Coarse Hair, Long Hair is now...

Coarse Hair, Long Hair is now...
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My Growth and Setbacks 2003-2010


Hair S.O.S. - "I did my relaxer and now my hair is breaking!"

I got a call from my best friend this morning about her hair and thought it would be helpful to share her experience and my advice to her (with her permission).  Here's a brief recap of our conversation:

T.J.: "My hair is falling out!"
Me: "What happened?"
T.J.: "I did my relaxer on Sunday with my usual relaxer, and now whenever I touch my hair it is breaking and falling out."
Me: "How many times did you neutralize and how long did you let the neutralizer sit on your hair?"
T.J.: "What's that?"
Me: "Uh oh"

The shampoo that comes with your relaxer is not a regular shampoo.  It is a low ph shampoo that stops the chemical process and restores your hair to its proper ph level.  A regular shampoo may not have a low enough ph to stop the chemical process.  Without neutralizing the relaxer, the chemical process continues until your hair reaches its breaking point and thus starts to break.

My suggestion to her was as follows:
  • Buy a neutralizing shampoo, a light reconstructor, and a moisturizing deep conditioner,
  • Wet the hair and apply the reconstructor for 5-10 minutes; rinse,
  • Apply the neutralizing shampoo and shampoo 2-3 times, making sure the shampoo is on the hair for atleast 5 minutes,
  • Deep condition with heat for 30 minutes,
  • Air dry and do low manipulation styles for the rest of the week.
I suggested applying the reconstructor before the neutralizer because until it is neutralized, the hair follicles are still open.  With the hair follicles open, the reconstructor is better able to penetrate the hair and deliver its strengthening benefits.  When I relax my hair, I apply the reconstructor and then neutralize.

If you realize that you do not have neutralizing shampoo or you run out before you can properly neutralize your hair, then vinegar can be used to neutralize.  However, I strongly suggest that you get neutralizing shampoo immediately, and thoroughly neutralize your hair.

It has been two days since she relaxed her hair without neutralizing it.  Hopefully, she does not suffer a major setback.  I will keep you posted on the progress of her hair.  I hope this is helpful.


Ambrosia said...

As someone that neutralizes at least four times (seriously) right after rinsing out my relaxer, I really hope your friend's hair bounces back with your advice. I actually use two, lol. I love the ORS one, but I love the color coded one so I'll start with that to make sure I got it all out first. =)

I also started doing the mid-relaxer protein treatment over the last year and my hair has really benefited from it. I have very little breakage, if any, post relaxer. Since I'm afraid of leaving the relaxer on too long without the shampoo, I rinse my relaxer out a few minutes early to apply it. =)

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice! I really learned something from your post. Thanks!

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