Hair relaxing products can contain extremely harsh chemicals; therefore it is very important to know the Do’s and Don’ts for relaxed hair. Some relaxers contain Lye, which can damage the hair and scalp id f not used properly. No-Lye relaxers need to be used with caution also since they can cause bad skin reactions. Below are the Do’s and Don’ts for relaxed hair, following these tips will keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful.
Do completely read and follow the instructions that came with relaxer. No two relaxer brands are just alike, so you should not assume you know how to mix and apply a relaxer kit without needing to read the manufacturer instructions.
Do test out the relaxer by conducting a strand test. This will allow you to see if you have a bad skin or hair reaction to the relaxer cream without risking damage to your entire scalp or hair. A strand test also help you determine what strength relaxer you really need and how long you should keep the relaxer on your hair.
Do use the protective jelly included with the relaxer. If none is included, use petroleum jelly. Apply a layer of protective jelly all around your forehead, hairline, nape of your neck and around your ears. If you do not cover the surrounding skin and the relaxers cream gets on your skin, you are sure to experience a burning skin irritation and redness.
Do use a neutralizing shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. Many relaxer kits come with a neutralizing shampoo, but if the one you selected doesn’t, then you must use buy a neutralizing shampoo. Prior to shampooing, you must give your relaxer a good rinsing, because the oil in the relaxer left on the hair reacts with the shampoo and penetrates the hair. When the oil from the relaxer gets into the hair or scalp, the result is oily hair that is difficult to remove. After using the neutralizing shampoo, do use a good conditioner and rinse it out after 10 minutes.
Do give your scalp time to rest before applying a relaxer to hair who recently had extensions, braids or weaves. Your scalp can be sore or sensitive especially if you had tight braids or heavy weave in your hair. You should wait two to three days after removing braids and weaves before using a relaxer on your hair.
Don’t rub, massage or brush your hair 24 hours prior to relaxing. Doing so will cause skin irritation soon after applying the relaxer, enough so that the burning may cause you to abort the relaxer process and rinse the relaxer out prematurely.
Don’t leave the relaxer on more than the recommended time, even if a hair stylist is doing the relaxer for you. The manufacturer of the relaxer has a set time for their brand relaxer that is to be on your hair, you cannot simply always go with your hair dresser’s technique. Even when a professional hair stylist applies a relaxer, burning and irritation still can occur. You must never sit and sit out the burning and pain. Also do not let your discomfort; burning and irritation go unnoticed to your hair stylist. The relaxer must be washed out immediately whether he or she likes it or not.
Don’t relax previous sections of relaxed hair. Relaxers are to be used for new growth only. It is a very common mistake to relax the entire head. This does nothing but damage the previously relaxed hair, making it dry, brittle and over processed.
Don’t wash your hair more than once a week after it has been relaxed. It significantly dries out the chemically processed hair and causes split ends.