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Best Care for Your Hair Before a Perm Relaxer

When to wash your hair before a relaxer (or a retouch) is an age-old question that is constantly being asked to date.  Hair stylists who are true experts in giving relaxers seem to have a difference of opinion when making the effort to give the best answer.  In truth, the best time to wash your hair before a relaxer is generally 24-72 hours before the time of the appointment, although 48hours is acceptable and ideal, 72 hours would be preferred.  The general idea is to be sure you have a some-what clean scalp and not too much build up on your hair and scalp.  Photo from Bodhi Salon.

If it’s your first time getting a relaxer, then 48-72 hours would be good because a full relaxer would be require and the cleaner your hair and scalp tends to provide better results.  The most important thing you want to remember is do not scratch your scalp prior to the appointment and when you’ve washed your hair.  Why?  The scalp is inflamed and sensative, and when the chemicals touch that area mostly scratched, it burns almost immediately and before the time it has to be removed. 

Having a hair stylist who is a true professional in hair care in giving relaxers is key.  You want to know how long they’ve been doing hair and make sure they know the do’s and don’ts to properly giving a relaxer and the proper care following the appointment.  They know to trim after each relaxer, give a good wash and double conditioning, and proper oils and sheens to use that will protect your hair going forward.  Clear cellophanes have always been my choice for protection of my hair especially during seasonal weather.  They are good because they help to seal in the moisture of your hair.  I just find that since my original hair stylist retired, it’s hard finding someone who will include it in the price and actually do a good job, without charging you extra, which can ultimately run you $25 and up in addition to the cost of the relaxer itself.  For that matter, you may as well get a colored one.  Photo from Umoja.

The one thing you don’t want to do is to permanently color your hair when you have a relaxer.  It has something to do with the pigment in your hair versus the chemicals in a relaxer, which can damage your hair especially if performed back-to-back.  Beauty supply experts and beauticians will tell you that semi-permanent colors are ok and are not as harsh on your hair when you have a relaxer.  If you’re going to go the route of coloring your hair while you have a relaxer, I recommend Clairol.  They are the best on the market in my opinion because of the color conditioning it comes with.  I’ve used others, but have always come back to Clairol.  The overall end results to getting a relaxer can be very rewarding.

How do I care for my hair in between visits?  So, did you like the experience in getting the relaxer?  Did you like your stylist?  Was he/she open to communicate with you how to care for your hair in between visits?  This is when I know I have a good relationship with my hair stylist.  If for whatever reason I can’t see Jeffrey regularly, I can ask him the best care for my hair in between visits and he’s open to telling me what to do.  So I’m going to pass on this information. 

Sea Breeze is good for if you suffer from dandruff problems.  A good deep cleaning shampoo and conditioner is good for washing your hair weekly or every other week, depends on how quickly you get buildup from daily hair dressing.  I have found that using Caster Oil cream and Olive Oil cholesterol has worked to improve the strength of my hair, add moisture and shine, but remember no one woman’s hair is alike, so you have to ask the right questions when getting a relaxer for proper hair care afterwards. 

Use a flat iron as apposed to pressing your hair.  The results are usually better than if you pressed your hair, and if you go swimming (I don’t swim), wash your hair immediately following.  Use a silk scarf for tying your hair up at night.  There are a lot on the market so I recommend going to a well supplied beauty supply store and ask the store clerk for which one they feel would be ideal. 

Revised Monday, July 12, 2010

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