Relaxed hair care is not as complicated or impossible to do as many would think, especially if you get your steps right and know how to care for relaxed hair. Sure, it requires a bit of time and effort, just as caring for any chemically processed hair, but the results are just amazing. So, in case you’re thinking about relaxing your hair or have already done it recently, here are a few basic tips on how maintain healthy relaxed hair that will be the envy of many:
1. Get Your Hair Done by a Pro
The first of my tips for relaxed hair would be to get your relaxer done by a trusted certified professional. Don’t go to just any «certified professional» because I’ve heard stories and even saw shocking examples of the amount of damage self proclaimed «certified» stylists can do. I’ve been through it as well and, although it wasn’t a relaxer but bleach instead the result was just as bad. The person who does your hair doesn’t have to work in a fancy, high-priced salon and you don’t have to get ripped off to get a good hair job – all you need is a person who knows hair and is able to customize a procedure to give you the results you want with minimum hair damage.
2. Don’t Relax Too Often
Relaxed hair care doesn’t involve products only but frequency of your relaxing as well. General rule says that you’re not supposed to relax your hear more often than every 6-8 weeks. And that’s a minimum because, ideally, you should wait up to 12 weeks before relaxing new growth! It’s kind of like bleach – you don’t want your processed, sensitive bits to overlap because they are already weak and exposing them to such harsh chemicals yet again won’t make them straighter but cause them to break and fall off.
3. Follow up with the Right Products
Having healthy relaxed hair is quite possible – all you have to do is acknowledge the fact that once your hair has been chemically processed it’s going to need more moisture, hair products and care than before. But, hey, that’s not new, isn’t it? After all, every chemically treated hair tends to show signs of degradation if not treated carefully. Invest in a good leave in conditioner and moisturize it on daily basis, find a store bought or homemade product that will nurture your ends and deep condition every week.
4. Wash Right
The next of my relaxed hair care tips (which pretty much goes for just any type of chemically processed hair) is to avoid over-washing both in terms of frequency and washing technique. Once the new growth starts showing you’ll notice that your scalp is oilier then usual and the most of your hair’s «dirtiness» is going to show exactly there. Use some baby powder to squeeze out another good hair day then wash thoroughly concentrating on shampooing your roots only. Don’t over-shampoo your ends as that will strip moisture off, leaving the processed bits extremely dry and prone to breakage. Conditioning, in the other hand, requires a completely different approach and, while the most of your shampoo needs to end up on your scalp, the most of your deep conditioner needs to end up on your ends.
5. Style Carefully
Knowing how to care for relaxed hair involves adequate styling as well and, although there aren’t any special or totally unknown tips to share, I do have to advise you to invest in a good heat protection product and apply it liberally. You also might want to experiment with a few heatless styles that would allow your hair to dry naturally and therefore retain all that much needed moisture which would have been zapped out of it with heat. Avoid metal and plastic brushes and combs as they can break weakened strands and cause the dry ends to frizz and electrify.
6. Know Your Hair Care Products
Knowing your hair care products is a crucial step of any hair care and by that I don’t have only relaxed hair care, permed hair care or dyed hair care in mind. Silicon products, for example, will give your hair extra shine and help fuse split ends for the time being. However, you must make sure to apply them after a moisturizing product as they will also seal each strand not allowing the moisture to go in or out. Protein-based products are also a must-have (we all know our hair is made of protein-right?) and using them will solve the problem of gummy hair, however – if you use them too much you’ll notice that your hair is stiff and kind of dryer than usual. The best way to solve this problem is to determine how often your hair really needs a protein treatment and switch between protein-based and moisturizing products depending on your hair’s needs. Oh, and coconut oil – now that’s something you absolutely must try!
7. Protect, Protect, Protect
In order to make sure your healthy relaxed hair stays exactly that way protect it at night by either wearing a silk or satin sleeping cap or opting for the same material pillow case. You can go even further and opt for up dos (such as buns) that look best with the ends tucked in. That will allow you to «hide» and protect your ends during harsh weather while still looking like million bucks. And, oh…speaking about protection – I’ve mentioned this many times before but I’ll mention it again now – stay away from regular rubber bands and the ones with metal parts because they will literally rip your sensitive strands in half!
Do you have any interesting tips on how to care for relaxed hair as well? Please, do share! I’m sure many girls who are thinking about relaxing their hair would love to know as many relaxed hair care tips and tricks as possible!
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