Ann Ruthenburg Fashion
Hello people, this week I am going to discuss something many women get wrong — hair relaxers and relaxing.
For ages, women have been relaxing their hair using hot stones, hot combs and straight irons. As the world progressed focus shifted towards relaxing creams.
Relaxers help grow hair faster, and if used correctly, can be an asset.
The problem comes when you abuse or misuse them.
Here are few tips on hair relaxers and relaxing:
Relaxer strength — I have written several articles over the years encouraging people to know their hair type. This helps you to use the right product on it. This is where relaxer strength comes in.
It is unwise for you to buy a relaxer off the shelf without checking its strength. Most relaxers are categorised as “mild, regular or super”, which is what we call strengths.
They then go on to explain what type of hair it suits. For instance mild is good for fine and thin hair; regular is good for relaxed or normal hair; while super is for coarse, extremely curly or coiled hair.
Wrong relaxer breaks your hair.
Level of straightness — A myth that is often stated is that the stronger the relaxer the better. The truth is that if you use the right one, it will straighten your hair.
Best method of straightening hair — an experienced person will know that the hair is thickest around the middle and possibly at back of the head. Therefore that is where one should start and spend more time. The hairline area and the bottom of the head are the thinnest and should be done last.
Most relaxers will guide you through this. Experienced people will also know that the best way to relax the hair is with the palm and the edge of one’s palm, in a pulling motion.
It is a mistake to use a tail comb if the hair takes long to get straight.
Firstly you are putting a chemical on your hair which means in plain terms it is being chemicalised.
So whatever is happening to your hair will no doubt happen to your scalp. If you start combing the hair, there will be a bruising or tearing of the skin, which of cause is sensitive.
Using one’s finger tips is also the wrong way to get the hair straight because you have nails and somehow, will get in contact with the scalp, even if you have gloves. There is good reason to straighten hair using the palms.
Failure to take — I have heard people say, certain relaxers, do not work on their hair. Once ethnic or mixed race hair is relaxed it cannot go back to its natural state unless there is re-growth or you cut it off.
Only Asian, Indian and Caucasian hair returns back to its natural state after a few weeks. If a relaxer fails to take, it means you are either using the wrong strength, which does not work on your hair type or the person doing your hair is clueless.
For instance there are certain types of relaxers that work better on mixed race than ethnic hair. There are certain types of relaxers that work better on Asian or Caucasian than ethnic hair. However, most relaxers work on any type of hair; one only needs to know how long to leave it on.
Processing time — Most relaxers come with processing time instructions of usually five minutes to 30 minutes. If they do not, you will have to watch your hair carefully as you time it.
Hair can be over processed if you over time it, leading to breakage. For me the best method of straightening my hair is to apply the cream to each section without stretching fully. Then when all the sections are covered, I then start stretching the hair and timing from there. Usually within 10 minutes the hair is very straight. This method means that while you are doing one section the other sections are being chemicalised without you working on them.
By the time you start stretching the hair, it is soft and pliable. No combing is needed.
If you burn — Lastly if you burn, do not try and comb or separate the burnt area. If your hair is stuck to your scalp by morning, sprinkle water and oil over and around the burnt area — then gently lift the hair off your scalp. If the hair remains stuck, leave it until the next day. Rather cover it with a scarf if it’s bad. It takes time and patience.
Do not try and lift the hair off when it is dry — it will break. It takes at least three to four days for your scalp to heal from a burn, so that is how long it will take for you to apply water, oil and the lifting process.
Remember your hair is an extension of who you are, treat it well, and it will reward you.
That is it for this week folks.
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