Since I have started relaxing again, I decided to do a back to basics post for those ladies interested in self relaxing. In 2013, self relaxing is what really helped me break through my shoulder length plateau, and start retaining serious length. This happened since when I self relaxed, I made sure I never overlapped my relaxers, and I also consistently texlaxed (leaving hair with some curliness or waviness after relaxing).
Pros of Self Relaxing
1. You get to oversee every step of the process yourself
2. You are sure of the quality of the products being used in your hair (no risk of having relaxer mixed with hair remover, yes this really happens in salons)
3. You add in a few steps that a regular stylist wouldn't bother with (such as a mid-step protein treatment, coating previously relaxed hair with some sort of oil)
4. Your hair is your priority, you won't be rushed to make space for another client
5. You will try by all means to avoid overlapping your relaxer (applying relaxer to already relaxed hair)
6. You can be gentler when detangling and applying relaxer
Cons of Self Relaxing
1. It's hard to determine if your hair is now processed to the right degree
2. It takes a lot of time, and can be painful (aching arms, anyone?)
3. You have to invest in excellent products and tools
My suggestion is, if you find that stylists around you always over process and overlap your relaxers, maybe you should look into self relaxing. If your stylist can relax your hair without overlapping and over processing, stick to that stylist. And if you do self relax, make sure you read the instructions that come with your relaxer. You do not want to take chances with a serious chemical process like this. Chemical burns and/or melted hair are not something to joke with.
My self relaxing method can be found here:
Relaxer at 18 weeks post
The half and half method, is very popular with most self-relaxers.
Ms D at 6footlonghair has this post on how to self relax
If you are a more visual person, Jen from JustGrowAlready has this video on how she does the half and half method
Next week, my Back to Basics post will be on stretching your relaxer.