“You can have Healthy Relaxed Hair”
I just relaxed my hair, and felt I should write something about relaxing your hair the right way. It’s not just about what you do during touch-up; it is about what happens before, during and after relaxer day.
1. Do a conditioning protein treatment, about a week prior.
Reason: Hair is protein, when you apply relaxer chemicals to your hair, the protein bonds are broken down. Insufficient amount of protein will cause the hair to break, so it is fitting to give your hair enough protein to go through the process. However, the protein should not overwhelm the hair.
2. Detangle the hair PROPERLY
Long before i started my hair journey, i used to think the relaxer would take care of the tangles, no wonder it hardly grew!
Reason: Relaxer does not melt tangles. When relaxer touches tangled hair, it causes tear and breakage during combing as the tangles forcefully come out through the comb.
3. Prevent water from touching the hair at least three days prior to Relaxer day. This would prevent hair and scalp burn.
TIME FOR TOUCH-UP
1. Protect your scalp with heavy oil and/or butter to prevent burns.
2. Protect your previously relaxed hair with olive oil or coconut oil or a combination to prevent over processing. This can also be done with leave- in conditioners; However, this is not an excuse to start applying relaxer on already relaxed hair. Sometime ago, a stylist protected my previously relaxed hair, then started applying relaxer on it, I couldn’t cry.
3. Retouch ONLY THE ROOTS i.e. new growth
Reason: Previously relaxed hair is already weaker than the new growth, so extra relaxer on it would only cause the hair to further weaken and cause breakage, (both immediately and in the long run).
4. Part your hair according to the volume of your hair: as your hair gets longer with greater volume, you can’t divide the hair into three like you used to. It needs to be increased to about 4/5 or more depending on the volume.
Reason: While washing off the relaxer, detangling and combing, if the amount of hair in one section is too much, it gets tangled; the breakage at this stage could be nasty.
5. Use the back (not the front teeth) of a rat tail comb to smoothen new growth.
Reason: If you are using a tail comb instead of relaxer brush, the teeth would put a lot of tension on the fragile newly- relaxed hair. The back is gentler on the hair.
1. Comb hair from tip to root gradually with a wide toothed comb
2. Do a conditioning protein treatment immediately to restore protein-moisture balance to the hair.
Reason: Relaxers have drying effect on the hair.
3. Comb and detangle carefully.
4. AVOID HEAT: It is advisable to avoid very hot dryers at this stage, stick to cool air, or warm blow driers to remove water. Heat on freshly relaxed hair is a one-way ticket to breakage town.
I look forward to hearing from you as you enjoy your relaxer-day. More hair care tips on retouching right would be up shortly.
Coming soon: PROBLEMS OF RELAXER DAY AND HOW TO PREVENT THEM.