August 23, 2016


south african hair blogger

I initially wanted to title this post 'RelaxedHairGoals' but to be honest, I don't know if my hair will still be relaxed by the end of this year.

I've been juggling the pros and cons of going back to my natural texture versus keeping my relaxed hair for the past four months. If you've seen my previous 'Hair' post, you'll know all about the history of my mane. The decision to go back to my natural texture would be based purely on missing the thickness of my virgin African hair, however the effort that I’ve put into getting my hair to the length that it’s at, keeps me holding on and hoping I can salvage the condition of my relaxed hair.

relaxed african hair
I've got 99 problems, but length ain't one ;)
You might be thinking, 'But your hair looks fine!' Sure, from afar it does but over the past few months I've experience some major breakage as a result of 'over-stretching' my relaxer then trying to relax my own hair at home. I usually go for 4 months, but last year I stretched my relaxer for 7 months and when it came to relaxing, well let’s just say some people are clearly more skilled than I am because I had all kinds of hair textures after my first attempt! While stretching your relaxer (prolonging the interval between relaxer application) is highly advised for maintaining thick, healthy relaxed hair, it’s important to treat and wear protective styles during that stretch to prevent breakage along the transition line (zone between relaxed hair texture and natural hair texture). I kept my hair braided as a protective measure however treatments were honestly neglected. I guess I’m now reaping the effects of that neglect.

Thinning relaxed hair
Problems: Thinning edges, severe breakage and dry ends

All the issues that I’m currently experiencing with my hair are related to breakage, in the form of thinning edges and ends. My 4C low porosity hair and scalp are also generally dry, so if I’m to try and rescue my crown, my hair goals have to address those factors. Here are the goals that I’ve drawn up for myself to combat my hair breakage and I hope that if you are also experiencing breakage, you would also consider these in your haircare regimen: 

1. Moisturise day and night: I usually moisturise my hair in the morning and neglect to do so at night so I’ll be challenging myself to be strict with my routine - I’ll have a post up next week on the products I use. 

2. Wear satin bonnet when sleeping: I sometimes fall asleep without wearing my satin bonnet and wake up in the morning with a dry nest on my head. A satin bonnet is advised as it minimises friction between your hair and pillow cover. Friction and tight hairstyles are the culprits when it comes to thinning edges. If you tend to forget to wear a head cover like I do, a satin pillowcase is another option. 

3. Have hair treatments twice weekly: Both hydrating and protein treatments are advised for relaxed African hair. African hair is naturally dry and applying a chemical relaxer, which breaks down the protein bonds within the hair to straighten it, aggravates the dryness. A hydrating treatment, especially when coupled with steaming, adds moisture to dry hair and helps retain the elasticity of the hair. Protein treatments fortify the protein content of your hair, however with low porosity hair like mine (doesn’t retain moisture well), a light protein treatment is advised as too much protein can lead to further dehydration. I’m sure this all sounds complex to anyone who doesn’t follow hair experts and blogs, so I’ll try to add detail in a future post that focuses on the protein-moisture balance.

4. Protect my ends: I have severely dry ends and although I trim them whenever I relax my hair, they always end up looking frizzy and unkempt within a week of trimming. I’ve read that wrapping one’s hair at night can assist with dry ends, so perhaps that’s something I need to learn to do.

For the next month, these are the goals I want to achieve and I’m sure there’s a lot more that I could do, but sometimes being obsessive leads to further damage so I want to keep it simple and await the results. If I don’t see any positive changes, then we can talk about going HAM, lol!

Anyway, perhaps you can advise me based on the steps that you’ve taken to get and maintain healthy hair, be it relaxed or natural – I would really love to know. Comment below if you are also going through changes with your relaxed hair – I feel so alone since so many of my friends and family are naturalistas! :(

'Til next time,




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