Relaxed hair is no resilient matter. It splits. It snaps. And if relaxed too often, it easily falls out. But wait! Don’t reach for the scissors just yet. Are you failing to give your hair the moisture it needs? Using small-toothed combs to detangle it when it’s wet? We’re listing five bad relaxed hair habits women should get rid of and providing helpful tips to go along with them. – Stephanie Long
1. Abusing Relaxers
Relaxing hair too often and not often enough is a one-way ticket to hair breakage. Because it’s recommended you have at least one inch of new growth before scheduling a retouch, aim to relax hair every 8-10 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows. Any earlier poses the risk of over processing, and any later sets the stage for processed hair to weaken at the new growth site – causing it to snap.
That’s Not All: Do you find you leave the salon with burns every time you go in for a retouch? If so, it may be a good idea to switch to a milder relaxer. While it won’t straighten your hair to bone-straight perfection, it’s gentler, aids hair in retaining natural oils, and will leave some extra body for you to work with. Who wants limp locks anyway?
2. Not Moisturizing Correctly
When it comes to relaxed hair, moisture is essential. But not any kind of moisture! Instead of using products that suffocate strands (namely those containing petroleum and mineral oil), have your go at natural oils like jojoba, coconut or extra virgin olive. They’re substantial enough to nourish hair while providing elasticity, but light enough not to weigh it down.
Great Natural Oil To Try: DME Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s certified organic, comes in a resealable jar and will keep for several years at room temperature.
3. Skipping Out On Deep Conditioner
Deep conditioning treatments are also vital for healthy relaxed hair. Aim to give your hair one at least every two weeks by applying a copious amount to strands and covering with a plastic cap. Sit under a dryer for 30 minutes to allow conditioner to penetrate, then rinse and continue with your normal hair regimen.
Up The Ante With A Leave-In: Apply leave-in conditioner when all is said and done to really fortify hair’s moisture. We like MOP Leave-In Conditioner For All Hair Types because of its silky smooth consistency and detangling powers.
4. Using Small-Toothed Combs
Relaxed hair is super fragile, which is why it’s best to use wide-toothed combs versus small-toothed ones. This is especially true when hair is wet and needs to be detangled. A small-toothed comb is more liable to pull hair out, while a wide-toothed one will glide right through.
The Only Comb You’ll Ever Need: Jilbere Pastel Shower Comb – it’s inexpensive, handy, can be hung in the shower, and is perfect for both wet and dry hair.
5. Overusing Heat
For optimal hair health, retreat from the heat. Curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers can be detrimental if used too often. When you do plan to apply heat to your hair, make sure you use a quality heat protectant.
Have Some Extra Time? Think about letting your hair air dry. To eliminate frizz, apply a styling foam such as Aveda’s Phomollient while hair is still damp. Not only will it leave your hair soft and voluminous, but it doubles as the quality heat protectant we just mentioned above.