So your daughter wants a relaxer! 9 Do’s and Dont’s when transitioning from natural to relaxed!
1. Only, only, only (Did we say only?) have her hair relaxed by a reputable stylist. Please do not attempt this at home.
Why? There are two main reasons why you should have a professional apply your daughter’s (or your) relaxer. The first is that natural hair can be “sensitive” to chemical processing. A professional can test her hair to determine the appropriate relaxer product and “strength”. Secondly, the majority of clients who have come to me after applying their own or their daughter’s relaxers have over processed the hair. They tend to leave the relaxer on for too long; hoping to getting a silky straight look. Over processing causes the hair to look limp when it is styled and also damages the hair. Applying a relaxer may look “simple,” but there’s a technique to it. Trust me; it’s just not worth doing it yourself!
2. If you have recently colored your daughter’s natural hair schedule a consultation with a professional before transitioning from natural to relaxed hair.
Why? As I mentioned before natural hair can be “sensitive” to chemical processing. Allow a professional to assess the colored treated natural hair before relaxing. Depending on the lightening process used (for coloring) her natural hair may not be able to be relaxed until the hair has grown out of the color.
3. Instead of straightening your daughter’s hair completely, consider texturizing.
Why? The same product used to relax hair is used to texturize. The difference is that when texturizing, the chemical stays on the hair for less time. Therefore, texturizing loosens curls versus straightening. So your daughter will have the option of wearing her hair curly or using a blow dryer to straighten it. This is a great option for daughters (or parents) who are wavering between going completely straight and staying curly. Talk to your hair stylist or email me if you have questions about texturizing.
4. Do not blow dry or flat iron your daughter’s hair daily!
Why? I can’t say this enough but going from natural to relaxed can be “shocking” to the hair. Styling with heat can cause breakage. Limit blow drying and flat ironing her relaxed hair to once a week, and only after a thorough washing and conditioning. Try doing twist sets or spiral rod sets to minimize direct heat being used too often. Our Twisted Sistahs videos will teach you how to create long lasting twisted styles. You must be a member to access
5. Use rollers and or sponge rods in between your daughter’s weekly blow dry to help maintain her style.
Why? Unlike the curling iron, hard rollers and sponge rods do not damage the hair. Stay away from the old school foam rollers. They have a tendency to snag the hair. There’s no need to have your daughter sleep in the rollers. You can set loose curls with rollers in an hour.
6. Have your daughter sleep on a satin pillow case or use a satin scarf to wrap her hair at night.
Why? Satin pillows and scarves do not “snag” or pull the hair; this will help prevent breakage. Also, if you’ve created curls with a curling iron, when the hair glides on the satin fabric, the curls are less likely to loosen. Another great thing about satin, is that it prevents hair from losing excess moisture unlike cotton pillow cases.
7. Be sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo
Why? These shampoos reduce dryness. Remember moisture is your daughter’s friend! Healthy hair is not thirsty!
8. Shampoo your hair weekly.
Why? Over shampooing will cause dryness. If your daughter is active and wants or needs to wash her hair more frequently try co-washing. Co-washing will allow her to remove any excess buildup on her hair until time for the next shampoo. Follow this link to our blog on co-washing.
9. Deep condition every other week.
Why? So it’s obvious that I am a fan of moisturizing. Deep conditioning every other week will help repair some of the damage caused by heat styling and environmental stress on the hair. Apply a deep conditioner after shampooing. If you have a hooded dryer, place a plastic cap over your daughter’s hair, and have her sit under the dryer for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a dryer, place a warm/heated towel directly on top of the hair and then cover with a plastic cap. Please be careful to make sure the towel is not too hot.
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