Although I’ve tried going the natural route I am currently relaxed and plan to remain so for the near future or at least for as long as I have a short haircut. Just because you are relaxed does not mean that you can’t have healthy hair. My hair is thick, full and for the most part pretty healthy and often gets mistaken for a wig. Here’s a few tips to help you grow and maintain a head full of healthy relaxed hair.
1. Don’t relax too often
If you relax your hair too often there is a more likely chance that you will overlap previously relaxed hair causing over processing and breakage. Wait at least 6- 8 weeks and only apply the relaxer to your new growth. You can apply a protective cream to previously relaxed hair to avoid overlapping. If like me you have a short cut and hair that grows like weeds, try to wait at least 4 weeks in between relaxers. When my nape is shaved down low I sometimes have to retouch every other week but only the nape and not the rest of my head. If you don’t know what you’re doing I highly suggest leaving your relaxing to the professionals or at least let someone else help you as they can see the line of demarcation (separates relaxed hair and new growth) better.
2. Keep your hair clean
Product buildup can cause breakage and a dirty scalp can lead to bacteria and fungus on the scalp that can lead to severe itching, irritation and hair loss. Wash hair regularly and use a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar rinse at least once a month to get rid of product build up. I wash my hair at least once a week.
3. Balance Moisture & Protein
I always deep condition my hair after washing, usually with a conditioner that contains moisture and protein like ORS Replenishing Pack. Your hair needs a balance of moisture and protein to remain healthy and grow. Dry brittle hair can lead to breakage and split ends but over moisturizing can lead to “mushy” limp hair. If you are suffering from dry hair and scalp try a hot oil treatment before washing and follow up with a balanced conditioner after washing. If your hair is mushy and limp try a protein treatment like Aphogee and follow up with a good moisturizer of your choice.
4. Keep ends trimmed
I know a lot of people don’t like to trim too often in order to maintain length but trust me them dead ends need to go. Not only will they make your hair look thin and limpbut if you don’t trim split ends they will continue to move up the hair shaft and damage healthy hair. To maintain full looking healthy hair you must trim your ends on the regular. I usually trim about every other touch-up.
5. Keep heat to a minimum and always use a heat protectant
Too much heat will damage your hair and cause breakage. Try to minimize heat from flat irons, curling irons and dryers to no more than once a week. Air dry your hair as much as possible. Hood dryers can be stressful to the crown and cause damage and breakage due to the high concentration of heat in the area. I usually wash and set my hair and let it air dry over night and only sit under the dryer if I need to go out. Once dry, I generously apply some heat protectant and style my hair with a flat iron. I do this once a week and only apply heat more than once a week if I change my style (curl up) or sweat out my hair too bad in the gym. Hot rollers is a healthier alternative than curling irons if you must curl your hair or get some flexible rollers.
6. Tie up hair at night with a satin scarf
Never go to sleep without tying your hair up and always use a satin scarf or bonnet as cotton draws the moisture out of your hair. If you don’t like to tie up your hair or you tend to loose your scarf at night invest in a satin pillowcase to maintain silky and moisturized tresses.
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to growing out a head of healthy relaxed hair!