Self Relaxing Hair – Proceed with Caution

Self relaxing hair by yourself can be a daunting tast. But some people choose to self-relax hair because they have gotten fed up with sitting all day in a hair salon. Or you have an important event coming up and you can’t get an appointment with your stylist.

Before you dive right into it, I want to tell you that I do not recommend relaxing your own hair. There are so many things that could go wrong:

  • Over processing due to not being able to see your whole head.
  • Overlapping due to not being able to see the differences in your hair texture.
  • Harming hair and scalp is possible due to lack of professional training.
  • No knowledge on timing the relaxer and determining the right relaxer strength for the hair.

Tools Needed for Self Relaxing Hair

Here’s a list of the tools you will need in order to self relax hair effectively:

  • At least 3-4 towels
  • 2-3 combs: wide tooth comb, fine tooth, and detangling
  • Rubber gloves to protect your hands
  • Bath Robe
  • Professional Lye Relaxer
  • Neutralizing Shampoo

Things to Keep in Mind

Before we get to the process of self-relaxing hair, let’s see what you need to keep in mind while you’re doing it to get the best result for you and your hair.

Make sure you set aside enough time to relax your hair appropriately and effectively.
Be in an area of your house where you can access a timer such as the one on your microwave. Or you can set the alarm on your phone or alarm clock. Watching the time is very important!
Always use gloves to protect your hands from the chemical of relaxers.

Protect your hairline, nape and scalp by applying a profesionall basing product to these areas.
When applying the relaxer, use an applicator brush or a comb (not the teeth, the back of the comb.
Use only quality relaxers like Affirm, Vitale, and Mizani. I discourage the use of drugstore box relaxers.

Also use the connecting Neutralizing Shampoo.

The Self Relaxing Hair Process

The following are some tips to follow during the self relaxing process:

Section your hair into 4 quadrants. Have clips available to clip the hair up and out of the way while you work on each section separately.

The relaxer should be applied by making parts of 1/4 inch.
Apply the relaxer fully to one section before moving on to the next section.

You should get all of the relaxer applied to all 4 sections and then go back to smooth each section separately. You will need to work quickly to avoid over-processing.

Remember not to comb the relaxer through the hair. Gently smooth the hair with the back of the comb on the new growth only.

Never apply the relaxer to the scalp directly. Only up to the scalp.
Apply relaxer to the hairline last since this area is most prone to breakage and overprocessing as well as causing skin irritations.

If you notice ANY breakage or discomfort (outside of light tingling or burning sensation), you should remove the relaxer immediately by skipping to rinsing thoroughly and applying neutralizing shampoo.

Now that you’re done with the most difficult part of self-relaxing hair, you’ll want to be able to tell if your hair is ready to be rinsed or requires a few more minutes for the relaxer to work.

If your new growth is lying down on your scalp, that is a good indication that it has been relaxed properly.

If your roots are still puffing up, then it has probably not been relaxed properly or effectively. Leave the relaxer on for a minute or two longer before rinsing.

Rinsing out the Self Relaxing Hair

A really important part to self-relaxing is to make sure you effectively rinse all of the relaxer from your hair and neutralize it appropriately. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about rinsing and neutralizing:

Start rinsing your hair in the same order as you applied your relaxer in the 4 quadrants. This may be a little difficult but give it your best try.

Rinse each section thoroughly. When you think you’ve rinsed it enough, rinse it again. This is extremely important because you cannot see your hair and scalp as you do this so you want to rinse it as well as possible. Use your fingers to see and feel if relaxer is still there. Is a section of your scalp still tingling, then you may still have some relaxer left on it. Continue rinsing.

When you’re ready to neutralize, you want to use a generous amount of neutralizing shampoo. The neutralizing shampoo makes the relaxer chemical stop working and is the last step in self-relaxing your hair. Apply and rinse out the neutralizing shampoo 3 times. The last time you apply the neutralizer, leave it on your hair for at least 5 minutes before rinsing.

Conclusion for Self Relaxing Hair

You’ve now seen all of the tips I have on self-relaxing hair. I hope that you see that it is a very difficult thing to take on and hope that you decide to see a profession for relaxers. But if you don’t, be sure to research and research before doing it yourself. You can even do a trial run by using a thick hair conditioner.


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