This month I will be doing a series on self relaxing tips – my preparation, process, after care, and more. To be completely honest, I much prefer leaving the tedious and serious task of relaxing my hair in the hands of the professionals but when you don’t have a quality, educated, CONSISTENT, trusted stylist to patronize – self relaxing is the best option. I follow the same exact steps with each and every relaxer touch up and each time my results have been consistently great.
The week before I relax, I complete a very specific wash day process. Back in 2010 I strayed and although it took a while to notice, my hair showed the effects of skipping certain steps so now I follow the following routine without fail with each and every touch up.
Self Relaxing Tips: Pre-Relaxer Wash Day
- Prepoo – Always with a ceramide rich oil, lately I have been LOVING hemp seed + EVCO because it helps my hair accept protein much better, meaning it isn’t as difficult to restore moisture levels following protein application.
- Clarify (chelate) – You want to remove any minerals, dirt, grime, buildup, before any chemical process. There are gentle clarifying shampoos that won’t strip your hair as badly as some – personally I love Chi Clean Start.
- Protein Treatment – I currently use ApHogee 2 Step but will be trying Dudley’s DRC Treatment with my next touch up, I’ve read amazing reviews that report it is a better product plus Dudley’s is a Black owned company. The important thing is to fortify your hair before your relaxer so the chemicals won’t damage your hair.
- Moisturizing Deep Conditioner – In the past, my hair reacted very badly to protein treatments so following with a purely moisturizing deep conditioner was a necessity. Lately, it has not felt as necessary but I complete this step nevertheless. I discuss pure moisturizing deep conditioners (that contain absolutely no protein) here.
- Correct Porosity – Restoring your hair to its natural pH always produces the best results when preparing for any chemical process – relaxing or coloring. I have been using Roux Porosity Control to complete this step but I also see a product by Zotos (the same company that makes Kerapro) in Sally’s which I may try.
I always wash at least four days before I touch up. During the days leading up to my wash, I manipulate my hair as little as possible because as at this point the hair along my line of demarcation (where the virgin new growth and previously relaxed hair meet) is prone to breakage. I also only use all natural ingredient products the entire week – my Bee Mine moisturizers and pure oils – preferably EVCO since it absorbs into the hair shaft. Why? Because I want my hair to have as little buildup as possible before touching up; If I used a lot of synthetic ingredients or heavy oils then it would create a barrier between my new growth and the relaxer creme and unless you intend to texlax your hair, this is not a good thing as it will affect the straightening power of your relaxer. Of course, I also try not to scratch my head, drink a lot of caffeinated beverages or do any vigorous exercise the day I relax. Anything that increases blood flow to your scalp will also increase sensitivity. Those are my my self relaxing tips for preparing your hair for relaxing. Next I will cover the tools I use when self relaxing, so stay tuned!