Let me guess, you received a touch-up relaxer at the salon a few weeks ago but now your hair is feeling different. At first, you didn’t notice a major difference much but now you’re feeling some dryness and lack of sheen in your hair, perhaps? This is not uncommon for a lot of women who get relaxers done regularly.
The relaxer application process does an amazing job of retexturizing the hair and making it straight and sleek. However, the delicate state that it leaves our strands in can sometimes lend itself to potential damage to the hair.
By knowing how to properly and effectively moisturize your hair and retain that moisture you will see a noticeable difference in your hair’s health and manageability. Remember, though, moisturizing relaxed hair is not about just slapping some hair lotion on and calling it a day. Rather, it is a process that requires a few steps, some lifestyle changes, and a little T.L.C to our tresses. Read on!
You’ve heard it before and probably more recently in the beauty world, harsh shampoos are a huge no! The chemicals that a lot of shampoos use to clean your hair and also produce that signature lather that we see in the commercials are sometimes pretty drying on the hair. This is especially true of relaxed hair.
Since the hair is already in a delicate state and prone to dryness and dehydration, we want to do everything we can to combat this from the start. Sulfate-free shampoos are extremely popular and effective at cleaning the hair. Don’t worry, there are actually plenty of shampoos out there that are free of sulfates and are created specifically to clean and moisturize the hair. A definite win for relaxed hair!
This cannot be stressed enough! Deep conditioning the hair weekly is imperative to maintaining the health of your hair. The key to moisturizing relaxed hair depends on consistency, products, and application of said products. Consistently deep conditioning your hair once a week or however frequently you see fit for your hair, will have an incredible impact on the health of your hair.
Be sure to interchange your deep conditioners from moisturizing to strengthening. The process of a chemical relaxer can leave the hair dry and weak, by using both hydrating deep conditioners and strengthening deep conditioners you will be giving your hair a good balance to keep the integrity of the hair.
Remember when we mentioned the application of products? Well, it’s true and it does make a difference. By understanding what sequence to apply products you will see and feel the difference in your hair. A lot of hair products that claim to moisturize the hair are usually water-based or oil-based.
To determine what the base ingredient of a product is, simply take a look on the back of a product and find the first ingredient mentioned. The order of ingredients on a product is based on the order of most to least. So the first ingredient will have the highest amount within the product. You want to apply a water-based moisturizer to your hair before anything else in your moisturizing process.
Remember, water is the best hydrator but we want that water and hydration to stay in the hair. This is where an oil-based moisturizer or simply oil comes in handy!
Part two of ‘Moisturize Smart’ is the application of sealing oil. For moisturizing relaxed hair, you’ll want a light to moderate oil that won’t weigh down your hair but will still effectively seal in the moisture. This is a hair moisturizing process that started primarily with natural hair that had not been chemically processed.
This type of hair is just as susceptible to dryness and breakage as relaxed hair so these moisturizing steps are beneficial either way. The same way you’ll know whether a product is water-based is how you’ll know if it is oil-based.
To seal the hair, you don’t need to necessarily use an oil-based product, you can use plain oil. Jojoba, argan, coconut, and grapeseed are fantastic light oils to use to seal the hair. If your hair's a little more on the dryer side, also using a heavier oil such as olive or castor in addition to a light oil will greatly help seal the hair as well.
Keeping your hair healthy does not stop when you sleep. Go the extra mile to protect your hair and keep it moisturized and healthy while you sleep by investing in a silk scarf or pillowcase. A lot of women use bonnets while they sleep which are great to use and usually made of satin, however, a silk pillowcase, specifically, can allow you the freedom to move in your sleep while still protecting your hair.
A common bedtime style for relaxed hair is either wrapped or pin-curled. A silk scarf would do great for both of these night styles as well. Cotton from regular pillowcases and scarves can snag on the hair ends and even facilitate dryness. Silk material will make that two-step moisturizing process even more beneficial for your relaxed hair.
There you have it! The key steps to moisturizing relaxed hair and keeping it moisturized. As mentioned before, one of the biggest issues that occur with hair that is relaxed is handling dryness and breakage.
Properly moisturizing your hair will stop dryness and greatly prevent any kind of breakage or damage from happening. Staying consistent with your hair moisturizing routine and using good, quality products will ensure that your is healthy and flourishing, always. So go get your moisture on!
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