How to Take Care of Relaxed African Hair
To take care of African hair, the most important element is moisture. You want to keep your hair hydrated and conditioned as much as possible. To do this, apply leave-in conditioner and natural oils to your hair every day. You can also wash your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. For best results, wash and deep condition your hair once a week, apply a protein treatment once a month, and relax your hair after 8-16 weeks. With some maintenance and patience, you can easily take care of your relaxed hair!
Washing Your Hair
Wash your hair 1-2 times a week to prevent excessive dryness.African hair should not be washed every day. To preserve your natural oils and prevent breakage caused from dryness, wash your hair about 1 time a week.
- If your hair is greasy or your scalp is itchy, you can wash your hair more than once a week. This is just a guideline.
Detangle your hair with your fingers when you are in the shower.Instead of using a brush or a comb, get major tangles out of your hair with your fingers. As your hair is wet, comb through it with your fingers and separate the strands with any knots or tangles. Start from the ends of your hair and work your way up the strands. Detangle your hair before you apply shampoo or conditioner.
- If your hair is very knotted, apply your shampoo or conditioner first. This lubricates your hair and makes it easier to untangle. In addition, you can use a wide-tooth comb to help untangle it. Only use this if you have to.
Try washing your hair with conditioner instead of using shampoo.Shampoos are often too harsh for African hair. To wash your hair yet still provide moisture, use conditioner instead! Apply a generous amount to your hair after you completely wet it, and work the conditioner through your hair with your fingers. In addition, rub the roots of your hair with the conditioner to cleanse your scalp. Finally, rinse your hair thoroughly after 1-3 minutes.
- If you don’t want to use conditioner as your shampoo, ensure you use sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates in shampoo often strip your hair of natural oils, which help prevent breakage.
Use a deep conditioning treatment 1-2 times a week.Apply a generous amount from root to tip after you wash your hair. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for 15-45 minutes. For best results, wrap your hair in a plastic shower cap. Rinse the conditioner out completely after it sits on your hair for awhile.
- Applying a deep conditioner prevents hair breakage by infusing your hair with intense conditioning ingredients.
- Your hair can be damp or dry when using deep conditioner.
- For a deeper treatment, sit under a hair dryer after you put on the shower cap. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate your hair deeper.
- Look for deep conditioners for chemically treated or relaxed hair with ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, aloe vera juice, and honey.
Apply leave-in conditioner and natural oils to your hair while it is damp.After you get out of the shower, use a generous amount of leave-in conditioner and apply it to all of your hair from root to tip. Then, squeeze a quarter-sized amount of a natural oil into your hands, rub your palms together, and run it through all of your hair. Your hair will soak up the leave-in conditioner quickly, so don’t be afraid to cover the strands!
- Your hair needs moisture to keep its elasticity and resist damages, especially after you relax it.
- For best results, use a water-based leave-in conditioner. Look for ingredients including aloe vera and glycerine as well.
Protecting Your Hair
Use natural products instead of alcohol or synthetic ingredients.Hair products with harsh ingredients will strip your hair of any natural oils and cause excessive dryness. To prevent this, always use natural ingredients, like coconut, jojoba, or argan oils. These are best for African hair.
- Shop for products at beauty or health food stores.
- You can also use products specifically made for African hair.
- Avoid products with petroleum or petrolatum.
Be gentle with your hair at all times to avoid damages and breakage.Your hair follicles are fragile after you relax them, so you always want to handle your hair with care. When you apply product, wash your hair, or brush your hair, treat it as if each strand is made of gold. Brush your hair gently, and run your fingers through your hair slowly rather than aggressively.
- For example, when combing your hair, you can remove the brush from your hair at the ends, rather than combing all the way through.
- In addition, you can use wide-tooth combs or brushes rather than brushes with firm, hard bristles.
Wrap your hair in a silk scarf to keep it protected while you sleep.Wrap your hair around your head following its natural shape, and then place a silk scarf across the top of your head. Gather the ends of the scarf at the back of your head, and secure the scarf with 2 knots to keep it in place. Then, twist the ends of the ponytail several times so it does not come undone. Pull the end of the scarf across your forehead, and tuck it underneath the scarf near your eyebrow.
- Silk scarves provide a soft buffer between your hair and your pillowcase. This prevents breakage caused by moving your head in your sleep.
- This also saves you time in the morning! If you wrap your hair, it will stay straight and tangle-free as you sleep.
Use heating styling tools sparingly.Frequent use of flat irons and curling irons eventually leads to hair dryness and damages. Use them as minimally as you can, and always use the lowest heat setting if you do decide to use them.
- Using styling tools occasionally is okay, just make sure to use a heat-protectant serum or spray first.
Create protective hairstyles to avoid breakage.There are countless options for protective hair styles! To find a protective hairstyle, search online and pick out some style ideas. For a simple solution, pull your hair back into a sleek ponytail, and secure a hair tie around your hair at the base of your neck. After 1 or 2 weeks, you can find a stylist to give you all over braids, rope twists, or cornrows.
- These styles keep your relaxed hair protected from damages while giving you a stylish, elegant look.
- You can create a board on Pinterest, for example.
Maintaining Hair Health
Trim your ends every 4-6 weeks to keep your hair healthy.After you relax your hair, your ends will be extremely dry. You can easily snip them off yourself or get a trim at a salon. Routinely trimming your ends keeps your hair healthy, removes split ends, and revitalizes the follicle. For best results, get a haircut every few weeks.
Get a protein treatment 1 week before your next relaxer treatment.In addition to regularly using leave-in conditioner and deep-conditioning products, invest in a repairing protein treatment. Protein treatments infuse the hair with rich nutrients, which reduces the amount of follicle damage and strengthens the hair. Search online for a salon near you that offers protein treatments, and call to schedule an appointment.
- It is best to get a protein treatment done by a professional. If you apply the protein treatment for too long or incorrectly, it can damage your hair even more.
- For best results, get a protein treatment about once a month.
Reapply your relaxer after 8-16 weeks.It may be tempting to touch up your roots as they grow in, but if you can fight the temptation, wait 2-4 months in between your relaxer treatments. This keeps your hair as healthy as possible and prevents hair damage in between treatments.
- Applying straightening chemicals to your hair can lead to damage, breakage, and potentially permanent hair loss.
- You may want to relax your hair more frequently if your hair grows very quickly or if you have short hair. It is best to wait as long as possible if you can!
Avoid using chemical hair dyes.Your hair is already processed, and using additional chemicals to change your hair will damage it further. Rock your natural hair color instead!
- In addition, avoid bleaching your hair. This uses harsh chemicals that will over-process your hair.
QuestionWhat do I use to keep relaxed, grey hair its natural color and not yellow?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerYou need to use a purple shampoo because purple cancels out yellow. There are shampoos available for removing yellow from grey hair, specifically for after a relaxer has been applied, but any purple shampoo will work. Check online and your local beauty supply stores.Thanks!
QuestionIs soap fine to wash relaxed hair?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerNo, do not use regular soap, such as hand soap or body wash, to shampoo your hair. It is best to use a shampoo for your hair, which is inexpensive and can be purchased at your local beauty supply store.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I stop my hair from breaking?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYour hair is most likely very dry. The way to solve this is to moisture your hair twice a day and wear a hair net to bed. Also, use deep-conditioning treatments alongside your normal conditioner. Don't wash your hair too often - no more than once a week until the dryness issue is resolved.Thanks!
QuestionIs castor oil good for relaxed hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. It's very good, especially if you want full thick hair. You can use it as oil treatment.Thanks!
QuestionHow much hair loss is too much? My hair falls out every time I comb it. How do I know if I'm losing a normal amount of hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOn average, everybody sheds about 100 hair strands a day, but if you're combing and you see big clumps, then that's probably not a good sign. My advice to you is to only detangle after you put a moisturizer in your hair, and when your hair is wet, detangle with conditioner in it and start from the ends to the roots. Keep your hair moisturized 24/7 so it won't shed and break so much. Start finger detangling.Thanks!
QuestionI have not relaxed my hair in almost a year. I would like to do a mild, but I don't want my hair to get super straight as my hair is thin. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTexlaxing would be great. It is leaving the relaxer on for a shorter time, so it won't be bone straight but will have texture.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I moisturize the ends of relaxed hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse a water-based moisturizer first, then use a natural oil like coconut, grapeseed, and avocado oil, and seal with a crème. Do not use so much that it weighs your hair down but this process moisturizes, helps hair lock to moisturizer, and keeps the moisture in.Thanks!
QuestionIs it okay to relax my hair if I co-washed it a week ago?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it should be fine. Co-washing a week ago should not have any effect on how well the relaxer takes.Thanks!
QuestionIs there any natural home remedy i can use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAfter hair washing, in place of a drugstore conditioner, use Hellman's Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip dressing for a deep conditioning. Just apply generously to wet hair and cover with a plastic cap. Sit under a dryer for 20 to 45 minutes or for up to a couple of hours without a dryer. If hair is really damaged, you can leave it in overnight for ultimate conditioning. Rinse and style as usual.Thanks!
QuestionCan I alternate between co-washing and shampoo and conditioner?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, alternating will ensure that your hair does not get too used to any chemical formula.Thanks!
Can I use castor oil or coconut oil on my scalp?
How often should I apply castor oil?
Can I relax my hair in between brazilian blow outs?
Is blow drying my hair before putting in the oils okay?
My hair is loosing its color after using a relaxer for a long time. What is the treatment?
To take care of relaxed African hair, wash it and use deep condition it 1 to 2 times a week. When picking products, always choose natural ingredients, like aloe vera, coconut, and argan oil. While you’re sleeping, make sure to wrap your hair in a silk scarf to keep your hair tangle free. It’s also important to protect your hair from heat damage, so use curling and straightening irons as little as you can and wait at least 2 months in between relaxing treatments.
- If you can, get your hair relaxed by a professional stylist. This ensures you use the best relaxing products possible and that the relaxer is applied and processed correctly.
Sources and Citations
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of How to Take Care of Relaxed African Hair was reviewed by on April 27, 2019.
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