So, my relaxer series is coming to an end. And with that I’m going to talk to you about the way I relax my hair, which I understand is best practice.
A few people think that the brand of my relaxer is the reason why my hair is growing the way it is. But as we’ve learned, it really is about the way I take care of my hair in between relaxers and critically, it’s how I retouch my hair when it becomes obvious that it needs a touch up. We’ve also learnt that relaxing is actually taking your hair through controlled damage to the protein structure that in turn loosens the tight knit curls.
If you want to get in a little deeper, let me know and I can look into Lye vs No Lye relaxers. Which one is the greater evil of the two?
So, I’ll get into the steps of how I relax my hair.
Prepping the Hair – Days before Retouch Day
About a week to 4 days before I retouch my hair I apply an intense protein treatment. I use the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment. This bonds artificial protein to my hair (not created by my body), which strengthens it for 6 weeks at a time. I’ll do a series on Protein Treatments and why they are essential for chemically treated hair in the near future.
I ensure that my scalp isn’t going through an irritation phase, evidenced by itchiness, flaky skin…dandruff…etc.
I make sure that my hairline is stronger than before. I also do a general health check by checking the elasticity of my hair making sure it’s not dry, my ends are in check.
Prepping the Hair – Minutes Before Retouch
I make sure that I have all that I need for my retouch. I will list the utensils that I use and will include pics with captions below.
1 dye applicator (it’s got a brush end to it; the application of my relaxer is more accurate with this utensil)
2 pairs of gloves (I buy my own gloves that form to my fingers as the gloves they now have in relax kits are too flimsy for my taste)
1 face towel (to quickly wipe away any relaxer that goes on my skin)
3 hair clips (I use these to separate my hair out into sections)
My relaxer instructions and timer
I do NOT use a comb during my retouch process
The Retouch Process
I always make sure I take a peek at the instructions. With product updates, instructions do change slightly.
The instructions (as you can see below) are separated out into how long you should leave for processing based on your hair type. It is essential for you not to guess, but to actually know your hair type. This really makes a difference as most times women put the relaxer on for too long and that becomes the main reason why hair starts breaking just days after the retouching process.
What you need to keep in mind is that you’re organising a controlled damage to the protein structure of your hair. If you go over the recommended time, you’re now breaking that protein structure down even further and your hair, being weak, will certainly break. The times aren’t suggestions ladies, they are a MUST follow!
I separate my hair into halves and start using the end of my dye utensil to separate my hair into sections. I then use the brush section to apply the relaxer (only on my new growth), line by line within each section. Now I make sure that my new growth is long enough for a proper retouch that doesn’t touch my relaxed hair. So the recommended 6 weeks between relaxers is really the length of time you hair takes to recover from the chemical process and gives time for new growth to appear. I would suggest you retouch based on length. If your hair reaches past 6 weeks AND is long enough to ensure that you only retouch the new growth with a low risk of touching your relaxed hair, then that becomes the optimum time to retouch your hair.
I then group the retouched hair within the divided sections that I initially created. I then massage (using the tip of my fingers), separating out my hair to make sure that the relaxer straightens all the hair I need straightened.
As my own personal rule, I add relaxer on my hair line at the end of the relaxer processing time. This ensures that my weak edges and limited hair doesn’t get over stimulated and processed.
I then follow instructions and wash out the relaxer as advised, using the proper shampoo … etc
Conditioning is important. I use the conditioner that’s in the kit, and then I also deep condition my hair straight after the relaxer conditioner.
While my hair is wet, I glide coconut oil onto it. Coconut Oil has protein properties that mimic our protein structure for our own hair. I love the way it makes my hair feel, and it smells great.
Days after Retouch
I do a moisturising deep condition and an amla and peppermint oil scalp treatment on my next shampoo day (7 days later). And then my normal all encompassing regime continues. www.phrophro.com/bth
I hope this has really given you needed insight on how I relax my hair and encourages you to start incorporating these measures. It’s a really delicate process cause you are putting chemicals to damage your hair into a permanently straight structure. I have to bold and caps this next statement
DOCTORS AND HAIR PROFESSIONALS AT LARGE DO NOT RECOMMEND CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN TO RELAX THEIR HAIR. CHILDREN CAN WAIT TO GET THEIR HAIR RELAXED AS THESE CHEMICALS DO NOT NEED TO BE AFFECTING THEM AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE.
Happy Hair Journey Ladies