How to Care for Relaxed Hair
Relaxed hair is a very commonly used phenomenon in the African-American hair culture. Relaxing your hair is when chemicals are topically applied to your hair that permanently relax your strands and eliminate any curls or kinks. Relaxing hair is a very discussed topic in the hair world and is generally frowned upon because of harsh chemicals being applied to hair. If not cared for properly, relaxed hair will easily become extremely dry and break off. For these reasons most women with relaxed hair experience tremendous trouble growing their hair past their shoulders. This hair care guide is provided for you to teach you how to care for relaxed hair, and grow it healthy strong and long!
The Trouble with Relaxed Hair
Contrary to what you may have been brought up to believe, there really is no such thing as good hair and bad hair. Caring for relaxed hair as well as caring for natural black hair is a very tedious process that will take a lot of investment in time to master. The trick to growing all hair types is to learn to retain the length that you already have. Common issues women with relaxed hair face are:
Extremely Dry hair
Extreme Hair breakage
The above hair issues are very common in relaxed hair and are caused by the fact that relaxer strip your hair from it's natural oils and open the hair shafts pores so they are extremely vulnerable to any outside manipulation.
How to Care for Relaxed hair
Learning how to care for relaxed hair is a process. We are here to help you on your journey to a healthier longer head free flowing relaxed hair. The information we provide is a good start, but we highly recommend researching the matter a lot deeper. Do your research online on the various black hair care blogs available. We recommend that you frequent hair forum sites. We also highly recommend that you purchase a great relaxed hair care book and use it as your hair journey manual. For relaxed hair we recommend reading the book Ultra Black Hair Growth 2. Keep reading for the most basic information when it comes to cleansing, conditioning and styling your relaxed hair.
Many black women have been brought up on the belief that they should only clean their hair every 2-4 weeks. this is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to black hair care. While it is true that most shampoo's are very harsh relaxed hair- simply not cleaning it is never a good option! Instead, consider washing your hair with shampoo 1-2 times a month and co-wash your hair with conditioner at least 1-2 times a week in between shampoos. What is Co-washing means washing your hair in the same manner as with a shampoo, but simply using a conditioner. This is a great way of adding moisturizer to your tresses. Co washing simply means not using shampoo, but instead wash your hair with conditioner. By massaging your scalp and hair with a conditioner in the same manor you would with a shampoo, you actually can achieve the same cleansing result.
If you are not ready to give up shampoo, you can continue to do so as long as you use a very mild form. You can either use baby shampoo or a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are extremely drying on you hair and should be entirely avoided in all hair care products!
The secret to healthy African-American hair is to find the perfect balance between moisture and protein in your hair. Moisture is definitely the most commonly lacked element of black hair, but protein is also frequently seen, especially in relaxed hair. The first thing to realize about how to condition your relaxed hair is that you will need to condition it regularly. It is vital to use leave in conditioners, regular conditioners, deep conditioners and protein treatments.
Leave-in conditioners (Bear Fruit Hair's Desert Moisturizer is a favorite!) should be used once a day. After you apply leave in conditioner to your relaxed hair, you can with benefit seal your ends with an oil of your choice.
Regular conditioners are the type you use to co-wash your hair with. Co-washing should be done 1-2 times a week in order to keep your hair clean and moisturized.
Protein treatments are extremely important when it comes to hair that is chemically altered in any way. When you apply relaxer to your hair damages the hairs natural protein structure structure, if the protein is not replenished, your hair will feel dry brittle and may even be breaking off.
Deep conditioners -You should deep condition your hair at least 1-2 times a month. When deep conditioning apply conditioner to hair and cover with a plastic cap apply heat for at least 20 minutes. Heat can be applied with a hooded dryer, a conditioning cap, a hair steamer or a warm towel.
Remember to always wash out conditioner with lukewarm to colder water. Colder water will close the hair cuticles and lock in moisture. If you wash the conditioner out with warm water you will open the hair cuticles and wash out all of the moisture you just applied.
African-American hair is a lot more porous than other hair types. The harsh chemicals used in the relaxing progress does not further help the situation. blow drying, flat ironing and all other types of hair styling tools will cause a lot of stress and damage to your hair. The best way to care for relaxed hair is to leave it alone! Try using cold roller sets or Dominican blow outs to maintain your straight hair style.
Do's and Dont's For Relaxed Hair
Always sleep on a satin pillow or with a satin scarf
Always tie your hair back in a bun or braid it when going to bed
Wear your hair in a protective style as often as possible.
Never brush your hair.
We recommend only finger combing with conditioner. But if you must comb you hair, use a wide tooth comb, preferably with conditioner in your hair
Never use rubber bands
Never use sulfate shampoos on your hair
Never use silicon on your hair.
Never use mineral oil on your hair(beware-mineral is found in A LOT of black hair care products)
How To Grow Relaxed Hair
Using oral and topical hair growth products can help your relaxed hair grow longer and stronger a lot faster than you may have thought possible. When following a Healthy Hair Care regimen for relaxed hair, women see and average of 0.5-1 inch of new hair growth a month. Imagine 6-12 inches of new hair growth a year! We recommend incorporating the following steps and products into your daily relaxed hair care regime:
Protein Treatment - In order for your hair to be healthy and growing you must discover the perfect balance between moisture and protein. A combination of strand tests and protein treatments will help you reach that goal
Moisturizing - Relaxed hair is very porous and dry, it is important that you moisturize your hair daily using the co-wash method and leave-in conditioners. Even wetting your hair with water will add moisture to your hair.
Hair Oils - Do oil rinses, seal your ends with oil, mix your favorite conditioner with your favorite oil, oils your scalp, do hot oil treatment etc. The benefits of incorporating oils in your hair growth regimen are great.
We wish you good luck on your long healthy hair care journey! Remember patience and persistence are key to great results!