ESSENCE.COM Straight Talk: On The Art of Relaxing Your Own HairMonday, October 06, 2014
I must admit, relaxing my own hair with the help of my sister has been such a liberating process. Don’t get me wrong, I love being pampered at the salon every now and then; however, having the freedom to relax your hair any day of the week and at any time certainly places power in your hands.
Using a normal strength relaxer is my personal preference. I use normal strength relaxer because it processes slower preventing my hair from becoming over-processed. I usually relax every 10-12 weeks and prep it a few days in advance by using a detangler to remove any knots and tangles at the demarcation line. This really helps to speed up the relaxer time. On the day of my relaxer, I apply a thick oil to my scalp and around the perimeter of my hairline preventing any burns. In order to prevent overlap and over-processing, I apply Vaseline in sections on my previously relaxed hair the day of my relaxer. This step is crucial as it creates a solid barrier between the length of my hair and the relaxer.
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My sister and I tag team and relax my hair at home. I make sure I have my relaxer tub, latex gloves, applicator brushes, extra towels for any mess and my timer! We part the hair in 4 quadrants (2 in the front and 2 in the back). I’m responsible for the front portion and she relaxes the back portion. I pre-part the front of the hair in 1” inch sections and 2 strand twist each section for fast and easy application. My sister duplicates the same process in the back section. We smooth out the relaxer 2-3 times (relaxing only the new growth). We relax my entire head for 20-25 mins, which works best for my hair, as the results are always consistent. My hair turns out straight with a little bit of kink – just the way I like it!
What works for me is neutralizing my hair at least 3-5 times to ensure the relaxer is completely removed from my hair. This is key! Then I proceed to deep condition with a moisture/protein balanced deep conditioner adding strength back into the hair. That’s it! Try it!
Be sure to check out the original article over at ESSENCE.com | Straight Talk: Hairlicious Inc. On The Art of Relaxing Your Own Hair