This post is throwing a spotlight on Relaxed Hair. With a growing number leaning towards natural hair and a lot of bad press about relaxers there is much pressure on those ladies who choose to relax their hair. Many of us who have had relaxers would agree that our hair was never the same again, so the purpose of this post is to provide tips that will help you to achieve and maintain HEALTHY relaxed hair. There is such a thing contrary to popular belief. Any hair, chemically processed or natural, can be healthy just as much as it can be unhealthy. So along with drinking enough water and eating a variety of healthy foods what else can our relaxed ladies do?
Apply a protective-base barrier liberally
Your relaxer must not tingle or burn while setting. Experiencing this means your relaxer application is being carried out ALL WRONG! Tingling is a sign of the chemicals in your product making contact with your scalp and burning it. No one wants a cooked scalp. Look after it and it will support your hair strands effectively. Burn it and your hair will fall out.
This comes about usually because of a desire to have bone straight hair. But in truth Afro textured hair does best when it is allowed to retain some of it curl as this gives it elasticity which is a must in resisting breakage. When possible have your relaxers applied by a properly qualified Stylist. If you must do it at home then carefully follow the instructions and Do Not Exceed Processing times and avoid overlapping. This will NOT lead to healthy hair but instead to thin weak hair.
Wrap your Hair
Using a silk wrap or pillowcase will keep your strands protected during the night and make styling easier in the mornings. If your hair is long, most stylists will happily show you how to wrap your hair. Practice makes perfect so keep trying till you master it. Your hair will thank you.
The relaxer process is harsh on your strands so to minimise and control the damage, deep conditioning is a must! This is not only done immediately after relaxer but also at least twice a month. After shampooing always use a conditioner to restore moisture levels and, if your hair requires it, protein treatments will give your hair extra reinforcement from the outside.
Don’t Over Manipulate
Daily combing and brushing is really not ideal for your hair so choose styles that will last till wash day or at least a week. Instead of brushes, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Try roller sets using satin-covered rollers, Flexi-rods or Curl Formers.
Avoid excessive Heat
Hooded driers are much better especially for relaxed hair as the heat is diffused over a large area. The hair is also safer as the ends are tucked away safely and the stands are not being manipulated whilst drying as is the case with hand held blow driers. Most of us don’t have hooded driers at home so the best place for this is at a salon.
Stretch out your Relaxers
What does this mean? Well try to increase the length of time between each relaxer session. Instead of every 6 weeks, aim for 6 and a half or 7 weeks. Increase this time gradually at a pace you are comfortable with (it is your hair after all). Amongst the benefits of going this is that it will allow for more regrowth and less overlapping of relaxer, ultimately leading to less hair damage.
It is safe to say that healthy hair takes care and effort regardless of whether it is relaxed or natural. If you want your hair to continue to grow long and health, care for it as best as your lifestyle allows. How do you maintain your relaxed hair?
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Afrotility is the founder of blieq.com , her focus is on natural hair care and styling. She is Passionate about afro hair in all its different degrees of curliness, and believes that “understanding your hair is the key to enjoying it and loving every single curly strand”. She also insists that “no styling without consultation” should be the new standard.
(Image by Gorgeous In Grey)