Tips on hair re­lax­ers, re­lax­ing

The Manica Post - - Fashion/dateline/relationships - Ann Ruthen­burg

HELLO peo­ple, this week I am go­ing to dis­cuss some­thing many women get wrong — hair re­lax­ers and re­lax­ing.

For ages, women have been re­lax­ing their hair us­ing hot stones, hot combs and straight irons. As the world pro­gressed fo­cus shifted to­wards re­lax­ing creams.

Re­lax­ers help grow hair faster, and if used cor­rectly, can be an as­set.

The prob­lem comes when you abuse or mis­use them. Here are few tips on hair re­lax­ers and re­lax­ing: Re­laxer strength — I have writ­ten sev­eral ar­ti­cles over the years en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to know their hair type. This helps you to use the right prod­uct on it. This is where re­laxer strength comes in.

It is un­wise for you to buy a re­laxer off the shelf with­out check­ing its strength. Most re­lax­ers are cat­e­gorised as “mild, reg­u­lar or su­per”, which is what we call strengths.

They then go on to ex­plain what type of hair it suits. For in­stance mild is good for fine and thin hair; reg­u­lar is good for re­laxed or nor­mal hair; while su­per is for coarse, ex­tremely curly or coiled hair.

Wrong re­laxer breaks your hair.

Level of straight­ness — A myth that is of­ten stated is that the stronger the re­laxer the bet­ter. The truth is that if you use the right one, it will straighten your hair. Best method of straight­en­ing hair

— an ex­pe­ri­enced per­son will know that the hair is thick­est around the mid­dle and pos­si­bly at back of the head. There­fore that is where one should start and spend more time. The hair­line area and the bot­tom of the head are the thinnest and should be done last.

Most re­lax­ers will guide you through this. Ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple will also know that the best way to re­lax the hair is with the palm and the edge of one’s palm, in a pulling mo­tion.

It is a mis­take to use a tail comb if the hair takes long to get straight.

Firstly you are putting a chem­i­cal on your hair which means in plain terms it is be­ing chem­i­calised.

So what­ever is hap­pen­ing to your hair will no doubt hap­pen to your scalp. If you start comb­ing the hair, there will be a bruis­ing or tear­ing of the skin, which of cause is sen­si­tive.

Us­ing one’s fin­ger tips is also the wrong way to get the hair straight be­cause you have nails and some­how, will get in con­tact with the scalp, even if you have gloves. There is good rea­son to straighten hair us­ing the palms.

Fail­ure to take — I have heard peo­ple say, cer­tain re­lax­ers, do not work on their hair. Once eth­nic or mixed race hair is re­laxed it can­not go back to its nat­u­ral state un­less there is re-growth or you cut it off.

Only Asian, In­dian and Cau­casian hair re­turns back to its nat­u­ral state af­ter a few weeks. If a re­laxer fails to take, it means you are ei­ther us­ing the wrong strength, which does not work on your hair type or the per­son do­ing your hair is clue­less.

For in­stance there are cer­tain types of re­lax­ers that work bet­ter on mixed race than eth­nic hair. There are cer­tain types of re­lax­ers that work bet­ter on Asian or Cau­casian than eth­nic hair. How­ever, most re­lax­ers work on any type of hair; one only needs to know how long to leave it on.

Pro­cess­ing time — Most re­lax­ers come with pro­cess­ing time in­struc­tions of usu­ally five min­utes to 30 min­utes. If they do not, you will have to watch your hair care­fully as you time it.

Hair can be over pro­cessed if you over time it, lead­ing to break­age. For me the best method of straight­en­ing my hair is to ap­ply the cream to each sec­tion with­out stretch­ing fully. Then when all the sec­tions are cov­ered, I then start stretch­ing the hair and tim­ing from there. Usu­ally within 10 min­utes the hair is very straight. This method means that while you are do­ing one sec­tion the other sec­tions are be­ing chem­i­calised with­out you work­ing on them.

By the time you start stretch­ing the hair, it is soft and pli­able. No comb­ing is needed.

If you burn — Lastly if you burn, do not try and comb or sep­a­rate the burnt area. If your hair is stuck to your scalp by morn­ing, sprin­kle wa­ter and oil over and around the burnt area — then gen­tly lift the hair off your scalp. If the hair re­mains stuck, leave it un­til the next day. Rather cover it with a scarf if it’s bad. It takes time and pa­tience.

Do not try and lift the hair off when it is dry — it will break. It takes at least three to four days for your scalp to heal from a burn, so that is how long it will take for you to ap­ply wa­ter, oil and the lift­ing process.

Re­mem­ber your hair is an ex­ten­sion of who you are, treat it well, and it will re­ward you.

That is it for this week folks.

◆ Fash­ion Diva can be con­tacted on 0719 933845 dur­ing work­ing hours (only).

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