As a woman of color, I am forever struggling with the natural state of my hair. By no choice of my own, my mother decided to start relaxing my hair at the ripe age of four years old. As a mother now myself, I understand there are some executive decisions you just make regarding your child’s hair. However, in the case of my own, I would have loved to be the executor of my own hair estate. I say this because, once you put this harsh chemical in your hair, it will forever change the disposition of your locks.
Read ALL the Labels and Instructions
With every box of relaxer comes a nice lengthy set of instructions. I suggest taking the extra 10 minutes and reading through them. I had to learn this the hard way.
My sister and I were out running errands all day and I told her the last errand I needed to run was to Sally Beauty Supply to pick up a special kind of relaxer for my hair. As a side note, they have different strengths of relaxer, for fine hair to very course hair. My hair being fairly fine, I had continued using children’s relaxer even as I got older. As the story continues, my sister did not want to make the last stop at Sally’s so in a haste to get something that would straighten my hair, I inadvertently picked up an extra strength box of relaxer for very course hair, from Target. I got home, threw the instructions away and put the relaxer in. I normally would leave it in for around 15 minutes or so with my children’s strength relaxer, so I applied the same amount of time with this relaxer. I hopped in the shower to rinse my hair of the relaxer and started pulling clumps of my hair out! Luckily (if there is any is this story), I started applying the relaxer in the back of my hair first, so that is where the hair was falling from. I screamed and washed the rest of the relaxer out of my hair as quickly as I could. To this day, I still blame my sister for not stopping at Sally’s that day.
Relaxed Hair Necessities
As a relaxed hair veteran, I have learned to keep some vital resources within arm’s reach. Invest in an extra moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment. You will need to find what works best for your hair but I personally use L’Oreal products with a Pantene Pro-V leave in conditioner spray. Another must is a Denman brush. These brushes are awesome for getting through tighter curls, wavy hair or whatever your tress situation is.
Don’t make the same mistake I did, learn to READ!