Is Your Hair Stressed Out?

Do you use a permanent wave or relaxer on your hair in addition to your hair color? Have these processes caused your hair to become dry? Check out the following tips because your hair is STRESSED OUT!  The following tips will help keep the shine in your hair and improve its condition dramatically!

1. Permanent Waves

During the processing time of the permanent wave (perm), the “bonds” within the hair shaft are being changed into a new form-from straight to curly. The hair, as you know it, is wrapped around the perm rod to make these changes. The tension and pressure can be great on the hair, often causing damage within the hair shaft if it is used improperly.

The desired curl is then sealed into place with a final lotion called a neutralizer, which forms the new curl. If the neutralizer is left on too long, the hair becomes damaged. The hair should be neutralized for 5 minutes-no more. Often the neutralizer is left on for 15 to 20 minutes, causing extreme dryness to the entire hair shaft, especially if the hair has been colored treated.

To rearrange the straight hair into soft, wavy hair, it is less damaging when the hair is not wrapped too tight around the perm rod. Often you will get a “fuzzy hair look” when the hair is wrapped around a tiny perm rod so many times that the end result is dry, frizzed hair. If you have had your hair colored just before the perm, it is even worse. It also happens when the wrong solution has been used or the hair has been over-processed.

If you have had your hair colored, make sure you wait two weeks before you have a perm. Be sure to ask for the most qualified professional who specializes in this process. Only then can you be assured that good judgment will be exercised in choosing the right perm solution for your previously colored hair.

2. Relaxers

When you use a relaxer, always allow two weeks before coloring your hair. The chemicals in this product will remove the hair color from the hair even more so than the perm. NEVER USE A RELAXER AT HOME! Schedule the service with a professional. Most professionals know how to do this service, but be sure to ask before booking the service. First, meet with the person that will be doing the service.

There will be “no charge” for this consultation, so take advantage of it. This will give the professional an opportunity to evaluate the condition of your hair. You may have to wait for a week for the service, but it’s better to wait than to risk breaking your hair off.

3. Asian Relaxers

Are Asian relaxers better than regular relaxers? (Asian relaxers cost $700 and the service takes 5 hours.) Though the hair is relaxed when it is finished, the hair is still dry and often straighter than is necessary. Hair that is too straight is particularly dry, especially if it has been processed over colored treated or highlighted hair.

Often the hair breaks off, which takes months to grow back (1/2 inch growth per month). There is no treatment that will replace broken hair; treatments only help the hair retain its moisture.

Be ultra careful if your hair is fine and curly. These relaxers are not a compliment to fine hair. It will be left lying flat on the head almost to the point where you can see your scalp.

Ultimately perms and relaxers remove the color from color-treated hair. They dry it out and leave it dull and flat. The only color that will help repair this overall lackluster is using a semi-permanent hair colorant to refresh the color after the service.

4. Semi-Permanent / Demi-Permanent Color

If you have ultra straight hair and need a perm to give softness to your hair, you might consider using a semi-permanent colorant every month rather than a permanent colorant. Semi-permanent colorants penetrate less and do not react as harshly with other the chemicals.

Though you will have to do the color process more often, doing so will prevent your hair from becoming as dry. If you need to cover gray use a demi-permanent color. This will penetrate further (covering gray better) but it will not be as damaging as joining a relaxer with the permanent color.

If you want to use a relaxer on your very curly hair or unevenly curled hair, you must also consider the semi-permanent colorant. It will help retain the shine in your hair, which will be removed by the chemicals in the relaxer.

Always have the perm or relaxer at least full two weeks before you color your hair. Never have two permanent processes done on the same day.

5. Treatment

Even if your hair is in great condition, it will still need the help of a good treatment at least once a week, particularly if you are mixing chemical processes. It’s simple, you can do it yourself, and it won’t cost a fortune.

You can purchase professional treatments in the salon or at the beauty supply store. Be sure the treatments say “repair” in the description of the product. You can apply the treatment in the shower or apply it and leave it in while you do projects around your home or work out at the gym.

If you did not shampoo your hair prior to applying the treatment and left it on for a long time, simply shampoo your hair and use a conditioner so your hair will be easy to comb through. Never use heat when using the treatments over color-treated hair.

When you use two different chemical processes together, it is imperative that you use a conditioner every time you shampoo your hair, whether that is everyday or two or three times a week. Always use a very large-tooth comb for your hair. Never use a brush over wet hair because this pulls and stretches the hair, causing it to break off.

Last Word

As a professional, I do not recommend using relaxers or perms with color-treated hair or with bleached highlights. If you need to curl or straighten your hair, use a semi-permanent colorant instead of a permanent colorant. Switch to using high-lift tints for the highlights rather than using bleach. This change will help retain as much moisture in your hair as possible when you mix these chemicals.

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