Overprocessed relaxed hair was the biggest issue for me when I had relaxed hair. It caused breakage, thinning among other issues. Could this also be what is causing problems for your hair?
Before I became a do it yourself hair enthusiast, I struggled with caring for new growth even with the slightest bit present. I desired silky hair from root to tip. Therefore, I rushed to the salon every 6 to 8 weeks for a touch up. Little did I know or understand, this was causing more harm than good. I never considered the impacts of rushing to relax my hair on a set timeline was placing me at risk for having overprocessed relaxed hair.
OVERPROCESSING DURING RELAXER TOUCHUP
When there is minimal new growth present, the potential for having overprocessed relaxed hair is likely. As you are aware, relaxer is placed on the new growth only during the relaxer process. However, when there is limited new growth present, the relaxer will likely have contact with previously relaxed hair, whether you want it to or not. This contact may lead to overprocessed relaxed hair.
Overprocessed relaxed hair can also occur through relaxer runoff. I use this phrase to describe the process of relaxer passing across previously relaxed hair. The longer my hair became, the more relaxer runoff was an issue. I successfully grew my hair to waist length at once. Therefore, I considered the overprocessing occurring from the length of my hair being bunched up in the shampoo bowl while exposed to relaxer runoff. Some might argue the relaxer is diluted upon water contact. However, I’m sharing my experience although your experience might differ.
MANAGING OVERPROCESSED RELAXED HAIR
When overprocesing is present, the hair becomes fragile and in a weakened state. My hair broke easily and the length started to thin out, which further confirmed relaxer runoff being the culprit. After overprocessing is present, there is nothing that can be done to reverse it from my research. However, the following proved helpful for my hair:
- Protein treatments to strengthen fragile hair to slow and/or halt breakage and thinning.
- Extending timeframes between touchups. Rather that getting a touchup on a timeline, schedule touchups when there is sufficient new growth present.
- Add a barrier to previously relaxed hair for protection during the touchup process. My favorite product is Summit Sensitive Scalp Base Creme but grease also works.
- Bonus Tip: Adding Summit Sensitive Scalp Base Creme to my new growth helped to slow down processing, leaving behind a wavy texture which was healthier than bone-straight results.