Relaxed Hair Health: How to Care for Relaxed Hair All Year Round

Your go-to guide to maintaining the health of your relaxed hair.

Processed hair has the ability to thrive and be nourished, with a great relaxed hair health regimen set in place. We love that feeling after a fresh relaxing process when our hair is as sleek as ever and wrapping our hair at night only takes five minutes since our comb easily glides through our strands. Yes, that’s great and all, but as you know, it doesn’t last. However, there are a few steps that you can take to keep the health of your hair in check, and looking fab! Read on to discover some relaxed hair health tips to maintain and how to care for relaxed hair no matter the season or your lifestyle.

 

woman of colour with box braids
Source: Shutterstock

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the gym. Working up a sweat gets the blood pumping, but this same sweat is also a way of saying buh-bye to our fab hairstyles (side-eyeing you, hot yoga!) as it leaves our hair looking like an untidy mess. And this is why a lot of us skip the gym altogether.

For many, maintaining their relaxed hair is a priority – getting a hefty set of abs isn’t worth sweating out a perfect hairstyle. Here is how to care for relaxed hair while getting your workout on at the gym without worrying about a bad hair day.

1. Protective styling.

Buns and braids are ideal styles for hitting the gym. Not only does it keep your hair out of your face when you gather it in an updo, it also keeps the ends of your hair secure and away from rubbing against your sweaty skin.

Once your hair is dry after your workout, you may proceed to remove the protective style and style your hair as usual. Or leave it as is. Braids are having a moment these days and bun hairstyles are classy and transitional (perfect if gym class is before office hours).

 

2. Work out on wash day.

If preserving your straight strands throughout the week is your main priority, try hitting the gym on the day(s) you plan to wash your hair. This way you don’t have to worry too much about sweating out your fresh perm. When it’s time to wash, make sure you clarify with a shampoo to get the sweat and dirt trapped in your hair completely out.

Try out TRESemmé Cleanse & Replenish Shampoo and Conditioner. This multivitamin formula is will remove residue but is gentle enough to avoid stripping moisture. It is infused with aloe, and replenishes the hair without weighing it down.

 

3. Use dry shampoo on your relaxed hair.

Place your dry shampoo into your gym bag now. You really shouldn’t be leaving home without it. Dry shampoo helps to revive your hair in between washes, and in your case, this is after an intense workout. After your workout, spritz dry shampoo at your roots and let your hair air dry.

Dry shampoo, like Toni&Guy Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, will remove oil and sweat from your roots. By the time you get home, you should be able to carry out your nightly maintenance routine whether it’s wrapping your hair, pin curling or placing into a bun.

 

4. Wear a swim cap.

If your choice of cardio involves laps in a swimming pool, do your strands a favour and protect it from the chlorine and prevent it from getting wet by wearing a swim cap. The chlorine can be drying to relaxed hair, which can to breakage if it isn’t handled with care.

 

5. Switch up your workout routine.

Gotta give it to you if you’re truly dedicated to your gym membership. If you have no other options but to get your heart pumping on a daily basis, switch up your workout routine when you really need to save your hairstyle. Walking exercises are great and your body doesn’t work up too much of a sweat. Do a 10-minute crunch session in the morning. Anything to keep your blood pumping without sacrificing your hairstyle.

Summer hair care routines should be so simple and easy that you won’t need to break a sweat. Caring for processed hair during the summer months shouldn’t feel like a chore. However, in order to get the most out of your summer and spend less time worrying about your hair (all while keeping it healthy-looking), you’ll have to make a few minor tweaks in your relaxed hair care regimen. Nothing over the top, we promise! And plus, this summer is all about creative hairstyles, some of which may actually also contribute to the overall health of your relaxed hair! From fighting frizz, protective styling with fun hairdos, and accessorizing your hair to minimize damage, read on to discover how you can care for your relaxed hair this season.

 

woman of colour with long straight wig
Source: Unsplash

Just as colour-treated hair needs extra TLC, relaxed hair needs its own share of proper care and attention. Common summer-season culprits such as harsh UV rays, saltwater and pool water can wreak havoc on chemically processed hair. They can make strands brittle, and even lead to breakage.

The good news? There are measures you can take to ensure that you maintain your relaxed hair and that it’s properly taken care of during these months. A few tips to help you this summer:

 

1. Humidity resistance.

Hello, summer, and hello flyaways. One weather condition that we all despise during the summer season is humidity, no matter our hair type. Once humidity enters the hair shaft, we can basically say good-bye to our hairstyle. But you can definitely change the way you style your hair or switch up your products to help prevent this from happening to you.

Try a hair care system that works to keep your hair sleek. We like Organics Straight & Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner. This formula is enriched with argan oil, which works to smooth your hair while keeping your it nourished.

 

2. Try protective styling on your relaxed hair.

As mentioned above, another way to combat flyaways and protect your strands from the harsh UV rays is by wearing your hair in protective styles. Hearing the term “protective styling” may have you imagine the most boring hairstyles ever. However, there are so many fun hairstyles that you can try like, French braids, doughnut buns, fishtail braids and more. If your hair has been exposed to the sun for a prolonged amount of time, the UV rays can damage the cuticle.

Be sure to find ways to prevent damage by changing up your hairstyles. Have fun with the vast selection of creative styles out there and give your strands a much-needed break at the same time.

 

3. Use hair accessories.

Hats, scarves, and headbands are fun accessories to add to your everyday look. What’s more, these hair accessories also serve as a major saviour for your hair. Hats and scarves help to keep your hair protected from the sun, and headbands help absorb sweat. Chlorine can wreak havoc on chemically treated locks, so opt for using a swimming cap to protect your strands. Post swim, wash your hair with a shampoo, condition your strands, then style as usual.

 

4. Don’t overwash relaxed hair.

Bummer, we know—it’s too hot to skip wahses, not to mention you’re sweating more and straighter hair traps more oil. But just as you’ve been extra-careful when you washed your curls or ‘fro back in the day, relaxed hair needs that same love and attention too.

Try to aim for every other day, and choose a nourishing wash and care system that protects against breakage as well. We love the fortifying formula of Toni&Guy Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, as they do a gentle (but thorough!) cleanse, while helping to strengthen and fortify hair.

 

5. Pre-poo.

Water swells up the hair shaft, which can lead to a fraying of the cuticle layer. Coating your hair in a moisturising hair oil or primer before wetting it reduces this friction and helps keep your strands silkier.

 

6. Co-wash. 

Co-washing, or “conditioner-only washing,” entails washing hair with a cleansing conditioner and no shampoo. There’s been a surge in this movement recently, as fans of the product claim it to be much gentler on your strands. Cleansing conditioners are not a 2-in-1 shampoo and do not lather, so be prepared for a noticeable “slip” on hair with every use (which can lead to buildup, so we suggest using shampoo at least once a month). Co-washing is a great shampoo alternative, or if you want a silkier look and feel on your relaxed hair.

 

6. Air-dry relaxed hair as often as you can.

One of the best things about having straightened or relaxed hair is not having to deal with hot tools as much as you used to. Maximise this look’s wash-and-wear benefits by simply blotting hair with a towel after you shower and letting nature run its course.

 

7. Invest in a heat protectant.

If and when you do choose to heat-style, a heat protectant can help keep your strands’ integrity intact. One that also guards against the damaging effects of heat styling like breakage, such as TRESemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray, is a must-have in any hair arsenal.

 

 

woman with long relaxed hair processed hair
Source: Shutterstock

 

1. Protein treatments.

During the relaxing process, protein bonds in the hair shaft get broken down. Hair is made up of keratin, a protein your strands need. Replenish the keratin that’s been compromised with a protein treatment once a month. However, too much protein can lead to breakage, so you’ll need to find a happy medium. The best time to do your treatment is during your next wash day after relaxing the hair the previous week.

 

2. Deep condition relaxed hair.

Once a month, good. Once a week, even better! Maintain relaxed hair health by deep conditioning especially on your relaxer touch-up days. Treat your strands with Dove Intensive Repair Deep Treatment Mask. If you want an even deeper condition, add heat. Place a shower cap on your head then use a heating cap or hooded dryer.

 

3. Limit heat styling.

Heat styling can wreak havoc on your strands. Minimise using too much heat by roller-setting your hair after you wash it. If you decide to wear your hair straight, comb it out and wrap your hair after removing the hair rollers. Wrapping your hair will stretch out all of the curls from the rollers and result in straight bouncy strands. To maintain this look all week, wrap your hair at night before bed and secure it with a silk or satin scarf.

 

4. Trim your ends.

Do you ever wonder why frayed ends only seem to get worse? Well, it’s pretty simple: split ends worsen as they are left untreated, and can inch up your hair shaft. Nip them in the bud by trimming them every four to six weeks.

 

5. Only relax when needed.

Make sure you’re only relaxing your hair when you are due for a relaxing treatment, and not when you feel a little new growth at the roots. Ideally, you should only be relaxing your hair once a month.

 

Moisturise.

Moisturising is a great help in keeping your hair strong and healthy. Say goodbye to breakage by adding a proper moisturising routine.

 

black woman with pixie cut straight relaxed hair
Source: Shutterstock

Getting regular trims is a universal beauty rule. No matter what hair type you have, scheduling a hair trim every few weeks (or as needed) is vital for healthy-looking hair.

With relaxed hair health, it’s important to remember that during the chemical treatment process, the bonds within the hair shaft are broken down to straighten the natural texture of the hair. Your hair is essentially left in a weakened state. So this is where healthy hair care habits, like deep conditioning to strengthen and keeping your ends trimmed, comes into play. To emphasise the importance of the latter, here are five reasons regular trims are important to your processed hair care routine.

 

1. Your garments may fray your hair ends.

If you have medium to long relaxed hair, you probably love wearing your hair down. There’s nothing like a fresh wash and set, right? Here’s something you probably don’t know: While your hair is swaying from side to side with a healthy-looking bounce, the fabric from your clothing may be having a field day with your hair ends. To prevent this from happening, opt for updo hairstyles or coat your hair with a serum to create a protective barrier from rough fabrics like wool.

 

2. You constantly use heat on your relaxed hair.

Listen up: heat protectants are your friend. With chemically-treated hair, the misuse of heat styling tools can obviously do more harm than good to your hair. Overuse of flat irons, blowdryers, and curling irons without a protective barrier strips the natural sebum from the hair which causes breakage, and you guessed it, split ends. To start fresh, nip those ends off!

 

3. You have visibly uneven or thinning hair ends.

You ever wondered why you head to the salon for a trim and end up leaving with a haircut? Let us explain. Your stylist sees what you don’t see. You call it length, they see uneven and thin hair ends. The only way to get your hair back to its healthy-looking state is to cut it, evenly.

 

4. You want to avoid split ends.

If you don’t want to deal with split ends in the first place, get regular trims. Schedule an appointment every 6-8 weeks. In between salon visits, make sure your hair is moisturised and protected.

 

5. You want to maintain a hair cut.

Whether you’re rocking a short cut or chic layers, regular trims are a great way to maintain relaxed hair health. Keep your look fresh and easy to style with healthy hair ends.

 

Next Read

Found that informative? Check out this article for some awesome ways you can style for relaxed hair.