Relax ~ Moisturise and Seal
Dry Hair is a nightmare. Lots of people say dryness is easier to combat if your hair is relaxed but I disagree. It's HARDWORK! Mainly because you can't just grab a bottle of water to refresh/mist/spray your hair. Do that and you'll be dealing with a load of frizz. You can't use oils because they make your hair greasy and make the strands clamp together and tangle.
So what do you do?
I haven't relaxed my hair since December 2010 so I can only really talk about the things I remember doing and the things that worked.
The things that worked:
- Weekly steaming/deep conditioning
- Hot Oil treatments
- Regular trims (every 2-3 months)
- Protective styling (If I wasn't going out, my hair was wrapped and twisted up into a loose bun, or plaited into 4 sections)
- Silk scarves. I didn't like wrapping my hair to sleep so sometimes I wrapped the scarf around my pillow, or just over my hair when I took a shower. This helped smooth my front hair and edges too.
- De-tangling in the shower with conditioner.
- Reducing heat (less blow drying, no straightening or flat ironing)
- Washing and NOT following with a good conditioner
- Brushing dry, tangled hair
- Excessive amounts of product: too much gel, too much cream, too much spray, too much serum etc.
- GREASE <--- this is what the devil probably uses on his hair. It's garbage! Don't put this stuff in your hair, don't let anyone put this stuff in your hair. It's also quite hard to wash out.
- Leaving relaxers in for too long/chemical burns. Yes, you want smooth, silky hair, no you don't want a nasty scabby, flaky scalp. Burn your head enough times and you'll see less growth.
- Wearing my hair down every day. The ends got very dry and this is when I got knots and split ends. Relaxed hair needs just as much protection as natural hair in my opinion.
Moisturising my relaxed hair was always a little tricky for me. I couldn't just pile on the products and if I didn't use anything my hair AND scalp got very dry. I changed my routine and noticed a huge difference in the way my hair looked and felt. I found a good moisturising shampoo and conditioner. I started using coconut oil and/or extra virgin olive oil for my hot oil treatments and also for my deep conditions. Olive oil gave my hair a really nice sheen and made it bouncy and soft too. Just 2-3 tablespoons warmed up, applied to wet/damp hair and scalp and covered with a plastic cap once every 2 weeks helped a lot. Mixing a little glycerine and honey into my deep conditioner helped seal in moisture too and made my hair glossy. Cold rinses are also great.
Coconut oil did the best job moisturising my scalp in between washes. It's light, melts easily on warm skin, and a little goes a long way. I used to part my hair and smooth a little on my scalp in between washes. It stopped itching and didn't make my hair greasy. A penny sized amount was normally enough for my whole head.
Heat and Moisture
Now in a perfect world, we would never use heat, but sometimes you need it. Sometimes you're in a rush, sometimes the style you're doing doesn't permit air drying. For a sleeker finish, a hair dryer is of course a wonderful tool. Leave in conditioners are AMAZING!!! Find a runny one, they're lighter, less greasy, less likely to weight your hair down. Water based too. Avoid mineral oils and petroleum products. They block out the moisture and attract dirt. Use the leave in when your hair is damp, or if your hair is dry and you're about to style.
A heat protectant is also a good product to invest in. Alternatively, you can just use an oil. Olive oil was always my go to staple. Hair gold. I would pour a penny-sized amount into the palm of my hands, rub them together and run my hands down the hair shaft focusing on the ends. This protects against heat and helps seal in the moisture. If you don't want to dry your hair out, don't blow dry for longer than necessary, once a section is dry, move onto the next one.
A lot of the things I've said here are tips that women with natural hair can use too. It's been a while since I did a 'Relax' post and since the blog is all about GOOD hair, it's important to include everyone :)
Sooo that's all I have to say. Do you have any tips or methods for moisturising relaxed hair? How do you keep your hair moisturised? What works for you? What doesn't work? Fill me in!
Ohhhhhhh before I let you go,
New youtube video: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpmXM5SAB80&feature=plcp]
Ciao for now