If you are a natural sister, meaning your hair is free of chemicals, I applaud you! I think it’s one of the best ways to have growing, healthy hair. However, if you’re like me and you’ve got some hard to manage 4B hair that you like to wear straight 99.9% of the time you might be addicted to the creamy crack and ain’t nothing wrong with that! It doesn’t mean we despise our culture or we hate ourselves. It only means we like to wear our hair straight and this is one of the simplest ways to do it. Even though chemical relaxers can be damaging, we can we can do a lot to minimize the damage and keep our hair healthy. And with trying to be beautiful on a budget, it is not always feasible to go to the hair salon for relaxer services. Relaxer kits have all of the items needed to chemically treat your hair at home. These are usually the best to purchase when doing your hair at home.
Tips For Relaxing Your Hair At Home
- Prepare a week in advance….the week (or 2) before you plan on relaxing to indulge your hair with a protein treatment. Since chemical relaxers break down the protein bonds of your hair strengthen your hair in preparation. You can use a store bought protein treatment like Aphogee 2 step or you can add an egg to any conditioner.
- If your hair doesn’t like hard proteins use something a little gentler like Aphogee two minute reconstructor.
- Perform a protein treatment the week after you relax.
- Something I’ve run across recently is using a mild protein conditioner after you rinse out the relaxer but before you use your neutralizing shampoo. I’ve tried it and it really helps with adding a little bounce back into your hair if you don’t like that limp freshly permed look. It works, because again, it helps restore lost protein.
- The day of your relaxer, make sure you grease your scalp right before you relax. It will help protect your scalp and hairline from burns. You can also use hair grease on the previous relaxed hair to prevent overlapping which brings me to my next point.
- Do not relax your entire head every time! Only relax your new growth. If you relax from root to tip each time you will have hair that breaks from being so weak.
- Make sure you rinse all of the relaxer out. If you leave any trace of relaxer on your hair it will continue to process your hair. Your hair will break! When you think all the relaxer is rinsed out rinse for a few more minutes.
- DO use a neutralizing shampoo, it will help wash out the relaxer and restore your hair to a healthy pH levels.
- Embrace those kinks! It’s hard and it took me a while to do but stretch your relaxer touch ups. Don’t run for the kit at the first sight of a kink. Try to go at least 8 weeks. This ensures that you have enough new growth to relax without overlapping. Try stretching for a little longer each time but pay attention to your hair because sometimes stretching relaxers appears to do more harm than good.
- Another good product I have come across is Roux Porosity Control. I use it as a final conditioner rinse but it can be used many other ways as well. It helps porous hair (hair can became more porous with each relaxer use). Porous just means your hair has a difficult time absorbing moisture. Roux Porosity Control also helps restore pH balance and closes your cuticles so it helps your hair stay moisturized.
- Get a friend to help you. It’s hard to see what you are doing especially in the back. Practice makes perfect.
You definitely do not have to do all of these steps as it can get tedious at times but using one or two may be beneficial and help you to minimize any damage chemical relaxers may do to your hair. You don’t want to sacrifice the health of your hair for straightness.