RELAXED HAIR CARE REGIMEN
Straightening the hair strands with chemicals such as relaxers, involves breaking the protein bonds in the hair shaft. If relaxed hair is not properly cared for, it becomes more prone to split ends leading to severe breakage. This makes length retention difficult.
Asides regular intake of water on a daily basis, getting adequate sleep daily, regular exercise and hair growth supplements, there are eight essential steps to incorporate into your relaxed hair care regimen. They are;
- Pre-shampooing: This process is done before cleansing to detangle, soften the hair and reduce the stripping effects of a shampoo. An oil/conditioner or both can be used for this process.
- Cleansing: It is done to get rid of buildup, dead cells and bacteria on the hair and scalp. You may require a shampoo specifically for dry/damaged hair and chemically treated hair in some cases. Such shampoos would have moisturizing agents and pH balancing ingredients. It is essential to also use sulfate free shampoos from time to time to minimize loss of moisture and oil from the hair and scalp. Co-washing could also be incorporated into your regimen.
- Deep conditioning: Deep conditioning is done to replenish protein or moisture in the hair. Indirect heat is required during this process and should be done every week. While using either form of deep conditioner, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overload of protein or moisture. It is also important to concentrate the application of the conditioner on the ends of your hair. They are the oldest and most damaged parts. Protein strengthens the hair and fills up damaged cuticle. Moisture on the other hand, improves elasticity and shine on the hair shaft. (**INDIRECT HEAT means covering your hair with a processing cap/shower cap before heat is applied)
- Leave-in conditioner application: This is required after every wash to provide lasting moisture.
- Moisturizing: A moisturizer could be in form of a cream or liquid. It may be required to apply moisturizers daily depending on your hair’s needs. If you’re worried about having wet hair during the day, you could apply your moisturizer at night and ensure you wrap your hair before going to bed. Water based moisturizers work better. Ensure you concentrate on your ends while applying then apply to the shaft and roots.
- Sealing: The sealer is an oil that acts as a barrier to slow down evaporation of moisture from the strands of hair.
- Low manipulation/protective styles: Less manipulation of the hair reduces the likelihood of damage. It is necessary to use wide tooth combs and minimize brushing. Protective styles also reduce the damaging effects of weather and daily wear and tear on the hair. It involves tucking away the ends (oldest part) of the hair. Examples of protective styles are buns, ponytails, wigs, braids, weaves and bantu knots.
- Nightly hair wraps: Doing this is very essential in protecting the hair from damage. Hair becomes more prone to damage while we sleep because our pillowcases and bed covers (those made with cotton) absorb moisture from our hair and may also cause breakage. It is important to wrap the hair with a silk or satin scarf/cap. You may additionally opt for silk/satin pillowcases and bed covers.
*Direct heat from straighteners, curlers and blow-dryers should be avoided as much as possible. If you need to use direct heat, ensure you apply a heat protectant to prevent the damaging effects of direct heat.
*Use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to absorb excess water from your hair after washing.
*Regular hair trims should be done to get rid of split ends. This helps prevent breakage, making length retention easier.
*Warm water opens up the hair cuticles and pores on the scalp while cool water seals them up. Cool water should be used to rinse the hair after conditioning.
I hope this article helps you. Please share on social media and email to a friend in need of these tips. Feel free to ask any question and share your suggestions with us.
With love, Fatima♥♥.