I came across this great article that I would like to share with you all. I personally am going to try what's suggested when I relax my hair in 3 weeks.
Why You Should Try a Mid-Relaxer Protein Step After Your Relaxer:
It has been pretty well established that the mid-relaxer protein conditioning step, or simply applying a mild protein conditioner between the relaxer rinsing and neutralizing shampoo steps of the chemical relaxing process, can help tremendously improve your hair's tensile strength, thickness, and body post relaxer. In fact, many professional lye relaxer systems now include a protein reconstructor or rebuilding step between these two critical relaxing points. Unfortunately, most no-lye relaxer systems still tend to skip the mid-relaxer protein conditioning step.
But never fear! You can still reap the benefits of a professional lye relaxer system by using your own five minute protein reconstructor conditioner after the relaxer rinsing step. This step can be done with any relaxer system and any protein reconstructor conditioner. Joico K-Pac Conditioner and Aphogee 2 minute keratin reconstructor are popular mid-relaxer protein conditioners.
But why should you give the mid-relaxer conditioning protein step a try? What are the benefits of the mid-relaxer protein step?
1.) The Mid-relaxer protein step restores precious proteins lost to the chemical relaxing process.
The chemical relaxing process drastically changes and permanently affects the hair's natural protein structure. In order to straighten the hair, the cortex's disulfide linkages must be broken. But in order to even enter the cortex, the relaxer must first break through the cuticle's protein infrastructure. The mid-relaxer protein step helps replenish your hair's lost protein. While the conditioning effects are only temporary and the proteins are often larger than the ones the hair has given up to the relaxing process, the conditioner's proteins go a long way toward improving the condition of your hair at one of the most critical points.
Because the hair's cuticles are lifted and highly permeable immediately after the relaxer is rinsed, proteins-- even larger ones are able to bind deeply within the hair shaft.
2.) Mid- Relaxer Protein Step Guarantees Maximum Protein Penetration In the Hair Fiber.
The protein step's position just after the relaxer is rinsed, and before the hair is neutralized means the proteins get maximum penetration and relocation within the hair fiber. Again, because the cuticles are lifted, proteins of all sizes are able to penetrate deeply into the hair fiber.
3.) The Mid-Relaxer Protein Step Increases Hair Volume and Thickness.
The proteins deposited on the outer hair shaft during the mid-relaxer protein step dramatically increase the shaft diameter of each hair fiber. This increased shaft diameter creates the feeling of thicker, stronger hair strands. This is in direct opposition to what typically occurs during a relaxer where the hair is left feeling limp and lifeless for several days just after the relaxer service. The mid-relaxer protein step will give the hair a little umph and recreate the volume and body that relaxing tends to zap away at least initially anyway.
4.) The Mid-Relaxer Protein Step has a neutralizing effect on the relaxer.
Because protein reconstructors and conditioners are formulated at acidic pHs (between 3.4-5.5), these conditioners have a net neutralizing effect on the hair fiber. This is very important. The low pH ensures that the hair shaft is not damaged while the hair is being conditioned. The protein conditioner has in effect started the neutralization process.