How I Maintain THICKness In My Relaxed Ponytail

Thursday, September 05, 2019

How I Maintain THICKness In My Relaxed Ponytail |

This is probably the MOST frequently asked question I receive on a daily/weekly basis and - of course - it’s a valid one too. Unfortunately, many still perceive relaxed hair to be "thin", "stringy" and "limp".

Shoulder length with thin ends - My Relaxed hair prior to starting my HHJ

My thin Relaxed ends prior to starting my HHJ

While thinning and "chewed-up ends" was a common thing to witness in Relaxed hair decades ago (see above), I would say this perception is no longer the norm.  The perception that equates Relaxed hair to being thin,  pre-dates the era of ladies embarking on a Relaxed hair journey and taking the time to understand their hair, its needs etc. Nowadays, Relaxed hair automatically equating to T H I N hair is faaaaar from the truth - with the help of proper care of course!

In my opinion, obtaining and maintaining a thick Relaxed hair ponytail, or hair in general, is never accomplished by just doing “one” thing. I believe a combination of multiple things done frequently attributed to the fullness of my Relaxed hair and ends. Below, I share with you all of the healthy hair habits that I've instilled into my hair regimen contributing to my thick and healthy Relaxed hair ponytail.

1. Washing and Deep conditioning weekly - Words cannot express how important it is to deep condition your hair on a consistent basis. I know you hear it time-and-time again, but it's no joke!! For me, washing and deep conditioning on a weekly basis (using heat i.e. hooded dryer and steamer) has been a game changer. My hair gets a weekly dose of moisture and protein which helps in nourishing my strands to withstand breakage preventing damage and it increases the fullness of my strands. Also, using the 3 penetrating oils (Avocado, Coconut and Olive oil) mixed with a few of my deep conditioners has really helped to strengthen and preserve my hair cuticle from the inside out - which equals fuller healthier hair.

2. Incorporating protein in my regimen frequently - Since I began incorporating more protein (balanced with moisture) into my regimen, my hair has increased in thickness by far! Being scared of protein, to the point of never using it in your regimen, will set you up for a serious setback. Facts! Protein is great because it causes the hair shaft to swell in diameter; therefore, increasing the overall thickness of your Relaxed strands. Protein treatments fortify my hair preventing breakage. So less breakage = more hair on my head = fuller looking hair and pony overall. I always look for "Hydrolyzed protein" in my protein treatments/DC's. Hydrolyzed keratin and Hydrolyzed collagen are my favourites. Every time I do a protein treatment, I always follow up with a moisturizing treatment to soften and hydrate my hair. Balance is key!

3. Keeping my ends trimmed - Having a ponytail with "chewed-up" ends is neverrr a good look!  I maintain my ends on a cycle that works for me. I notice that when I trim every 10-12 (essentially quarterly) my ends remain at its fullest! Incorporating this "preventative maintenance" trimming schedule catches thinning or split ends before they get worse without having to do a big cut months later (better to be proactive than reactive). When I trim every 3 months, my ends remain full, my ponytail looks and feels thicker and my hair hangs better. Never skimp on your trims, your ‘future-self’ will thank you for it.

4. Moisturizing and sealing frequently - Let's just be clear, oils do NOT moisturize the hair. Period. Oils cannot hydrate the hair, only water based products can. It's important that all moisturizer's have water as the first ingredient. I personally prefer water based moisturizers that have a liquid-y consistency, typically containing Glycerin, and I seal with Jojoba oil. I moisturize and seal daily, if not every other day. Moisturizing and sealing has increased the elasticity and fullness in my strands due to the increased moisture levels. Increased moisture levels = prevents breakage = less thinning = fuller hair. Just being consistent with this simple hair habit has kept more hair on my head and less on my clothes, bathroom counter and floor.

How I Maintain THICKness In My Relaxed Ponytail |

5. Stretching and using a "Normal" strength relaxer - Relaxing at 10-12 weeks post Relaxer has always been beneficial for my hair and hair type. Stretching out my Relaxers gives my new growth a chance to grow in fully and become "visible" enough to apply the Relaxer touch up to my new growth ONLY. Relaxing sooner, with no visible new growth, can cause overlapping (relaxing previously relaxed hair) which can lead to over-processed hair which causes thinness, breakage and overall damage to your Relaxed hair. So avoiding the entire over-lapping and over-processing drama, has allowed my strands to remain at its fullest. Also, Normal strength relaxers process slower, in comparison to Extra strength. Slower processing time translates to more texture remaining in the hair after a relaxer touch up. More texture = fuller, thicker hair & ponytail.

6. I prevent "Relaxer run off" - I do no relax my new growth without my ends being protected from the Relaxer. Relaxer run-off is a term used to describe the process of when you are rinsing out the relaxer and the possibility of the relaxer "re-relaxing" your strands/ends as it's being rinsed from the hair.  As mentioned before, Relaxing previously Relaxed hair can cause over-processing which, of course, leads to thinness and breakage. I always protect the length of my hair from Relaxer run- off by creating a barrier between my hair and the Relaxer. I always coat my ends with ROUX Porosity control and DAX (petroleum based hair grease) for maximum protection. This layer of protection prevents the Relaxer from penetrating and processing my ends. As a result, my ends remain full!

7. Doing Scalp massages - After wash days, I typically like to massage my scalp with Jamaican Black Castor oil. I find that massaging my scalp with JBCO, in a gentle circular motion, stimulates my scalp and increases the blood flow to my hair follicles. As a result, I noticed that my hair growth rate has sped up and the density of my hair has increased for an overall thicker ponytail.

8. I Protective style weekly - Approximately 4 days of of the week my hair is in a safe protective style. By safe I mean a style that will not negatively impact the health of my hair/ends i.e. bun, clipped up etc. I rock protective styles so that my hair is off of my shoulders and not rubbing back-and-forth against the fabric of my clothing (causing friction, tangles, dryness etc.). This simple hair habit, preserves the healthy of my ends as they are shielded from the elements. Too, the moisture levels remain higher in my hair as opposed to having my hair loose and hang down (my hair will lose moisture quicker). More moisture = less breakage= less thinning = fuller ponytail!

Having a full Relaxed ponytail is POSSIBLE! Be Intentional and Be consistent.

Remember: Wigs, ponytails, weaves will fade but investing in your own hair will NEVER go out of style!

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