Lately there has been a lot of buzz, controversy amongst women in the African American community. What’s the big fuss you ask? To relax or not to relax is the question, discussion and issue at hand.
A lot of women in our community have opted to make the choice to embrace their natural selves and rock unrelaxed locs. On the flip side, some women in our community have continued to stick with chemically treated, relaxed locs. Personally, I couldn’t care less about the route you take with your hair. Relaxed or natural; in my eyes ALL textures are beautiful. Furthermore, how you choose to wear your hair is your personal choice; who am I or anyone else to judge your choice?
I’ve been on both sides of the hair fence, Team Naturally Nappy and Team Relaxer, and I must say I enjoyed rocking both styles. Each style had its own unique personality and during the times I was rocking each one I felt GREAT! Regardless of if your hair is relaxed or natural, taking care of either style is an absolute must! When it comes to chemically treated hair so many things can go awry. When I wore my hair in a relaxed style, I was a regular victim of over processed hair. The over processing of my hair occurred most often when I was playing kitchentician (a kitchentician is one who provides hair care services for themselves and others in their KITCHEN) and relaxed my hair in the comforts of my own home. One time I relaxed and relaxed and RELAXED so much that there was nothing left to relax after I was done. It was quite the tragedy! So in an effort to help you save your locs from over processing and general damage I’ve provided some simple tips below for you to follow.
Tips for Hair Relaxing Done the RIGHT Way
- If you have virgin hair, hair that has never been chemically relaxed, it is highly recommended that you see a trained professional before you do anything to your hair, especially a relaxer. Failure to use proper relaxing techniques can lead to temporary or even worse, permanent hair loss.
- You must understand that the hair on your head is constantly growing, it never stops. In fact, our hair grows anywhere from ¼ to ½ inch each month. Once you start to relax your hair; you must get it retouched every six to eight weeks. Failure to maintain a regular maintenance schedule can cause hair to break at the line of demarcation. The line of demarcation is where the chemically relaxed hair meets with the newly grown hair that has not been chemically processed.
- When you are going to visit your stylist for a touch up, make sure only the new growth is relaxed and not the entire hair shaft. The ends of your hair have already been relaxed, so adding relaxer all the way through will cause over processing and could lead to breakage.
- Popular to contrary belief, it’s okay for women of color to shampoo their hair every four to five days. If you’re going to engage in a regular shampoo regimen, make sure you are using quality products.
- Lastly, maintaining regular and open communication with your stylist is an absolute must. Open communication allows both you and your stylist to be on the same page when it comes to your hair care and maintenance routine in the salon and at home.
Hopefully, adhering to these simple tips will help you maintain a healthy head of hair!