Many women choose to go natural solely because they believe growing thick healthy relaxed hair is impossible, a decision I am in no way condemning, but that thought is not always true. I do believe maintaining thickness is a bit more challenging as you continue on a relaxed HHJ, but it is far from impossible. My hair is still thick even after a relaxer and I allow my relaxers to completely process for the recommended application time without alteration to slow or decrease the straightening effects (I do not texlax). Yes, some of it is due to genetics but there are also certain precautions I take to keep my hair as thick and healthy as possible.
Four Tips for Maintaining Thick Healthy Relaxed Hair:
- Protect previously relaxed hair when it is time to touch up. One cause of thinning relaxed hair is the relaxer run off effect. You can be meticulous about applying your relaxer to only your new growth but as you rinse the creme from your roots, it will run down the length of your previously processed hair and although its contact may be brief, over time the effects will build causing your length to thin. I like to protect my hair with castor oil and conditioner prior to relaxing and just before I rinse, I apply neutralizing shampoo to the length.
- Limit your usage of direct heat. One reason I continue to relax my hair is because I am able to get my hair straight with a rollerwrap without the use of blow dryers, flat irons, pressing combs or other forms of direct heat. It is my belief that if you relax your hair, using direct heat regularly is not necessary. I know many ladies claim to be incapable of doing a good rollerwrap at home, but trust me – practice really does make perfect. If you need assistance with setting your hair, check out my rollersetting and rollerwrap tutorials.
- Avoid overlapping when relaxing your hair. You only need to touch up your newly grown virgin hair with relaxer creme, try your best not to overlap. Although I do believe a tiny bit of overlap is inevitable, between your awareness and careful application and protecting your relaxed length (tip #1) you should be able to avoid the effects of over processing your hair by relaxing previously relaxed hair.
- Practice healthy living. Proper diet, nutrition and general well being are all reflecting in your hair. If you notice excessive or sudden thinning, please see your primary care physician. When I was in graduate school, I was diagnosed with anemia and although I had always been slightly anemic (I can never donate blood), for whatever reason it became more severe during that time and my hair thinned so badly I almost didn’t recognize it. Drinking enough water, taking vitamins, exercising – it all plays a role in how thick and healthy your hair will be.
This topic was a request from one of my You Tube subscribers so I did record a vlog covering the topic as well – enjoy!