Relaxed hair damage can be a huge source of frustration. This is because of all the things that it means and what it could lead to. This includes split ends, breakage, dryness, brittleness, excess shedding, dull appearance, and more. I worked with a salon owner who once said, ‘...ya know, natural hair doesn't really get “damaged” unless, from excess heat or some sort of physical trauma, relaxed hair, on the other hand, is quite different…’
Since the process of relaxing the hair is so intensive for the hair strands, it leaves the hair in a very delicate and vulnerable state. No! This does not mean the hair is automatically damaged and unhealthy. Instead, it just means that the hair will need a little extra T.L.C. to make sure that it is the healthiest it can be!
If you have experienced some degree of damage to your hair, there are a couple of options and steps you can take to reverse the damage or stop it in its tracks completely. Keep reading to learn more!
Guess what? Your hair literally loves consistency and planning. Really! It does! One of the most underemphasized but still totally important practices that you can do to combat relaxed hair damage is solidifying and knowing your hair routine and WHY you’re doing it, which can greatly help you and your hair.
Whether it is a full wash-day or we’re refreshing an old style, by knowing your products and regimen you can make caring for your hair a breeze! Not only that, your hair truly will benefit from a consistent routine and you will see and feel a difference. Knowledge is power! Know what you are doing to make decisions that can help you even more with your hair.
If you know that your hair is in a damaged state let’s start by assessing some of the products we use. Afro-textured hair whether chemically processed or not will usually always be in need of moisture and hydration. By chemically processing that hair, this need goes up considerably and we are now in need of protein and strength to mend those broken bonds that occur during the relaxer process.
With this said you want to search out products that are a combination of moisture and protein. By giving your hair this balance, you can help to mend hair that is already damaged and prevent future damage from occurring. Products such as Nexxus’s Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry Hair are excellent to incorporate into your routine if your hair is damaged. It has a great blend of moisture and strength to stand up to damage.
A must for Afro-textured hair, in general, is deep conditioning and treating the hair. Now, the usual routine for a lot of women is doing weekly deep conditioning treatments and maybe every two weeks or monthly, doing a treatment on the hair. Treatments are generally more intensive than deep conditioners which is why these are done less frequently.
Remember that balance that we were looking for earlier, protein and moisture? The same goes for our deep conditioners. Treatments, a lot of the time, will have a specific focus, such as Arvazallia’s Fortifying Protein Hair Mask and BLOOMMY’S Biotin Collagen Keratin Treatment, where protein is the main focus.
Deep conditioners are strong but not as intense as treatments. Because of this, you’ll find a lot of deep conditioners are a blend of protein and moisture making them great for refreshing the hair and boosting manageability. LuxeOrganixDeepConditioner+HairMask is an excellent example of a harmonious blend of protein and moisture. This product is recommended for damaged hair because of its repairing properties but it is also deeply hydrating too.
One of the biggest causes of damage to relaxed hair comes from excessive heat styling. This leads to heat damage, dry and brittle hair, split ends, and eventually breakage. To combat current damage to your relaxed hair and prevent further damage, you want to cease and desist from using heat tools. At the very least, no direct heat styling tools.
I know flat ironing your hair into a style might be your usual go-to but for the health of your hair, you may want to put a hold on it for a while. Experiment with other styles that don’t need a lot of heat and see what happens!
Last but not least, usually the most disliked option for dealing with relaxed hair damage, cut it off. I know, I know, I know! Cutting your hair sounds like a horrible idea! But, it can really help your hair immensely. Not only will the damaged parts of your hair be eliminated, but you also will not believe how great your hair looks and feels after cutting.
Also, remember, it really depends on the amount of damage you have, your cut could, in actuality, just be a little over a trim which is barely anything to get upset about. Trims and healthy hair cuts are your friends!
So, as we can see, relaxed hair damage can take quite a toll on our hair, however, it is something that can be controlled and prevented. Managing and caring for relaxed hair is not hard, but it can become quite a task if you aren’t knowledgeable about how to deal with it.
Everything you do from the type of product, to how often you use the product, various styles, and the environment, all go into the health of your hair. It is imperative that you treat your hair kindly and gently to ensure growth, growth retention, and minimal to no damage!
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