Friday, 13 December 2013

Setting the Tone - Pre-relaxer Wash Day

It's funny how before I started delving into the world of hair care I'd relax my hair on a whim. No preparation, no real thought put into it. Just spotting the new growth and getting rid of it. There was no 'pre-relaxer wash', no fortifying the hair with protein, and prorosity who??

Fast forward some years and relaxer day has to be thoroughly planned: enough time for the process itself, steps to be taken before the act and the follow-up thereafter. All of which are important to the success of the relaxing process. Let's talk a little about the preparation aspect of the process, shall we?!

Wash Day

This wash day comes a little earlier than usual. My wash day usually starts on a Friday night and with an overnight DC thrown in, takes me to Saturday. This time however I'm opting for a Thursday evening wash as I intend to relax on Tuesday. I really wanted to do it on Friday, But I leave on Saturday, so I'm thinking that's a no-go, then I'll be busy on Wednesday and Thursday.

Anyway, this being the wash day before relaxing, I'll have to do things a little different.

The Steps:

pre-poo deep condition - A mixture of Queen Helene and ORS replenishing conditioner on my roots, 

New growth at 20 weeks

ORS replenisher only on the length and ORS with a bit of Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor on the very ends in a kind of layering of protein. This technique works to balance out the amount of protein found in the strand. It was first brought to my attention while reading an interview of Yhaya by Nadege. See interview here. This is the first time I'll be executing this technique as I've been abstaining from protein for the past few months. I think this protein wash is timely as I have seen a few broken strands. They were quite long so I'm guessing they occurred at the line of demarcation (the point at which the new growth and relaxed textures meet). The layering of protein works to prevent breakage as there won't be any points along the shaft which are weaker than others. If a strand is equal in strength, breakage is less likely. After these products have been applied to my strands, I will seal everything in with EVOO. As usual, I'm heading to the gym while this potion works it's magic.

Contrary to what I've seen in many prerelaxer wash posts by other bloggers, you won't find a clarifying shampoo, or even a regular shampoo step here. The hair is usually clarified so that the relaxer can process effectively. However since I don't want my hair to be too processed (as per previous relaxer results), I don't mind a little buildup acting as a barrier. I clarified in my last wash (last Friday) and don't find it necessary this time around.

Tea rinse - Employing this technique to lessen shedding as I don't wish to be detangling my hair hereafter. I can do without the extra manipulation this close to the relaxer process. I used 2 black tea and ginger tea bags.

Mini moisture back-up deep conditioning treatment - Queen helene/Aubrey's Honeysuckle rose/EVOO+Grapeseed oil - makeshift steam session in the shower.

Restore porosity - A little Roux added to the above mix in order to correct the porosity of my hair. Sometimes the porosity of my hair can be a little high, correcting it prior to relaxing will assist in preventing overprocessing.

Seal/Co-wash - with my tresseme moisture rich conditioner

Rinse - cool water to lay cuticles

T-shirt dry, add leave-in (tresseme moisture rich (regular conditioner))

Style -  I intend for this style to last me up until Tuesday (5 days) so as to limit manipulation. It's very simple: two flat twists and bantu knots turned into a bun at the back.

flat twist, bantu knot-out - bun

As you can see, this wash day is purely about adding protein, correcting porosity and limiting manipulation, all key aspects of preparing hair for the relaxing process.

Are you relaxing anytime soon? How do you get ready for your relaxer?



  1. Great post and very timely as I intend to end my 24 week stretch next week. U got a good amount of NG. I hope u retain all of it. Good luck

    1. Thanks Hairbella (I'll need the luck lol) and to you as well!

  2. I can't wait to see the relax day results. I'm not trying to work on a routine for my hair with more protein as I've been experiencing some breakage at the ends. I've never had such a problem with it yet. I'm not sure why either. I'm thinking too little protein coupled with stress from living haha.


    1. Protein is great but be careful, an overload ain't cute lol. ahh I tell you, the stresses of life!! haha

  3. Your hair looks great!

    I always leave at least a week between last wash/rinsing my hair with water and relaxer. Do you find from Friday to Tuesday is enough rest for the scalp before relaxing?

    1. Hey Lisa, Thank you so much. Uhm, usually I go about a week too, but this time around I'm pressed for time. I actually washed on Thursday (not Friday) so that gives me a 5-day gap, that should be fine.

  4. i love how you broke down how tedious the process can be.
    people think i'm lying when i tell them i can't go out because "i have to wash my hair", lol.
    i've never heard of a tea rinse before.
    i'll have to get more information on that...

    1. haha I know, it can be an all day event! I try to multi-task to cut down on time tho.
      Tea rinses are used for many benefits, I used the black tea to cambat shedding. It does so because it contains caffeine. Coffee, green tea and other caffeinated 'beverages' lol can be used as well.

  5. Look at all of that new growth! Get it chica!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

    1. Yes ma'am! 20 weeks! lol Retention is another story though!


What are your thoughts?