Hey, ladies, this is for all of you. So, I have been doing a series of posts on relaxing hair after you dye your hair using Clairol Tones and Textures. I have not done a post on just relaxing the hair at home. This is for anyone who has never had a relaxer, but is contemplating getting one for the first time, and want to do it at home. I am going to give you a list of different products you can use, best tools you’ll need, and how to press out your newly relaxed here after a trim.
Relaxing your hair at home is serious business and there are many risks involved that MUST be considered. First of all, I have been wearing a relaxer since I was a teenager. I am now 47, and I love the freedom that comes with wearing a relaxer, however, if you are not careful, you can run into issues such as experiencing damaged hair from over processing, not trimming, and general recklessness such as not keeping your hair moisturized, not protecting the ends, excessive heat, these are major factors that come into play when not practicing good hair care.
Now, this is my hair done on 7/22/14, one month after I had recently visited my hair stylist. Practicing good hair care means keeping the ends oiled, the scalp lightly oiled, tying my hair up at night, washing it once every week or every other week.
Tying your hair up every night makes a difference. It can prevent breakage. And using daily hair are products that don’t weight your hair is ideal. I tend to like using coconut oil because it’s light and I can use it every other day without it being heavy.
In this picture I pressed out my hair and followed it up with a flat iron, specifically to bump the ends for a simple style. The one thing you don’t want to do is use heat on an every day basis. And you want to use heat protectant serums.
Of course it looks healthy and fresh that is because for the past two years I have been practicing good hair care to avoid having my hair wacked off because I was careless.
Having a good diet also makes a huge difference, too. Drinking plenty of water, and getting your daily dose of vitamins can contribute to healthy hair.
I started my Biotin journey on 9/1/14 because I am ready to take that challenge to having longer and healthier hair.
I am starting out with 1000mcg because it’s easier on my system. I drink plenty of water. I take two in the evening before I go to bed. I heard or read somewhere that it’s better to take your vitamins in the evening because they tend to work better, of course, the normal working order is to take them early in the morning when you get up. Either way, practicing good hair care with a relaxer is important and something you should take into consideration when considering a relaxer.
You have to mentally prepare yourself for a relaxer because of the chemical factor that’s involved. It’s not something you can just jump into. you have to determine if whether or not your skin is sensitive to the chemicals. Not everyone can take a relaxer of any strength. The next thing is to decide what relaxer product to use. This being your first relaxer, you will be considered getting a virgin relaxer, whereas you will have to pull the relaxer cream through to the tips of your ends. NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO BE SURE TO GET A TRIM IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE RELAXER, ESPECIALLY IF THIS IS YOU FIRST RELAXER EVER.
First you have to decide what product to use. There are lost of relaxers on the marker, Hawaiian Silk, Dark & Lovely, TCB, Elasta QP, and many more. My favorite is, and is the one I have used over 20 years is Elasta QP, the Regular/Normal formula. It’s a no base creme relaxer, that leaves your hair silky smooth. Like any other cream relaxer, you have to follow the instructions carefully.
The strand test will determine two things:
- If you are sensitive to the chemicals
- Determines the time frame to how long you should leave the relaxer on your hair (i.e., how long it takes to straighten your hair.)
If you discover that you are sensitive to the chemicals, it is highly recommended that you do not use the product. If the strand test is successful, and you have determined the time frame to process, move forward.
Use an oil or Vaseline at the edges of your hair and ears, and the back of your neck to protect your skin. Use a protein complex on your hair prior to applying the relaxer. Blow dry it in and wait five to ten minutes before applying the relaxer. Section your hair in fours, start from the back or from the area that tends to be the most coarse. Elasta QP has different formulas, so use the one that works best for your hair. Always use a shampoo and conditioner that provides protein and a moisturizer that protects against breakage and damage. Use the protein complex between shampoo and conditioning. Let it sit on your hair for about ten minutes, rinse then condition.
This is my hair after I retouched my relaxer on 8/22/14. Sometimes there are circumstances that arise where the need to do our hair at home becomes more necessary than we care to admit. Sometimes, too, it just can’t be helped. So, when this need arises, being prepared is extremely important. You have to have the right products and tools available in order to do the job correctly.
- Before and after protein complex
- Protein and moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
- Hair oil
- Good flat iron and/or pressing comb
- Heat protectant serum
- Wide tooth comb
- Finishing spray (I use Finisheen)
- Satin scarf
If you are relaxing your hair after you have dyed it, you MUST wait two full weeks and one shampoo and conditioning before relaxing your hair. You can wait longer if you like, but it’s important that you wait at least two weeks. It’s easy to over process your hair if you are not careful. Over processing can cause damage that can only be repaired by going to see a professional stylist who knows what to do to reverse the damage.
Biosilk is good for flat ironing hair. It is really good especially after you relax your hair. It’s on the expensive side, but it gives you your money’s worth.
They have an exquisite line that does the job in serving up healthy hair, that’s if you want to spend the money. IC has a serum that is equally good in terms of protecting your hair during the flat ironing and/or pressing process. Me being me, I press my hair out, the follow it up with the flat ironing, and that is when I use the serum. You may do your hair differently…depends on what your preference is.
Let’s talk other shampoos and conditioners. Dove recently came out with a formula that is good for women with colored hair. I was shocked when I saw it on the market. Thing about that is, it doesn’t stay on the shelves long. You’d be surprised at how many women have colored hair, not to mention the price fits your budget and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Now when they come out with one for women with perms, believe me, I’ll be all over it. I was buying their colored hair formula because my daughter and I had colored hair. But since the color has completely grown out of my hair, I use the repair and moisturizing formulas. Works just fine for me.
For my ends and scalp treatments, I use coconut oil and Palmer’s Olive Oil Gro Therapy. I told my daughter about it and she picked up some for her hair. This oil is light, however, continued daily use can cause a buildup over time, so be sure to wash her your hair every week or every other weekend, depending on your preference. Me being me, I don’t like my hair to be weighted so I wash it every week. I use the coconut oil on my scalp and the Gro Therapy on my ends.
Makes my hair look and feel healthy.
Now, if you’re going to relax your hair at home, remember you have to have a trim. I usually have my hair trimmed every relaxer visit, which is every 6 – 8 weeks. Let me clarify, too, that I can wait one relaxer retouch to have my hair trimmed rather than every relaxer visit — or I may just want the ends cleaned up and shaped rather than getting a regular trim. And since you are doing your relaxer at home, you have to know how to give yourself a trim after you have finished relaxing your hair and you’ve flat ironed (or pressed) it out. Experts will tell you to trim your hair after every relaxer, but I say to use your best judgement going into the process.
If you are not sure about how to go about trimming your hair, you can always go out and have it done or read the article A Simple Guide to Trimming Hair: Wet or Dry. This gives you step by step instructions on how to trim your hair, which is a really good read. I like her approach to trimming hair. There are different articles online about trimming hair, I just happen to like this one.
One thing I have to point out, too, is not all stylist know how to trim hair, and often confuse a trim with a cut, and you may not even need a trim, thus finding your hair shorter than when you came in. If this happens to you, demand your money back. Also, there are do’s and don’ts videos on Youtube to trimming your hair which are very informative.
Finishing up. Once you have come to the tail end of finishing your hair, decide if you want to use finishing spray to seal the deal. I have been using Finisheen since I was 20 (and I’m 47 now). My hair seems to love it to this day. You can find it at many beauty supply stores. If you buy it online, you should not spend $25 for it because that is just highway robbery. I buy the tall can because it tends to last for a while and I don’t have to buy it again for some time. You don’t need a lot, and it tends to work really good if you’re using a curling iron.
To give you an idea on the journey my hair has been on, this is when my hair was colored back in 2011. I had stopped going to this stylist who was scissor and heat happy, and thought excessive heat in blowing drying the hair and burning the scalp was healthy, and by chopping off more than 2 inches of your hair was considered a trim. So not cool!!! Remember, all it takes is one moment of being careless, and your healthy hair can go from looking like this, to looking like a complete mess.
Doing your hair at home can be achieved successfully as long as you have the important tools to complete the process. If necessary, use a check list just to be sure you have everything you need, including a satin scarf to tie your hair up every night. You should be able to comb and go if you do it right.
So, there it is ladies. I hope this post has been as informative as it has been for me putting it together for you. I am always asked about relaxing hair at home and relaxer hair after it’s been dyed. Like I said, even though it can be achieved, you have to make sure you have all of the tools to make it possible.
In closing, drink plenty of water, eat right, stay stress free, and practice good hair care and your hair will love you back for sure. If you are still unsure about relaxing your hair at home and you live in Los Angeles, I can put you in touch with my stylist who is phenomenal. Talk about someone who knows hair…she knows hair and will tell you everything you need to know about what’s wrong and what’s good about your hair. If you don’t want a trim, she won’t give you a trim. She won’t strong arm you into getting your hair trimmed. She is the kind of stylist that listens to what the client wants and will do everything humanly possible to meet that request.
She is very affordable, charging $65 for a relaxer and includes the trim (if needed and wanted). If you just want her to flat iron your hair, last time it was $35, not sure what it is now since I go for the full treatment. If you just want a wash and condition, it was $50 last time I had it done without the relaxer. It may be $55, but you can ask her.
This is my take on doing your relaxer at home. Remember the do’s and don’ts and you should be fine. But remember, if you are still uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with letting a professional do it.