The process of “going natural” sounds effortless, right? Not quite. It’s not easy to sort through the wash of tricks and tips online. Plus, there are several big decisions to make before you commit to letting your hair grow out without using texture-changing techniques. Here’s a compilation of advice from to help you cut through the go-natural buzz to create an inexpensive natural regimen that’s right for you.

Decide on whether to transition sooner rather than later. For people who are used to sporting relaxed hair, this decision is critical. The shortest possible transition can be made by doing the “big chop.” That means cutting off relaxed ends of hair strands so that tresses can grow out naturally. But if you’re not comfortable with short hair, it might be better to gradually make the transition by stopping relaxer use. This allows natural hair to grow out as you trim your relaxed ends off over time.

Moisturize tresses. Dry hair is more prone to breakage and tangles, so make sure moisturizing is a regular part of your go-natural regimen. The key to keeping curly hair hydrated is using moisturizers that contain mostly water. Oil- and butter-based products can also be used, but only apply them on damp hair. Also, another inexpensive way of moisturizing hair is mixing distilled water and a light oil—usually jojoba, grapeseed, or olive oil—in a spray bottle to apply to your mane. (Renew your mix regularly or use a few drops of grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil to make sure that bacterium isn’t introduced into your concoction.)

Consider deep conditioning with protein treatments. These strengthen relaxed hair ends to avoid breakage as the new growth arrives. But don’t overdo these treatments. The goal is to balance the hair with enough moisture and protein.

Detangle hair carefully. There are two main ways to detangle natural curls and coils: use the wet or dry method. For wet hair detangling, first soak hair and apply plenty of conditioner to reduce friction. Gently remove knots starting from hair ends then move up to the root. The advantage of this method is that hair is more lubricated and elastic when wet. Detangling dry is best approached in stages. First, loosen hair with  fingers and separate any large knots. Then use a wide-toothed comb to further detangle—again, start from your ends and work up to your hair roots. After that you can transition to a finer-toothed detangling comb to remove shed hairs and style your tresses. Lubricate hair with a light oil to make dry detangling easier. To prevent hair from re-tangling, detangle in sections then twist or plait.

Ease into your journey to natural. Experiment with protein treatments, natural oils and homemade deep conditioners. There are many concoctions that will help you on the journey to natural hair. Also, remember, going natural may not always be accepted by others, so consider getting support and going natural with a group of friends. That way you can chat about any issues that arise on your way to becoming newly natural.

Click here to read about five natural oils that can help your hair’s health.