We had a relaxed hair maintenance meetup in July 2014 and we were joined by Julie Oli, vlogger on healthyafrohair and author of Work with it, Yemi Miles, hair educator and technician from MIZANI and Victoria Akuagwu from Ziuzo hair and beauty in Lewisham.
They shared lots of relaxed hair maintenance tips and I am going to share some of them here:
Is my relaxer going to kill me? Resoundingly, the answer was if you use relaxer correctly, it will NOT kill you or even harm you.
What does it mean to use relaxer correctly?
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.The time on the packaging is from the beginning of applying the relaxer to the end including combing it out.
- You can leave it on for a shorter period of time and that process is called texlaxing as you want to leave some texture in your hair.
- It all depends on your hair type and your scalp sensitivity as well. If your scalp is sensitive and you feel a burn or an itch, please take the hair relaxer out.
- Find a hair stylist who is reputable and will listen to you when you tell them about the sensitivity of your hair.
- Do not apply relaxer close to the scalp on initial application.. Only when you’re combing through should the relaxer get close to the scalp.
- Rinse the relaxer out thoroughly. Use the right temperature of the water. Apply a post relaxer treatment. This will bring your hair back to the right PH balance before the neutraliser.
- Neutralising is an important process. There shouldn’t be a deep massage during this process. The massage should be at the shampoo process.
- Lean forward so the whole head gets rinsed. Get the towel off and make sure the whole head and nape of the neck is rinsed.
Relaxed hair maintenance, sensitivity to relaxer;
- Try and avoid the relaxer when it’s your time of the month.
- Do not use relaxer after exercise even if it’s a run to the salon just before. This raises your body temperature and opens up your pores.
- Do not have a hot drink just before the relaxer as well as it too raises the body temperature. The more your pores open, the more likely it is that the relaxer will touch the scalp.
- If you are any kind of medication that affects your hormones, do not relax your hair.
- If you have been scratching your head, do not relax your hair.
- If you have just taken plaits out, give your head a rest before you relax your hair. Wash your hair first and have a treatment before the relaxer, so a week is advisable.
Relaxed hair maintenance, Lye vs No Lye relaxers;
- No lye relaxer is more gentle on the scalp but harsher on the hair so if your hair is coarse but with a sensitive scalp, this is the relaxer for you.
- lye relaxer is not gentle on the scalp and it penetrates fast so it is more advisable if your scalp is not sensitive.
How often should we relax our hair?
- Recommended 6 to 8 weeks. To avoid relaxing the hair that is already relaxed.
- 4 weeks if you wear a short crop hairstyle as it’s harder to maintain these styles as your hair may snap as you try to keep it looking fresh with gels and other products.
- Your stylist should use the knowledge that she has based on the situation.
Products to use at different stages of your relaxer stretch.
- First of all, eat well. Drink lots of water and fruit and vegetables. Hydrate from the inside out.
- Alternate protein and moisturising treatments. Use a moisturiser on the regrowth as it will be dryer. If your hair feels moisturised, use a protein treatment.
- Relaxer alters the strength of the hair and strips out the protein. So protein treatment is advisable.
- Too much protein will make your hair hard, dry and brittle. So use in moderation.
- Silicon derivative oils will sit on the scalp and make it flake. Use natural oils on the scalp.
- Strengthen your hair before the relaxer service so do a protein treatment a week or so before the relaxer.
- In between your relaxer service, have atleast one protein treatment.
- If you are using heat or colour, then you may need more than one protein treatment.
How often should you wash your relaxed hair?
- Once a week. This gives the scalp enough time to reproduce some oils and allow the oils to travel up the hair shaft.
Should you relax your hair while you are pregnant?
- It’s a myth that you should not relax your hair when you are pregnant.
- There is no issue with relaxer during pregnancy.
Below are some pictures from the evening, taken by the lovely Danielle.