Get a new head of hair by stopping those ends from breaking off
So you’ve finally taken the plunge and relaxed your hair. Are you worried about the breakage associated with chemical relaxers of have you been relaxing your hair for years but have never been able to retain length? You know your hair is growing because you have to touch up the roots every couple of months but somehow your hair remains the same length. What’s going on? The answer is simple. The ends of your hair are breaking off at the same rate at which it’s growing so your hair is stuck in a loop. How do you solve this problem and get flowing tresses?
First thing is to understand the reasons behind the breakage. Chemically relaxed hair is hair that has been changed from its natural state by breaking the bonds that create the curls or kinks in the hair. The hair is then reformed into its new straight form by combing or smoothing while the chemical relaxer is in the hair. Hair that has been relaxed loses its elasticity when the bonds are broken hence minor stress on the hair can easily cause the hair to break.
Another thing to consider is that most chemical relaxers can only break the bonds in the hair once they have stripped it of its natural moisture. Black hair tends to be dry in its natural state but once it has been stripped off its moisture by chemical relaxing, it is even drier and may even get brittle hence even more breakage.
Some would say that relaxed hair by nature is ‘damaged hair’. I say not so! Relaxed hair has been chemically modified so cannot be treated the same way that natural hair is. It’s much the same way that someone with fine straight hair cannot treat their hair the same way as someone with voluminous curls! Relaxed hair is in a category of its own and the way to care for it successfully is to provide it with what was lost during the chemical processing and learn to treat it in a way that will promote and not deter its growth.
Relaxed hair needs: regular deep conditioning treatments, daily moisture infused into the hair as well as sealing the moisture in, protein treatments and care with the correct tools. Misuse of heat tools is a very common reason behind hair breakage. Heat styling should always be done on clean, freshly deep conditioned hair. The reason behind this is simple. Some of the moisture will be lost during the heat styling process but deep conditioning* infuses extra moisture into the hair shaft hence leaving the hair with a good amount of moisture even after the process. Another reason is that dirty hair contains oils* (whether natural or added) and heat styling your hair with oil only serves to ‘fry’ the hair.
There are many resources online where you can learn proper techniques for taking care of your relaxed black hair. You just have to have the patience to find them! See the article on 5 easy steps to longer healthier relaxed hair.
Originally posted 2010-02-14 04:11:36.