A professional hairstylist’s guide: How to take care of your relaxed hair in 9 easy steps

LaToya Jones is a hairstylist and hair blogger who specialises in healthy haircare, especially relaxed hair. Here are her nine steps to take care of your relaxed hair

Many women these days are ditching their relaxers and going the natural route because they want healthier hair.  While there is nothing wrong with this decision, it is possible to have healthy hair AND have it relaxed at the same time. As a professional hairstylist who also has healthy, relaxed hair, I want to share a few easy to follow tips towards having relaxed hair that is healthy.  Here are nine simple steps to take care of your relaxed hair.

1. Stretch out touch ups until you see at least 2 inches of new growth. The average hairstylist processes two inches of new growth at each touch up appointment, so it only makes sense to grow that much hair out before relaxing again, which takes approximately four months/16 weeks. Getting touch ups every 14-16 weeks instead of every four-six weeks makes it much less likely for your hair to be damaged due to over-processing caused by overlapping.

2. Don’t aim to get bone straight hair. Think of the straw at the end of a broom, which breaks easily because they are so straight and stiff. It’s the same way with hair. Your hair needs elasticity in it so it can move, flow, have body, and not be prone to break so easily. The hair should be only 80% straight for optimum health.

3. Shampoo your hair at least once per week. After one week the hair has accumulated dirt, residue, and product build up. Shampooing once per week with a clarifying shampoo keeps the hair and scalp clean and healthy. Be sure to use products that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and contain no harmful products. By L. Jones Products have products that help you achieve healthier, relaxed hair.

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 4. Get a protein/moisture treatment in between relaxers.  If you get a touch up every 16 weeks, get your treatments done every four weeks after your touch up, alternating between protein treatments and moisture treatments. Relaxers permanently break down bonds in the hair making the hair somewhat weaker. Protein adds strength back in the hair, and since the hair needs an equal balance of protein and moisture, moisture treatments (deep conditioning) are necessary as well.

 5. Get the proper nutrients through your diet.Drinking water and eating a properly balanced diet gives you the nutrients your hair doesn’t get from shampooing and conditioning alone.  This will promote healthier hair and growth from the inside.

 6. Wrap your hair nightly.Wrapping your hair every night helps protect your ends, lays down your edges and roots, protects your style, and helps you stretch out the time in between your touch ups. Make it a habit to wrap your hair every night. 

 7. Apply heat once per week or less.  Applying too much heat to the hair can lead to breakage. Aim to only apply heat after you shampoo and condition your hair for the week. Wrap or roll your hair for the rest of the week to maintain your style, and avoid re-applying heat to your hair during the week. Heat used correctly won’t damage your hair, but when used too often your hair will more than likely become damaged.

 8. Trim your ends regularly.  Don’t let anyone tell you that split ends can be repaired by a product. Split ends is literally when one strand of hair splits into two strands. Products can only mask split ends making them appear like they are fixed, however, once you shampoo your hair again they will reappear. Trimming them off is the only way to permanently get rid of them! Otherwise the hair will continue splitting up the hair shaft and will have to result in a drastic cut if you continue to delay cutting them. Have your ends trimmed every three months.

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9. For professional use only! Only a licensed professional hairstylist should handle chemical services, including your relaxer.  If you want to drastically decrease your chances of over-processing, over-lapping, and damage, do not do your own relaxers.

www.latoyajonesblog.com

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