How to do a corrective relaxer

4 Sep

I’m dedicating this whole post to corrective relaxers.  A corrective relaxer is done to correct any under processing from a previous relaxer.  Under processed hair can lead to breakage because you are dealing with two different textures.  The hair becomes breakage prone especially where the two textures meet on the hair shaft (known as the line of demarcation).

The first step to a corrective relaxer is to determine why the hair was under processed in the first place.  There are many reasons why this could happen.  This can be because the relaxer was rinsed off too soon, too little relaxer crème was used or that you had applied something to the hair that slowed down the chemical process of the relaxer.  Often we have under processed hair in the nape because we cannot see the back of our heads when self-relaxing.  Once you determine why the hair is under processed, it will help you avoid repeating this when relaxing again.

Make sure to wait at least six weeks before doing a corrective relaxer.  In that time look after your hair i.e. wash and deep condition at least weekly and moisturise daily.  Pay particular attention to moisture to keep breakage at bay.

After six (or more) weeks you should have enough new growth to relax your hair again.  Apply the relaxer to your new growth as usual.  In the last five minutes before rinsing off the relaxer, apply relaxer crème to the under processed parts / the parts that need ‘correcting’.  This will prevent the under processed parts from becoming over processed which is also damaging to the hair.   Remember that when it comes to the under processed parts, you are picking up from where you left off at the last relaxer – the hair has already been processed the previous time round.  Do not apply the relaxer to all the hair, just the parts that need correcting.

As a final note, if you are not experiencing breakage, tangles or shedding and you don’t mind the different textures then you don’t need to worry about doing a corrective relaxer.  The hair will eventually be trimmed off in time.

Do you sometimes get under processed hair when you relax?  How do you deal with it?


8 Responses to “How to do a corrective relaxer”

  1. 05 September, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    How often should I relax my hair,I use organic root….its long but I noticed putting hair food that’s petroleum jelly like quickly makes it kinky by the roots,what can I do???
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    • Tendayi 05 September, 2012 at 11:33 am #

      Relax your hair after 6 weeks or more. I relax every 12 weeks minimum now. I moved gradually from 6 to 8 then 10 and now 12 weeks. Less than 6 weeks you risk overprocessing your hair.

      Stay away from petroleum based moisturisers. Petrolatum does nothing for your hair. Its just a filler ingredient. Read this post for more detail –

  2. Palesa 07 September, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    hey Tee! i totally larv wat u do for ppl who previously thot hair is an undercoat for weaves and anything BUT their own hair (ME). im on my journey and have big goals! thing is iv been using Revlon relaxer since i was a kid, and my hair comes out luking divine! for da past two years i suffered in silence as it began to becum an inferno during application, i finally decided enuf was enuf and switched to Ladene on my last touch up (April) im due to retouch later today…….and my loyalties are killing me, im not quiet sure of Ladene but Revlon is killing me?! wat shud i do? duz da switch from mean i cant switch back??

    • Tendayi 07 September, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      You can safely switch relaxers but make sure you hae lots of new growth to prevent overlapping. You need to remember though that your hair can react differently to different relaxers and the relaxer results may not be the same. You may end up with different textures on your head!

  3. Palesa 08 September, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    ThAnx A mil!! Went for da touch up and the horror!! Lol had to fake a burning scalp cauz da gal was about to COMB my hair in da midst of all dat chemical…… I face da issue of severe (according to me) unequal lengths of hair at da back of my head…so wen can I put on my box braIds? My hair is quite soft and supple by nature….

    • Tendayi 10 September, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Wait at least 2 weeks (preferably more) before braiding. In that time make sure to wash and deep condition your hair as well as moisturise it. Effectively you will be preparing it for braids. The wash before your brais condition with a protein conditioner to strengthen the hair. See this post for differences between moisture and protein and the advantages of each for the hair.

  4. soso 13 March, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    self-relaxed my virgin hair this afternoon and unfortunately my rookie methods resulted in underproccessed hair. waiting 8 weeks to do a corrective relaxer. can anyone recommend a good hairstylist in cape town?

    • Louise 14 January, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      @soso, have you looked into crotchet braids? Its meant to be less stressful on the hair than the usual extension braids…

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