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How to Relax Your Hair: From The Pro

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.


Saturday 19th of January 2013

I had box braids for about one month and a few weeks and it looks awful right now and my hair is curly, can i relax my hair with the braids or......?


Friday 8th of June 2012

I have a quick question. I just put a relaxer on my sons hair and he was complaining of it burning so it wasn't left on long enough in front. Can I re-apply the relaxer the same day but only leave it on for a short period of time? We really like how the back turned out and because the front is still frizzy it doesn't look right and is going to be hard to manage. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thx T


Saturday 9th of June 2012

It is probably best of you take him to a salon. You have to be VERY careful as relaxers are chemicals and can burn his hair. Also childre under a certain age shouldn't get relaxers.


Friday 15th of February 2008

i’m not into relaxers. I lurrve my curly locks! Lots of people compliment me on them. and I’m keeping ‘em.


Friday 15th of February 2008

May I also add that I sleep with a satin nightcap?  There are many to choose from.

Also, Goody Hair Products recently introduced a new brush called the Ouchless for Relaxed hair (Item # 88231) It’s also specifically for wrapping your hair.  It’s part of their new line Hard to find though.  I had to go to 6 different beauty stores in order to find it.

For the Natural sisters, Ouchless Brush #88232 works as well.  :)


Friday 15th of February 2008

Honey thank you!

After relaxing for as long as I can remember, I also went natural in 2001.  I stayed natural until last year (Needed change).  It’s great that you are posting this because sometimes you need to know how to take care of your hair after chemical procedures.

Good looking out Fashionista!

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