Relaxing the hair is a very stressful process on the hair so it is vital that you prepare the hair properly. It also needs to be in the best shape possible before you relax. Before I get started I just want to say in no way am I advocating self relaxing. I am simply sharing my experience. I relax my hair every 4months to maintain thickness and prevent overlapping. Here is a step-by-step guide on how I prep and relax my hair.
Hair Assessment: One week before I relax I do a quick hair assessment. I first check to see if I am experiencing any Breakage, dryness or shedding. Then I finish off the assessment by doing a strand test. For more information on how to do a stand test click Here. If my hair fails the assessment I hold off on my relaxer and remedy the issue with a couple of treatments and then re-assess my hair and only when passed do I proceed with my relaxer process. Relaxing the hair while its dry breaking or shedding will only worsen the condition you are facing by making your hair weaker, more susceptible to damage and even hair loss.
Deep Cleanse: The night before I wash my hair I part my hair into 2 sections, thoroughly detangle with a wide tooth comb, then apply my Replenishing Hair Oil from root to tip and let sit overnight. In the morning I rinse then I clarify my hair. First, I shampoo twice with clarifying shampoo followed by one lather of moisturizing shampoo. Clarifying removes any deposits or product buildup on the hair and helps the relaxer penetrate the new growth more effectively.
Strengthen: After the cleansing process I apply Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment. I then rinse, followed up the treatment with a moisturizing deep conditioner then sit under the hair steamer for 20 minutes. I cool down then rinse. Giving your hair a protein treatment in the days leading up to your relaxer application protein treatment helps fortify the previously relaxed hair giving your hair a little more protein to work with going into the relaxer process. This prevents the relaxer process from depleting the strength of your hair when your inner protein bonds are manipulated.
Shield: After my final rinse I apply my leave-ins and then air dry. When air-drying is complete. I oil my scalp with Replenishing Hair Oil, moisturize and wear my hair in a loose bun until relaxer day. In the days leading up to my relaxer I lightly moisturize my ends daily with Ayurvedic Infused Hair Butter and use a wide tooth comb to gently detangle my hair. I only comb the ends not down to the roots because I don’t want to irritate my scalp before my relaxer, Remember an irritated scalp = relaxer burns. Two days before my relaxer I gently detangle my hair from root to tip using a wide tooth comb and my fingers. The night before my relaxer I oil my scalp and saturate my ends with extra virgin coconut oil.
- I base my scalp with Summit Sensitive Scalp Base Crème. Always apply a protective base like vaseline, oil, or grease to your scalp, tops of ears, and other sensitive areas. The base will give you an extra layer of protection between the relaxer crème and those areas.
- I then saturate my ends with Roux Porosity Control Conditioner. The hair shaft and ends are especially vulnerable to damage from the relaxing process unless you protect them. Applying a light coating of something like an oil, conditioner or vaseline to your hair past the new growth prevents the rest of your hair from being “re-relaxed” as a result of overlapping and runoff during the final rinsing of the relaxer. Protection for the length and ends of the hair is essential because a lack of protection can lead to thinning of the ends.
- I use Olive Oil Cream Relaxer Regular Strength (No Base Formula). I mix one half of the container of relaxer with 2tbls of extra virgin olive oil or Avocado. Adding oil to my relaxer helps me to prevent over-processing. It also dilutes the relaxer and buys additional application time, which allows my hair to process completely while still retaining lightly textured results. This also provides my hair with added conditioning during the relaxer process.
- Set the timer for 20 minutes then start to apply relaxer to my hair starting from back ending at the front. After the relaxer is applied I then smoothing with my fingers.
- I start rinsing the relaxer out by wetting my ends first (The hair can only absorb so much and as I’m rinsing the relaxer out the ends won’t grab on to the relaxer). I then rinse for 5 minutes to ensure all the relaxer is out of my hair.
- After rinsing for 5 minutes I apply ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse. Applying a protein treatment to my hair right after I thoroughly rinse out the relaxer help to put back the protein that was loss during the relaxer process.
- After rinsing the protein treatment out I then neutralize my hair 4 times, letting the forth lather sit for 5 minutes then rinse. Apply one lathe of moisturizing shampoo rinse. Neutralizing Shampoo helps neutralize the relaxer chemicals, remove relaxer residue, restores the hair to its normal pH level.
- Apply Roux Porosity Control Conditioner. Let sit for 5min then rinse. The conditioner helps create a more uniform relaxer results and equalizes the hair porosity.
- Then follow up with a deep moisturizing conditioner and sit under the steamer for 20 minutes. Let cool down under a shower cap for 20 minutes then rinse and detangle under running water.
- Follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Let sit for 2min then rinse and apply leave-ins. Air-dry and style my hair. Below are some pics of my last relaxer results.
This is after i air dried & styled it using flexi rods
Hair loss during the relaxer process