Hair Myth #1- I don't want to wet my hair too much or my relaxer will wash out.
Wrong! - The relaxer process is a PERMANENT process. In an article titled The Truth About Hair Relaxers
by Cassia McClain we see that "both lye and "no lye" relaxers are very strong chemicals that work in the same manner by changing the basic structure of the hair shaft. The chemical penetrates the cortex or cortical layer and loosens the natural curl pattern. This inner layer of the hair shaft is not only what gives curly hair its shape but provides strength and elasticity. Once this process is performed it is irreversible."
Therefore if your seeing new growth in as little as 2-3 weeks, that means your hair is growing....NOT that the relaxer is washing away. Also, if your seeing new growth so fast but your hair is or has been stuck at the same length, then you have a problem with retention (will discuss in another post).
The article continues: "This process which produces the desired effect of "straighter" hair at the same time leaves hair weak and extremely susceptible to breaking and further damage. One must keep in mind that relaxers do not help the hair, but actually strip it. So by applying chemicals to the hair, even if it is to achieve a desired effect, is never really to the benefit of your hair health. Due to this, it is first strongly recommended that it be applied only under the direction of a hair care professional with a record of success with healthy hair care and chemical straightening, and that the client regularly obtains conditioning treatments before and after the process.
Possessing a healthy scalp beforehand decreases the possibility of problems occurring. Relaxers should never be applied to already damaged hair, or on someone who has had scalp damage. Age should also be considered. Although your young children may want to have the hairstyles they see on adults or other young people, parents should seriously consider applying such strong chemicals to young hair and the potential damage that could last a lifetime if misused; most times it is not necessary to apply any chemical product to young hair.
"Over processing", the excessive use of relaxers on the hair or applying the chemical to already processed or relaxed hair, is the most typical misuse of these chemicals. Once the initial relaxer is applied to "virgin hair" (or a "virgin relaxer" is performed), "touch-ups" (or chemical applied thereafter) should only be applied to new growth between 6-8 week periods (or more). This however, depends on the rate of hair growth and condition of the hair as advised by your hair care professional. (Some say that even six weeks is too soon to reapply relaxer to new growth). And it is standard to wait at least 2-4 weeks before applying hair color chemical (or dye) to recently relaxed hair, if applied at all. We remind readers that the more chemicals applied to hair the more possibility of damage may be experienced."
So ladies, try a personal challenge. If you relax your hair every 6-8 weeks....try stretching it to every 10-12. It can be done. Heck I stretched for 6 months! If you want to stretch the weeks and need ideas in styling and tackling the beauty of new growth....hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy your weekend! XOXO Trendsetta
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