Before rushing to relax your hair, Thina Mthembu shares her four tips to keep your hair in tip-top condition!
- Clarify your hair – Make it a point to rid your scalp and hair of all product buildup before you relax your hair. Shampoos that contain harsh ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate or any sulfates will lather really well, but they also strip your hair of moisture. Use a sulfate-free shampoo if you prefer hair with a little texture.
- Perform a protein treatment on your hair –After clarifying, use a protein-based conditioner to strengthen your hair and give it some added protein to work with. This way, your hair won’t lose all its existing protein during the relaxing process. However, protein can make the hair hard, so follow the treatment up with a moisturising conditioner to avoid protein overload, which leads to hair breakage.
- Remember to base your scalp –The night before you relax your hair, base your scalp and previously relaxed hair with an oil like castor oil. Pay close attention to the ends of your hair because they, along with previously relaxed hair, are the most vulnerable during the relaxing process. By using oil, you protect the hair strands from getting re-relaxed when the new growth is relaxed.
- Perform a strand test – This is just a precautionary step to make sure your hair will be able tolerate the chemicals well. Perform a strand test 24 to 48 hours before you relax your hair with the same relaxer that you plan to use, as relaxer formulas can change or your hair may not take as easily to the relaxer as it did before.
So how long should you wait before relaxing your hair again? Find out what Mthembu says in the combined March/April 2017 issue of Essays Of Africa magazine from CNA, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Exclusive Books. Purchase your digital copy here.
Source: Thina Mthembu. Images: Pinterest