I recently got a touch-up but it did not go quite so well. I experienced severe relaxed hair breakage and thinning.
Hair Relaxer System Used
I am salon relaxed with Design Essentials Regular and typically allow my stylist to handle all of my hair care needs on the day of my relaxer. I am not salon dependent for any other services.
Something is Wrong But What?
Over the past year, I’ve grown concerned about the health of my hair. My scalp is itchy and dry post relaxer which never use to happen. And, I’ve also noticed an increase in breakage post-relaxer. Clearly, there is something wrong here but what?
Salon Day Is Here; Let’s Change Things Up
My stylist uses a protein treatment post-relaxer but never uses a deep conditioner. Given, we know a moisturizing deep conditioner is needed to offset the strengthening effects of a protein treatment, I felt this was part to blame for my issues. In addition, her detangling techniques are questionable. Therefore, I chose something a little different on this visit. I let her do my relaxer touch-up and neutralize my hair. However, I planned to finish the rest at home which would include deep condition and style.
My Hair Was Severely Tangled
After neutralizing was complete, I generously applied deep conditioner to my hair to hold me over until I could get home. As I was applying the deep conditioner, I felt tangles upon tangles which concerned me greatly. However, I knew I could detangle gentler than she so I stuck to my original plan of performing the rest of the regimen at home.
Why I Suffered Relaxed Hair Breakage and Thinning
Upon arriving home, I finger detangled to separate some of the tangles. I noticed a lot of hair fall but I chalked it up to shedding. Although my stylist neutralized my hair, I opted to do it again for safekeeping. I then co-washed to add moisture back into my hair. I applied my deep conditioner and steamed my hair for 30 minutes. After applying my leave-ins, I gently combed my hair to start detangling and yet more hair came out. I was becoming worried at this point. By the end of the detangling session, I felt I was at a setback. See for yourself.
My Hair is Fully Dry and It’s Still Breaking
After my hair was completely dry and detangled, it was still breaking. I was really concerned at this point and questioning my decision to skip the mid protein step. Therefore, I used a protein treatment and then deep conditioned my hair. At this point, breakage slowed down tremendously. Finally!
Never Skip the Mid-Step Protein Treatment!
You will notice I skipped the mid-step protein originally. The reason? Well, I thought I had this all figured out. You see, I consulted with a stylist on one of the hair forums I frequent before my actual touch-up appointment. I explained my hair is protein overloaded after each touch-up even with performing my own deep conditioning sessions at home. She advised mid-step protein is not necessary for everyone and seeing how I get protein overloaded easy, I could likely skip this step. This would give my hair time to keratinize (strengthen) on its own without suffering protein overload.
What I failed to understand is protein is not required if the relaxer is of the right strength and does not weaken the hair to breakage. Protein is required to provide artificial strength when the relaxer is too strong and weakens the hair. Therefore, my hair required protein to avoid the relaxed hair breakage and thinning experienced this touch-up period.
Don’t make the same mistakes that I did! If your relaxers are not going right, speak up to your stylist. While some may be able to skip the mid-step protein, I wasn’t and consider that a huge mistake.
Here’s a little throwback footage when times were a little better with my hair.
Below is a list of products that I used while finishing my regimen at home:
- Aubrey Organics White Camellia – conditioner applied at the salon
- Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo – neutralizing shampoo
- HairVeda Red Tea Conditioner – cowash conditioner
- Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose – deep conditioner
- Aubrey Organics GPB – protein treatment
- PuraBody Naturals MuruMuru Moisture Milk – leave in conditioner
I stopped using Design Essentials Regular as it started becoming too strong for my hair and I continued having relaxed hair breakage and thinning. I also changed salons and my current stylist is using Naked by Essations.