Tips for the at-home relaxer touch-up

By Drum Digital
22 September 2014

Touching up a relaxer can be a simple process when following these tips.

Any chemical process needs to be done carefully and according to directions.

You'll get better results and have less risk of problems that way.

Time it right

Stick to a recommended schedule that works for you instead of relaxing at the very first sign of new growth. This can lead to over processing which will dry your hair up and break it off.

Base your scalp

Relaxers shouldn't burn you. Some relaxer kits contain a small amount of base (usually something like petroleum jelly), but if you don't have one, using Vaseline is fine. Take this step if your scalp is easily irritated. Base the parts along your scalp, around your entire hairline and on the tips of your ears.

Protect straightened hair

It's very easy to get relaxer chemicals onto hair that's been previously relaxed. The line of demarcation isn't always clear. Protect already-relaxed hair with a barrier of some sort. This may be your daily moisturizer or conditioner. Avoid the new growth, and work this protectant down the length of your hair. Even if some relaxer spills over onto this hair, you're less likely to suffer damage due to this protective barrier.

Work in sections

You'll get more uniform results if you section your hair. Before relaxing, divide hair into four sections. As you touch up each section, use the tail end of a rat-tail comb, or your fingers, to separate smaller sections. Failing to relax evenly will lead to some under processed areas.

Smooth well

This should only take a couple of minutes. If you use a comb for this step, use the back of the comb or the flat part, never the teeth. You can also use your fingers. Use firm, quick strokes to smooth the relaxer over the new growth so that it gets as straight as possible.

Have enough of everything

You must have enough of the active relaxer formula and neutralizing shampoo. Home kits are sometimes notorious for not having enough neutralizing shampoo for women with very long and/or thick hair.


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