Happy New Year, divas! It’s a New Year and a new start, and for many readers that includes beginning a transitioning natural hair journey. Some of you have decided to return natural for 2014 in addition to your goals for new career heights and business ventures that’ll keep you on the go. Thankfully, we’ve found tips and tricks to make your natural hair transition a little easier along the way.

1. Learn your hair texture. Figuring out your hair texture is essential when beginning your transition to healthy natural hair. Everything from the products you’ll use to the hairstyles that work best for you will be based off your hair type. Researching the Andre Walker Hair Type System will help you identify your texture.

2. Create a Maintenance Schedule. Penciling in time on your schedule for maintenance such as treatments, conditioning and trimming result in beautiful hair. It may be difficult with your busy schedule, but remain as consistent as possible. Also, pay attention to how your hair responds to certain products and treatments. Being successful at work requires time, effort and patience, and so does beautiful, healthy hair.

3. Choose Styles Wisely. While you’re transitioning, resist the urge to grab the flat irons and run off to a quick meeting. The less heat used on your hair, the better. Find styles that are sure to last a few days with little to no maintenance. It may also help to style your hair the night before to avoid disturbing your morning routine. Styles may not always turn out how you’d like the first few times, but stick with it. Protective styling is efficient, but I would suggest using it as the last resort or for vacations. Get used to styling yourself.

4. Healthy Hair Starts Within. Remember that hair is an extension of your body, and you get out of it what you put in. A healthy diet also helps achieve healthy hair. While you’re in the office or out running errands, be sure to grab healthy meals and snacks. Drinking a lot of water also helps prevent dry, damaged hair.

5. Keep a Hair Care Travel Stash. You’d be surprised how keeping a bag with bobby pins, olive oil, a few flexi rods and a spray bottle can make transitioning easier. For those late nights at the office alone, throw in a few flexi rods and add texture to your hair before date night. Or for a quick change of style, bobby pins and olive oil are sure to spice up your look. Keeping a hair care travel stash in the office or in the trunk of your car just may be your secret weapon to fabulous hair!

6. Find a Natural Hair Bestie. When you’re constantly on the go, it may be hard to check in with a natural hair group. But finding a friend who is quick on email and text for quick suggestions and tips can be very beneficial. She is there to offer advice on the best products, style suggestions, and even hair care regimens when you may not have the time to research new ones. She can also be an accountability partner in checking in to make sure you’re maintaining your maintenance schedule. Get a natural hair bestie! We all need one, whether we’re busy or not.