My Experience with Self Relaxing
As you know, I’m salon relaxed but I haven’t always been. I was an avid self relaxer back in the day. My self relaxing method was all jacked up but I didn’t know any better: I relaxed every 4 weeks, purposely overlapped to get my hair straighter and let the relaxer stay on for ridiculously long periods of time. In hindsight, I don’t know why I didn’t go bald.
Self Relaxing Tips, Preparation and Application
I prep my hair by using some kind of cuticle smoothing product that will keep my hair from reacting to the high pH of the relaxer. I usually use CHI Silk Infusion, but that can be pricey and this time around I wanted a cheaper alternative that can last longer. I used IC Fantasia Hair Strengthener which is a clear spray and contains Silk Amino Acids, Keratin and Aloe. While coating my hair, I am also finger part and twist my in small sections so that I can just apply relaxer to the new growth of the twist and avoid all the combing when I relax. Last, I coat each twist with Crisco to prevent my hair from being exposed to relaxer and becoming overprocessed. I use Crisco because I’m paranoid, but I have used Vaseline with success as well. Basically, you need something thick to serve as a barrier.
I self relax my hair by relaxing one side then moving to the second side. In total, it takes about 13 minutes to apply the relaxer to both sides of my hair and in the end, I’m left with texlaxed hair.
I start my stop watch to time myself relaxing. I use a sprush and apply relaxer to the new growth of each twist and separate the twist to apply relaxer between the twist.
Because I leave texture, I do not go back to smooth my hair after applying the relaxer.
Once I’m done laying the relaxer on one side of my hair, I feel the areas to make sure I don’t have any overprocessed parts. If I do, I will put a little protein treatment conditioner on those areas to help combat the overprocessed areas.
I then put some neutralizing shampoo on top of the relaxer to start the neutralizing process. I keep the shampoo on, add a plastic cap and relax the other side in the same fashion while the previous side is neutralizing and repeat all steps.
Once I’m done applying relaxer to the second side, I put neutralizing shampoo on the second side and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Edges and Nape
I apply relaxer to my edges and nape last and leave it on for 2 or 3 times before rinsing my hair.
Neutralizing the Relaxer
I neutralize my hair in the shower for 10-15 minutes before using a neutralizing shampoo with color indicator to make sure all traces of relaxer are gone.
Make Sure Cuticles are Closed
At this point, a conditioner like Roux Porosity Control can be used to ensure the cuticles are fully closed since it it good for use after a chemical service. This relaxer, I skipped it since I wanted to use Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin as a heat protectant and it is recommended for use after a chemical treatment as well. Then I just proceed with deep conditioning and styling.