Relaxed Hair Struggles 101

Where are all my relaxed ladies? Can we just keep it real for this post? Relaxed hair can be a mess sometimes. It can irritate us, it can frustrate us and it can be a real struggle at times. But, we still choose to be relaxed nonetheless- why though?

Well, we cannot underestimate how convenient it is to wake up in the mornings, late for work and the ease it affords us to just sleek it back in one and rush out the door. A little Eco Styler or Edge Control and we’re good to go. But, the struggles we have to deal with on wash days, issues with dryness, frizz and weighed down hair…. Aaaarrggghhh! So, let me try and paint to you ladies, some of the struggles we have to deal with and my little tips and tricks to dealing with them.

Dry Scalp/Dry Hair

Ladies, am I the only person who is plagued with dry scalp a few days post relaxer? It is the worst feeling having freshly relaxed hair and being unable to do a side part or middle part because of the build up of flakes on your scalp. For the most part, I just wear my hair back in a ponytail to cover up the dryness. But, best believe after a week or two, a hot oil treatment is essential for alleviating dry scalp. I would usually use equal portions of castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil. I would mix them in an applicator bottle, drench my hair and scalp with the mixture, wrap a warm towel around my head and then finally cover my head with a plastic cap or a good old plastic bag. 45 minutes to an hour usually does it for me. After that treatment, your hair will be limp and weighed down but of course, you’ll proceed to washing out the oils with a moisturising and sulfate-free shampoo so that your hair and scalp are not left stripped of moisture, completely defeating the purpose of the treatment. Always follow with a moisture/protein treatment. Following a relaxer however, it is always recommended that a protein treatment be done to build back up the strength of your hair.

Hair Loss during Wash Day

This is such a struggle almost every wash day for me. But, I have concluded that it all depends on the deep conditioner used on your wash day, for me at least. For those of us who have been on our hair journeys for a while, we know it is essential to use a wide tooth comb during wash day; we also know that it is recommended that we wash our hair in one direction to prevent tangles and most importantly, the need for a great deep conditioner that will provide you with so much slip that the comb literally passes through your hair like butter. Without those elements, you’ll be bald in no time, your hair would be thinning and breakage would take over your entire hair journey. It will take a while for you to find a deep conditioner that works very well for your hair so this will take a little trial and error but trust me, with so many hair products on the market, you’re bound to find something that works perfectly with your hair.

Air Drying

How many times have we heard that heat is our number one enemy. It’s like a ringing in your head every time you pick up a heat tool. But sometimes we wonder, how else will our hair stay straight and sleek. Ladies, air drying is a technique that takes time! Your hair has to be trained. Your first attempt at air drying will probably be a disaster because your hair is so used to heat. However, a continuous practise to air dry will benefit your hair overtime. The key to successfully air drying your hair is moisture. If your hair is not properly moisturised, just expect to have dry, brittle and frizzy hair for a few days.

My advice is to use a mixture of products. After washing, please, t-shirt dry your hair for at least 15-20 mins to remove excess water. Remove the t-shirt and use a water-based leave in conditioner. After which, follow up with a cream-based leave in- that will help with providing some moisture and combating the frizz. Some people would then use a detangling leave in (which is optional) and then finally seal with an oil of your choice. Ensure that you detangle in sections to minimise breakage.

For beginners, I would suggest air drying your hair in large twists or braids. It may take a little longer to dry but frizz would not be a major issue if done that way. Also, the scarf method works wonders for those who are stretching their relaxers- it gives your roots a nice, sleek finish.

Now, those are just a few of my struggles. I have more, but I’ll explain those another time. Relaxed hair really takes time, patience and sheer dedication. You’ll be happy to see that consistency will bring you some unexpected results. But always remember that the health of your hair should be priority over length. Invest the time!

Dena

xo

 

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Switch it Up

We as women can be so fickle and indecisive about many things, but nothing more so than our hair.

We as women can be so fickle and indecisive about many things, but nothing more so than our hair. Today it’s straight, tomorrow it’s curly, a month down the line we are wanting to look like the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. Many of us switch it up quite nicely with the installation of hair weaves, or as it is now commonly referred to, hair extensions. Today it’s all about the Brazilian hair, Indian remy, Malaysian body wave and not to mention the added closures and frontals. Many have even reverted back to the good old wigs- a revived trend which is fast growing and allows for more versatility. I haven’t even touched on the crotchet braids/weaves, the Ghanaian style cornrows, the longstanding box braids and the list goes on.

These hair styles come at some serious costs- they are surely not cheap. These are what I refer to as beauty investments. Well of course, it is all dependent on the quality of hair that is chosen and the ways in which we care for them. But why is it that ladies invest so much time, money and energy into their hair. The answer is quite simple- change.

A change in hairstyle makes a hell of difference to a woman’s appearance. It brings life to her personality and it surely helps to accentuates an outfit. It allows for us to showcase our creativity, unveil our “Sasha Fierce” and it adds a definite boost to our confidence. You will be surprised how a new hairstyle puts an extra pep in someone’s step. I’m telling you, a new hairstyle will have a woman feeling like she’s just stepped off a fashion runway. Her outfit can be bought from the dollar store but her hair is worth hundreds and she is not afraid to let the word know that she’s rocking a Brazilian Body Wave, 20″ at the back, 18″ and 16″ in the middle, 14″ in the front and a 12″ closure bleached to match her skin.

India Arie, one my favourite recording artistes sings ” I am not my hair…”, but I often question that because us ladies spend time on our hair. But, I think what she was trying to convey is that we should not be defined by the type, length, style or texture of hair. We find that many folks prejudge women because they choose to big chop and rock a short fro or women with relaxed hair are trying to look like Caucasians and are unhappy with their natural texture. Pure BS if you ask me. Humans in general are creatures of change- we are easily bored and there is nothing wrong with that.

I am not defined by my head of hair or any extensions that I may choose to wear. I choose to wear my hair in certain styles because that’s my preference. Why should I be stereotyped as someone who is uncomfortable or displeased with how the Creator made me.

Ladies, many of us work hard for our money and I’ll be damned if someone tries to tell me how I should or should not wear my hair- the hair that grows out of my head. So, be you! Embrace your inner self though your hair. Some days be wild, frizzy and unruly and other days rock that chic bun, that bone straight hair or try out some curls or waves. Every hairstyle adds some level of novelty to your looks and believe me the change provides such a renewed feeling on the inside.

So maybe you’ve been feeling a little on the low side, your self confidence is beginning to dwindle- switch it up! Head to your nearest hair stylist or if you’re feeling experimental, create something yourself. Trust me, change is beautiful on the outside but it works miracles on the inside too.

-Dena