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Hair: Relaxing Your Hair After Using Clairol Textures & Tones

August 24, 2014

I am happy that the post I did on Clairol Textures & Tones is still being read to this day.  It is one of my favorite hair dye products on the market.  If I were to dye my hair now, that’s the product I’d use specifically because it is designed for women of color.  How sweet is that?

I am often asked via online and through emails if you can relax your hair after using this product.  This post is actually a response to one of my readers who asked this same question.  I am reposting my response because I want to spread the word that you can relax your hair after you dye your hair using the Clairol Texture & Tones.  In fact, I believe it was designed for that particular purpose.   However, contrary to popular belief, it is highly recommended that you wait at least two full weeks and one shampoo and conditioner. If you wanted to wait three to four weeks, that would be OK, too. What does this mean? It means you wait the ideal number of weeks and after you have washed and conditioned your hair at least once.

Ladies, if this is your first time relaxing your hair at home, I can understand why it would seem like a scary process going into it.  You don’t know what to expect.  There are harsh chemicals involved and it can go wrong in so many ways (i.e., failing to do a strand test and discovering you have sensitive skin, leaving the relaxer on too long and burning your scalp, not applying enough relaxer, not leaving it in long enough, etc.).  It’s like following a complex cooking recipe where you have to follow the instruction precisely as they are written.   Therefore, you will want to arm yourself with some really good products that will serve as tools to keep your hair strong and healthy, as well as a really good flat iron for good end results, and scissors designed for trimming hair only — salon style.

Hair7-22-14I have been wearing relaxers since I was a teenager and I have had my share of damaged hair, so I will be coming to you speaking from experience.  It takes work and time to keep up a relaxer, especially if your hair is dyed, too, the work seems doubled, and developing a good hair care regimen that you keep up with on a regular and dedicated basis is important, so think hard about this going in.  Do you want to add the extra step?  Do you want to put in the time it takes?  Let me tell you that your hair will love you back if you practice good hair care on the regular.

First of all, you have to ask yourself is your skin too sensitive for a relaxer? OK, you’ve dyed your hair…no skin irritation there, but what about with a relaxer? This being your first relaxer (if this is your first time), you will have to do a strand test. Which takes me to my next point. There are different relaxer products on the market. Some are better than others, and there are those that shouldn’t even be on the market based on the horror stories I’ve heard, and what I experienced.  I recommend a no lye relaxer.  Bottom line is, you still have to do a strand test according to the directions provided.

qp-elasta-new-lookMy relaxer product of choice is Elasta QP Creme Relaxer – Regular/Normal (with no lye). It is a cream base relaxer.  Comes in a simple black and white jar with a green design — just for color and update of the jar…nothing fancy there — I have been using this product for over 20 years and refuse to use anything else.

Elasta QP has a before and after product renamed to the Elasta QP Before and After Protein Complex. This is good for pre and post relaxer. I use it on my hair religiously when I am relaxing my hair at home.  I spray it on, blow dry it into my hair, wait about five to ten minutes, then I apply a protective oil around the edges of my scalp and ears (vaseline works just fine), then apply my Elasta QP Creme Relaxer, done within the time allowed for my hair (work as quickly as possible to avoid burns to your scalp and damage to your hair).

Elasta QP’s product line has expanded and improved over the years, therefore, there are lots more to choose from, especially their shampoo and conditioner for relaxed hair.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to find all of the products in one place, so getting them online is probably how you’ll get the best ones you’re looking for.  And good luck in finding the Before and After Protein Complex…that is one product that is hard to find, and I think it’s been renamed again.

When you relax your hair it is recommended to use a neutralizing shampoo and moisturizing conditioner, and if you can find it, use the Elasta QP Before and After Protein Complex (like I said before, it is hard to find) before you condition your hair…leave the Protein Complex in for about five or ten minutes (I recommend at least ten minutes), rinse, then apply conditioner and leave it in 10 – 15 minutes.  NOTE:  You can use a wide tooth comb to comb through if you like.

Because I tend to wash my hair in the shower, I leave the conditioner in for about 15 minutes, and rinse it out after I am done with my shower.  In one of Dr. Oz shows I watched he stated that the best results from conditioner can come from using cold water to rinse your hair because it leaves in the nutrients from the conditioner than with rinsing with warm/hot water.  That’s find if you don’t mind a cold shower.  If you have a leave in conditioner that you like, you can use that, too.  Nothing wrong with a double conditioner as long as you’re not over doing it.  But you want to protect your hair at all times, of course.  Relaxing your own hair is serious business and you will need to have all the right products in doing so.

300Be sure that when you press out or flat iron your hair (I recommend flat ironing) use a good heat serum (such as Biosilk), and a light oil to keep your scalp from being dry. A stylist in Arizona whom used to be my stylist in Los Angeles told on Vitamin E also works well on the scalp and ends and is easy to wash out.  I don’t recommend a heavy oil, unless your hair drinks it up.  For me, it weights my hair down, which I don’t like.

Pure coconut oil is another good source of oil.  It’s a light oil that I tend to prefer to use when it comes to my ends, and it’s inexpensive at the local beauty supply; and Palmer’s Gro Therapy Olive Oil Formula is another good one which I keep on hand, especially for the scalp and can also be good on the ends.

ALWAYS…ALWAYS get a good trim (and not a botched trim) after you do a relaxer. A good trim can affect how your hair looks and performs in growth.  I don’t know about some of you, but I think my hair has a mind of its own and knows when something’s not right because I can’t get it to do anything, especially if I wait too long to retouch my relaxer and if I don’t get a trim.  It won’t hold a press or a flat iron, won’t style…just acts like it wants to do its own thing.

Getting regular trims will keep your ends from splitting badly and your hair from breaking off, and can allow your hair to grow and be healthy.   Use a light oil on the ends (the coconut oil or the Palmer’s Gro Therapy I mentioned).  If you don’t get a trim after each relaxer, be prepared…your hair will let you know exactly what can happen.

HairProgress2014Again, practice good hair care to keep your hair from suffering, your hair will love you back.  Don’t stress your hair by using daily heat if you can help it…tie your hair up at night in away so all you have to do is get up the next day and comb and go.

My hair has recovered from the damage I experienced a few years ago, and is doing nicely.  Of course I’d like it to be much longer than it is.  I had my hair cut back in 2012 because it was damaged…careless hair care on my part and I paid the price.  Plus that was a period where I stayed angry a lot and my hair and weight suffered.  I can’t emphasize it enough about practicing good hair care.  The risks are greater than you can expect when relaxing dyed hair — especially if you’ve never done it before.

Wash your hair every one to two weeks.  Retouch your relaxer every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows.  I tend to wait 8 to 10 weeks at the most.  Anything beyond the 10 week mark and my hair is not holding a press or a flat iron, and there are frizzes everywhere…true signs that my relaxer needs to be redone.   Some women I know retouch their relaxer short of six weeks because their hair grows just that fast, so it depends on how fast your hair grows and how often you’re in the salon.  I still say wait at least 8 weeks.  What’s an extra two weeks, right?

If you are still not comfortable with relaxing your own hair at home, I strongly recommend finding yourself a really good hair stylist who is a well known professional in relaxing hair. Someone who has good experience with working with chemicals, who has excellent results, and gives excellent trims.  In other words, they take pride in their work and leave you looking beyond fabulous. You don’t want to go to someone who has no true experience in relaxing hair.  So search very carefully.  And check prices, too.  Sometimes a high priced hair stylist doesn’t always mean an experienced stylist who can do hair.  Been there, done that, too.

If the whole process has got you thinking twice, and you are located in Los Angeles, I can connect you with my hair stylist who has been doing my hair for some years now.  I have followed her to three salon locations, that’s how good she is.  Actually, when I am left to do my relaxer at home, I do my hair based on how she does my hair.  I do my hair at home usually when I am low on funds 🙂 and I know some of you can relate.

I am always happy to share my hair journey and experience.  I hope this information is helpful.  I always welcome feedback and look forward to hearing about other hair journeys and experiences.  Feel free to email me at atstudio5info@gmail.com with more questions about relaxing your hair, if you have stories and/or pictures to share, if you’re looking for the right products, or if you just want to tell me how it went with relaxing your hair for the first time.  I’d love to hear from you.

Updated January 18, 2015.

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