As a Healthy Hair Journey newbie, I’ve spent hours pouring over hair blogs and soaking up all the advice I possibly can. However, these forums come up short, in my opinion, with regards to advice on having a great salon relaxer experience. Most of these ladies do their own chemical treatments, whether it be relaxing or texlaxing. But DIY relaxers will never EVER be my thing. I firmly believe that these chemicals be handled by professionals and I know there are those who share this opinion. The problem is though, finding someone who cares our about our hair as much as we do is very rare. The last thing we want on our HHJ is a setback due to a horrible salon relaxer. It’s impossible to guarantee that our hair appointment will turn out great but here are some tips I used to have one of my best salon relaxer experiences ever.
1. Prep Your Hair
This is definitely the most important step, especially if you don’t know what to expect from the hairdresser. There are three areas that you must focus on to get the best results: scalp, new growth and relaxed ends . My scalp is extremely sensitive so ensure that I base it with Vaseline, so that even if the stylist forgets, it’s protected. This will save you from burns and over processing.
Detangle your new growth as much as you can without causing excessive breakage. Easier said than done if you were way into your stretch (I was 16 weeks post!). Section your hair and using a wide teeth or shower comb start at the ends, working your way up to the roots. Depending on your hair thickness it may take a while so do it the night before your appointment. This will reduce the amount of manipulation the stylist will do while applying relaxer to your new growth.
Relaxer overlap is the ultimate fear during a touch up. This will result in over processed hair and lots of breakage. Many hair blogs have recommended using Roux Porosity to coat and close the cuticles of your strands. However, I don’t have this available so I use a few oils including grapeseed oil, coconut oil and olive oil. This works for me and I really recommend you give it a try.
2. Research The Hairdresser
It took me 2 days to find a last minute replacement hairdresser on Facebook, as my usual stylist was on maternity leave. I asked friends to recommend people to me after carefully examining their photos. If you want to know what your hair will look like, look at their previous clients. Ask them about the process. Is the stylist rough? Does she pay less attention when the salon is packed? Is she approachable? My deciding factor were the pictures I saw posted on her page. The clients’ locks were shiny with a lot of body and bounce. The rating and responses of her satisfied customers also sold me.
3. Make a Detailed Appointment
When you make the appointment, let the stylist know of your hair care needs. I made sure to let my hairdresser know that I needed a no-lye relaxer. It was a good thing I did this because she did not have one in stock as her regular clients don’t use this type. If you need an additional treatment or trim, let them know before hand. This lets them have an idea of how long your session will take.
4. Talk to Your Stylist
I am undoubtedly one of the shyest people you will ever meet, but when it comes to my hair, I make sure to speak out. This is especially after a horrific trim experience in November where a stylist took off more than 3 inches of “split ends” which eliminated all the length I had gained for the year at that time. Too many ladies and hairdressers believe in taking the burn in the name of beauty. Burning means it’s over processing. When you feel even the slightest tingle, tell the stylist because chances are she’ll tell you to wait a few more minutes. If you know you don’t need a trim, put your foot down with scissors-happy stylists. Don’t let her cut off all your hard work because it will be a major setback.
I hope these tips help you out there before your next salon-relaxer appointment. Feel free to share yours in the comments below 🙂