So, you had been getting a relaxer for who knows how long, then decided to go natural. However, you really have no interest in wearing your hair in its natural state because you prefer it to be straight. Yet, a silk press does not last because you sweat in your scalp from trying to work out (or from just being hot period). Now you are missing your relaxed hair and are thinking about taking the plunge again. Does this sound familiar? But wait! If the relaxer was causing your hair to be damaged in the first place, why would you want to experience that all over again? Well, I am here to tell you that a relaxer does not necessarily equal damaged hair. However, there are a few things to consider before relaxing your hair again if you want your relaxed hair to actually be healthy this time. I have put together a list of five things to consider before going back to a relaxer.
1. Stop relaxing every 6-8 weeks. If you decide to go back to your relaxer, wrap your mind around the fact that in order for your relaxed hair to actually be healthy, you will have to stretch your relaxers from every six to eight weeks to about every four months (sixteen weeks). Getting them every six to eight weeks is what causes your hair to become damaged in the first place. You know the saying "If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got"? That is very true in this case. If you are not willing to stretch your relaxer, you might as well stay natural. To help you stretch your relaxer, you will need to make your new growth manageable. This will not only prevent any breakage from occurring but will also help you to avoid any overlapping. Using the by L. Jones Intense Moisturizing Treatment will soften and moisturize your hair so that you can comb straight through your new growth even while it is wet. If your hair is already breaking as a result of you stretching your relaxer out, use the by L. Jones Creamy Custard Reconstructive Treatment. This will stop breakage and any further damage from occurring in addition to adding moisture. Both of them should be applied generously, combed through the hair, and be sure to apply to the ends of the hair as well. Let sit at least 30 min (preferably under heat) before rinsing. After you have towel dried the hair, add another layer of moisture to your hair with the Leave-In Conditioner. Use the Vanilla Milk Leave-In Conditioner if you are already experiencing breakage, or if you use a lot of heat. Spray all over the hair and comb through. Do not rinse. Using these two products regularly has helped me to be able to stretch my relaxer to every six months.
2. Let a professional do it. I can not stress this enough. Hairstylists have been taught and properly trained on how to correctly apply relaxers. I know that when you are constantly going to a hair salon and actually look at what the hairstylists are doing that we make it look very easy. But you have to keep in mind that this is something that we do pretty much on a daily basis and we know exactly what we are doing! So, leave the chemicals to the professionals and be sure to see a hairstylist that actually cares about the growth and health of your hair. DISCLAIMER- I know that many "professional hairstylists" have ruined many of their client's hair. It is important to find an actual hair care specialist, not just anyone with a license. (**tip- if your hairstylist will give you a relaxer whenever you ask for one, RUN!)
3. Pick which chemical you want. Do you want a relaxer or do you want permanent color? I advise my clients to pick whichever one means the most to them. Why? Because two chemicals is A LOT of stress on the hair and without the proper care the hair is at a higher risk of getting damaged. Semi-permanent color and rinses are perfectly safe for relaxed hair (they can actually be done on the same day as your relaxer service) if you are simply trying to cover gray, but they will not lighten your hair. **Tip- If you have both a relaxer and permanent color, I recommend doing alternating between the Creamy Custard Reconstructive Treatment and the Intense Moisturizing Treatment every week.
5. Be prepared for the maintenance. Once you get a relaxer again, it does not stop there. You must also maintain your relaxed hair with the proper treatments to keep it moisturized and strong. I recommend steam treatments and/or deep conditioning at least twice per month. Keep in mind that the treatments you receive may cost extra money so you have to include that as well and not just the cost to get the actual relaxer. If you are maintaining your own hair in between salon visits, use the by L. Jones Protein Strengthening & Repair Collection. These products were formulated to keep chemically treated hair healthy and strong. Also, use the Intense Moisturizing Treatment at least once per month for deep conditioning. Alternate with the Creamy Custard Reconstructive Treatment and do those once per month also. This will help your hair maintain an equal balance of both protein AND moisture, which is critical for the hair to remain healthy. Proper maintenance is very important to the health of your hair when you have a chemical. What you do at home is what determines how healthy your hair will be even more than your salon visit because your hairstylist may only see you twice a month versus you seeing and caring for your own hair every single day.
Your relaxed hair can absolutely be healthy! The key is to consistently take care of it instead of only taking care of it after it receives damage. If you are willing to do these five things, then you can rest assured that your relaxed hair will be healthy if you choose to go that route.