RELAXERS & HOW TO MINIMISE THE RISK OF HAIR LOSS WHEN RETOUCHING ( PART TWO)

Relaxer2a

For a complete grasp of relaxing and minimising hair loss from relaxing, please ensure you have read part 1 of this post.
Preparing black hair for relaxing should commence a week before the relaxer date.  This is especially important if your hair has just been removed from extensions. Hair should be removed from extensions at least a week before relaxer day.

 

ACTIONS TO BE COMPLETED THE WEEK BEFORE RELAXING BLACK HAIR

1)    Wash and deep condition with a protein conditioner
Hair that has a lot of new growth and hair that has just been removed from extensions tends to matt and tangle when being washed.  For this reason I would advise that the hair is thoroughly detangled and then put into 6 to 8 box braids (calabar with no extensions).
The hair can be washed and deep conditioned in the box braids as this will decrease the risk of the hair matting.  A detailed post on how to do this will be up soon.
A protein conditioner will give the hair the strength it needs to undergo the relaxing process.  A moisturising leave-in conditioner should be used to restore protein/moisture balance.

2)    Avoid scratching or irritating the scalp
Avoid scratching or irritating the scalp during the week.  Also your hair should be put in a simple style that will not require a lot of pulling and combing to achieve.  The style should also be easy to maintain or recreate during the week.
If you need to comb your hair during the week divide your hair into four sections, and comb through gently with a wide tooth comb.  This way you do not disturb your scalp. A scratched or irritated scalp has a high risk of burning and becoming damaged during the relaxing process.

3)    Moisturise and Seal   
The hair should be moisturised and sealed a few times during the week to prevent it from becoming excessively dry.

 

A STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR RELAXER DAY

relaxer2b

 

1.    Part hair into 4 or more questions
Your hair should be parted into 4 or more sections.  I part my hair into 5 sections, 3 at the back and 2 at the front.  Because I relax every 4/5 months, I have loads of new growth so parting my hair into 5 sections for relaxing makes it easier to access the roots.
You can keep the sections separated by using a hair clip or hair band. When you are at the salon, ensure the hair is kept in those sections throughout the relaxing process, for ease of access.

2.    Detangle each section
Detangle each section gently with your hands.  This can be followed by a wide tooth comb if necessary.
This is ESSENTIAL.  Do not apply relaxer to hair that has knots and tangles.  If the tangles are left in the hair, if will cause bigger tangles and knots when the hair is being washed.  These will be very hard to remove by hand and will cause major damage if they are combed out.
To avoid this ensure your hair is thoroughly detangled before relaxing.  The salon may not be willing to spend that much time detangling thoroughly or gently enough.  I advise you to detangle yourself at home before going to the salon.

3.    Protect your scalp
Oils like pure olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, etc should be applied to the scalp whilst detangling to protect the scalp.

 

4.    Protect hair that has been previously relaxed
Hair that has been relaxed previously must be protected to prevent over processing.  To do this, apply either an oil or conditioner to previously relaxed hair to protect it.

 

5.    Protect your hair line and perimeter
Ensure oil or hair grease is applied to your hairline and your ears to protect them.

 

 6.    Apply relaxer to new growth only
Relaxer must be applied to natural new growth only, it must not be applied to previously relaxed hair.  Applying relaxer to previously relaxed hair will cause over processing.  Over processed hair will break gradually over the following weeks and months.

 

relaxer2c

7.    Avoid combing through hair when there is relaxer in it
The back of a rat tail comb may be used to smooth in the relaxer or hands can used to pull the hair straight.  Combing through can lead to damage and may also irritate the scalp

 

8.    Rinse after time recommended by the relaxer brand
The direction provided on the relaxer jar or box will specify how long the relaxer should be left on for.  Do not wait for your scalp to start burning before rinsing out the relaxer.

 

9.    Neutralise at least 3 or 4 times.
After the relaxer has been rinsed off, the hair should be washed with a neutralising shampoo a minimum of three times.
During the second or third wash, the shampoo lather should be left in hair for about five minutes to give it time to penetrate the hair shaft and fully neutralize.  Personally I neutralize 4 times, I’d rather be safe than sorry.


10.
  Deep Condition

After neutralizing, your hair should be deep conditioned with either protein or a mixture of protein and moisture conditioners.
If you use a protein conditioner alone, ensure you follow up with a moisturising leave in conditioner to help restore protein and moisture balance.  Your hair can then be roller set or blow dried gently.

 

11.  Well done
If you have followed all the instructions above, then you will have greatly minimised the risk of hair loss from the relaxing process.

 DSC06482

                                           Early 2013-  My hair after a successful but tiring relaxer day

HAIR CARE FOR THE FIRST 2 WEEKS AFTER RELAXING

Do not install braids or weaves in the first two weeks after relaxing your hair.
Hair that has just been relaxed needs a lot of TLC and cannot withstand the tension of extensions.  After the two week period, ensure your hair is washed and deep conditioned with a mixture of protein and moisture conditioners before the extensions are installed.
Ensure you take care of your hair in those two weeks, i.e., moisturise and seal regularly, wear protective hair styles, etc.

 

I hope the above guide has not been too daunting and I hope your next relaxer sessions goes really well.

 

Learn | Change | Grow

 

x Lade  

 

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43 Comments

  1. joie
    October 16, 2013 / 1:06 pm

    Wow. This post reveals just how much my hair has suffered in the hands of inexperienced stylists. I never knew that the hair has to be detangled before applying the relaxer.

    Good job

  2. omolade
    October 19, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    Hello Joie

    Thanks.
    I didn’t realise that too before my hair journey. I would remove my weave and get a relaxer the same day. I never bothered to detangle because I thought the relaxer would melt the tangle away. its shocking how many horrible things I did to my hair before seeing the light. :)

    Good luck for your next relaxer session
    x
    Lade

  3. anuli anozie
    December 15, 2013 / 1:01 pm

    thanks so much for all these information. I am about to start my second missionary journey on my hair. i didnt know i was the enemy of my own hair growth. I will follow your blog more often to start up better.
    thanks ,i wish my hair grow as long as yours because i love long hairs.

    • omolade
      December 28, 2013 / 11:09 am

      Hello Anuli
      Thank you. Good luck on your second journey. I did so many horrible things to my hair because I simply did not know it was wrong. I washed my hair with omo in the past. I was bad.
      With a good regimen, persistence and time I am sure you hair will thrive.
      happy hair journey
      x
      Lade

  4. emmanuella
    February 28, 2014 / 4:28 pm

    hi was wondering you did not mention washing your hair within the two week tlc period after relaxing does that mean you do not wash during that period?

    • omolade
      March 2, 2014 / 2:46 pm

      hello emmanuella
      I do wash my hair within the two week period. I just give my hair extra tlc in that period because of the harsh relaxing process.
      x
      Lade

      • emmanuella
        March 17, 2014 / 3:55 pm

        hi thanks for replying i am curious about the tlc you give during that period how different is it from your normal routine?

        • omolade
          March 20, 2014 / 7:12 pm

          lol, its not different, I just make sure I am consistent with my hair care and I do everything extra extra extra gently

  5. Donna
    March 16, 2014 / 5:17 pm

    Hello Lade,just found out about hairducation today. your hair is awesome & so is your teachings. please what’s TLC & what relaxer and shampoo do u use? thanks

    • omolade
      March 16, 2014 / 9:56 pm

      Hello Donna
      I am glad you’ve found Hairducation. TLC means tender loving care :)
      I simply mean i am really gentle with my hair and take really good care of it especially just after it has been relaxed.
      The products I use can be found here

      x
      Lade

  6. Ruth Dyson
    July 14, 2014 / 10:31 pm

    Reading your posts have inspired me so! I have over an inch of new growth and I’m eager to use your process. I already do the protein treatment before relaxing and it’s usually 3 -4 days before. If I switch to lye from a no lye can I keep the 3 -4 day time frame?

  7. August 12, 2014 / 4:33 am

    i need lectures please..we dnt have correct hair products in ghana so can we prepare some ourselves i mean locally

  8. Adaobi
    November 6, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    First time here and I love it already. Well done Lade

  9. Priscilla
    November 23, 2014 / 10:59 am

    Do you wash out the relaxer with hair still in 4 parts?

  10. Lara
    January 25, 2015 / 9:48 pm

    Hi

    What would you recommend to use after relaxing for the first 2/3 weeks? A protein DC? Or a mositure DC?

    I think protein because the relaxer’s broken down the protein current structure, but again, moisture dc cos the no-lye relaxer’s dried my hair

  11. Fatima
    March 24, 2015 / 6:22 am

    Hi,
    I found Abt this site few weeks ago, and so far my hair is looking healthier n growing longer..
    I just recently relaxed so how many times do u suggest I wash in d space of 2 weeks? I have been the using black castor oil as a sealant, can I continue or I need to get either olive oil or coconut oil?
    Thanks

  12. Fatima
    March 24, 2015 / 6:26 am

    Hi,
    I recently relaxed how long should I wait to wash again in the space of 2 weeks? Can I aslo use black castor oil as a sealant?
    This site is so helpful..

    Thanks

    • omolade
      April 7, 2015 / 4:19 pm

      Hello Fatima you can wash and deep condition your hair a week after you wash it.
      Black castor oil might be a bit heave to use as a sealant if your hair is relaxed.
      Coconut or olive oil is what most relaxed ladies use.
      Hope that helps
      x
      Lade

  13. Kristin
    June 10, 2015 / 5:37 am

    Hi– I’m new to the relax/texlax world. I’ve been researching lately the methods of texlaxing –as I am planning on venturing on this journey on Sunday from being natural. Some texlaxers say that you should add a midstep between relaxing and neutralizing by adding a protein conditioner before the neutralizing shampoo. Can you please share your thoughts?

  14. Jay
    July 19, 2015 / 5:49 am

    Hi, Lade. Is it advisable to use a sulphate free shampoo or a sulphate one as a neutralizing shampoo after relaxing?

    • omolade
      July 31, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Hello Jay
      No, a neturalizing shampoo MUST be used after relaxing.
      It will help return your hair to its normal PH levels. Do not miss this step.
      Hope that helps
      Lade

  15. Christina
    August 5, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    Wow – I wish I had found your blog yesterday! This is not my first time getting my hair relaxed, but I’ve always done it at a salon. But, where I live, that comes out to $120 including tip. So, last night, after chatting with the clerk at the local salon/shop for Black hair, I went home and relaxed my hair. I’m pretty sure it isn’t a total “time for the clippers loss,” but…

    Previously, my routine had been to wet my hair each morning, rub it dry, and condition it with Mix-Chix leave in conditioner (a previous stylist had used it on my hair, so I went with it), style and head out the door. The young woman who helped me at the store was horrified. “Never get it wet! Never use a leave in conditioner! Never sleep without a wrap!” She loaded me down with a sulfa-based shampoo, styling wax, some leave in petroleum based styling/conditioning grease, and a small bottle of liquefied coconut oil.

    I know the process of relaxing my hair for all that I haven’t done it at home. We did it according to the box, washed it 3 times with the neutralizer and used the conditioner. After I dried it with a towel, I used the oil and tied up my hair. This morning though? Crunchy, flat, . A hat day at work.

    Suggestions? Where did I go wrong? What would you suggest my next step be?

    Thank you!

    • olawunmi
      August 14, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      thank you so much for the advice. it was really enlightening. but my question is, if you wash the hair a week before relaxing wont it burn when you are ready to relax it? i have tried it once and my scalp really went bad.

  16. August 14, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Hi Lade, you are just wonderful, I started reading your lovly and helpful post about two months ago God will really bless you for your GOOD WORKS. I need wigs from hair by type 4 I will send the mail asap I have commenced on my hair journey and I will keep you posted.

    • omolade
      August 31, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      Thank you Glory and a big AMEN
      :)
      Definitely keep me posted
      If you sent an email to hair by type 4 you would have received a response by now
      happy hair journey
      x
      Lade

  17. stella okezie
    September 2, 2015 / 11:30 am

    Hello Lade, I am blown away by your attention to details. You make me feel i can achieve my dreams of growing my hair past shoulder length and also stopping the horrible breakages which i have been experiencing. I want to know if I can always mix protein and moisture deep conditioners for the purposes of deep conditioning and also protein and moisture leave in conditioners on a daily basis before sealing with oil. Thank you.

    • omolade
      September 17, 2015 / 6:55 pm

      Hello Stella
      Thank you :)
      Growing hair past shoulder length is definitely possible with a little TLC.
      Yes you can always mix your protein and moisture conditioners. You can also mix your leave in conditioners but you have to pay attention to how your hair feels and adjust the mixture if necessary. If your hair feels to brittle for example then you may need to reduce the protein in your mix.
      Hope that helps
      x
      Lade

  18. Lyndsay
    September 6, 2015 / 4:10 am

    I have a question and could really use some help! I just relaxed my hair on my own at home….it was de-tangled and such but a bit damaged from previous dying about a year or so ago anyway I just relaxed it and I lost an abnormally large amount of hair, it’s dry and still falling out when I brush it , I’m afraid it’s all going to fall out. Can you help me?!? I have olive oil and treseme conditioner for damaged hair , will those Help? Please I’m so worried!!

    • omolade
      September 17, 2015 / 7:03 pm

      Hello Lyndsay
      I am sorry about the hair loss you are experiencing. the fist thing I should say is that you should not be relaxing your hair yourself unless you are a professional or you are confident that you know what you are doing.

      I don’t know what went wrong and is now causing your hair loss, I don’t know if your hair was prepared for relaxing properly or exactly what state your hair was in before you relaxed it.

      what I would suggest that you do is that you clean and deep condition your hair very regularly and have a good hair regimen in place to help stop the breakage.
      Avoid weaves and extensions for now but you can wear a wig and keep your hair well cared for under the wig.
      Please also read the contents of how to care for black hair guide on this blog. It will also help you learn about types of conditioners and how to use them on your hair.
      Best of luck and I really hope you are able to bring the breakage under control.
      x
      Lade

  19. Whitney
    February 4, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    Thanks for this post.i’ve learn’t a lot,please how do i prepare my hair to roller set it??? What do i apply to my hair?

  20. Priscilla Esi Nkum
    February 17, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Always a delight to read your blog. thumbs up

  21. Larissa Black
    May 5, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    My hair is unprocessed and I want to get a relaxer again. Problem is, my 4c hair stays tangled and there is no way to detangle my hair before relaxing without wetting it – and slathering on a ton of detangler. It tangles again as soon as it dries. So I have no idea how to prep my hair for the relaxer. Any suggestions?

    • Emmy
      November 25, 2016 / 2:03 am

      How long did the relaxer take to come out of your 4c hair the first time u did it?

      • Lade
        November 28, 2016 / 7:10 pm

        Hello Emmy

        I am not sure I fully understand your question. Please explain further.

  22. Elikplim
    July 31, 2016 / 2:54 pm

    hi I just saw your blog and am loving it,I don’t get the conditioning after the relaxer part,should it be a protein condition that contains aqua or protein condition and a moisturiser condition.

  23. Something more
    September 17, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Hello I just took my braids out which I had in for 4 months. I don’t know what else to do people told me to apply protection gel but I’m relaxing my hair on tomorrow. What can I buy to avoid the burn and damages to my hair??

    • Lade
      September 17, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Hello

      Please read the contents of this blog post and please read part one and part three too.
      The advice I have to offer is within those post and it will help you prepare for relaxing and avoid burns.
      happy reading

      x
      Lade

  24. September 24, 2016 / 9:49 am

    Lade where have you been all my life !
    I started growingy hair again in 2010 after a long period of wearing it low. Through your blog I realised that I’ve been growing hair wrong all along.
    Ive been told by several stylists that the hair must be thoroughly dirty to ensure it relaxes properly. Imagine my shock to read that it should be washed a week before !
    I have never trimed my hair in all 6 years of growing it and I suffer from a serious case of dandruff. How can I salvage the ends of my hair and at the same time get rid of dandruff.
    Keep up the good work.
    One “black haired” lady to another !

  25. temitope
    October 29, 2016 / 10:18 am

    hi Lade. pls can I use home remedy for my hair in this two weeks period

  26. RAFIAT
    October 31, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    Wow…..This is so enlightening. I love it. Was just trying to find out some useful tips on what to do with my hair and how to regain all I have lost when I stumbled on this.I hope other ladies get Rehairducated the way I did and stop the conventional way. Keep up the great work sis.

  27. Lynny
    December 6, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Hello Lade.Thanks so much for your Blog.It really has been helpful.Am about to texturise my hair this week and I’ve already preped my hair for the texturising process.Do I use a protein and moisturising DC on the day of my touch up as well as a protein and Moisturising Leave- in? I have thin / fine hair.Your advice is greatly needed. Once more thanks for this helpful post.

    • Lade
      December 8, 2016 / 1:40 pm

      Hi Lynny

      You can certainly deep condition with a bit of protein and moisture mixed together on your texturise day.
      With leave-in conditioning you should see how your hair feels and then decide whether to use just moisture or protein followed by a bit of moisture.

      I hope that helps. Best of luck with it…
      x
      Lade

  28. Cassy
    February 8, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    Hi I am wondering what is the correct way to color hair using a rinse after a relaxer. Should I deep condition the hair first then apply color rinse or should I not use a conditioner. I always relax hair, neutralize and condition. Yet I need to fit in the coloring step. Please advise.

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