Here you are…
So, you’ve been natural for a while and that natural hair fatigue is setting in. Or perhaps you’ve always texturized or relaxed your hair, and you’re looking for ways to better maintain your hair. Either way, you’ve arrived at the right place! We explain the process, help you figure out if it’s the right move for you, and show you how to care for relaxed or texturized hair. Read on!
“Breaking down” the hair relaxation process
Hair relaxing or texturizing is a treatment to permanently straighten the hair. The chemical in the relaxer breaks down the bonds that give hair it’s unique pattern, thus loosening tight curls. While looser curls are easier to detangle, and easier to style and maintain for some, the process of breaking down the hair bonds weakens the hair shaft, making it susceptible to breakage.
The difference between a relaxer and a texturizer is the level of hair ‘loosening’ that takes place. Texturizers do not completely loosen the hair, and it can be concluded that relaxers weaken the hair more than texturizers.
Many women still choose to relax or texturize, as natural hair doesn’t work for everybody due to the amount of care it may need. Some women simply prefer the straighter hair look.
Is a relaxer or texturizer for you?
Relaxers and texturizers work by breaking down hair’s hydrogen bonds. The result is hair that is wavy or straight, but also weakened. How weak the hair gets depends on several factors: how thick the hair strands are, how dense your hair is, and the level of hair damage you already have.
The finer your hair strands, the weaker your relaxed hair will be. Not sure about your strand thickness? Take our quiz and use our visual guide to identify your strand thickness.
If you determine that your hair strands are fine, then texturizers or relaxers may not be the right option for you.
Hair volume, or how dense your hair is can impact how your hair handles texturizers or relaxers. Generally, hair that is dense can withstand the hair weakening effects of texturizers and moisturizers better than hair that is sparse.
Level of hair damage
If you hair is badly damaged, then consider nursing it back to health before using a texturizer or relaxer. Damaged hair is already weakened, and the harsh effects of a relaxer or a texturizer will worsen the damage.
7 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relaxed or Texturized Hair
1. Be extremely gentle with your hair
Use your fingers to detangle the hair when washing to avoid hair breakage. Relaxed hair is delicate, especially when wet. Comb through the damp hair with your fingers and separate the strands from all knots and tangles. Begin working from the ends of your hair all way up the strands. Detangle your hair before you apply shampoo or conditioner.
Apply a little conditioner to your hair if it’s knotted; it softens the hair making detangling easier. This conditioner and this hair brush work wonders together to gently detangle your fragile strands.
2. Keep hair moisturized
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we will say it again: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! There is simply no way around this one, and especially for relaxed hair, keeping hair moisturized is paramount to maintaining healthy hair!
3. Trim regularly
Relaxed hair ends are at a much higher risk of breaking off or splitting. Monitor your ends and remove dry, split ends before they split up the hair shaft. Use professional shears like these to trim your hair, and be sure not to use them for anything else.
4. When using heat styling, use a protectant
Limit heat styling as it tends to dry out the hair more, yet hair is naturally dry. When using heat, ensure to use a protectant. To protect the hair from becoming brittle and frizzy, wrap it in a silk scarf or sleep on silk pillowcases. It also ensures your styles last longer, reducing regular heat styling.
5. Protect your hair at night
You work hard to protect your fragile strands from breakage during the day, so don’t throw all that hard work away by letting your hair get damaged at night. Your strands are sensitive and must be looked after at all times.
6. Avoid overprocessing
It is recommended to get a touch-up every 8 – 12 weeks, but sometimes earlier if the hair growth is a lot. As tempting as it may be to retouch at the sight of new growth, stick to an 8 – 12 week schedule or until you have significant new growth minimize damage.
7. Do you research or consult a hair expert
Recent studies have shown a possible link between certain types of relaxers and cancer. This is a serious finding.
Before you proceed with relaxing or texturizing your hair, do a thorough research on the brand you’re considering. If possible, consult a hair expert who can help you figure out the best option for you.
It’s all in your commitment
In the end, whether you relax your hair or not, how well your hair thrives depends on your commitment. And that’s where we come in! When you access your personalized page, we will walk with you on your journey to figuring out, nurturing, and loving your hair no matter the state it’s in!