Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Post-relaxer hair care regimen

I just got my hair relaxed on Saturday, so you know I am feeling myself right now a la gorgeous Gabrielle Union in this photo (well, at least in my own head). But then comes time for the often dreaded first wash. Will the same shine and "swang" I had after I left the salon still be there? Should I do anything special for this wash? Well, your hairmakeuplove guru has come to the rescue with my battle tested post relaxer hair care regimen.

You all know that with the added ease and versatility that relaxing our hair gives us comes the need for greater diligence in caring for our hair. In order for relaxers to “relax” our hair’s natural curl pattern, they must break the protein bonds in the hair. If you do not attempt to restore some of this lost protein, you will be left with weak, dry, brittle hair. In order to combat this problem, I have come up with a special wash regimen that I use for the first wash after my relaxer.

I normally wash my hair every 3-4 days depending on how it feels. I will do a pre-shampoo treatment (or prepoo… yes, I said poo), shampoo my hair, do a quick in shower conditioner, then deep condition my hair and set it. For the first wash after my relaxer, I do a pre-shampoo treatment with a mild protein based conditioner. Last night I used Aphogee’s 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor. This stuff is wonderful and restores some of the protein lost in the relaxer process while not leaving your hair hard, as some other protein conditioners can. I then wash my hair with a neutralizing shampoo to ensure that there is no residual relaxer still active on my hair. I follow that with a shampoo with a clarifying shampoo to remove any other buildup from the relaxer process. Since, the neutralizing and clarifying shampoos can be so harsh and strip your hair, I then use a moisturizing shampoo to restore some of the hair’s moisture. I like Nexxus Therappe and Keracare Hydrating Detangling shampoo. While I finish the rest of my shower I apply Nexxus Humectress to my hair for a quick in shower conditioning step. I know this process sounds long and possibly unnecessary but I have had great success using this method.

Now that I am a mere pruney shadow of my former self, I hop out of the shower and apply my deep conditioner. I like to use the Organic Root Stimulator Replenshing conditioner as my deep conditioner. (I just did a review on this conditioner.) I apply this to my hair in sections, cover my hair with a plastic cap and sit under my hair dryer for 20 minutes. If you do not have a hooded dryer, you can wrap your hair with a moist, hot towel prior to placing the plastic cap on your head and then let it sit for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Once, this is done, I rinse out the conditioner, apply my leave-ins and style.

For your hard work and dedication, you should be rewarded with soft, strong, and shiny hair and a new appreciation for your hair stylist. Oh, the things we do for beauty.


Seymone said...

I see we have a very similar hair routine. I was thinking about adding a hair component to my blog because there are alot of black women that need help with maintaining their hair.. How long is your hair? I am working on trying to gain thickness.

Mrs. Brookaltimore said...

Hey! Thanks for the comment. Currently my hair is full shoulder length, bordering on collarbone length. I've had neck length hair or shorter just about all of my life but earlier this year I really got into hair care and learning more about hair growth and it's grown so much in a short period of time.

Castor oil is supposed to be great for thickness as is doing protein treatments (being sure not to OD of course) as the protein actually attaches itself to the individual strands making them thicker.

Danielle said...

OK, I see I have to get that Aphogee protein conditioner!

I have the opposite problem when getting touch-ups--I can't wait until about 2 weeks after my relaxer for my hair to have some body to it. See, my head is kind of big (lol) and if my hair is too flat, the bigness just gets accentuated.

Mrs. Brookaltimore said...

LOL, I like hair with more volume too. That's why rollersets and pincurls are my best friends.

Product Junkie Diva said...

We have a very similar hair routine. I have been very lazy when it comes to sitting under the dryer to deep condition so I have been using the plastic cap method that you mentioned. My hair hasn't seen any heat in months.

Mrs. Brookaltimore said...

It's hard to want to sit under a dryer when it's so hot out. I've been doing my prepoos without heat and doing just my deep conditioning with heat. I washed my hair last night and couldn't bare rollersetting so I just did a braidout. It's a nice break for your hair anyway.