We live in times where Relaxer services aren’t as popular as they used to be. Women of color with curly hair used to do whatever it took to get their curls & coils as straight as possible. It was more acceptable in our society. Now it’s the complete opposite. We’ve learned the beauty that lies within our hair & have made the choice to embrace it to the fullest. Some feel this way while many are starting to revert back to straight hair. This is with temporary fixes like silk press, press and curl, throwing their beautiful hair under a wig that does even more damage. Now, on the other hand, there’s still some who believe in the creamy crack (Relaxer). Should we ban the relaxer and hashtag natural hair or team natural and put down another Queen’s preference? No we should not. Relaxers have done damage for years right? Here’s what causes the damage:
- Over-processed Relaxer service.
- Heat Damage from extreme high heat with flat iron.
- No using a good heat protector when applying heat.
- Doing too many passes over previously straightened hair with a hot comb or flat iron
- Treating a Relaxer as a protective style.
- Relaxers are easy to access so there are more unskilled people performing this service when there shouldn’t be.
One example of an over processed relaxer is when the relaxer is on previously relaxed hair. This causes severe breakage to the hair that has been relaxed. Relaxers are permanent services that permanently changes the existing hair on a head. The regrowth which is new hair that grows from the scalp is considered virgin or natural hair. So if someone like a relaxer service, keep in mind that the virgin hair is the only hair that can be touched by the Relaxer.
Another example of over processed hair is when the Relaxer is left on the hair for too long. The whole purpose of a Relaxer service is to “relax” the curl pattern. It’s not mean to create a bone straight affect with the chemicals alone. This can be achieved easily with a flat iron and the proper heat protectors after the hair has been relaxed. Here’s an example of me relaxing my client’s curl with a relaxer. A good Relaxer service is when there is a little wave left in the hair. The hair should never be bone straight after applying the relaxer. If this is so, then the hair is over processed. The exception to this is really short styles that requires the hair to be straight. Styles like pixie cuts with pencil curls. The hair is extremely short in the back and gradually gets longer in the front.
The heat damage examples I have here are all ways to damage hair. It doesn’t matter what type or texture of hair it is. Heat causes damage and the only way to protect the hair is to use thermal protectors, use the appropriate heat setting and use the hot tools one good time over the hair.
Relaxers is a high maintenance service. It may not seem like it, but it’s true. Hair just can’t be relaxed and thrown in a ponytail, a bun or left untamed. This is a sure way to get breakage & damage in little time. Relaxed hair needs to be moisturized and clean. This includes the scalp. It’s best to shampoo relaxed hair on a set day weekly or bi-weekly. How often you shampoo depends on the amount of build up on the scalp. The hair should be in loose braids, big cornrows, rollers or wrapped in a silk or satin scarf each night. I recommend the scarf each night. These are all example styles depending on how you would wear your hair the following day.
Relaxers is a dangerous service if put in the wrong hands. I still & have always felt they shouldn’t be accessed so easily. When this service is performed wrong, the client could experience chemical burns, degree burns, gree hair and scalp, & hair loss. These are just some of the possibilities that can occur when this service isn’t done appropriately. Relaxers shouldn’t be performed on children of any age. The chemicals are really strong and this alone should be taken into consideration. So to avoid a relaxer nightmare, go to a licensed Hair Stylist to complete all of your chemical needs.
It is easy for relaxed hair to become dry and brittle. So here are a few extra tips to help you have the best relaxer experience if it is a choice that’s best for your lifestyle.
*Oil your scalp 2-3 times a week to prevent scalp dryness.
*Get an authentic hot oil treatment once a month (I’ll go into this later).
*Use a moisturizer that’s rich in moisture (Matrix Biolage Hydrasource is my favorite on the market today. It’s for dry hair and leaves the driest hair silky soft and moisturized). It’s highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.
*Find a Beauty professional who can help you achieve the results you are looking for.
*Please, don’t trust your friend or family to play in your hair with chemical services. Do you have an idea how many clients come to the salon after this has happen? When you deal with the right beauty professional, it saves you time, money & a horrible headache. After the headache comes low self-esteem. Let’s avoid that at all cost.