installing these styles is the power of the perm rod on the ends to keep those relaxed ends from looking limp, straight or frayed.
One of the best things about these styles is the uniform wave, twists or coils you end up with and how they give astronomical volume to one’s hair. You can wear hair “as is”, placed in updos, or a million other ways to give your mane variety.
The variations are pretty endless. You can do a two strand twist out, a braid out, a flat twist out, you can rod the ends, the entire strand or create on stretched or straightened mane. You never have to get bored with these styles so have fun and enjoy.
Finger coils are one of the simplest and first styles many new naturals try when whether they are transitioning or decide to do the BC. This style is actually a favorite because some women have found they were able to “train their hair” by keeping their hair in finger coils as they transitioned.
These coils give you seriously defined coils to your hair and for best results this style needs to be created on freshly washed and saturated hair to eliminate frizz and keep a uniform coil.
You coil small sections of fully saturated + product strands of hair with your finger or with a comb and allow hair to fully dry. This long-lasting style excellent as masking two very different textures and protects the hair as there is little to no maintenance when wearing this beautiful look.
What’s even better is once the style gets old, you can do a finger coil out and allow hair to be removed from coils and worn free as a coily Afro. This style is easy to keep at night (simply place a satin scarf or bonnet on top or sleep on satin pillow case) and is a pretty care-free ‘do.
Want or NEED more guidance? Watch SplendidBeauty create this style easily from start to finish to see what you need. She’s creating on freshly washed hair and hair that is fully natural, but the steps are the same and will yield amazing results!
One of the few styles that can transfer from relaxed to natural hair, roller or rod sets is a tried and true style that most women already know to create and feel comfortable with. While setting natural or transitional strands is still different from relaxed hair, the premise is the same. Start on freshly washed hair, make sure hair is fully detangled, wet and smooth and properly wrap hair (from the tips) around the roller or rod.
There are several types of roller or rods to use, but the most popular are perm rods, flexi rods, magnetic rollers and even straws. There are varying sizes within each type for specific curl diameter or tightness but it pretty much falls up to you and your personal preference.
All rollers and rods will give your tresses a smooth, uniform curl or coil that will last as long as you do it correctly and care for it at night. Some get a few days while others get a few weeks of wear on their roller or rod set but practice will help in yielding the best and lasting style. For those of us who cannot do a proper roller set to save their life! (me included), you can cheat with Curlformers. Curlformers help in getting that smooth look with spiral curls and they have varying widths from wavy loose to Shirley temple curly.
You may be surprised to see hair extensions on the list but they are a viable option for transitioning with short hair. The object is to be smart with them and worry less about hair blending and more about hair protecting. We’ve all seen far too many black women succumbing to damage to their hair, scalp and edges with hair extensions but some are styles are better than others and will be a huge asset to your transitioning.
With the surge in natural hair, many hair extension brands have sprung up with the focus on good healthy strands. They enforce this by creating units that add only positivity to your natural crown with forgiving clips, lack of glues and ease of putting in and taking out.
Gone should be the day of trying to blend your own mane with extensions and now we see more brands creating units that already blend with our natural texture or allow for your own hair to be put away and protected.
Wigs, hair clips and sew ins are all great options for transitioning women as long as they do not neglect their hair underneath, give hair a breather of a few weeks in between installations and never use the extensions as a crutch. Transitioning with short tresses is a wonderful journey and with these great styles listed above, you will become a natural strands diva in no time!
What styles are you excited about? Share below!