Self Relaxing Black Hair - Should you?? - Tips and Regime

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Personally I would not recommend relaxing by yourself, if you can its best to go to a hairdresser and get a professional to do it, alternatively get get a friend/relative to help you. I have had many bad experiences with professionals, so when I can I get my mummy or my sis to do it so that I have some control over what is going on. The subtitle of this blog is 'Relaxed and Desperate', and in my very first post 'A little but of Vanity' I showed you the results of not self relaxing the right way...i.e. globbing the stuff on your head hoping its straight and then washing it out( but not completely). In desperation, if you must self relax I would suggest a) a timer b) someone to help you wash out. Make sure hair is properly neutralised and you have got it all the product washed out. Use all the neutralising shampoo if necessary and make sure you get the product out at the back.

Again I recommend you see a professional and note that the tips below will not guarantee your self relaxer will work. This is just a run down of my regime and what works best for me.

Tips for Self Relaxing
1)Clarify
2)Strengthen
3)Practice
4)Protect
5)Neutralise

Whether you do it yourself or get someone to help you, if you are doing it at home I found these tips very useful. I have done some serious research on this finding myself, once again relaxed and desperate.

When I do relax my hair at home I get prepared and I give myself a week to get all the pre-relaxer things done.

Here is my regime:

7 Days Pre-Relaxer - Clarify
Use a clarifying shampoo to remove excess build up. Before relaxing your hair should be clean and healthy.
I use the Curls clarifying shampoo which smells of citrus Yum! as a shampoo
Then I use a mixture of Elasta QP DPR 11 and Mizani Moisturefuse Conditioner as my conditioner. I leave this in for an hour with a plastic cap on.

4 Days Pre-Relaxer - Strengthen
Before relaxing make sure hair is strong.
I co wash with Curls Tea Tree Ecstacy(Although it is a co-wash,I keep this on for 20 mins)
Then I use a Deep Condition Mix which is a mixture of:
- Jamaican Black Castor Oil
- Organix Coconut Conditioner
- Joico K- Pak recostructir
- PhytoSpecif Vital Force Creme Bath
- 1 x Egg
I divide my hair into sections and really lather this on

The Night Before Relaxer - Protect
I prepoo with a Castor Oil, Olive Oil Mixture working mostly on the ends
I divide this hair into six parts, ready for the relaxer the next day (unfortunately 6 parts means you have to work quickly when relaxing)

Day of Relaxer - Give yourself the day to prepare etc.
I put coconut oil on my scalp especially places which have been itching (do not scratch before a relaxer - believe me it will so burn) Also use this on hair line (some people use Vaseline - Really this step is to protect the delicate parts of your scalp).

Relax the hair (whether by self relaxing or getting help)
See tutorials and helpful notes on relaxing here:

The long hair care forum is forever helpful and I recommend joining.
Most of the products you may need are available at Leilu's Amazon.

Neutralise
I tend to wash hair out then put in a reconstructor ( Joico K-Pak) for 5 minutes, before using the neutralising shampoo10 times to make sure relaxer is completely out. get someone to check you have got it all out. This is very important!
The 5 minute reconstructor is sort of a way to protect the hair before shampooing with the neutraliser.
I then use the deep conditioner in the pack, but also condition a second time with my deep conditioner mix containing egg leaving under a plastic cap for an hour.

I hope this is helpful for self relaxer but remember to make sure the relaxer is completely out, to take your time and be gentle with your hair. If in doubt see a professional.

Final tip: Practice with some conditioner and a timer so that you know if you will be able to do it in the recommended time.

Ciao
Leilu

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