Perfectly Relax the Hair

Edited by Jeffrey Casel, Ermin, Lynn, Mian Sheilette Ong and 14 others

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All hair should be pampered, but relaxed hair requires special treatment due to its processed nature. Relaxing the hair may cause hair to become brittle, dry and damaged. Correctly relaxing the hair and properly caring for hair with protein and moisturizing treatments afterwards can help reverse any damage caused.

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Contents
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How to Achieve Perfectly Relaxed Hair

The key to achieving perfectly relaxed hair is determining your individual hair type, and then relaxing it accordingly. Hair types vary from person to person. Each hair type is classified according to a group classification and then given an individual classification based upon its natural state. Naturally relaxing hair can have many beneficial effects like faster growth, along with healthier hair and scalp.

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Hair Types:

  1. 1
    Straight hair.
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  2. 2
    Wavy hair.
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    • Low Waves.
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    • Medium Waves.
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    • High Waves.
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  3. 3
    Curly hair.
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    • Loose curls.
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    • Semi-tight curls.
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    • Tight curls.
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  4. 4
    Kinky.
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    • Loose Kinky.
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    • Semi-tight Kinky.
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    • Tight Kinky.
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Prepare Your Hair for Relaxation

There are two commercial versions for relaxing African hair. One contains lye and the other does not. However, deeply conditioning the hair can usually achieve much of the same results – safely, but the results are temporarily. For both commercial relaxers and homemade versions, follow the below steps.

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Things You'll Need:

  • Clips for pinning up your hair.
  • A shower cap or plastic bag.
  • A towel.
  • Gloves (optional).
  • Relaxer of choice.
  • Oil or Vaseline to prepare the hair and scalp.

Steps:

  1. 1
    Divide the hair into manageable sections and secure with clips.
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  2. 2
    Drape a towel over your shoulders and secure in place.
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  3. 3
    Put on gloves to protect your hands.
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  4. 4
    Prepare the scalp.
    If you are using a commercial relaxer it may be necessary to apply a protective barrier to the scalp to help prevent chemical burns. Usually, Vaseline is used around the hairline.
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  5. 5
    Apply the relaxer of your choice after following the mixing directions.
    Conditioning Lourdie's Hair 1002132.jpg
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  6. 6
    Cover with a shower cap or plastic bag for the appropriate time listed, then follow rinsing instructions given in the directions of the relaxer.
    Day 193-365. Ooooo girl. Got me a shower cap so I cap rinse off before bed and not get my hair wet. Hahah.jpg
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Relaxing Methods: Chemical Vs. Natural

Relaxing methods vary, and choosing the right method for you may depend upon your expectations, hair type, and sensitivity level.

Chemical

Pros:

  • Works well.
  • Provides long-term temporary relaxation.

Cons:

  • Chemically changes the structure of the hair in order to relax it.
  • Causes damage to the hair.
  • Can be painful or cause the scalp to burn.

What you shouldn't do after chemically relaxing your hair

  1. 1
    Newly chemically relaxed hair is in a fragile state.
    It is advisable to wait for at least 4 weeks before braiding it.
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  2. 2
    If you want to permanently color and relax your hair, you must relax it first before you color it.
    You can do this after you've treated and neutralized the hair. A permanent color and relaxer cannot be processed on the same day because the scalp cannot withstand the hydrogen peroxide that is contained in a permanent color. Doing the two treatment on the same day will burn or sting the scalp. If you want to color your hair, it is recommended to consult a stylist rather than making your own recipe. Do not place permanent coloring on your hair after its been chemically treated. Lack of moisture will break and damage the hair. A hairdresser may recommend semi-permanent dye on a relaxed hair for less damage.
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  3. 3
    If you insist on coloring your hair at home, wait at least 10 days following a chemical straightening.
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  4. 4
    Flat ironing and blow drying the hair will damage chemically processed hair.
    Limit heating the hair. As much as possible, limit the use of hot styling tools and hot blow dryers. If you use a blow dryer, apply a protective leave-in conditioner first and adjust it to the coolest heat. If you want to curl your hair, use rollers instead.
    Perfectly Relax the Hair 43743.jpg
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Natural

Pros:

  • Natural.
  • Not painful and doesn't burn.
  • Easy.
  • Economical.
  • Promotes hair health.
  • Many methods to choose from.

Cons:

  • Can have short-term results.
  • Many methods to choose from.

Conditioning Options for Different Hair Types

The following homemade conditioners are classified by the three major hair types. Conditioners, when applied to the African hair types, can also cause the hair to relax. They can be used on any hair type, but may be more effective for the hair they are classified for.

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  1. 1
    Caucasian Hair

    Caucasian hair is prone to tangles and knots
    .
    This hair type is usually smooth and sensitive. It needs proper care in order to avoid damage.
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    1. Olive Oil
      Simply heat enough olive oil to cover the entire length of your hair after shampooing. Gently massage it on your scalp, and work it to the ends of your hair. Warp it with a wet towel that has been soaked in hot water, and leave it on your hair for 2 hours. Rinse your hair until you don't feel oil on your hair. This will take longer than you think.
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    2. Olive Oil and Natural Conditioner
      Simply mix olive oil into your Conditioner. After shampooing, heat a cup olive oil before adding the conditioner (any natural conditioner), then put it on your hair evenly and wrap it with a towel. Leave it on your hair for 15 minutes. Rinse your hair until you do not feel any of the oil left on the hair. This will take quite a bit of rinsing. Comb your hair evenly.
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    3. Coconut Milk
      Coconut milk works well on Caucasian hair. After shampooing, apply it to your hair then leave it for 15 minutes before you rinse it out.
      Cononut milk 1.jpg
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  2. 2
    African hair

    African hair usually has curls, waves, zig zag patterns and frizzes easily
    .
    The following recipes are good for African hair to both relax it and help define the natural curl patterns.
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    1. Cocoa Butter
      Cocoa butter will help protect from any further damage and it is available at many stores. Simply melt the butter, apply to your hair. Leave it on for at least 20-minutes wrapped with a hot towel. After 20-minutes rinse off with warm water.
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    2. Milk
      Milk has a natural relaxing component. Just like you would apply oil to your hair, apply milk evenly. Leave on hair for 10 to 20 minutes then wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. You can also combine milk cream and honey instead of plain milk.
      Cute little milk.jpg
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  3. 3
    Asian Hair

    Asians usually have thick, strong, wavy or straight hair
    .
    The following recipes may help you to soften and hydrate your hair.
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    1. Coconut Milk and Lime
      Mix half a cup coconut milk and one lime in a bowl and leave it for a couple of hours until it becomes frothy. Use a spoon to remove the froth on top of the mixture and apply the milky liquid to your hair. Leave it on for 1 to 2 hours, then rinse your hair with lukewarm water until all residue has been removed. Wrapping the head isn't necessary.
      Coconut and lime.jpg
    2. Yogurt
      Yogurt has a relaxing property as well but only mildly so. Yogurt is also good to treat dandruff. Simply apply it on your hair, and leave it on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse it with running water and let hair dry. Style it as desired.
      Yogurt drymilk.jpg
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Homemade Deep Conditioning/Relaxing Recipes

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If you do not want to chemically straighten your hair, the following home remedies may be just what you need. These homemade hair relaxers will help soften your hair while loosening the curls, making your hair more manageable.

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Coconut Cream Relaxer

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Things You'll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of an Olive oil
  • 1 cup of coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt
  • Medium or small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Hair Clips
  • Shower cap or plastic bag

Instructions:

  1. 1
    Mix all ingredients together in the bowl with the spoon.
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  2. 2
    Divide your hair into manageable sections securing with the clips.
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  3. 3
    Apply the finished relaxer on each section of the hair and gentle rub it on scalp and make sure every section has been covered by the mixture.
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  4. 4
    Cover the hair for at least an hour with a shower cap or a plastic bag.
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  5. 5
    After an hour, you can rinse your hair with warm mater, until you no longer feel the mixture.
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  6. 6
    Comb your hair then style as you desired.
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Banana Relaxer

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Things You'll Need:

  • 4 Ripe Bananas. Overripe bananas are best to use
  • 4 tablespoons castor oil
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 4 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon lavender oil
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary oil
  • 6 tablespoons of water. (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. 1
    Blend bananas.
    Blend well enough so that no chucks are left in the mix.
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  2. 2
    Add the following to the mixture in the blender:
    coconut cream, apple cider vinegar, castor oil, molasses and honey.
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  3. 3
    Blend again.
    Add water if the mixture is too thick. The mix should be smooth and about the consistency of paint.
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  4. 4
    Add the rosemary and lavender oil.
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  5. 5
    Section and secure your hair.
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  6. 6
    Apply the mix to your hair making sure that all sections are well coated.
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  7. 7
    Cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic bag and leave it on for 3 hours or even overnight.
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  8. 8
    After the time limit has passed, wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and style as desired.
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Avocado Relaxer

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Things You'll Need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tbsp of your favorite oil
  • clips

Instructions:

  1. 1
    Mash the avocado.
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  2. 2
    Mix the ingredients well.
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  3. 3
    Section hair and secure with clips.
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  4. 4
    Cover hair with a shower cap or plastic bag.
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  5. 5
    Leave in for at least 30 minutes.
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  6. 6
    Rinse hair with warm water.
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  7. 7
    Shampoo with a sulfate-free shampoo.
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Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • You can substitute castor oil for coconut oil if you do not have castor oil.
  • Molasses is just an option. Don't worry if you don't have any. You'll still see great results.
  • After you shampoo your hair, make sure you hair dries before then your homemade hair relaxers.
  • If you are really bothered by the smell of your relaxed hair, you may try co-washing. Co-washing your hair means you wash your hair using hair conditioner instead of shampoo. Hair conditioners can make your hair smooth and manageable. And it will also retain its natural oils. You may also try daily rinse-out hair treatment as conditioner as it will revive your hair. Daily rinse-out treatment conditioners are better than any other conditioners, because they contain nutrients while smoothing your hair.
  • You may want to change your regular shampoo to a sulfate-free shampoo. Shampoos with sulfates can cause your hair to become dry and it can strip away nutrients.
  • Make Ayurvedic Hair Oil at Home and place into a spray bottle with water to use both before relaxing and as a leave-in conditioner.
  • Get into the habit of moisturizing and sealing your hair. You may use a light moisturizer such as Neutrogena's Triple Moisture silk Touch Leave in and light oil such as seed oil.
  • Do not forget protein treatments. Protein will strengthen your hair after the breakdown of the bonds during the relaxing process. Relaxed hair needs more protein than natural hair in order to rebuild the structure of the hair.
  • Naturally curly or wavy hair is usually dry. Shampooing once a day may be too much, as it dries out the hair further.
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Warnings

  • When applying a relaxer - if at any time your scalp begins to burn - rinse off the relaxer as quickly as possible.
  • Too often straightening your hair can damage it. Ask your hairdresser for advice. Different products have different directions. According to some hairdressers, every 6 to 8 weeks is usual for the next treatment, but it depends on the product, and how quickly the hair grows.
  • The chemicals of the relaxer should be thoroughly rinsed out otherwise it can cause breakage.
  • Always avoid getting any chemical product in your eyes. If you do, rinse your eyes thoroughly if this happens!

Resources

[BlackHair101]

Questions and Answers

Can I relax my hair and wash my hair with normal shampoo?

Yes, it is fine for you to use normal shampoo to wash your hair after you have relaxed your hair. More important than washing your hair following a relaxing treatment, is to condition your hair.

  • After applying relaxer on the hair, a shampoo should follow, but with the right kind of shampoo, like Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo. This will neutralize the relaxer. Relaxers should not stay long on the hair, as it will build up and make the hair dry due to over-processing. After you use Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Aloe shampoo, you should follow-up with a deep protein conditioner.
  • Use a conditioner to restore natural oils that have been stripped by chemicals. A conditioner is applied after the hair has been towel dried and neutralizer is rinsed off. Relaxed hair usually holds onto dulling residue and is more porous, so you must rinse out the hair products and shampoo thoroughly.
  • Newly relaxed hair is usually a lot drier. Use moisturizing shampoo created for chemically processed hair such as Phytonectar and Phytojoba Shampoo for relaxed or chemically straightened hair, and Phytologie's Phytocitrus Shampoo for chemically treated hair.
  • If you want a natural chemically free shampoo created for chemically treated hair, use Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Treatment and/or Paul Pender's Walnut Oil Shampoo.
  • Relax or perm your hair no more than once every 6 weeks. Relaxers and perms change your hair by altering the chemical bonds. Relaxed and permed hair is vulnerable to damage and breakage.
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See more questions like this: Aveeno shampoo conditioner for relaxed hair

Does sulfate free shampoo work like neutralizing shampoo?

Yes, sulfate-free shampoos can work like neutralizing shampoos. In fact, there are shampoos formulated without sulfates that neutralize the hair wonderfully. Sulfate-free shampoos moisturize the hair deeply; this is necessary for chemically treated hair.

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Yes, Sulfate-free shampoo and Neutralizing shampoo are very similar. They are both good for your hair, and they are also good for treating chemically damaged hair. Sulfate-free shampoos have no Sulfates, which are bad for the hair, while Neutralizing shampoo help to neutralize the PH level of the hair, making your hair healthier.

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See more questions like this: When my hair is relaxed can I use the neutralizing shampoo first, then my sulfate free shampoo

Can I rinse my relaxer out with regular shampoo?

No, you cannot use a regular shampoo especially right after relaxing your hair. This is because it is too harsh that it could strip the chemicals needed to finish the desired affect on your hair. You should try to avoid shampooing your hair for a day or two following a relaxing treatment.

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If your regular shampoo says that it is a sulfate free shampoo, then it's fine. But, do always keep in mind that your hair has undergone a chemical treatment. Thus, using some regular shampoo can make your hair dry or even break and fall out.

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See more questions like this: Can I add vinegar to my regular shampoo after a relaxer

Just relaxed my hair and ran out of neutralizing shampoo; I used regular shampoo. Will my hair fall out?

Harsh chemicals are used to relax the hair and neutralizing shampoos are especially formulated to wash out those chemicals. Using regular shampoo after relaxing adds to the damage caused by the chemicals in the relaxer. It's possible that your hair may become dry and brittle. This is what causes hair loss over time. It's not an instant loss. If you would like to try to reverse any damage caused by the products used, the addition of a protein treatment and moisturizing treatment may help, as these are what the hair is lacking when it becomes dry and brittle.

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See more questions like this: What will happen if you don't use neutralizing shampoo to rinse a hair relaxer

Can organic root simulator be used to wash relaxed and dyed hair?

I need to wash my hair.

Yes, it can be used on relaxed and dyed hair. In fact, the product has a complete hair relaxer kit available. It's made of oil, which is needed for softer and shinier hair.

If you do wish to stop the process of relaxer on your hair, you can use organic root simulator. But, if you are actually thinking of using it after relaxing or dying hair, then it's not advisable. Because the organic root simulator will stop the process of the hair relaxer, and if that happens, you will need to start all over again.

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Yes, there have been cases or comments from people who have successfully used this stimulator when applied to their washed, relaxed or dry hair.

Can you use regular shampoo after a perm?

I really need to shampoo.

No, you cannot use a regular shampoo after a perm. You should always use one that is formulated for permed hair. The hair, when chemically treated, is so sensitive that it could lead to breakage. If you really need to wash, just go ahead without the shampoo until the recommended shampoo becomes available. The hair has been dried out after a perm due to the chemicals so proper moisturizing is needed.

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See more questions like this: Can you use neutralizing shampoo instead of regular shampoo

Is Aveeno good for tape in extensions?

I heard that it was.

Aveeno is a good reputable brand. Yes, it is a very good brand for cleaning before and after you do anything to your hair.

Can milk be used to neutralize hair after relaxing?

I ran out of neutralizing shampoo.

Yes, but it is important that you use Whole D milk instead of 2 percent milk for the Whole D milk contains the necessary vitamins in order to promote hair strength and hair growth. After relaxing the hair, the hair is left with harmful chemicals that may further damage the hair. The hair is composed primarily of protein called keratin and when the hair underwent hair-relaxing treatment, the harmful chemicals in the treatment make the protein of the hair to degrade, resulting in hair that's more fragile and breaks easily. Regarding your query, using milk is very effective in neutralizing the hair after hair relaxing treatment, because milk contains proteins that help to repairing the structure of the hair, and has moisturizers that preventing dryness and promotes hair growth, making it one of the best ingredient to neutralize hair after undergoing a hair-relaxing treatment.

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What to do if your hair is dry and knotted after relaxing? Can neutralizing help?

I can't brush it.

No, you will need to use a detangler get all of the knots out of your hair, allowing you to comb through your hair successfully. It's normal for your hair to be hair and knotted after relaxing. The neutralizing will not help, because it is used to remove the chemicals left over from the relaxer.

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I washed my last night and applied oil on my scalp. Can I relax my hair today in the evening?

Can that damage my hair or scalp and are the other side effects?

Most hair relaxing products are made of extremely harsh chemicals. I suggest you read the product box. If you exceed the required time, you could cause damage to your scalp/hair. This means that your hair could be damaged (making it weaker and prone to breakage) or your scalp would be irritated (resulting in red blotches) and worse, you might end up with a chemical burn.

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Can I use dye to substitute a relaxer?

I need to do both.

If you are saying that using a hair-dye as a substitute to relaxer, it isn't a relaxer, it's a hair dye, and the chemicals in those two products are specific for relaxing hair, and coloring hair, which are not the same. Hair dye will not relax the hair.

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See more questions like this: Can you use vinegar to neutralize a relaxer

Can I clean my hair with vinegar then perm it?

It has tons of build-up. Not if you are using an alkaline perm, you'll start neutralizing the perm before you start, as vinegar is an acid. If the perm you are using is an acid perm, it won't affect the outcome.

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After waiting 6 weeks to relax my hair after a permanent color how do I apply a perm without over-processing my hair?

I'd like to do it at home.

Then you should not have any problems, but to avoid over processing your hair during relaxing, you need to watch the application time and your hair carefully for any signs of damage during the process. Condition your hair like crazy following any chemical treatment. Excellent recipes can found above.

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How long will it take for hair to grow after using a 2-minute keratin protein re-constructor on relaxed hair?

I want my hair to grow longer so I can style it for my birthday party.

Keratin protein re-constructor is known to increase hair growth by about 50% of the normal process. Of course, this is when you use it on a regular basis. Also, keeping yourself constantly hydrated and eating healthy food will also help in speeding up hair growth.

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It will also help if you avoid putting too many chemicals on your hair, as it can stunt hair growth, even when you are using the keratin protein re-constructor.

Is it proper to use lime treatment after a relaxer application?

Or is it just a good idea?

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

See more questions like this: How to treat scalp after being burned by relaxer

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