7 Things To Do Before You Relax Your Hair

This is a checklist for persons who are newly relaxed and for persons who have been relaxing for years. Some people who have been relaxing their hair for years experience hair shedding every time after they relax. Other persons, experience outright damage and breakage. There are a few things that you can do before you chemically process your hair that can mitigate damage to your precious strands.

1. Do A Hair Porosity Test

Hair porosity is the ability for your hair to absorb moisture. When hair is too porous, the cuticle of the hair is not completely together, under microscope it looks like a furry- legged insect with little fibers sticking up all along the hair shaft. This can be caused from over-processing of hair from relaxers, perms or coloring. The problem with porous hair is that it absorbs moisture too quickly. Which is not good as it can suck up color and chemicals much faster and eventually damage your hair. Hence, you want your hair to not be porous; the scales on your shaft should be tightly wrapped about your hair cuticle. This is hair that is difficult to color or relax because it doesn’t absorb what you are putting on the strands readily.

To test for porosity you will need a few strands of your hair, which can be taken from your comb and a bowl of water. Healthy hair will float on the water, which means that it does not absorb the water that it is placed in. On the other hand, very porous hair with an open cuticle will soak up water and sink.

Solution: Deep condition your hair with a conditioner that has both moisture and protein. Wait for a week and then do the test again. Do not relax your hair while it is porous.

2. Avoid Agitating Your Scalp
This is a common sense suggestion because we all know that agitating the scalp too soon before a relaxer is a big no-no. This means no scratching or rubbing or hitting your head too hard. If your hair is itching put a little coconut oil mixed with peppermint at the spot.

Wash your hair at least four days before getting a relaxer as this will ensure that your scalp has produced enough of your hairs natural lubricant (sebum) to help to protect it during the chemical application process. You can add some jojoba oil or castor oil to your scalp if you are relaxing your hair three or two days  after a wash to protect your scalp. This you can do at home before you head to the salon. If you wait too long to relax your hair after a wash you will find that your hair will itch more because it will attract dirt and dust.
3.  Avoid Sweat
It is recommended that a week before you relax your hair you avoid rigorous physical exercise that will allow sweat to sit on your scalp. Sweat is the bodies way to detoxify itself, it contains salt and waste, this is dehydrating to the scalp and can cause the hair to itch like crazy. This can cause scalp irritation if you give in to the sweet urge to scratch and cause scalp burns. Scalp burns should never be considered normal every time you visit the hairdresser.

4. Avoid Curly Hairstyles A Week Before

A week before you go to the hairdresser make sure that your hair is easy to comb out and it’s straight. Ensure that your two textures are easily seen by your hairdresser and that the hair is not tangled. Do not go to the hairdresser with broken hair and expect her to fix it in a single session while you are relaxing. Only healthy hair should be relaxed. Let your hairdresser ask you for tips on how to keep her hair healthy. Never go with damaged hair! Fix it first.

5. Wear Loose Styles

Styles like tight ponytails, braids or buns should all be avoided. Consciously slacken your hair accessories including pins and hair clips a week before you relax. Pay close attention to the things that you wear on your head and how it rubs on the edges of your hair. Do not wear tight hats or tie heads for up to a week before processing hair.

6. Avoid Alcohols and Gels

There are some styling products that contain alcohols that should be avoided before you relax your hair. I would say, avoid them altogether. However, a week before you relax your hair remember to not use any of these products. Neither should you use gels or other substances that can cause the hair to clump together. This makes it difficult to comb through your hair. Additionally, these products contribute to hair dryness.


Clarify your hair two weeks before you get a relaxer using an apple cider vinegar rinse. Do not relax your hair with it weighed down by products, for best results use castor oil or jojoba on your strands alone before you relax hair.


  • Tay said:

    Almost 2 months post relaxer did a porosity test and my strand sunk and I just did a deep conditioning last week ;(

  • NoScrunchie said:

    Thanks for this. Planning to relax my hair next week so this is quite useful.

  • lisa said:

    i went from natural to a relaxer ,and only had one relaxer about 4 months ago and i don’t like it so how long will it take for me to go back to my natural hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Lisa,
      It depends on how long your hair is. You see, relaxed hair does not revert, your natural hair will have to grow out and then you either gradually cut off the relaxed ends or cut them off all at once (otherwise known as the Big Chop).

  • zuri williamson said:

    I have micro braids in and I wanted to do the two hours solution is to use conditioner in your hair a whole bunch in order to take out faster. can I relax my hair the next day? do I leave it or do I wash it out?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      No don’t relax your hair the next day. Give the scalp time to settle down after agitating it with removing the braids.

  • Zola said:

    How long should I wait to relax my hair after cholesterol hair treatment?

  • Shirley said:

    Hi I want to relax my hair the day after tommorrow but today I put on a leave in scalp treatment by follicure and udon know if my hair is ready to be relaxed or it looks like it because my last wash I didn’t do a rollers et I don’t want to overlap and I can’t remember when my last perm was I’d say 2months ago to be exact

  • alexis said:

    almost 2 months after last process…i did the porosity test with a strand of hair befor and after my last process (iv been really getting into hair care)they both floated however my after srand looked way thicker //is it safe to process soon even though it hasnt been a full 2 months

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Alexis,
      Is your hair growth visible? I am always wary of processing the hair too frequently. My suggestion would be to gradually stretch the time between your relax sessions. In a few months you will see the difference.

  • slimrande said:

    my hair has been shedding and severe tangling for 4months or more. The lady who does my hair was using tea tree by paul mitchell to wash my hair, I finally got her to stop using it about 3 weeks ago and noticed a big difference in the shedding and tangling. my other issue is my hair doesn’t feel or look relaxed. after I get it relaxed 2wks later it looks like i have no relaxer. My hair is growing it’s about shoulder length but I’m thinking about not relaxing it anymore since my whole head looks like I have no relaxer in it.. Your thoughts

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Since your hair is not looking relaxed anyway, then going natural seems to be a good step. Unless of course, you want to change your relaxer or stylist (or both) if you want to stay relaxed.

  • tyra said:

    If I scratched how long do I have to wait to apply my perm

  • heather said:

    How soon after relaxing if its not straight as a arrow can
    i relax again? Thanks

  • Cynthia W said:

    My hair has been breaking off. I switched shampoos and noticed it really started to break after the switch. Now I need to relax my hair. But I’m afraid to because of the breakage. I have been alternating between a protein treatment and a deep conditioning treatment when I wash my hair. What can I put on my hair to protect it since it is breaking off before I relax it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Cynthia, please fix the breakage problem before you relax. Please, for your hair’s sake. Only relax healthy hair. Relaxing it with issues may further exacerbate the situation. Maybe when you switched shampoos, the newer one had harsher ingredients. What you could do for the next three or so weeks, do a hot oil treatment before every wash, only do protein treatments sparingly, some store bought protein treatments are really strong and can cause breakage if not used properly.

  • Brazil said:

    Hi Brenda! I want to know how to get my hair in good condition without paying a arm and a leg? Thanx

  • ellen said:

    im 55yoa when i comb gobs of hair r n my comb. when i shampoo more gobs. when i blow dry more gobs. should i deep condition befor i perm to help w/breakage.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Wow, sounds like a lot of hair coming out. I would suggest some simple changes- incorporate more air drying than blow drying and use a shampoo that does not dry the hair out (the ones without sulfates). Deep conditioning a week before a relaxer is a good idea.Make the small changes suggested to your regimen though and see if the breakage is decreased.

  • ethan said:

    Hey my issue is that the first time I ever relaxed my hair it looked straight which means that the relaxer worked for me very well but then every time I did relax my hair it works only for a day or two :( whats going on !?!? And I do take care of it after each time I relax it , its growing but looks aweful !

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Maybe its the strength of the relaxer or the length of time it is left in. I tried self relaxing and because of my morbid fear of losing my hair to the chemical, I washed it out too soon. In two days my hair looked like it did before. I would suggest that you go to a reputable hairdresser and have him/her do an assessment for you and tell you what to do from there.

  • alicia g said:

    i been using biotin im on the 2 week and take 5,000mcg a day i already have new growth so i washed it with thermal mizani shampoo to see if it will kind of straigten the new growth out but it hasnt can i get another perm its only been 2 weeks and 4 days since i last had a perm

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      No Alicia. No perm so soon. You will start seeing breakage of your lovely new growth and would have defeated the purpose of taking the Biotin in the first place. Just wait for a while two months shouldn’t be that bad if you absolutely must relax it.

  • shae said:

    Well I wear quick weaves to keep from doing my hair and putting curlers in it. How long should I wait to relax my hair after taking the tracks out and washing it? And how long should I wait to put a color in after a relaxer is done.

  • Jazzika said:

    I got a black dye 2 weeks ago, is it safe for me to perm now?

  • Takia said:

    Hey, I recently went to water aerobics class and the back of my hair got a little wet. How long should I wait to perm it and apply a semi permanent color to it??

  • Shawnee said:

    Question: I have about 2 1/2 inches of new growth I haven’t had a perm in months and I’m planning on relaxing soon. I added rosemary and castor oil in my hair how long do I have to wait before relaxing? I had some loose cornrows in prior to adding oils as well.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shawnee,
      Make sure that your hairdresser can see the two textures clearly, loose cornrows usually mean curls. So maybe a wash and then wait three to five days and then get it relaxed.

  • Marsha said:

    Can I wash my hair the day before I put a relaxer on?

  • Derekia said:

    HI Brenda
    I want to transition from natural to realxed hair but i wont to make sure my hair is right and healthy before getting it relaxed can you tell me how can i know when my hair is ready??? And one more thing is it good to relax NATURAL HAIR

  • sherika said:

    How can i stop my hair from shedding from a perm that been left in to long? Is there 1 thing I can just use in my hair for it can grown healthy in long?

  • Denise said:

    Hi Brenda,after my hair being severely damaged for several years due to relaxing,colouring over processing etc I made the decision about 1 1\2 years ago to learn to how take proper care of my hair. I stopped using heat altogether,only relax every 3 months,I deep condition every week, I alternate between protein and mositurising,I use sulfate free shampoos,and moisturise and seal with coconut oil daily and massage my scalp for 15 mon every day!My problem is that I have been doing this for nearly 2 years now and I have to say I haven’t seen much improvement in the condition of my hair,if anything it has been severely tangled since I stopped using heat,and the only way to get rid of these tangles is scissors as just using the comb and conditioner does not get me anywhere!I would like to know where I’m going wrong because its been ongoing now for 2 yrs and I see no improvement.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Oh Denise :( I ran through your post and it seems as if you are doing everything right.
      When you relax your hair, you relax new growth right? This means that your hair is growing. Which means the issue here is retaining your length. I would suggest that you get a conditioner with very good slip to take care of the tangles. When your hair is still under running water comb it out gently, start from your hair ends and gently work your way up to your scalp, if it makes it easier on you do it in sections. Use a wide tooth comb!
      Don’t go back to using heat please. It will not help your hair. I wish I could help more but you are going to have to experiment a bit with your products and the frequency of using them and see what is causing your tangles specifically. Don’t give up.

      • Regina said:

        What is conditioner with more ‘slip’? I have the problem retaining length in the front of my hair as well. Even when I avoid heat, it still seems to break. I’m not sure if my hair is just too dry or if I am not washing it enough. My hair seems to break more when I put more oil in it.


        • Brenda Barrett said:

          Hi Regina,
          More ‘slip’ means the hair feels slippery to the touch, easy to comb out.

        • Toy303 said:

          I use aphogee balance moisturizer it’s really good for when you’re stretching the perm, and I also use the chi intense moisturizer with the orange pump lid. That might help as well as the hair one series so you don’t strip your hair during the wash. (Hair one is the cheap version of the wen series)

          Ps. I have relaxed hair too

  • Beverly said:

    I use olive oil along with my regular conditioner , is that okay or should I use the olive oil by itself? Also, I have perm hair. And one more thing is olive oil as a conditioner as good as castor oil or should I switch to castor oil?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Beverly
      If olive oil is working for you, stick with it. Yes you can add the oil to your conditioner if you want to.

  • Tashara said:

    I usually try to wait about 4-6 months between relaxing. I have a weak spot that breaks every time I relax and it actually goes balled. I have grew it back out after two series of micro braids. The hair is virgin regrown hair do you think it’s safe to relax it again? Or should I just do the surrounding hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Tashara,
      I have no way to tell if it safe to relax it again. I would suggest though that you assess why this part of your hair is a weak spot. Do you wear hats, headbands, clips, ponytails that rub it that way? Is the relaxer left too long on that particular spot? Are there constant relaxer overlaps? Find out what the root cause is and then fix it or you can relax just that section and watch it.

  • C said:

    Hi Brenda I am due to relax my hair this week but there doesn’t feel like there is much new growth only on the edges but it has been 7 weeks since I’ve relaxed. Shall I relax as it has been so long or wait till there is more new growth. My hairdresser says i should stick to a routine. Also my hair doesn’t seem to be growing as fast since I changed relaxer. Is this because the new relaxer takes better to my hair or has my hair growth slowed down?

  • mietjie said:

    Can I sheen straight my hair is breaking right on top what can use for breaking.what cause my hair from breaking so much

  • ovo said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I relaxed my hair around 7/8 months ago and have a lot of regrowth. I’m finally going to get another relaxer done next week, but before doing so would like to know if it’s okay to wash my hair this week as I don’t want to get scalp burns

  • Elizabeth Othusitse said:

    I have a problem with my hair is not growming at all , it about a year now but its about 5cm. what can i do?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Is your hair relaxed? Can you see new growth every month? Do you have regular touch-ups at the hair dresser? If you can see new growth, then your hair is growing. You are just not retaining your length. There are several articles around here to help you get started. Check out this one- Begin Here For Longer, Thicker Hair

  • Folzee said:

    Hi i have my hair in weave i want to treat it 3-4 days before i put a relaxer in. My hair doesnt burn when i have done this in the past, i just want to kno whether it wud b better to leave the hair dirty instead of treat it and then relax. Which option is better of the two? I know that you recommend 2 weeks before we should treat it however i dont want to have my hair out for two weeks without relaxer. I’ll have it out for 4 days max. Is clean or dirty hair better for relaxer in those 4 days?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Folzee,
      It depends on the length of time you had in the weave and the type of condition your scalp is in. But to answer your question at face value, I say treat it first. Dirty hair takes a longer time to process thus leaving the relaxer for a longer time on your hair.

  • Jocelyn said:

    how long should I wait before relaxing my hair if I hot combed it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Jocelyn,
      Wait until your hair reverts completely to natural so that the hair dresser can clearly see the hair texture.

  • Christy said:

    I had breakage from my stylist, and I took control by using Aphogee products, my friend/stylist cut the damaged hair off and we did Affirm relaxer for sensitive scalp. How long do I wait before DC my hair or just washing it period? I have been wrapping my hair with Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructor and Pro-Vitamin Leave In. What other products can I use for night time and for DC? I have been reading so much info . I didn’t know you had to DC once or twice a week and you a Olive Oil treatment under a hooded dryer every two weeks, so new to me. Any suggestions on products, techniques to get started right and finish strong?

  • Brittany Howard said:

    Hi i got my hair dyed red and jack black not permanent by my hair stylist about 1 month and a couple of days but my new growth is definitely in need of some attention i have been tryin this natural thing since the end od December sooo i haven’t had a perm since but i keep spending money sbery two to three days cause my hair sweats out soo fast and thats so much heat and money i feel like im wasting i went to the hair stylist yesterday and there was no improvement :( can i just relax my new growth with a kiddie perm i need help. I dont wanna give up on my natural hair but my roots r really bad what should i do?

  • Kyesha said:

    Please help me. I’ve been trying to grow longer healthier relaxed hair for two years. Will it grow YES but it breaks off. I just stopped using coconut oil and olive oil, I now think the mayo/egg/beer protein treatment strips my hair and now only shampoo every other week. I brought shampoo and condition from the health food store. Please, wha can I do to have health hair? I blow dry/ flat iron once a month and air dry other days. I wash, moisture the oil and braid my hair. Parts of my hair is shoulder length and part is ear length (it shedddddddddds like crazy). I’m afraid to wash my hair. Please help me

  • Kyesha said:

    P.s. I don’t have a hair stylist cause I want to use as many natural products and be able to maintain my own hair. Even though I have relaxed hair, my hair is very coarse and thick. Lately, my hair tangles fast, will NOT had moisture at all. If I wash my hair, by morning it dry and brittle. I only use wide tooth combs. If I run my fingers in my hair, I’ll have several strands in my hand. I hate combing my hair cause it leaves the sink and the floor with enough hair to make a small child wig. Pleeeeeaaassseeee. Where I’m I going wrong

  • cierra said:

    hi. ive been relaxer free since october but ive been wearing weave (sew-ins). i make sure i take it out, wash and condition my natural hair before reinstallation. I even wash my hair with the weave in. So my question to u is, after almost 5-6 months of not having a relaxer, is it ok to get one after i remove my weave? I have a significant amount of new growth but i am planning on putting a weave back in a few weeks after the relaxer. HELP!

  • jayan said:


    I got my hair relaxed from Regis salon and they used sensitive scalp from mizzani. My hair looked good that day (not pin straight though which I liked to have.) I paid 70 dollars for the relaxing treatment. Couple of days later, my hair went back to original. So I called them and asked what happened but they said they do not know. However they asked me to come again so they can fix it. I came back and this time they used super extreme relaxer from mizzani. Now its been three days and my hair went back to original wavy look. Should I call them and complain them about. Is it their fault? Are relaxers good for any hair group?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Jayan,

      I have heard persons who say their hair is very strongly resistant to relaxers and it reverts. I have never seen it. If they left the relaxeer in your hair for the recommended time it’s not their fault. Maybe a strand test needs to be done on your hair to determine the length of time and strength of relaxer or even brand to use on your hair. Wait awhile before you go back to put the chemical in your hair though.

  • Brina said:

    Hi i mehendi my hair a week ago is it safe for me to relax it

  • mikka said:

    Can I perm my hair with conditioner in it from the night before?

  • Khadijah said:

    Hello. I took out my twist 5 days ago and washed my hair. Also, it’s been about 6 months since I’ve had my last relaxer. I wanted to know is it safe to get a relaxer now?

  • Maria said:

    Hi, i am a mixed child with Mexican and black but i look more black but my hair is long and curly. Everyone loves my hair and when people notice me they dont know what race i am because of my hair it separtes me which i like. However im 22 and i would like a new look i will like to cut it to a bob type and relax it. I hear alot of bad stories about damaging your hair so what would be the best way to do the process without really damaging to much just in case i would like to grow it back?? Thanks!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Maria,
      There are bad stories because most people are not aware of how the whole relaxed hair process works and what it entails. The suggestions above are a guide, they should help before you relax your hair.

  • Fola said:

    Hi Brenda..i just removed braids, do i need to recondition my hair before relaxing. and what can i do to have a healthy looking hair.. how do i recondition?

  • Barbara Prempeh said:

    Hey Brenda,

    I started to experience hair breakage into my hair journey. I BELIEVED it was because i wasn’t moisturizing my new growth well enough. I then performed a Hard protein treatment with Aphogee 2 step and that didnt turn out so well. My hair started to feel very hard and etc. I then washed my hair the following week and my hair started to fall out and break more. i feel so horrible my hair is now shorter. It is indeed time for a relaxer.

    Should i prep my hair this week then relax or should I just relax it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Barbara,
      The key after any protein treatment is moisture. You see the protein coats the hair gives it some added strength this can make the hair hard and not flexible. If the protein stays too long in the hair it can actually break the hair, you have to moisturize immediately after a protein treatment. Have to. Prep your hair first give it a moisture rich DC before you relax. Try not to relax the hair when it is breaking.

  • Pepper said:

    My hair is screaming for help. I been without a perm for almost 2 years now and i’m not sure if I want one or not but I think it will be best to get one because I can’t do nothing else with it. Long story short, I have sensitive scalp and I need to wash my hair when should I perm my hair if thats what I decide to do. Thanks in Advance

    • Sierra said:

      I’m in the same boat as you and I’m waiting on a reply

  • Deenay said:

    Hi Brenda. After 5 years of being natural I’ve decided to relax my hair again. I have blonde color at the ends of my hair where my color has grown out. My hair is about 15 inches long and the amount of color left is about 5 inches. Do you think it’s ok for me to relax my hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Deenay,
      Sure you can. You are going to have to condition your hair every week, paying close attention to the ends if you don’t want it to break off though.

  • Kim said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I have been wearing kinky twist in my hair since July of 2012. Now I want to get a relaxer. What should I do?

  • mariah said:

    i haven’t had a relaxer since september (8 months) because i had a sew in how long should i wait i was thinking about pressing it out first and later getting the rtelaxer what do you think

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Mariah,
      I am thinking that if you do all the steps above and you are ready, just do it. I don’t like the idea of pressing out relaxed hair. That will be extra heat (which means an extra process) to your already processed strands. This can cause breakage.

  • Erica said:

    I have relaxed hair and I also dye it black pretty often. I use semi-permanent dye for the most part but I have started to see a little breakage in the top (not much) just a little. I dont use grease or oil on my hair because I dont like it to feel heavy and stiff. I wanted to use a hot oil treatment but I would like to know what order these things should be done in as far perming, dying and applying the hot oil treatment?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Erica,

      Apply the hot oil treatment before you wash your hair. Maybe a week before you dye your hair or relax or a week after. I would not recommend that you do it at the same time when you either dye or relax.

  • Kristal said:

    Hello Brenda,
    I relaxed my hair with a new product about 3 weeks ago and due to the strenght of the relaxer I began to burn and had to wash it before all of my hair was able to process. I definitely wont be using that product again, but meanwhile I am left with almost half of my head not fully relaxed. Can I relax my hair prior to the 8 weeks if I use a gentle relaxer?

  • Miss Vickie said:

    I just worked out, but how long do I have to wait to put a perm in?

  • jaz said:

    Hi I colored my hair Nov 2011 with permanent dye my last relaxed relaxed was July 2012 and I want to relax my hair because I have a lot of new growth what to do

  • Keisha said:

    I let my deep conditioner(ORS Olive Oil) or regular conditioner (doo grow mega thick) mixed with extra virgin olive oil sit in my hair for about 3-6 hrs and sometimes overnight when I put it in in the afternoon/evening. Could I be doing any damage to my hair or scalp? Thank you.

  • Gleniece said:

    I am currently a natural. I want to go back to relax. My hair had been breaking off. I did conditioning with Hair Mayonaisse that I bought from Walmart. I did the conditioning Monday night and let it stay in till Tuesday morning. Afterwards I notice much less hair breakage. My hair dresser says I can do a mild relaxer and then the relaxer will show any damaged hair, which then she will cut off.
    I’m worried about going to do a relaxer on my broken hair, but is she right? What should I do? Please help.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Don’t listen to your hairdresser on this one. Relaxed hair is actually putting your hair through a chemical process which breaks the bonds in your hair. If your hair is natural and breaking, rectify that before you put your hair through anymore stress. Relaxing the hair now, will be stress whether it is a mild relaxer or a strong one. You have done a good thing, you deep conditioned your hair with a protein and moisture combo (Hair Mayonnaise). keep doing that every week until you see the breakage stop. After that determine exactly what is causing your hair to break. Check out this article Shedding Hair Causes and check out the remedies too Breaking Hair Remedies

      • Gleniece said:

        Hi Brenda,
        Thank you so much for your advice! I did cut off the damage hair, and am doing weekly DCs with Hair Mayonaisse.
        I am waiting till my hair is at a desirable lenght to relax it ( Maybe a year).
        My next question is (so I stay on the right track), once I have required a desired lenght and have stronger hair what do you recommend as a good strenght?
        I don’t know my hair type, but do know around the left, right, and back side of my head my hair is fine like white hair. Everywhere else is thick and curly.
        I was planning on using curl formers or a big roller set to straighten my hair without heat and make it easier for the hairdresser to relax my virgin hair.
        My hairdresser use to use regular before I went natural. And I would like to go back to that.
        Is it possible to go regular and have my hair dresser apply the relaxer on my finer hair for last to protect it, or should I go mild? I like straighter and flowy hair like I had before.
        Thank you.

        • Gleniece said:

          Hi Brenda,
          Sorry, forgot to mention that my hair dresser said I could start out mild and switch to regular later. Please help.
          Thank you again.

  • Andrea said:


    I washed my hair and the next day I want to put oil in it and a relaxer. Is this bad? I never burn, and I’ve done it before, I just feel like it’s not healthy. Yet I’m in a bind and really need to relaxer my hair. Btw my hair looks healthy

  • Rocio said:

    I’m desperate! I relaxed my hair yesterday and the result is awful ! It is super dry and I’m afraid I left relaxing product. After I finished the process I didn’t know what to do with my hair so I put marrocan oil but it feels terrible, I can’t even style my hair because it is like dry carton impossible to brush :( What can I do now?? Help please !!!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Rocio,
      This response is four days late but here goes, if you are afraid you left relaxing product in you should rinse out your hair thoroughly with Vinegar. Any type of vinegar will do in this case. Use half part vinegar to half part water. Let it sit on the hair for two minutes and rinse again. Finally finishing with a thorough water rinse. Afterwards use a moisture rich conditioner. Something that gives the hair ‘good slip’. Let this stay on the hair for at least 15 minutes. This should help. Don’t brush your hair please :)

  • Rae said:

    ok i just took my hair down out of a quick weave and i had glue everywhere in my hair. I put conditioner in my hair to get the glue out. After combing all of the glue out, its time for me to relax my hair. Can i relax my hair with the conditioner still in or do i have to wash my hair then wait a couple days to relax it?

  • Nilleen said:

    Hi, I had a question,
    It’s been almost a year since I’ve last relaxed my hair. Can I go over my whole length of hair with a relaxer now?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      No Nilleen!!! Don’t do it. Only relax un-relaxed hair. Putting the relaxer on your already relaxed hair will cause breakage. Its guaranteed.

  • Tay said:

    After goin without a relaxer for about 5months now, I want a relaxer…my question is should I do a virgin relaxer being its been a while or is it ok to do a touch up?

  • Joana said:

    Hie Brenda leave had braid for the past six months every time l take them out and start combing my hair there is lots of hair breakages is this normal. lso latke them out and get my hair relaxed every 3 months. Is this safe or should l wait longer.

    Can u also give me an advice on what relaxer to use the my hair is currently a bit soft but has growth underneath. Shall a continue using the super hair relaxers .

  • Gleniece said:

    Hi Brenda,
    My natural hair is a mixture. I’m concerned for the finer hair. My hair dresser says she can start me on mild then go to a regular relaxer later. I’m unsure. I use to use a regular relaxer before I went natural. On the left and right side of hair it started to thin and break off when I had a regular relaxer. Not a lot. But over time. I don’t know if it was the relaxer or the ponytails. And when I went natural it filled in like silky fine hair on both sides. Can I put a mild relaxer on first and switch later to regular? Or can I start off on regular and put the relaxer on last on the finer sides of my hair? Thank you.

  • Ty said:

    Is it ok to wash your hair and perm it the same day?

  • Brianna said:

    it’s been two months since I got my last perm, the top of my hair has a lot new growth but the back has barely none . why is that ? I do the same to the top that I do to the back of my hair .

  • court said:

    I haven’t relaxed my hair in about a year due to a cut on my head that’s finally healed.. What type of products can I put in my hair till I relax it that won’t affect the relaxer at all? and is it okay to iron straight till I relax it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Court,
      Is your hair completely natural at the moment or do you still have relaxed ends. If you do have relaxed ends, I don’t recommend straightening it with heat. Your relaxed hair will break. In essence, I think what you have right now is transitioning hair. Check out this article. 7 Tips to Take Care of Transitioning Hair

  • shekirah said:

    Hi Brenda,
    Well basically my hair is permed and i just took out my sew in weave yesterday which i had in from the 10th May. I want to do another weave hair style middle parting) but how long must i wait till i can be able to perm just the top centre piece of my hair?
    Thank you x

  • Reem said:

    Hi, I will relax my hair next week i did a clarifying shampoo protine treatment and a deep conditin with a moisture balance conditioner . What to do next throgh out the week should i moisturize it and seel or what exacatly help me please my hair sooo dry

  • Aquila Johnson said:


    I am planning on dying my hair with Loreal hicolor highlights and 30 VL Creme. I feel that My ends and roots will often have to be touched up on color before the roots are relaxed. Is it ok to relax color treated new growth if they aren’t bleached? And if so, how long after coloring them should I wait to get a relaxer?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Aquila,
      Yes you can relax color treated new growth but it is not recommended that you relax and color in the same day. The standard recommendation after coloring hair to relax is two weeks.

  • Dd said:

    I had braid in and I took them out on Tuesday and I’m planing on relaxing my hair on Sunday is that enough time for my hair to breath

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      No DD. Give your hair some more time at least another week. Deep condition it instead and then relax the following week.

  • Claudine Walker said:

    Hi Brenda,

    I am a 67 year old woman with all natural hair. My friends are all natural also….but they have cut their hair very short. I do not want to cut my hair….it is down past my shoulders about 3 inches.
    I have been pressing it….but it seems to not stay presses very long.
    If I take the mild Revelon relaxer and add a lot of water to it and apply it to my hair ……what would happen? If I make 1/4 teaspoon to 1 quart of water…..just to make it more manageable…..what would happen? I am not looking for really straight hair just manageable hair.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Claudine,
      What you would be doing is to texlax the hair. Texlaxing is the underprocessing of hair. The relaxer would not break down all the protein bonds in your hair. The hair would still retain some tensile strength but it would still break some of the protein bonds. Which means you would be processing your hair. If you don’t want to process your hair at all. Don’t use the relaxer. However, before you texlax, if you want to dilute the relaxer, use oil or conditioner instead of water. Please read up all you can about it, there are some very good sites on the net.

  • katlin young said:

    hi i have had 5 perms on my hair in my whole life and it never ends up curly it is partially wavy. I really want to get a relaxer and ombre my hair but my mom thinks my hair is too damaged for it and i need help!!! its been 7 months since my last perm. i could really use your advice please.

  • Ree said:

    Hi, I read one of your posts that mentioned it’s good to stretch your relaxer to 8 weeks so I wanted your opinion. I usually get relaxers every 5-6 weeks, because my new growth is typically growing out of control. If I stretch longer what can I do to tame the rough curls that develop?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Ree,
      Curly hairstyles are good option to cover new growth and usually you can get by with just finger combing for up to five days.

  • Casey said:

    I am about to get a texurizer done in my hair. I have never gotton a chemical in my hair but I do straighten my hair a lot. I’m not really sure if my hair is ready for it. For some strange reason my hair is shedding a bit and each of my strands go from thick thin. Its look funny. what is this called. I deep conditioned

  • anna said:

    Hi i was wondering how can i stop scratching but my head itches like crazy i can’t help but scratch it before my perm

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Anna,
      This is an age old problem. The scalp does not start to itch until you want to relax. It happens to most of us. Try not to dig the scalp or scrape it.

  • Jasmine said:

    hey brenda I have not put a release in my hair since last year of November. I just died it Thursday and I can’t do the natural any more. how long should I wait before I put a relaxer in my hair??

  • Alexx said:

    I put a relaxer in Four days ago but it didn’t take and it was just around the edges cans I put another in today ?

  • Mona said:

    If I just got a prem least than a week ago, is it safe to get a weave put on top of it?

  • reah said:

    my hair has alot of split ends n i am facing hairfall problem will it be good if i do my relaxing tomorrow

  • Tismari said:

    If you relax your hair after 5 years of no relaxers and it doesn’t work at all are you still natural?

  • Renae said:

    My hair is badly damaged after my old stylist colored it by mistake instead of putting in a color rinse. I cut my hair to get rid of some of the breakage and I’ve treated my hair with deep conditioning. I know that I’m not suppose to go to the salon with damaged hair to get a relaxer.. But what do you do for hair that really really needs a relaxer but its still damaged.. My hair cannot be styled when its in dire need of a relaxer. The roots get too curly after a while a blow drying makes it worst.

  • Bree said:

    My hair is really damaged from relaxing my hair the wrong way for years . I now plan on following your step but I was wondering if I should do a hot oil treatment and deep conditioner before or after a relaxer ?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Bree,

      You can do both things before and after. Wait a week after you DC or hot oil treat your hair to relax though.

  • Catia said:

    Hi Brenda,

    Hope you good just a quick question I was doing some research and your webpage came up (Glad!) very useful information anyway my question is I am going through an excessive shedding what could be the cause? I know it can be loads of things but I am very good with my hair in terms of deep conditioner, protein treatments, etc…name it im there lol but for some weird reason my hair is not responding to anything, any ideas? thank you in advance

  • lympi said:

    I put a permanent black dye (Lady Clairol) in my natural hair 2 weeks ago. … is it Ok for me to relax my hair after dying it black?

  • Sroda said:

    Hi Brenda!
    I relaxed my hair today and i washed out the relaxer to soon to avoid getting burnt badly and now my hair hasn’t broken down much. So i was wondering how long should i wait to relax my hair again?

  • janice said:

    Hi, every time I get a relaxer I see a good amount of new growth within about two weeks or less! What can I do to keep my hair looking nice without relaxing it too soon? And do you think it’s the relaxer that isn’t working so well?

  • janice said:

    But my hair is also growing really good (too add to my last comment)

  • Stacey said:

    Can i put a relaxer in my Hair If i left regular conditioner in my Hair for more then a week i always leave conditioner in just don’t wanna wait a couple more days to per it if i rinse it. out today!

  • Iesha Hampton said:

    It has been like 3 months since I had a perm. I was thinking about going natural but I wanted to maintain the lenght of my permed hair. I have been having breakage because the permed hair is not supposed to survive knowing that its two different textures. So I wanted to know whether if I permed it would change anything or should I continue going natural since I’m in the transitioning stage?

  • Angie Ash said:

    Hi Brenda,

    I have a question please. My hair stylist wants to put a protein treatment in my hair($200.) rather than a relaxer – retouch.Currently I’m getting my hair washed and roller set every week. I get a relaxer re-touch every 8 weeks. And as long as I get the roller sets my hair is okay and healthy. But I want to get it flat ironed every week rather than the roller sets beause I think it looks better. She said my hair is to soft and my ends will begain to brake and I will have to get my ends clipped more ofter if I get it flat ironed every week. Do you aree? And do you agree that a proten treatment and no more relaxers will be better so that I can get it flat ironed every week? I like the flat iron look better than the roller set :-)

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Angie,
      Your hairdresser is right about the clipping of your hair if you flat iron every week. The heat will wreak havoc on your hair ends. Flat ironing so often will thin it out. The solution to your problem because you hate the roller set look could be to wrap your hair after a roller set, oil it for sheen, go under the dryer for three to five minutes after that, it should be shiny and flat. You will get the flat iron look without the flat iron. As for the protein treatment and no more relaxers- are you talking about keratin?

  • marylove bonsu said:

    i have a sensitive scalp and am using optimal but my hairdresser has recomended dark and lovely for me will it help me

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Marylove,
      I have never used either product, so I really don’t know. Was she planning to use Dark and Lovely for Sensitive scalp?

  • karen said:

    hi there I just dye my hair one week ago can I relax my hair now,or should I wait.

  • Claw laker said:

    hey earlier today I washed my hair (at around 11) but now it is just nappy and Curley at the roots so I bought a olive oil relaxer today…is it ok to relax it?#confused#scared

  • Imani said:

    I have only had my braids in for 13 joirs can I take them out and get a perm in the next 5 hours

  • Julie said:

    I just got my hair relaxed today. Can I get it wet without washing it?

  • Brittany Wise said:

    Hello… Iv been natural for 2 years and my hair is VERY thick i plan on relaxing my hair with Olive Oil super relaxer. I want to know is it safe to do so

  • Taylor said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I usually get my hair relaxed.lately I’ve been off relaxers and I have colored my hair. I haven’t had one in half a year and now I have three different hair textures in my hair and its colored so I can see how much my hair has grown. My question is I want to get the hair color remover but relax my hair. How long should I wait to relax my hair after the hair color remover and if I do relax my hair would it damage the texture ?

  • latonya said:

    Hello I permed. My hair3 months ago. And its been doing good. I have very bad dandruff everywhere. Not noticeable. But its in my scalp. And I used a foam wrap my hair now is nappy hard to comb and thick. I was thinking. A relaxer would work. Washing it and using. Flat irons wouldn’t work on it. Am I wrong what should I do

  • Tae said:

    I got a perm around October 15 I was wondering if I got one this week would my hair break off

  • Tonya said:

    Hi, I left a perm on too long an my hair broke off as I was washing, it continues to shed! I used Aphogee deep cond. treatment, shedding has eased up but my growth is slow. I went an had a professional perm the next time it’s been 8 weeks but I barely have any new growth. Will it break further if I just stop perms all together until it’s healthy again!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Tonya,
      Sorry to hear about that. No it won’t break if you leave it for a while for new growth to show. Just give it some TLC, alternate between deep conditioning and hot oil every week until it starts to feel stronger, then do it every other week.

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