If you have decided to grow your relaxed hair but still struggling, don’t let that frustration stop you from reaching your hair goals. Maintain your relaxed hair the right way and see it grow longer and healthier.
Relaxed hair is not easier or harder to take care of than natural hair. You can learn how to take care of relaxed hair and make it grow longer in a few minutes. We researched, listened to a few relaxed hair care experts, and compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you take care of your relaxed hair.
Does Relaxed Hair Grow Out?
Relaxed hair grows out unless someone has an underlying health issue or condition preventing hair growth, like alopecia or mineral deficiencies. Hair grows out of the scalp, whether it be natural, dyed, relaxed, or has undergone any other chemical and natural treatment.
As long as there are no internal problems in the body or scalp issues, your hair will grow regardless of what processes you used on the strands.
How To Take Care of Your Relaxed Hair
Maintaining your relaxed hair is important. Here are our best nine best tips to take care of relaxed hair:
#1. Keep Your Scalp and Hair Clean
Hair care always starts with scalp care. It is crucial to keep your scalp clean to provide the right environment for hair growth. If your pores get blocked with grease and dirt, you will experience less hair growth and hair fall. A dirty scalp also invites dandruff, itching, and inflammation.
Don’t wash your hair too much as it will lead to a dry and inflamed scalp and dry hair. For most, washing your scalp weekly with a hydrating shampoo and once a month with a clarifying shampoo works.
This schedule can change depending on how much you work out, the climate where you live, and the seasons. You can also try a midweek co-wash.
#2. Keep Your Hair and Scalp Moisturized
Keeping your hair moisturized can help stop breakage, leading to better length retention. A moisturized scalp is less likely to become inflamed, oily, or dry.
Some people do a moisturize-and-seal routine every other day. Others do it only on wash day or twice a week. Try different methods and find which works for your hair. Do not saturate your hair with the product when moisturizing.
You can’t moisturize with oils and butter. Use hydrators like mists, serums, and water-based leave-ins. Ensure the first ingredient is water and that most components are humectants like aloe, honey, butylene glycol, and glycerin. Seal with a light oil like grapeseed or sesame oil to avoid weighing your hair down and causing breakage.
#3. Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
It is crucial to nourish and hydrate our bodies for hair health. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet to get micronutrients and vitamins. Drink at least two liters of water daily, adjusting for seasons and movement.
Ensure you eat loads of protein to help grow your hair and keep it strong. Most protein sources are also rich in vitamin B, calcium, and iron, which are needed to grow hair. Get outside and get some vitamin D as often as you can.
Consult a doctor to know if you are deficient in minerals like iron and omega 3s and vitamins such as B, D, C, K, and A. Supplement what you are lacking.
#4. Have a Consistent Relaxing Schedule but Avoid Overprocessing
You must stick to a regular relaxing schedule. Many people experience breakage because they don’t relax their hair on a consistent schedule. Unless you are transitioning to natural, find a timeline that works for you and stick to it.
You can stretch your relaxer for as long as you want. However, the more natural hair you have, the higher chance of breakage due to the difference in texture.
When stretching your relaxer, be extra careful and tender. If you cannot stretch your relaxer without causing damage to your hair, relax your hair after eight weeks to ensure length retention.
#5. Deep Condition and Use Protein Treatments
Deep conditioning is a great way to provide relaxed hair with the nutrients and moisture it needs to retain length. Look for deep conditioners filled with humectants.
You can add light oils to help nourish the hair if the deep conditioner does not already have them. Most people use deep conditioners once a week, so try this schedule and adjust as your hair needs.
You can use protein treatments biweekly, monthly, every six weeks or every two months. Your schedule will depend on hair porosity and how your hair responds to protein. You can also choose to use a protein-moisture balanced treatment instead of a pure protein treatment.
#6. Be Smart with Color
If you want to color your relaxed hair, be very careful. Get a professional to examine your hair and determine its health and state.
Avoid bleaching or coloring your hair for at least two weeks before and after getting a fresh relaxer. This ensures you do not overprocess your hair and cause breakage. Use only professional color and don’t overdo it.
For those trying to dye their hair darker, ensure that you get professional color and have a certified hair stylist do it. It is also advisable to wait two weeks after a relaxer to dye it darker. You’ll retain more hair length by avoiding back-to-back processing.
#7. Avoid Direct Heat and Overmanipulating Your Hair
Relaxed hair is more prone to breakage than natural hair. Your hair has already undergone an intense chemical process to restructure the bonds. Limit your use of direct heat like a flat or curling iron.
Avoid daily styling, rough combing, and high-tension hairstyles. When using protective hairstyles, stick to low manipulation and low tension styles.
#8. Trim Dead Ends
Holding on to dead and split ends only causes more damage. To avoid having long but damaged hair, get your hair trimmed. Have a professional you trust check for split or dead ends and trim them.
To avoid stunted growth, keep hair shears at home. Check for split ends yourself and immediately trim. Split ends travel up the hair strand, causing even more breakage. With time, you will find that you hold on to more hair length as your hair does not break as often.
#9. Protect Your Hair When You Sleep
When you go to sleep, keep your hair protected using a stocking, bonnet, cap, scarf, or socks. Ideally, use items made of silk or satin as these materials keep your hair from getting frizzy and reduce friction.
Protecting your hair at night will ensure no tension or friction on the strands while you sleep. For long, relaxed hair, braid it in sections before wearing your bonnet or scarf.
Why Is My Relaxed Hair Not Growing?
Here are reasons why your relaxed hair isn’t growing:
- You don’t deep condition or treat your hair, denying it nutrients and moisture for length retention
- You overmanipulate your hair by heat styling, too much styling, or using high-tension hairstyles
- You are relaxing too soon without enough new growth and thus overprocessing your hair
- You stretch your relaxer too far and thus experience more breakage due to too many hair textures on your head
- Your scalp is dirty or inflamed, causing clogged pores
- You are suffering from hormonal imbalances or alopecia, which causes hair loss and lack of hair growth
- You are doing too many chemical processes on your hair, like dyeing or bleaching.
How Long Should I Wait to Reapply Relaxer When Growing Out Hair?
You should wait at least eight weeks before you relax your hair again. You need enough new growth to relax to avoid overprocessing already relaxed hair. On average, hair grows half an inch every four weeks. For those whose hair grows fast, you may have up to 4 inches of growth in eight weeks.
You can choose to wait the eight weeks only or stretch your relaxer. Some people stretch their relaxers for up to six months. However, your hair is more likely to break and look dull when you wait too long between relaxers. Find what timeline works best for your hair to ensure you retain length and avoid overprocessing or breakage.
So, How To Grow Long and Healthy Relaxed Hair?
The key to growing long healthy relaxed hair is maintaining good overall health, scalp care, and preventing breakage. You want to focus on:
- Eating nutrient and protein-rich food to nourish your hair from the inside out
- Protecting your hair and avoiding too much manipulation
- Deep conditioning your hair often
- Maintaining a protein-moisture balance to avoid breakage
- Keeping your scalp clean and hydrated
- Avoiding relaxer overlap by waiting for enough growth before retouching and protecting the previously relaxed hair with conditioner, grease, or a balm.
If you consistently follow these steps, you will notice a lot less breakage in your hair. You can supplement these with hair supplements, scalp massages, and rosemary oil if you need help regrowing hair that got lost. Trial and error will help you find what balance of the steps above works best for your hair.
If you’re looking to grow your relaxed hair, it’s crucial to know what works and what does not.
Rice water cannot help hair grow but can help relaxed hair retain length. It needs to be well prepared and you need to monitor how your hair reacts to it closely.
Some people’s hair does not like rice water for various reasons, including too much protein. As with all other hair treatments, if your hair is fine, don’t try it.
Yes, a lot of oils have been proven to help grow hair. You can use oils like rosemary, pumpkin seed oil, and peppermint oil diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed to help your hair grow.
These oils can lower a hormone known as DHT, which causes hair loss. They also stimulate hair growth by elongating the telogen phase.
Neither, hair grows as fast as your genetics allows it. Whether your hair is relaxed or natural, it will grow at the same pace.
Some people notice more growth in relaxed hair due to the obvious demarcation between natural and relaxed hair. Others will say their natural hair grows faster, but it is usually because they take better care of it than they would their relaxed hair and thus retain more length.
Yes, if you don’t relax your new growth, you can transition to natural hair over time. After six months to a year of growing out relaxed hair, you may lose your previously relaxed hair as it breaks off due to the different textures. At this point, you will have transitioned to natural hair.