Can you Use Natural Hair Products on Relaxed Hair?

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Aloe Vera,Castor Oil,Coconut Oil, Hydrolyzed Proteins, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, these are just a few ingredients that most "Naturals" are familiar with and can name any number of benefits these ingredients have for their hair. Can products containing these ingredients be used to maintain healthy Relaxed hair?


We are seeing more and more products in Southern Africa pop-up for "Naturals", are those with relaxed hair being left behind? Can those with relaxed hair take advantage of the natural ingredients in the products being marketed to "Naturals?" Most products in the mainstream retail stores contain ingredients that are viewed by many Naturals as "undesirable";  they contain ingredients such as mineral oil, petroleum, silicone's and sulfates, if these ingredients are "bad" for Naturals could they also be bad for relaxed hair?  





Relaxed Vs Natural Hair
The needs of Relaxed Hair are the same as those for natural hair.  Type 4 natural which is the hair type that tends to be relaxed the most is dry, sometimes brittle and is the weakest hair type. Relaxed hair is dry, can be brittle and is very fragile as the chemicals in relaxers break the protein bonds in the hair strands, therefore; it makes sense for products used to care for and maintain healthy natural hair to be used to maintain healthy relaxed hair. 

Hair Care Basics 
How you care for your your natural Hair is the same way that you would care for your relaxed hair.  You need to Cleanse, Condition, Moisturize and Protect.






Cleansing 
It is important to shampoo your hair to cleanse it of dirt, product build and any bacteria that might be lurking on your scalp, most natural hair shampoos do not contain sulfates, as these are known to strip the hair of its natural oils, they also contain moisturizing agents which assist in infusing moisture into the hair.  If you use these shampoos on relaxed hair you will immediately see the benefits as your hair will tend to be less tangled when washing and it will not feel so dry.

Conditioning
Conditioning is an integral part of any "naturals" hair care regime, The agents contained in conditioners whether rinse off or leave-in "attach" themselves to the hair strands to soften and strengthen the hair strand, some conditioners containing hydrolyzed protein help to patch the broken protein in the hair strand therefore making the hair strand appear smoother and strengthening the hair.  These conditioners also contain less of the "bad" silicone's which are not water soluble therefore allowing more moisture to attach itself to the hair strands. Ingredients such as Mango butter, Moringa oil, Coconut oil, Shea Butter  are some of the ingredients found in these conditioners these are all natural oils which condition and soften hair.  When you deep condition your relaxed hair make sure you concentrate the product at the ends of the hair as this is the oldest and probably the most processed part of your hair, as you get into a regular routine of deep condition you will notice that you have less dry ends which means you will be able to retain length and your hair will appear thicker and will have a healthy sheen.  














Moisturizing 
The corner stone for maintaining healthy hair is MOISTURE MOISTURE it is absolutely essential to moisturize your hair in order to retain length and maintain healthy hair.  All natural hair moisturizers contain water, oils, butters, essential oils amongst other wonderful ingredients, these penetrate and seal the moisture into hair, naturals frown on ingredients such as mineral oil and petroleum as these are said to clog the hair and not allow any moisture to penetrate the hair shaft. Therefore natural hair moisturizers will be beneficial to relaxed hair in this regard as they will infuse the hair with much needed moisture.  Regular use of a good moisturizer will minimize breakage and will ensure elasticity and your hair will not look stiff and greasy. 
 Protect
As with with natural hair the less you "fuss" with your hair and protect it the more it will grow.  However, you need to treat relaxed hair a little differently in this regard, you cannot relax your hair and put it in a protective style the same day, your hair is at it's most fragile after been relaxed so applying a weave or braids puts unnecessary pressure on your hair and your hairline, so waiting a couple of weeks after your relaxer treatment will be beneficial to your hair. Ensure that whilst your hair is in its protective style, you use moisturizing products, as these will ensure that your hair does not dry out and become brittle. 

What Natural Hair Products to avoid. 
The way our hair reacts to certain products even in its natural state is different for everyone one.  Some naturals swear by Coconut Oil, personally I don't care for it as I find it dries out my hair but that doesn't mean it does not work, as with anything trial and error is key. Relaxed hair is much thinner than natural hair, so some products containing heavy butters might weigh the hair down and make it look limp and stiff.

It is possible to have healthy, long, thick relaxed hair, all hair grows as long as you look after it. Having a hair regime that works for you with the products that work for your hair whether they have mineral oil or silicone's will ensure that your grow long healthy hair.The key is finding what works for you and taking advantage of the all the new natural hair products we are finding in stores.  Remember some naturals even me included use products that are marketed for relaxed hair with great success. 


Tell us what products you have found that were marketed for relaxed hair that worked for you?  Are you relaxed and read our blog have you found any helpful information in past posts?  



XXX 


Isabel 








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