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.


  • alexandra said:

    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?

  • 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.

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