What is the Secret to Having Long Thick Relaxed Hair? Part Two

This is part two of an article on how to have long relaxed hair. We continue with five more secrets to having long thick relaxed hair. For many ladies these are just common sense suggestions. However, if  you were like me you will use and implement every useful tip.

  1. Oils- Not all oils are meant to be used in our hair. Our hair is a natural extension of our bodies; hence we should use oils that are natural. That is my theory and I am sticking to it. If I can’t eat it for food or use on skin, I am not putting it in my hair. So oils like coconut, oil, castor, jojoba are good oils. Bad oils include petroleum and mineral oil. Oils are used to seal in moisture, hence, if your hair is not already moist using bad oils will in fact seal out moisture. The prescription is to use moisture first then oil. I will explain more in oils vs. moisturizers.
  2. Heat- The use of heat is usually the downfall of many a glorious mane. Heat can do several things to hair, one of them is to dry it out , the other is to straighten. If your hair is already chemically straightened, constantly using direct heat on it will cause breakage. The frequent use of curling irons, flat irons or dryers can cause hair to be brittle and ultimately lead to hair loss.
  3. Your Diet- You have probably heard the adage, you are what you eat, well its true. There are some foods that will enhance hair growth and some that will impede it. Even though your hair grows at an average six inches per year, you can experience unexplained breakage and lose it all, if your diet is not good. There are some persons who go on unbalanced diets, or switch their diet and the first thing that goes is their hair.
    There are others who do not drink enough water and are so dehydrated that their hair start shedding. To have good hair growth, you have to eat relatively well. There are some persons who swear by vitamin supplements and other things but I believe that if you eat a balanced diet your hair will grow long and healthy.
  4. Weaves and Hair Pieces- I understand that sometimes it is necessary to wear wigs or weaves for conditions like cancer or bald spots or even a special occasion when you have no idea what to do with your hair, but wearing these things daily can affect your hair growth negatively. Why not learn how to take care of your own hair and wear it with pride. Weaves and hair pieces that are sewn into or attached to real hair with glue are a real hair killer, bits of your real hair are lost when they are attached or removed. Who can forget the shocking pictures of Naomi Campbell’s sparse hair side when the breeze blew her wig up. There was no hair under there!  Isn’t it better to rock your own healthy waist length hair than resorting to attaching someone’s mane.
  5. Combs and Brush- This is where many persons have an issue. They do all the right things and yet they have a fine tooth comb with notches at the base scraping away their vulnerable hair strands. The best combs are the large toothed combs with no grooves at the base to snag hair. The best brushes are soft bristle brushes that will not pull or snag hair. The best thing to do is to never brush your hair. It serves no purpose for black hair except to give you a pre-mature thinning of the ends. Never, ever brush your ends.

45 Comments »

  • alexandra said:

    Hey
    i remember you had a article about cowashing. I looking through the archives but I can’t find it.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Alexandra,
      It is certainly mentioned alot on this site, especially in the hair regimen section, but I can’t think of an article that addresses co-washing exclusively. I am going to add that to the list of articles for March.

  • Crystal said:

    Firstly, I would like to say that it is so refreshing to have such a well-written article about relaxed hair!
    I am currently trying to grow my relaxed hair but find the ends are very weak, thin and split constantly, regardless of how often I trim them. Do you have any tips for this?
    Also, I have been toying with the idea of colouring my hair red, is this something I should steer clear of if I’m trying to grow my hair?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Crystal,
      There are tons of articles on here that can help you with your hair end issues, because the ends are the oldest part of the hair they are more susceptible to applied heat, hair style choices etc. You can start with this one How To Achieve Healthy Hair Ends
      I want to color my hair red too :) but I am going to do it with henna- which is also a conditioner and will not harm your hair. There are other dyes with added conditioners that are not very taxing on your hair, maybe you should check out the ‘semi-permanent’ solutions on the market and color a small patch of hair first and see how it goes before you color all your hair.

  • Jacky said:

    i’m trying to start texlaxing my hair. I know it’s bad but because I cant handle my coarse hair, but i put in weaves for about 2 and a half months and leave my hair out for 2 weeks before i relax. but i don’t like the limpness of my hair after relaxing because i’m very used to my thick coarse hair. Do i have to start texlaxing myself and if so, which products do you recommend?

    • Brenda said:

      Jackie I will answer that question shortly and thoroughly in an upcoming article.

  • mary said:

    Mineral oil has gotten a bad rap because there are many people such as myself who thrive on them. The same goes for sew ins. It’s about application and knowing yourself and your hair…..

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Mary,
      Mineral oil has gotten a bad rap, not because it will break your hair by itself but because of the nature of its properties. It is usually used as a sealant, it blocks moisture from entering the hair. Whilst this may be a good thing if your hair is thoroughly moisturized or you want to maintain a straight non-frizzy do in humid weather, the problem with mineral oil is that can only be removed from the hair by a surfactant such as sulfate, and you will need to remove the mineral oil in order to moisturize your hair afresh (it is such a good sealer because it hates water, simply using water will not remove mineral oil from your strands). Prolonged use of mineral oil will cause the hair to dry out overtime without replenishing your hair’s moisture, this can lead to breakage. If you wash your hair with a surfactant like sulfate every other day it will strip your hair of its natural oils, which will cause breakage in the long run. So though technically mineral oil is not by itself a bad thing, it can lead to dryness and breakage.

      Sew-ins are another matter, my personal opinion is that you can take care of your own hair to look just as good or even better than sew-ins etc.

  • Madison said:

    Hi! I’m 12 year old girl of “color” and I am in desperate need for advice. You really seem to know what you’re doing, and what have I got to loose (besides more hair and sleep).

    I got my hair relaxed a year and a half ago. Skip ahead. My hair started breaking on my right side because of ponytails, laziness, and the wrong products. I really want to grow it back, and fast. I’m going to get it trimmed next week for school, and I washed it about 2 weeks ago. I just need to know how can I grow it back, and what products do I use? I used to oil my scalp and hair weekly until I found out the grease I was using contains petrolatum and mineral oil as the top ingredients, so I stopped. What do I use now? What about for shampoo and conditioner? Please help :’( I’m trying to keep it moisturized but I don’t know what to use!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Madison,
      You made me smile. There is no need to lose sleep or anymore hair for that matter. I would recommend that you start with this article http://blackhair101.com/hair-regimen/hair-regimen-for-relaxed-hair. There is also a hair regimen for shedding and breaking hair—http://blackhair101.com/hair-care/typical-hair-regimen-for-breaking-hair. These are really step by step regimens to help you get started. There are also product recommendations listed. Moisturizers are also listed there. I hope the articles helped. If not, let me know.

  • Lauren said:

    I love your article! My hair has grown so much(at least
    5.5 inches while braided and sewed in for about a year) and I get a relaxed every 6 months or so. Most hair regiments encourage you to go natural and I do not think that it is necessary. What are some protective styles that you recommend for relaxed hair?

  • kellie said:

    Hi, my hair is thinning and very uneven. I went natural for a year and got frustrated with not finding the right products so I relaxed my hair. So I back at step one. My hair is actually worst before I went natural. What should I do first to get my hair thicker.

  • shari said:

    I really want to try the extending between the time i creme my hair but when my new growth is out i don’t want it to look too bad plus my hair is in a short style that kind of exposes the back so hiding it there at the back is going to be a bit difficult …

  • Shekinah said:

    How do you keep the hair semi smoothed down without combing it??? Also, what are good moisturizers to use one the hair??? Thanx! Love the article!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shekinah,
      Combing is fine with a wide toothed comb. Brushing is the problem. To keep it smooth you can use a boar bristle brush or a brush that will not snag the hair and drag it. Test it on your skin first, if it is too harsh then don’t use it on your hair.

  • Brittany said:

    i straighten my hair alot i just want to know what the best moisturizer for staightened hair and the best moisturizer if i have curly hair. Thank you

  • jondrielle said:

    Why cant we brush the ends because im trying to grow my hair and i always brush my ends and i would like to know why?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Jondrielle,
      Your ends are the driest, oldest, weakest part of your hair. If your brush is coarse, the type that can pull your hair and cause little tears along the shaft. The ends will be the first part of the hair to snap or break.

  • erline said:

    hey Brenda!

    so I have a couple of questions & concerns about my hair. my hair is relaxed & has been for about 6-7 years now & my hair has been doin’ well with growth, thickness, & strength. I always went to a salon to get my hair washed by someone else & permed by someone else. I’ve even had my hair reach past my shoulders, mid-back cause its been doin’ so well. but since I went off to college ’bout a year and a half ago I’ve struggled with maintaining my hair the way it was. I tried to do the same things like the person who does my hair does & I’ve used the same products they use too. but my hair has gotten shorter, a bit thinner, and a bit uneven. is this because I’ve been doin’ it by myself & not having a professional doin’ it? or am I doin’ somethin’ wrong? is there a strategic way to get my hair back to the length it was without a professionals help? because where I go to school, there’s no one I know that can take care of black hair.

    also i was thinking about wearing braids a little bit to reconstruct my hair & letting it grow out some. is this a bad idea since I’m trying to get my hair back to its normal length?

  • Lilly said:

    hi so I wash my hair only like every 4 weeks is that a good or bad thing. and only get my hair relaxed every couple pf months. also what types of olive oil products could I make at home such as conditioners,shampoo,or hair pastes that would be good for my hair?

  • Sahana said:

    Hey Brenda

    My hair is quite thin, i use coconut oil,the wide comb and drink lots of water.I have black hair and when it’s down it reaches a little below my shoulder. It doesn’t get dry that much but it is thin, how can I make it stronger and thicker with using hair spray?

  • Nidareha said:

    Hey, im 13 years old and I got a realaxer perm in august and now its november so I am afraid if I put another one in it it will fall out.

  • symara said:

    Hi Brenda I love your article by the way is very informative!1
    I was wondering how long do you think it would take for damaged relaxed hair that has been breaking from inadequate moisture would take for it to recover. I have shoulder length very thick relaxed hair and I never really moisturized (other than conditioner) for years. So now I have been doing a hair journey for like 2 months and the hair is still breaking and its driving me crazy! I use ORS deep conditioner and apply African pride hair oil. I also use infusium 23 for protein. I also haven’t straightened my hair. What else do I need to stop it from breaking?

  • symara said:

    Also do you personally experience breakage with your long healthy relaxed hair, is it just a factor you can’t avoid with relaxed hair?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Symara,

      I personally have experienced breakage, especially when I do not do things the right way or my lifestyle becomes stressful or I slip and use too much heat or wear my hair in a hairstyle that pulls the hair constantly or I eat too much junk or I am just plain negligent. You can cut down on the breakage with your relaxed or natural hair by doing the right things consistently. It’s not just about the hair but how you treat your body on a whole.

  • Rebecca said:

    I’m 13 about to be 14 in May. I had thick coarse hair. I permed it on June then permed it again On December. I comb my hair with the wide toothed comb. To avoid breakage but My hair still breaks a lot, I condition/ deep condition my hair. I really don’t shampoo much. My hair is still thick but, It doesn’t look alive like it used to. I have never gotten a trim before. I had nice thick strings of hair. Now it’s just thin and straw-like. I don’t know what to do. My hair is shoulder lenght,I really don’t any good shampoos to use. I use TRESemmé & Suave are those good products to use on my hair. I started using organic coconut oil on my hair. I really don’t wrap my hair to go to sleep. I sometimes put extra virgin olive oil on my hair. Can I use gel n my hair? there are a lot of things I want to do to my hair. But I just don’t even know where to start. I stopped wearing weave on hair. I would wear it like once every 2 years,but that’s it. I don’t flat my iron my hair just the front-my side bang- and the front is actually the place that has a lot of life. the middle of my head is so short and dead, dry & lifeless, I put all types of moistures but it doesn’t work. I want to die my hair, but I don’t want something that’s gonna damage my hair even more… I need help with my hair cause I don’t know what to do anymore with it.

  • Kalain said:

    I have been natural for the last 20 years but I honestly did not follow the natural hair craze that’s been developing recently. I relaxed my hair recently and as expected my scalp was super sensitive, the relaxer did not stay long before I had to rinse it out.
    what I have noticed is that some portions of my hair ends are still ‘au naturale’ and its getting quite annoying when I style my hair.
    what should I do with these ends? will it be safe to relax them over again, when I got for my next touch up? Or will my relaxed ends suffer for it and begin falling out?

  • Sherieka' said:

    Hey; I am 13 years old and I have relaxed hair. One side of My hair is shorter than the other; what do I do? I also wanted to know if drawstring pony tails are a form of protective styling. Thanks In advance.

  • Sherieka' said:

    Does gel cause breakage ?

  • Tiana said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I’ve had a relaxer since I was about 9 years old. My hair has always gone a little past my shoulder however since my sophomore year of high school the back of my hair has broken off to just barely passing my neck, mom thinks heat damage from curling it caused the breakage. Its slowly growing back but I was just wondering what I could do to help it grow faster, I’m a freshmen in college so I get a touch up from my mom when I go home.
    Thanks!

  • Marsha said:

    Hello, Brenda!
    I’m a 14year old girl living in Tanzania.
    I would like to know is Henna good for thickening the hair or will it break it all off???
    And is Biotin good or bad for hair growth???
    Thank you in advance….I love your articles, Mashallah!

  • Leah said:

    Do you have a personal email where I can send you some pics of what happened to my hair this past weekend?? I seriously need some help please

  • Jessica said:

    Hi!, I’m Jessica and I have relaxed hair! I have split ends,so I plan on trimming it tomorrow. I also plan on doing a hot oil treatment. Do I trim my hair, do the hot oil treatment, then wash it?? Please help me! Respond ASAP.

  • Clair said:

    Hi, the past few years I’ve straightened my hair constantly and died it but after I put hair dye on my hair started tingling and then 3 months later clumps fell out, now I have a receding hairline at front and sides. I’m a white female with curly hair and my scalp now doesn’t produce any oil and it’s always dry, how can I get back my thinning hair and fill in my receding hairline?

  • Evita said:

    Hi, I am fifteen years old and would like to grow atleast mid-back length hair bymy 17th birthday for prom. I live in the Caribbean and my hair grows and but recently my hair has been thining. I cut my ends which I swore I wouldn’t cut but believe my hair thinned because I was sick at the time. Now I realize my hair is growing and looks thicker , though I haven’t done it yet but I have realized that I have always had fine hair. I was wondering what you thought about texlaxing since my hair is relaxed straight , but it still move and is quite soft until its around the 6 week time mark. I have learnt to balanced my hairs pro&moist so it will be soft but I really want thick hair and have done my research and found that texlaxing actually gives you thicker result while keeping texture and helping you achieve curls and straight hair easier and that it is also healthier. I would like your opinion on this because i am tired of having long hair which isn’t thick enough to make beautiful stills like my friends who have shorter hair than me .Thank you.

  • Christine said:

    Hi. My name is Christine. Am a Nigerian and i need help seriously with my thinning hair and dissappering front hair-line.

  • Charlie said:

    Hi there – so if oil is not moisture & the good oils you mention are to seal in moisture, then what should I moisturize with? And also – no brushing, but what about a natural board hair bristle brush? Still
    no good? Thanks x

  • Belise said:

    Dear Brenda ,
    Thank you so much for this info. I have short relaxed hair and I wanna grow it out to shoulder length. You suggest to stay away from flat irons but it is hard to keep short hair styles without using flat irons or to stay more than 8 weeks without a relaxer. Any hair care regimen you can recommend? Also, I can’t seem to find the right products for my hair. My hair gets dry quickly with any product I’ve used in the past. I’ve tried using coconut oil but it seems as tho it makes my hair dry and hard. I bought all the natural oil such as jojoba oil, castor oil, olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil but my hair is still dry. I am not sure if I am using the oils right or if I am missing something.Any brand suggestions for moisturizers and conditioners? Any tips and suggestions will greatly be appreciated. Thank you.

  • roselyn said:

    Hi Brenda.. I love your article :) uhm I’m inspired to grow out my hair thanks to your lucious mane.. buh I have a problem, I’ve been suffering from alocepia for a long time and it’s the most embarrassing thing I have to live with. Is there anything I can do about it cus I’m freaking out, I’m tired of weaves and stuffs. Pls ur suggestions would be highly appreciated. :D encourage a sister

  • sha said:

    Hi. Thank u so much for your tips. I have very thick Michelle Obama type of relaxed hair that I’m trying to grow out. My hair is very pretty but it sheds and break all the time. My hair is also in varies lengths. The back is pass my neck the front in nose length and the middle ear length. I don’t know what to do. Can got oil treatments help me? Thank you for your response. Godbless u

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