How to Prepare your Hair for a Relaxer Touch Up

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How to Prepare your Hair for a Relaxer Touch Up
LaTisha Asks: Hi Jen! I know you haven’t made up your mind when to end your stretch (at least I don’t think you have) but if you were to decided to end your stretch next week or within the next two weeks, how would you prep your hair for your touch up? In the past you’ve normally touch up around 10 weeks but you’re way past that now. Does that fact change how you’d prep for you touch up. And last question, I promise! Are you ever tempted to go to a stylist for your touch ups ?

Hi LaTisha! I’m going to answer your questions in reverse. Am I ever tempted to have someone else do my touch up, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, haha. Because I’ve working out all kinks in my self-relaxing technique there’s just such a peace of mind when I do it. I don’t think my nerves would be able to handle someone else doing it. My “prep” routine would not change, I’d still do what I’ve done in the past.

A week or two before

This first step is optional to me, sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t… but honestly, most of the time I don’t.* The week before I relax I do a mild to medium protein treatment to strengthen my hair for the upcoming relaxer. I’d either do a protein treatment with Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus (my fave protein treatment and my review is posted here) or ApHogee ApHogee Intensive Two Minute Keratin Reconstructor.

To make up for my wishy-washy attitude towards doing a protein treatment the weeks before I relax my hair, I always, always, always do a protein treatment after I rinse out the relaxer, but before neutralizing. After rinsing out the relaxer, the cuticles layers of my hair are still raised, so by applying protein to my hair at this point I maximize the treatments effectiveness because it’s able to penetrate deeply into my strands. After rinsing out the protein treatment, I neutralize.

The night before

I moisturize my new growth (by spraying it with Komaza Care Califia Moisturizing Spray) and then detangle my new growth. Failure to detangle (especially this far in my stretch!) would only lead to tons of tangles. I avoid creating unnecessary tangles like the plague.

On the big day

I base my scalp with vaseline. The vaseline gets all over my new growth but it goes towards preventing my hair from processing too much so I welcome it. After I base my scalp, I spray my hair with silk amino acid, and coat my hair with conditioner (Roux Porosity Control + a thick moisturizing conditioner), then twist my hair into 1 inch sections. I twist my hair because it makes incredibly easy to apply the relaxer quickly, as well as smooth.

After basing and twisting, the last step is to gently place clips along the part that runs from ear to ear and cover the front half with a plastic cap. The clips do not touch my scalp (to prevent causing irritation) and help keep the cap nice and snug in my part, preventing it from shifting when I relax the back half of my hair.

The third picture below is after I’ve relaxed the back half. I simply take the clips out, flip their position and cover the back half while relaxing the front half.

How do you prep for your touch up? Any tips for LaTisha?

P.S: For how I self-relax my hair from start to finish, check out this video.

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