How I Self Relax My Hair (Steps)

This post was originally meant to be in video format, but I just haven’t had the time to duplicate how I self relax my hair using conditioner (for example sake), so I thought it would be better to have this post up in writing than no post at all.

So here’s what I do (times with ** are a few changes I made my last go around that really made the process easier):

  1. Part hair into four even sections.
  2. I coat even section with castor oil or conditioner (this is to protect my already relaxed hair from relaxer run off.)
  3. Starting at the nape, I part my hair in 1 inch sections and apply vaseline to my scalp.
  4. After each 1 inch section, I twist it and secure the end with a clip ** (I do this so that my hair is pre-parted in sections when I go to apply the relaxer to my new growth. It speeds up my application time and decreases manipulation when I’m applying the relaxer, which decreases the amount of breakage my hair sustains during the application process.)
    Example of the twists and secured with clips.
  5. After I’ve based all four sections, I secure the front half and place a plastic cap over it to keep it dry while I relax the back half of my head. To ensure the plastic cap does not move, I place clips along the part to hold the cap securely in place.
  6. With the front sectioned off, I start at the back and apply the relaxer to my new growth, removing clips at the ends of my hair after I’ve applied the relaxer to that section.
  7. Once the relaxer has been applied to the back half of my head, I smooth with my fingers and with the back of a comb. Then I rinse out the relaxer.
  8. Apply Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor as my protein treatment for 2 minutes, then rinse that out.
  9. Shampoo with neutralizing shampoo once, rince, then apply the neutralizing shampoo again and let it sit for 5 minutes to really make sure that I have neutralized the relaxer. 
  10. Rinse and roll the back half of my hair into a loose bun and cover with plastic cap.
  11. Apply relaxer to front sections, removing the clips from the ends of the twisted section as I go.
  12. Smooth the relaxer through my new growth only with my fingers and comb.
  13. Rinse out the relaxer, apply my protein treatment, then rinse again. 
  14. Shampoo with neutralizing shampoo, rinse out. Apply shampoo again and let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse out.
  15. Apply Roux Porosity Control for 1minute.
  16. Deep condition with heat for an hour.
  17. Either roller set or air dry and flat iron my hair.
  18. Fin!

With smiles,


  1. Hi Jen, I love your self relax advice :o). I want to relax my hair, but my hair is broken in the front. I don't know how it comes and I still looking for the cause. Can I relax my hair or should I wait ?

  2. Hi Jen, After relaxing would you recommend using a steamer with my conditioner?

    1. Author

      Hi there, yes I would. Steam boosts the effectiveness of deep conditioners by helping them penetrate deeper into the hair and steam itself provides boost of moisture.

  3. Hi how do you know exactly that your relaxing your new growth on the back of your head & not your already relaxed strands?

    1. Author

      Hi there, I use a mirror to see the back halr when relaxing and apply an inch of relaxer on my sprush to apply to my new growth. To protect my already relaxed hair, I heavily coat it because I'm bound to get some relaxer on the already relaxed stands.

  4. Hi Jen!

    My new growth is a combo of tiny tight, corkscrew/spirally curls and undefined, shapeless mass. It's about an inch stretched, and I telax. I was natural and my first touch up should be in 2 weeks. Should I attempt to detangle it before applying the relaxer, and if so, what's the best way to do so without lots of breakage?

    1. Author

      Hi there! Yes I definitely recommend detangling before you apply the relaxer… I've failed to do so in the past and it only resulted in tons of tangles. During your last wash before you apply the relaxer, try going a hot oil treatment to loosen the tangles and while the oil is still in your hair, first finger comb and then using a wide toothed comb, gently detangle your hair. During the week before your touch up, try not to manipulate your new growth too much so as not to cause tangles. Hope this helps!

  5. Hey there,

    Yes, that's exactly why I do the half and half method. I'm just not skilled enough to apply to my whole head within in the 15 minutes allotted and still end up with evenly processed hair. If I didn't rinse out the back and then went to relax the front, I'd have to rush and then rinse out the back half and get under-processed hair.

    To prevent the front half from getting wet, I secure a plastic cap over the front with clips. You don't want to relaxer wet hair. If it does get wet, I'd try drying it with a towel, with a handheld blow dryer, set on cool so as not to heat up your scalp.

  6. Hey Jen,

    Is your two-part method (relax back-half, rinse, relax front-half rise) to prevent under processing? If so, I've been trying to figure out how to this for the longest… I always feel like my front half of my head never processes as much as the back because I have to rinse it out because I don't want to over process the back or it starts to burn. 

    If your front half gets a little wet while you rinse the back part, do you still go ahead and relax it anyway? Will it damage your hair to relax damp/wet hair? 

    Thanks in advance 🙂 

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