Creamy Crack Addiction~ Relaxed Girly Girls~

Okay! I' m one of those sistas that you should do what fits you best. I am on this natural hair movement for me personally because I' m sick of what chemicals have done to my naturally thick hair all my life, damaged it!

However! If you want to rock a relaxer, girl go for it However, do it as healthy as you can.

Hair relaxers are pretty common for African American Women as well as women with generally curly/kinky hair. However, this very thing that you tend to hope will help you manage your hair better can sometimes cause issues that you find yourself dealing with despite the non-existing kink or curl! This page lays out a handful of information to help you understand your relaxed hair. You'll also find many tips on how to maintain and take care of your relaxed hair so that it can grow to the lengths you desire.

The back of my hair several years ago

Best Relaxers for Black Hair

Finally, I'd like to talk about choosing the best relaxers for black hair. Many people rave about getting no-lye relaxers but the truth is that no-lye relaxers are not good for your hair! Now, granted, all relaxers can somewhat weaken the hair, no-lye relaxers cause additional problems on top of that.

No-lye relaxers came about as a solution to the burning people experience when getting their hair relaxed. However, they don't solve the problem. I always had a no-lye relaxer and let me tell you - THEY BURNED - just like any other relaxer. I did have a very sensitive scalp but my point is that no-lye relaxers do not solve the problem they were meant to solve.

Here are some of the problems with no-lye relaxers:
The chemical uses a calcium compound (calcium hydroxide) that builds up on the hair. This build-up keeps the hair from getting any moisture because it seals off the cuticle.
Causes a dry scalp.
Causes extremely dry hair

Conditioning lye relaxers are best. Here's why:
No calcium build-up so no dry hair and no dry scalp
Hair will be silkier, softer, and more pliable
Hair has more body, bounce, and more shine
The cuticle can be opened to receive moisture so hair stays more conditioned

Relaxer Process Tips

When you're having your hair relaxed - preferably by a licensed stylist - there are a few things you should pay attention to that will ensure that you're getting the best service for your hair's health. Let's take a look:
Make sure the stylist bases your hairline and your scalp.
If the relaxer begins to burn, let your stylist know. Often time, they will be able to work a little faster.
If you have a new stylist, let him/her know your experience with relaxers. This will help them time it and make you comfortable.
Pay attention to see if the stylist only applies the relaxer to your new growth.
Never allow the stylist to leave you alone for any period of time while there is still relaxer in your hair.
The stylist should take care to thoroughly rinse the relaxer out of your hair before neutralizing it.
You should receive a protein deep conditioning treatment after your relaxer.

The most important thing to remember during the relaxer process is to SPEAK UP! Speaking up can be all the difference between keeping the hair on your head and losing it all. Believe me. I know. When I got the relaxer that caused my hair to break off, I KNEW something was not right during the whole process. But I did not speak up. Don't let this happen to you.

If you speak up and the stylist does not pay attention to you, then you need to speak up again, speak to a manager or leave (as appropriate, of course).


When you get a relaxer, it can only be done to hair that has already grown in. As time goes by, your hair will grow. That hair that comes in will not be relaxed. The process of getting that new growth hair relaxed is typically referred to as a relaxer re-touch or a touch-up. A few things to keep in mind in regards to touch-ups:
Have at least 1 inch of new growth before getting a re-touch and more if you can manage it. This should amount to 8-10 weeks.
Learn to manage your new growth effectively by determining some styles that will keep you from manipulating your hair too much.
Keep your new growth moisturized so that it is healthy when the relaxer chemical is applied.

Unfortunately, I can't give you a one-schedule-fits-all sort of answer. However, there are several things that you need to consider to come up with the schedule that works best for you and your hair. You should consider the growth rate of your hair (i.e. new growth), your hair texture, your level of patience with your hair, as well as how you style your hair regularly.

By the end of this article, you should have a much better idea of how often to relax your hair according to the right schedule or if should adjust your schedule.

New Growth

"I have so much new growth!" That is a term that many of use when we are ready to have our hair relaxed again. In a way, this is a good way to guage whether or not it is time for a touch-up.

Generally speaking, most people prefer to relax their hair every 8 weeks. Since hair grows on average 1/2 inch a month, it's safe to assume that hair should have at least an inch of growth before getting a touch-up. For some people, that could mean 6 weeks and for some people that could mean 10 weeks. Having at least an inch of hair growth will provide room to apply the relaxer to only the new growth. Relaxing your hair without enough new growth could lead to over-processing which can then lead to breakage and thinness.

Growing Phase

The growing phase is the longest phase of the cycles of hair growth. It is also the one that most of your hair is going through at one time. Typically, about 90% of your hair is in this phase.

This phase can somewhat determine the longest length that your hair can grow. The average growing phase is between 3 and 7 years. Most hair grows an average of .5 inches every month. That means it is ultimately possible to grow one hair from 18-42 inches. Of course, this would mean you haven't had any breakage or needed any trimming! The growing phase is probably the phase you're most interested in but it is also important to learn more about the resting phase.

Resting Phase

The resting phase is the 2nd part in the cycle of hair growth. It is during this phase that the hair is not growing but the hair is still contained in the follicle.

Luckily, this phase is pretty short - lasting only 2-4 weeks. About 4% of all your hair is in this phase at one time. Hair growth is not occurring at this time while the hair rests until it is ready to shed.

Shedding Phase

I'm sure you all have heard that it's normal for hair to shed about 50-100 hairs per day. That exactly right!

After the hairs are finished resting, they get pushed out of the hair follicle. It may not immediately fall from your head until you later brush or comb your hair. While brushing or combing, those hairs that no longer have a root are coming out as shedding. Only about 2% of your is going through this phase at one time.

Shedding is something that tends to worry people. I ask you to think about how often you brush or comb your hair daily. You may get a lot of shed hairs at once if you only brush or comb once a day.

I hope that I have given you a broad overview of the cycles of hair growth. This isn't meant to be a science lesson so if you are looking for a little more than I provided here, check out some books at your local library on the topic.

As you now know, the cycles of hair growth are growing, resting, and shedding. Remember that all of your hair is in one cycle or the other at any given time and it's all perfectly normal!

Hair Texture

Depending upon your hair texture, you may need to adjust when you relax your hair from the typical 8 weeks. Those with fine hair should play close attention to their hair to ensure that they understand how their hair reacts to relaxers especially during touch-ups.

For example, fine hair breaks down more easily by the chemicals in relaxers. So, if you have a lot of new growth, your stylist will have to work quickly in order to get all of your new growth relaxed without risking damage by leaving the relaxer on sections for too long. Also, with fine hair you should absolutely avoid relaxing too often because over-processing can be extremely damaging to fine hair.

If your hair is more on the coarse side, your stylist will need to make sure that the relaxer is left on your hair long enough for the chemical to break down the bonds in your hair that encourages straightness. If you've waited an unusually long time to relax, it could pose a problem for your stylist as she tries to manage avoiding over-processing your hair while trying to ensure that you also get the level of straightness that you're looking for.

Level of Patience

Your level of patience also plays a role in how often you relax your hair. I hear a lot of talk about stretching relaxers. The premise of stretching relaxers is to eliminate over-processing and thus yield healthier hair. One thing worth noting is that stretching relaxers requires a lot of patience!

When your hair has grown an inch giving you an inch of natural hair along with the rest of your hair being relaxed, it can pose a challenge in styling and caring for your hair. You will have to treat your hair with extra special care when washing, conditioning, and styling. Your hair will tangle up more when being washed. It will be more difficult to comb through the conditioner. And moreso, styling will be the biggest challenge of all. You'll most likely have to spend more time getting your hair to look just right.

If you don't practice patience when stretching relaxers, you can experience breakage since the line of demarcation (the point at which your newly grown natural hair meets your relaxed hair) is the most fragile area of your hair.


When determining how often you should relax your hair, think about how you prefer to wear your hair on a daily basis. Do you prefer your hair bone straight and swinging? Or do you prefer more of a fluffy, big curls look? Or maybe you wear your hair in braid outs or twists. All of these weigh in to how often you might want to relax your hair.

If you wear your hair bone straight, you will most likely want to get your hair relaxed regularly - each time you gain an inch of new growth or every 8-10 weeks. Otherwise, you will have to spend extra time getting your roots straight and trying to avoid reversion.

If you don't mind a more fluffy, curly look, you can go a little longer without relaxing because your new growth won't be as much of an issue for your hair style.

Braid outs and twist outs offer a method of styling to help youo go longer without relaxing your hair. These styles help you to blend in your natural hair to your relaxed hair.
This is my 12 yr. olds hair, I am transitioning her from a perm to natural hair over the summer, I had to cut it about six months prior to this picture due to severe damage. This healthy hair is due to a natural process called Co-washing,


In conclusion, there is no one quick answer to how often you relax your hair. You have to think about what is good for your hair and what is good for you. You should pay attention to your hair's growth rate, how you prefer to style your hair, your patience level, as well as your hair texture. I hope this article has helped you determine if you need to adjust your own relaxer schedule or if you're already doing what's best for your hair.

As you can see relaxers for black hair can offer a method of manageability especially for straight hair styles that will resist reversion. If you already have a relaxer or are deciding on whether to relax, remember to use a conditioning lye relaxer done by a professional and follow all precautions I listed above. More than anything, I want you to get from this page is to speak up when visiting a stylist. It is your hair and you have the right to question the stylist about it!

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