Top ten do’s and don’t for relaxers for black hair.

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Ten Black Hair Care Tips: Relaxers and Black Hair Care

About 80% of African American women choose to use chemical relaxers to straighten their hair. Many women are searching for the best hair relaxer. However, in order to get the best relaxing results you do need to consider the texture of your hair, the smoothing technique, and most importantly the health of your hair. If your hair is damaged, breaking or you are experiencing hair loss a relaxer will only make the problem worse and it may be best to take a break from chemicals. Relaxed hair can be healthy but it is important to remember that relaxers are chemicals and precautions should be taken when applying them.

1. Do not color and relax your hair the same day. You should wait two weeks after your relaxer before you use a permanent color on your hair.

2. Do not relax your hair the day after you take your braids or your weave out. Wait at least two weeks. When your hair is in braids or extensions, your hair is “resting” and applying a chemical to your hair right after you take out the braids can cause your hair to go into shock and can weaken the hair.

3. Do not apply the relaxer to the ends. Only apply the relaxer to the new growth only. When you apply the relaxer to the hair that has already been chemically processed this can result in over processed hair. The cuticle of the hair will be broken down and the hair will be dry because moisture will not be able to stay within the strand.

4. Do not relax your hair every month. How long someone can space their relaxers apart will vary from person to person but no one should relax their hair every 6 weeks. The minimum should be every eight weeks preferably every ten to twelve weeks.

5. Do use vaseline or conditioner to coat the hair that has already been relaxed. You should aim to prevent overlapping your relaxer but in the event that some relaxer has touched the hair the vaseline would serve as a barrier between the relaxer and the strands that have been previously relaxed.

6. Do keep the relaxer off your scalp as much as possible. In the application and smoothing process some of the relaxer may end up on your scalp but try to avoid it as much as you can. You should always base your scalp with Vaseline or an oil every time you relax.

7. Do not leave the relaxer on longer than the recommended time. This will prevent over processing and breakage.

8. Do relax your hairline and nape last. These areas are most delicate and should never be relaxed first.

9. Do make sure that the relaxer is rinsed out properly. Some people feel that two minutes is enough time to rinse out the relaxer however five minutes would be best.

10. Do make sure to use neutralizing shampoo each and every time you relax your hair. Regular shampoo cannot be used as a substitute for neutralizing shampoo. Applying neutralizing shampoo is necessary. If you don’t want to lose any hair, make sure you don’t skip the neutralizing step. It is also wise to leave the neutralizing shampoo on for 5 minutes instead of applying it and rinsing it out a minute later. This will ensure that your hair has the proper Ph level.

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