When you relax your hair, it undergoes some controlled damage and as such, it is important to maintain it in a healthy fashion. Natural hair requires pampering, relaxed hair requires even more tender loving care because of its processed nature. Here is what to do:
• Ensure the relaxing of the hair is done by a professional. If you work with an untrusted stylist, your hair will be damaged. A trusted hairdresser will recommend the best chemical for your hair, whether you need to use a lye or no-lye relaxer. Never apply relaxer on your hair by yourself. Even as you relax the hair, ensure it is not over-processed. When chemical is left on the hair for too long, the hair is over-processed. • Wait for the recommended time frame before you retouch the hair; this way, your hair stays healthy. The hair should be relaxed every eight to 16 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows. • When you consistently apply relaxer on hair that has already been processed, the hair eventually gets damaged and breaks; you could even suffer permanent hair loss. • When styling your relaxed hair, avoid heat styling as much as is possible. If you must use heat, let it be low heat. Better still leave the hair to air dry partially before using a blow dryer or dryer on a low to medium temperature setting. It is convenient to use flat irons and curling irons, but daily use of the same leads to dry and damaged hair. Ensure your hair is completely dry before using a curling or flat iron on it. Apply a heat protection product on the hair prior to using any heat. • In the initial days after relaxing, avoid tying your hair with tight clips, since they tend to reshape the hair with dents. It is better to leave the hair loose. Avoid hairstyles that will have the ends of your hair curled or even bumped e.g. buns or any up-do. • Always protect your hair at night; wrap it so that you protect your hair while sleeping. Wrapping the hair also preserves the body and volume of the hair. • Once the hair is relaxed, it requires regular conditioning, at least once a week, because relaxers strip away some natural oils from the hair. When you condition it, you replace the moisture that keeps the hair in good shape. Every time you shampoo your hair, follow it with a rinse-out conditioner. Use a mild shampoo designed for relaxed hair. Avoid over washing the hair, more than once a week is equivalent to over washing. It is also important that you do a deep conditioning at least twice a month to maintain the hair’s strength and moisture. • Many women hate trimming their hair because they think it is losing their beloved long tresses. However, it is important to trim the ends as they tend to get very dry if not cared for properly. • Avoid harsh bristle brushes when brushing the hair as this damages the hair even more. • Drinking plenty of water is good for your skin; it is also good for your hair. Get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly for healthy hair. • Cover your hair with a scarf whenever you are under the sun and use a cap when swimming to avoid chlorine damage.