Caring For Relaxed Hair : The Basics

by Tara Smith
[ Hair Stylist ]

If you’re someone who has been receiving relaxers for quite some time then you are probably well aware of the possible drying effects that come after. A lot of women report experiencing dryness, brittleness, rough texture, and even breakage after repetitive relaxer applications.

We know it’s terrible to hear but for a lot of women, this is commonplace. The chemical process that happens during a relaxer involves breaking bonds that result in re-texturized, straight hair. With these bonds being broken, the hair is now left in a delicate and fragile state. Not to worry, though! All is far from lost. 

By knowing what products to use, the healthiest ways to care for your hair, and how to best retain hair growth you will not only be able to better care for your relaxed hair, but you’ll be preparing and gearing your hair up for the next touch-up relaxer you receive.

Let’s get into the basics of caring for relaxed hair. Ranging from daily maintenance, keeping up with trims, hair treatments and more. Come on!

Moisture VS. Protein

When caring for relaxed hair, it can sometimes seem like the emphasis is placed on moisture and hydration more so than protein and strength. It is important to note that you want an even balance of both moisture and protein in the hair. This will increase the health of your hair overall by infusing the hair with hydration while imparting strength.

You’ll want to use products that are either both moisturizing and strengthening or just make sure to interchange use of your moisturizing and strengthening products.

This means that maybe after getting a shampoo that imparts moisture you follow up with a light protein conditioner or continue on with a moisturizing conditioner but make the final step a powerful, strengthening leave-in conditioner. You get the idea! You just want to make sure to switch it up every now and then.

Hair Treatments

There is a little misconception about hair treatments and what they are and when you are supposed to do them. Hair treatments are different from an instant conditioner, deep conditioner, and leave-conditioner.

The usual way that you will know if a product is truly a treatment is by the manufacturer’s directions. Deep conditioners are good for weekly maintenance, however, treatments can usually be done every two weeks, sometimes even once a month.

By incorporating both moisturizing and protein treatments into your hair care regimen, you will definitely see and feel a difference in your hair. Remember, treatments are intensive and sometimes, highly concentrated hair products designed to be used on the hair not as frequently as an instant conditioner or deep conditioner.


One of the biggest factors that can either help you retain length or lose it, is keeping up with hair trims. For relaxed hair, this is extremely important for you to do.

Not only do consistent hair trims keep the hair looking and feeling amazing, but they stop potential split ends and breakage in its tracks and stop it from taking away from the health of the hair.

Everyone’s hair grows at different rates, so you may need to get trims a little more frequently or a lot less frequently than others. What is important, though, is not to wait for long periods of time in between trims. By doing this you can potentially turn your trim into a cut! Which will increase your time and amount spent at the hair salon.

Whatever your rate is, making it a point to stay on top of them will greatly improve your hair health and how you care for your relaxed hair.


Styling relaxed hair can be super simple or incredibly complex depending on how you’re feeling! The versatility that comes with relaxed hair makes styling a great experience that can yield beautiful results. However, these results can come with a cost.

Excess heat and stressful physical manipulation can actually harm the hair rather than help it.

Making sure to be gentle and good to your hair when styling will do a lot for the health of your hair. When using heat tools be sure to do as much for your hair beforehand to decrease potential damage.

Styles that pull on the hair such as elaborate ponytails with extensions, various braiding styles, and hair extension and unit installations such as sew-ins and wigs can sometimes be the culprit in poor hair health. Be sure to have the more complex hair services performed by someone trained and knowledgeable about hair health.

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