5 Lessons I've Learned To Achieve Healthy Relaxed Hair

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

5 Lessons I've Learned To Achieve Healthy Relaxed Hair | www.HairliciousInc.com

As you may or may not know, I've learned a quite a few lessons in my relaxed hair journey. 

First, let's back track a bit. 

I started my journey with damaged shoulder length hair. It was over processed, thin and damaged. Then, I knew nothing about healthy hair practices and my hair was a display of that. 

5 Lessons I've Learned To Achieve Healthy Relaxed Hair | www.HairliciousInc.com
My damaged relaxed hair

Within 7 months I nursed my relaxed hair from SL (shoulder length) to APL (arm pit length). It was great - but short lived. Overtime, my ends began to thin out. I experienced a lot of breakage and as a result I did a big chop back to SL. 

At the time, I thought my regimen was solid but to my surprise, there were things I need to improve i.e. methods/techniques and overall just getting a better understanding of my hair. This back and forth phase in my journey, taught me a few things that I'm thankful for 'till this day! 

Below are a few lessons I've learned to correct my damaged hair, including the setback that took me from APL to SL. The re-evaluation my routine, research and patience allowed me to grasp a better understanding of my relaxed hair while helping me achieve healthier hair overtime. 

Here are the 5 Lessons I've Learned To Achieve Healthy Relaxed Hair.

PROTECT YOUR PREVIOUSLY RELAXED ENDS

Not doing this is what caused my dry, damaged, overly thin relaxed hair in the first place! I had a stylist who would run the relaxer from my roots to ends, with no care in the world. This was my 'norm'. I was totally unaware that this method of processing a relaxer touch up was incorrect and damaging even though my hair was screaming for help. 

It was only once I started my hair journey, I began to understand proper relaxing methods. No questioned asked, I switched stylists. Though my stylist relaxed the new growth only, he overlapped like crazy! Trying to change this habits just wasn't working.vHe was set in his ways, as most stylists tend to be. I had to come up with a method that would preserve my previously relaxed ends from being re-relaxed without having to fuss and fight with my stylist. This is what sparked my process of using Coconut oil down the length of my hair (now I use Porosity control w/ DAX). OMG, problem solved! With time, I noticed that my hair was no longer over processed but filled with more texture and strength. It was healthier and felt 10x better. 

My over-processed hair taught me that previously relaxed hair needs protection. In order to prevent overlapping, relaxed ends need to be coated with a thick oil or grease. Failing to do this can lead to thin damaged ends overtime.

ADDING OILS TO DEEP CONDITIONERS

Though my hair is coarse, it was always weak! Early on in my hair journey, I learned the benefits of adding oils to deep conditioners. Not just any oils, but the 3 penetrating oils! That includes Avocado Oil, Coconut oil and Olive Oil. I'm attracted to these specific oils because of the properties and benefits they deliver:

Avocado oil - Humectant/supports moisture. Contains amino acids & vitamins A, B, D, and E. 
Coconut oil - Provides strength & fortifies the hair. Reduces protein loss in the hair. 
Olive oil - Fatty acids help increase elasticity & strength.

These oils are packed with nutrients that support healthy hair. They provide strength, elasticity, but more importantly they penetrate right into the cortex up to 90%. I add these oils to my deep conditioners - approximately 1tsp per oil. The heat allows my cuticles to raise open to accept all the goodness each oil has to offer! Too, it doubles as a hot oil treatment and deep conditioning session in one, without the extra steps. My weak, overly thin hair transformed! I noticed a change in the health, bounce, shine and fullness of my relaxed hair with each session. These oils changed the game for me! 

My weak hair led me to incorporate high quality natural oils in my deep conditioners. This new process taught me that not only can these natural oils lubricate my hair, but they drastically enhanced and fortified my strands for healthier fuller hair.

DO EVERYTHING IN SECTIONS

My big chop from APL to SL was a result of thin ends due to breakage. I was about a year into my hair journey and I thought I was doing everything right. I had a small arsenal of products, I had set wash days, I had a regimen. I was committed and eager to reach my goals. However, my ends were thin, see-through, weak, and breaking off!! I called my sister in a panic and she came to my rescue. She observed the way I applied my products, what I used, and when I used it. 

She said "Val, you need to do things in sections!" 
I said "What?, I am! Look, I'm splitting my hair down the middle and applying product to both sections." She said "That's the problem! You need smaller sections!" 

The light bulb went ON! I had an "Aha" moment.

It was in that instant that I suddenly understood where I went wrong. The trade off to not applying products in sections was my thin damaged ends. Not properly sectioning off my hair was preventing products from penetrating into my strands. Certain areas were neglected. My strands were starving and lacking proper nourishment. My strands weren't getting the full attention they deserved. Once I changed my methods and started applying my deep conditioners and moisturizer in sections (at least 6-7 sections), my hair began to take off! No longer did I experience extreme thinning. 

My thin ends taught me to always work in sections when applying products to ensure my strands get the care and attention they deserve.

START WITH THE ENDS FIRST

We all know now that the ends of the hair are the oldest and need the most care and attention - I never knew this until 1 year, or so, into my hair journey and it costed me length! Once I understood that my thin ends were a result of me not sectioning off my hair, I also started pampering my ends by applying product there FIRST!! 

Why?

Well, as I mentioned before your ends are the oldest part of your hair and experience the most wear and tear. Excessive manipulation or lack of attention in this fragile area can cause breakage. Since then, I vowed that my ends will be the first to get my moisturizer, deep conditioner, prepoo etc. and then I work my way up to my roots. I carefully finger detangle and gently comb from the ends up, too.

My thin starving ends taught me that applying products to my ends first, while doing everything in sections, is the winning combo for healthier fuller ends. Nothing gets neglected!!

LEAVE SOME TEXTURE BEHIND

My relaxed hair used to be bone straight while wet and dry. To be honest, it was over processed because my ends were relaxed with every touch up and I sat in the relaxer as if it were conditioner. Thinking about this really makes me cringe! Luckily, I’ve discovered that bone straight relaxed hair lacks volume and elasticity, making it easier to snap off and break. No wonder why my SL hair lacked thickness and couldn't retain length.

When I switched stylists in 2009, my relaxer process improved drastically in that he never overlapped or left the relaxer on for too long. Once the relaxer was applied, to the roots only, I didn't have to wait or sit in the relaxer in order for it to "take".  It was rinsed out immediately and neutralized. I continued those same steps when I decided to self relax. My relaxed hair would always come out straight but with a slight wave to it.

Leaving the relaxer on for too long rids the hair of that much needed texture. Leaving behind some waves isn't a bad thing. With added texture your hair will feel and look stronger, you will experience less breakage and your hair will be thicker (whether you have fine or coarse/thick strands). 

By no means am I saying you should texlax your hair, unless you want to, but I am saying that you shouldn't relax to the point of having bone straight relaxed hair, especially if it isn't benefiting you in health and in length. I noticed a huge increase in the thickness and strength of my hair. Seriously! My breakage decreased and my hair felt resilient to daily manipulation. 

My over-processed hair taught me that it's not okay to relax to the point of being bone straight. It's perfectly okay and recommended to leave a small amount of texture behind in the hair for strength, fullness and elasticity. My hair continues to thank me for it, and your relaxed hair will too!

In addition, below are processes I've included in my regimen - over the years. All of these steps, methods and techniques have contributed to me achieving healthy relaxed hair. Of course, being consistent produced the results!

5 Lessons I've Learned To Achieve Healthy Relaxed Hair | www.HairliciousInc.com
Quick visual of my hair regimen now

I hope my hair lessons have equipped you with a renewed mindset and better understanding when it comes to achieving healthy relaxed hair. Everyone's hair is different and what works for me, may not work for others - vice verse. 

I encourage you to pay attention to your hair. Take in how it looks, feels, behaves etc. as these indicators will prompt you to adjust, add or omit certain steps or processes from your routine to become closer to achieving healthier relaxed hair.

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About Me

About [span]me[/span]

Hi, I'm Val aka Sunshyne!
I’m the owner of Hairlicious Inc. and Hairlista.com. Thank you for visiting.

For years I struggled to understand my relaxed hair. I created this blog to track my journey, set backs and progress!

Sit back and stay a while! Let’s achieve healthier hair together.

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