Let me start by saying I haven’t had a relaxer (aka “black perm”) in like, ummm, 10 years, but I do understand the power and for some of us, the need, to use a relaxer on our hair. So, If you’re going to walk down the chemically-straighten-hair path, then you need to know how to keep your locks looking fresh. Teneya Gholston, Hair Care Expert for Colomer, the makers the African Pride hair care products, dishes these quick tips to make sure your relaxed hair always looks its best.
How to Relax Your Hair
Signs You May Need a Relaxer Touch-up
(Note, the signs below individually may not mean you need a relaxer, but can be indicators; always consult with your haircare professional before putting any chemicals in your hair.)
- If Even an Iron Won’t Make that Hair Straight: If your silky locks that once laid straight are now standing up at the root and demanding attention, it may be time for a touch-up. As your hair grows, your new growth may be curly and tight. Once you have at least a quarter of an inch it is time to relax.
- If You’re Shedding More than Fido: Are you competing with your Lab and finding hair all over your sofa, pillow and clothes? Shedding may be an indication that it is time for a touch-up. Shedding occurs when the hair is dehydrated, brittle, and stressed at the point your new growth meets your relaxer. Relax your hair to prevent breakage.
- But I Looked Great When I Left the House this Morning: Left your house looking fierce but arrived at work looking crazy? Hair that won’t hold, won’t stay smooth, and is out of control is a sure sign that you are due for a date with your relaxer!!!
- When You Resort to Your Emergency Look: Do you find that you’re digging into your “break in case of emergency” crate to whip out that golden ponytail-holder more often than you care to admit? Stretching your relaxer too long is not healthy. Unmanageable hair should be straightened to preserve length and healthy hair.
Relaxer No No’s
- Too Much Heat in the Kitchen: Excessive heat styling such as using a flat iron every day, dries out the hair and may cause breakage.
- Too Much of a Good Thing: Only your first-ever relaxer is a virgin relaxer. Never apply subsequent relaxers from root to ends. After your initial relaxer, you only need a touch-up to cover new growth.
- The Ponytail Gel No-No: Yes, we know that slicked back look let’s you work your inner model, but the combination can be deadly for your hair as products with alcohol promote damage and breakage.
- Braids Out/Relaxers In: Never take your braids out and apply a relaxer the same day. Allow the hair time to breathe and recuperate from the pressure of braids. Shampoo and deep condition your hair to replace lost nutrients and then wait 5-7 days before relaxing.
Below are simple solutions to keeping your locks maintained:
- Relaxer: Healthy, straight, shiny hair starts with a relaxer that will straighten your hair while adding nutrients back into the hair to maintain healthy hair. Start your healthy hair regimen with the NEW African Pride Miracle Deep Conditioning No-Lye Relaxer System with Healing & Hydrating African Herbs.
- Touch-Up: The best measure of when to relax your hair is to measure the amount of new growth on your head. The frequency of your relaxer depends on the growth rate and texture of your hair. It is best to relax your hair when you have a half inch to three quarters of an inch in new growth or every six to eight weeks.
- Shampoo & Conditioner: Always protect and maintain your locks by using products that condition, moisturize and heal your hair. Love your hair to health by using shampoos enriched with natural ingredients that infuse moisture into relaxed hair. Gently cleanse and moisturize with African Pride Herbal Healing Shampoo which is infused with Healing & Hydrating Herbs to add moisture and shine. To help seal in moisture use a seal in conditioner. This creamy formula with natural ingredients will also help strengthen and detangle the hair.
- Trim: To avoid split ends and allow for the growth of healthy hair, always trim your hair every six to eight weeks. Keep your ends moisturized and protected by sealing with a creme hair dress. In addition, protect your hair at night by wrapping with a silk scarf or sleeping on a satin pillowcase to keep ends healthy.