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I began relaxing my hair about 10 or 11 years ago. Getting a relaxer in my hair was totally an accident. One day I had went to get my hair done and the hair assistant put the wrong product in my hair, surprisingly enough my hair didn't fall out thankfully and did I forget to mention I already had a hair softener in my hair. So, I haven't seen my natural hair in a very long time. For those who don’t know the difference in chemicals the softener softens and loosen tough natural hair while a relaxer completely straightens the hair.
Most women put a relaxer in their hair because it seems easier to maintain and easier to straighten the hair. The typical routine for relaxed hair is every six to eight weeks to get retouched. The cost of a typical appointment can range from 65-100 depending on what exactly is being done to your hair. So, you can imagine the money I was spending on my hair each year. Did I mention between those six to eight weeks I'd go back to get a wash and set which sometimes would result into an early touch up if I had "too much" new growth? So, now you can really imagine the amount of money I was spending.
Eventually I decided to save my pockets a little by skipping the wash and set appointments and began doing it myself. I use to pay attention to all the things my hair dresser would do for my hair and asked her questions on how to maintain my hair at home, if I couldn't get to the salon. She was more than happy to give me suggestions on products and hair tips.
Over the course of about four years I have transitioned slowly, but nicely. The transition had its ups and downs. If you plan on trying to lessen the amount of touch ups you get, brace yourself for a bit of an uncomfortable ride. If you have short hair like me when I first started, you’ll go throw the phases of changing your relaxer along with the weirdness of your hair growing back in stages. The outcome of my transition has allowed me to be versatile to the point now I am able to rock my natural hair when I feel like, while still maintaining my relaxed hair. I've been through several products between different types of conditioners and shampoos, heat protection products, hair moisturizers and washing techniques (I do not recommend washing your hair on a daily or weekly basis). Your hair needs the natural oils and when it’ s time to get your touch up, its better to not have freshly cleaned hair. Here’s a couple of things I've learned to do and have helped my hair:
- Mild Relaxers
- Shampoo less: Sometimes shampoo can dry out your hair and do more damage than good. It’s okay to cut back on the use of shampoo and do a good deep condition. If shampoo is a must in your routine, try and use it every other wash.
- Healthy diets: What you eat matters. Try vitamins, fruits, and veg that will help your hair strengthen and grow.
- Less is more: Don’t weigh your hair down with too much product. Moisturize your scalp regularly and rub a little through your hair.
- Olive oil products: Rather than using products for strictly natural hair I chose Olive oil because its great for both relaxed and natural hair. I use the moisturizer, wrap and set mousse, edge control, and pudding that helps moisturize and maintain your curls.
- Dove: It smells good and feels great. I use the intensive repair hair conditioner and shampoos just in case, to keep my hair from damaging and reverse any upcoming damage.
- Maintain your trims: This goes for anybody healthy growing hair needs to be trimmed regularly.
- Protective hairstyles: They work wonders and give your hair a nice little break from all the heat damage we might be doing to our hair. Grab a nice scarf and put a head wrap on. Brush your hair back into a pony tail, or simply wear your natural hair freely for a while you’ll see the difference soon enough.
Lastly, enjoy and embrace your hair what ever length, texture, or style. Love it every step of the way.
Thanks for reading.