Friday, January 17, 2014

How To Prep for a Relaxer

No matter the choice of relaxer to use, there has to be certain percautions when choosing to apply a relaxer to your tresses & maintaining healthy hair.

1. Plan you relaxer days.

You don't want to spontaneously relaxer your hair. In doing so, you will more than likely be ill prepared:

No scratching within 24 hours of applying relaxer
No washing withing 72 hours of applying relaxer

These things irritate the scalp, increasing chances of chemical burns. In knowing when you plan to relax you can safely plan your last wash day, and consciously prevent from scratching an itchy scalp.

2. Base your scalp.....Base your pre-relaxed ends.

Why do you base your scalp??? Basically to protect it right? Remember that scene in Chris Rock's "Good Hair", when the sodium hydroxide (active ingredient in lye based hair relaxers) began to break down an aluminium soda can??

Well when we recieve "chemical burns", that is basically what is happening...disturbing right??? That is why we base our scalp, to slow the effects of the relaxer so that it won't break down our skin.... Same applies to the already relaxed ends (or length) of our hair....
Before my HHJ, I felt as if the entire length needed to be relaxed. NO!! Once you relax it, it is PERManent, no need to over process it, it leads to thin, broken, brittle, and split ends.
With that being said, like you base your scalp by putting an oil coating over it before relaxing, do the same to the ends of your hair. Basing  your length, prevents the relaxer to over process your already processed hair.
3. One week prior to OR One week after relaxing your hair, perform a hard protein treatment.
How does relaxers work? By breaking down the protein bonds in your hair. By performing a protein treatment one week prior, your are strengthening your hair in preparation to it being broken down, ensuring maximum strength to withstand the effects of the relaxer.
Some may perform a hard protein treatment one week after getting a relaxer to reinforce the protein that the relaxer has broken down.
There is no right or wrong answer, then there are those that choose to do a hard protein treatment before AND after.
4. Totally optional: Perform MEDIUM protein treatment IMMEDIATELY after RINSING the relaxer out BUT BEFORE neutralizing your hair.
That means, you apply the relaxer...let it sit anywhere between 15-25 minutes, hop in the shower, rinse it out thoroughly....APPLY A MEDIUM PROTEIN TREATMENT (I use Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor).... let it sit a minute or two...rinse it out, then proceed to neutralize shampoo your tresses.
The science behind this is that your hair follicals are wide open, ready to take in all the goodies it can recieve after it has been subjected to the chemicals of a relaxer. Applying protein at this point, creates stronger and fuller (and happier) hair.
Choosing to relax your hair is not choosing thin, unhealthy hair, it just means that it takes a bit extra love to ensure that your tresses stay as healthy as possible. Outside of relaxer preparation and care, be sure to stay on top of moisture and maniplation/protection check & you are on your way to a thick, healthy loveable head of "Perfect Tresses" :-)

Healthy relaxed hair is SO possible!!! Thank you for reading :-)