Many African American women elect to straighten their hair with chemicals called “hair relaxers” for a variety of reasons. The main reason for most black women is manageability. When the hair is in the relaxed state it can be easier to comb through and style. Straight hair for some black women offers better hair styling options and can even give women longer hair.
Straightening your hair can be a wonderful thing but only when it is done right and without damage to your hair. Countless black women are from the small group of women where relaxers just do not seem to work for them and they end up with damaged hair and sometimes even hair chemical burns to the scalp or allergic reactions.
The good news is that there are things that black women can do to still enjoy the benefits and flexibility of straight hair without damage. This is all done in the preparation period.
In order to get ready for a hair relaxer, you need to check the condition of your hair. Since the chemicals used in hair relaxers are so strong, the better condition that your hair is in before you relax it the better the outcome.
Some black women wear weaves or braids that can cause tension on the scalp and result in weak, brittle hair. The braids can be heavy putting weight on the scalp and undue stress. If a person is wearing braids or weaves, they should remove them at least 2-3 weeks prior to applying a relaxer.
Women should not color their hair either. There are new products on the market now where the hair color is included in the relaxer so women need not worry about relaxing their and then coloring it only to damage it again.
If you find that your hair is not in good condition, you need to realize that relaxing your hair is not an option for a few months at least.
A good way to test the strength of your hair is to wash it, and when the hair is damp, take a tissue and try to pull on a few strands of the hair. If the hair break instantly and you see a lot of breakage when the hair is dry, you will definitely know that your hair is too weak to get done.
You may need take a month of treating your hair with deep conditioners and hair care products designed especially for damage or color treated hair.
Some women during this in between relaxers period, have been to purchase wigs to wear for the few weeks in between. A wig can help give your hair a break and allow you to do what is needed to strengthen your hair again.
Try not to wash their hair for a least 2 weeks prior to treatment. This may sound odd but it is very necessary. A lot of times, women complain of burning when they get their hair relaxed. By allowing your hair to build up a residue of natural oils on the scalp, by not washing your hair, you will be actually be preventing any chance of the chemical leaking out and burning your skin. This is small step but a cautious safety measure. If you are concerned about your hair not smelling fresh there are products that you can purchase from natural health food stores called “dry shampoos” to freshen your hair while you are waiting for treatment.
For more tips on black hair care feel free to send your questions or contact us online.