Straight Talk: Expert Tips For Relaxed Hair

We have not forgotten about our relaxed divas. In the midst of the booming natural movement, you’d start to believe that every brown girl in the nation has given up her coveted creamy crack. Not true at all. For you dolls with chic, sleek manes, we asked celebrity hairstylist Keka Heron to give us the top tips to maintaining healthy relaxed hair.

Should anyone ever do at-home relaxing?

No, I don’t recommend doing at-home relaxers because you can mistakenly over –process your hair.  You’ll more than likely accidentally put relaxer on your new growth as well as previously relaxed hair. Relaxers and all chemical jobs should be done by a licensed professional. 

What types of products should you use to ensure that your relaxed hair stays healthy and strong?

You should always use products that are incredibly moisturizing and include shea, cocoa, argan, jojoba and ginger.  I love Design Essentials Stimulations Super Moisturizing Conditioner and Keracare Super Reconstructor (deep treatment).

Can you recommend any fabulous leave-in conditioners or serums?

Mizani D’Tangle Moisturizing Leave-in Milk is a great leave-in and I also use Organix Light Moroccan Argan Oil on my clients.

What are your favorite relaxers to use on clients? 

My favorite relaxers are Mizani Butterblend Relaxer System, which contains cocoa and shea butter, and Optimum Advanced Keratin Whipped Creme Relaxer, which has 25% less sodium hydroxide, making it easier to maintain hair healthy.

How should you go about heat-styling with relaxed hair?

I suggest that you use a heat protector along with a leave-in conditioner. After you rinse out your non-leave-in conditioner, towel dry hair gently and spray or rub on your leave-in conditioner. Follow up with an application of an argan oil serum (above) while hair is wet. Blow dry hair, then use a heat protectant like Tigi Catwalk Straight Haute Iron Spray before flat-ironing.  

What steps should I take to repair my hair if it's been damaged by excessive relaxing?

First, space out your relaxers. If you normally get them every six weeks, make it eight weeks. Increase your deep treatments to bi-monthly, alternating between protein and conditioning treatments.  Always use a leave-in conditioner and try to stay away from using heat tools on a daily basis. Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor Treatment is great for repairing brittle hair.

Are there any great protective styles for relaxed hair when you want to give it a rest from heat-styling? 

Try rod sets, sew-ins, extensions and twist sets. 

What's the top key to maintaining healthy relaxed hair?

Condition and moisturize! All of your products should have a moisturizing agent. Healthy hair starts at the shampoo bowl and continues long after you’ve gone. Also, have your stylist recommend professional retail and over-the-counter products to keep your hair healthy.