Relaxed hair can embody sleek elegance and manageable texture.
However, without proper care, the chemicals that tame those curls can also wreak havoc on your hair's natural vitality.
Post-relaxer treatment is a critical period for hair.
Neglecting the required attention can lead to dryness, brittleness, and breakage, diminishing the beauty and health of your tresses.
This article addresses the essential steps for maintaining robust and healthy hair following a relaxer treatment.
From understanding the effects of relaxers on your hair structure to adopting the right maintenance routine, we'll go through comprehensive strategies to ensure your hair remains not just beautiful but also strong and healthy.
Maintain the sleek look of your relaxed hair while stimulating growth; our hair care guides and growth-encouraging products are the perfect companions for your hair care journey.
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Understanding Hair Relaxers
Before jumping into how to maintain healthy hair after a relaxer treatment, let's understand what relaxers actually do.
Hair relaxers are creams or lotions that make hair straight by changing its natural structure.
They work by penetrating the hair's cortex and breaking down the bonds that give your hair its natural curl or wave.
But with this change comes the need for extra care.
Relaxers contain chemicals that, while effective at straightening, can also weaken your hair over time.
This is why it's important to treat your hair with lots of love after a relaxer service.
When not used correctly or when used too often, relaxer hair can become damaged, dry, and prone to breakage.
Immediate Aftercare For Relaxed Hair
Don't Rush The Wash
After getting a relaxer treatment, hold off on washing your hair for at least a week.
Your hair needs time to adjust to its new structure and washing it too soon can strip away necessary oils that help it recover.
Mark your calendar and give your locks a break!
Protect Your Scalp
The scalp is where your hair's health starts, so be extra kind to it after a relaxer treatment.
Use soothing oils to prevent dryness and irritation.
A healthy scalp is a foundation for hair growth and health, so this step can't be overlooked.
Avoid Heat Styling
It's tempting to grab the hair dryer or flat iron to style your newly relaxed hair, but try to avoid heat for a while.
Heat styling can further stress your hair and cause damage.
Embrace your hair's natural beauty and let it air-dry whenever possible.
Treat your hair like the finest silk.
After a relaxer treatment, it's more prone to damage from brushing and styling.
Use a wide-tooth comb to carefully detangle your hair, starting from the ends and slowly working your way up to the roots.
The less stress you put on your hair, the better.
Time Your Touch-Ups
Resist the urge to touch up your new growth too soon.
Waiting at least 8-10 weeks between relaxer treatments can help prevent overlapping, which is when the relaxer is applied to hair that has already been treated.
This can lead to weakened hair and breakage.
Even though you may want to keep every inch of your hair, regular trims can prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft, creating more damage.
A small trim can make a big difference in maintaining the overall health of relaxed hair.
The Role Of Moisture In Hair Health
Moisture is pivotal to hair health, especially when dealing with relaxer hair.
Here's why keeping your hair moisturized should be a top priority:
Dry hair is brittle hair.
When your hair lacks moisture, it's more susceptible to snapping and breaking.
By keeping your hair well-moisturized, you can maintain its elasticity, making it less likely to break when you're styling or simply running your fingers through it.
Preserve Natural Shine
Well-moisturized hair reflects light better, giving your mane a natural sheen.
A good moisture balance can thus enhance the natural beauty of your relaxed hair, making it look vibrant and healthy.
Nobody wants hair that feels like straw.
Moisture is what keeps your hair soft to the touch.
Using hydrating hair products can ensure your relaxed hair stays soft and pleasant to handle.
A moisturized scalp means healthy hair growth.
When your scalp is dry, it can lead to flakiness and itching, which can irritate your skin and potentially affect hair growth.
Keeping your scalp hydrated with the appropriate products is just as crucial as moisturizing your hair.
Dealing with tangles and knots can be frustrating.
Moisture can tame frizz and make your hair more manageable, reducing the time and effort you need to style it, and preventing damage caused by pulling and tugging during detangling.
Avoiding Breakage And Damage
Maintaining healthy relaxer hair includes taking steps to avoid breakage and damage, which can set back your hair growth and overall hair health.
Here are some critical practices to adopt:
Use The Right Products
Not all hair products are created equal, especially when it comes to treated hair.
Choose products specifically formulated for relaxed hair, which tend to be gentler and more hydrating.
At Fully Vital, we provide products that aim to minimize damage and support the integrity of your hair.
Be Mindful With Wet Hair
Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage, so handle it with care.
When your hair is wet, avoid rough towel-drying as it can cause tangles and breaks.
Instead, gently pat your hair dry with a soft towel or use a microfiber cloth to minimize friction.
Sleep On Satin
Switch to a satin pillowcase or wear a satin bonnet when you go to sleep.
Unlike cotton, satin won't absorb your hair's moisture, and its smooth surface reduces friction, which can cause breakage.
Limit Chemical Processes
Relaxed hair has already been chemically treated, so be cautious about adding more chemicals into the mix.
This includes coloring or using other permanent treatments.
If you want to change your hair color or style, consult with a professional stylist to minimize potential damage.
Proper Washing Techniques
Maintaining healthy relaxer hair starts with the way you wash it.
Proper washing can make a world of difference in preserving your hair's integrity and preventing unnecessary stress.
Here are some tips on washing your relaxed hair the right way:
Consider using a pre-shampoo treatment, also known as a "pre-poo."
This is a treatment you apply before you shampoo to protect your hair from the stripping effects of the shampoo.
A good pre-poo could be a natural oil, like coconut or olive oil, which will add an extra layer of moisture.
Choose a sulfate-free shampoo that cleanses your scalp and hair without stripping away essential moisture.
Harsh shampoos can be very damaging to relaxed hair, making it brittle and dry.
Gentle shampoos help maintain the natural oils that your hair needs to stay strong and resilient.
When washing your hair, focus on cleansing the scalp rather than your entire length of hair.
Rub your scalp gently with your fingertips to remove build-up but avoid rough scrubbing.
The suds running down your hair are enough to clean the lengths and ends without direct shampooing.
There’s usually no need to shampoo your hair twice unless it's very dirty or has product build-up.
One lather and rinse should be enough to clean your hair effectively without over-washing it.
Use Cool Water
Hot water might feel relaxing, but it's not so kind to your hair.
It can strip away moisture and leave your hair dry.
Instead, rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water.
This helps seal the cuticles of your hair, locking in moisture and making it shinier.
After shampooing, apply a conditioner that's made for relaxer hair.
This will add back moisture and help detangle any knots.
Focus on the ends of your hair which are the oldest and often the driest part.
Leave it on for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate the hair shafts before rinsing.
Final Cold Rinse
Finish with a final rinse in cool water to help further close the hair cuticles and ensure your hair retains the moisture from the conditioner.
This step is great for boosting shine and smoothness.
Nourishment From Within: Diet And Hair Health
Your hair's health isn't only about the products you apply directly to your locks but also about what you put into your body.
The right diet can provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong, even after a relaxer treatment.
Paying attention to your diet is an essential part of your hair care routine and here’s how you can nourish your hair from within:
Load Up On Proteins
Hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin.
Including plenty of protein in your diet can help ensure that your body has the necessary building blocks to grow strong hair.
Good sources of protein include chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, and dairy products.
For vegetarians and vegans, beans, lentils, and soy products are protein-packed alternatives.
Get Your Vitamins And Minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals are known to support hair health.
For example, vitamin E can help protect your hair from damage, while vitamin A helps produce scalp oil, vital for keeping your hair moisturized.
Iron is essential for hair growth and can be found in leafy greens, red meat, and fortified cereals.
Biotin, a B vitamin, is also crucial for healthy hair growth and can be found in nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These healthy fats are like a natural oil treatment from the inside.
They keep your scalp and hair hydrated and are found in fatty fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel, as well as in flaxseeds and walnuts.
Including these in your diet can help improve the lushness and shine of your hair.
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Final Thoughts On Relaxer Hair
Maintaining healthy relaxer hair requires a balance of external care and internal nourishment.
By following the right aftercare steps, including moisturizing, gentle handling, and avoiding unnecessary stress on your hair, you can keep your locks looking and feeling their best.
Don't forget the importance of a nutritious diet rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals—it's the foundation of strong, vibrant hair from the inside out.
At Fully Vital, we understand that hair is a reflection of your overall well-being.
That's why we offer hair growth products designed to support your hair's health, especially after chemical treatments like relaxers.
We are committed to helping you maintain a lush and beautiful mane by providing products that align with our mission to slow down and reverse the aging of your hair.
Frequently Asked Questions About Relaxer Hair
How often should I relax my hair to maintain its health?
It's best to wait at least 8 to 10 weeks between relaxer applications to keep your hair healthy.1 Overlapping relaxers on previously treated hair can lead to damage.
What are the best types of relaxers for minimizing hair damage?
Look for relaxers labeled "no-lye" as they are typically gentler on the hair and scalp.2
However, it's important to choose a product based on your hair's specific needs and strength.
Can I still color my hair after a relaxer treatment?
Yes, you can color your hair, but it's essential to wait at least two weeks after the relaxer treatment to avoid excess stress on your hair.3
What post-relaxer treatments can help maintain healthy hair?
Deep conditioning treatments and protein treatments can help strengthen and nourish your hair after a relaxer.
Use them regularly as part of your hair care routine.
How long should I wait before washing my hair after a relaxer?
Wait at least 48-72 hours before washing your hair to allow the relaxer to fully settle.
Are there specific shampoos and conditioners recommended for hair after a relaxer?
Yes, use sulfate-free shampoos and moisturizing conditioners that are specifically formulated for chemically treated hair to maintain its health.
What are the signs of over-processed hair, and how can I treat it?
Signs include dryness, brittleness, excessive shedding, and breakage.
To treat over-processed hair, reduce the use of heat styling tools and increase conditioning treatments.
How can I prevent scalp irritation after a relaxer treatment?
To prevent scalp irritation, avoid scratching or irritating your scalp before the treatment, and use a base cream to protect the scalp during the relaxer application.
Is it necessary to use a protein treatment after relaxing my hair?
Yes, protein treatments can help repair and strengthen the hair after relaxing.
Use them every 4-6 weeks or as needed according to the condition of your hair.
How do I keep my hair moisturized after a relaxer treatment?
Keep your hair moisturized by using leave-in conditioners, hair oils, and by doing regular deep conditioning treatments.
Ensure you're also drinking plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out.
- Shamboosie. (2002). Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions to Real Problems. In Google Books. Amber Books Publishing. https://books.google.com.ph/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Iy1MP8y9lasC&oi=fnd&pg=PR17&dq=It%27s+best+to+wait+at+least+8+to+10+weeks+between+relaxer+applications+to+keep+your+hair+healthy.+&ots=rcJLaLYjrn&sig=6eTiSwaiJJlT15A25pkB-5J9j3w&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Obukowho, P. (2018). Hair Relaxers: Science, Design, and Application. In Google Books. Dorrance Publishing. https://books.google.com.ph/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wxqEDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Look+for+relaxers+labeled+%22no-lye%22+as+they+are+typically+gentler+on+the+hair+and+scalp.&ots=2VXJg5JPs6&sig=6ak3lLKNLl56PT19PgOFbWO6L50&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Shamboosie. (2002). Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions to Real Problems. In Google Books. Amber Books Publishing. https://books.google.com.ph/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Iy1MP8y9lasC&oi=fnd&pg=PR17&dq=Yes