Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Wednesday's words... Self-Relaxers [the case of the scissor happy stylist]

The self relaxer story usually follows the same suit, your mum or go to hair stylist has been doing your hair for years now and you love it! Then one day they decide it's about time you had a trim, and though you're really not feeling the idea you're not about to kick up a fuss in the salon so you give in thinking that there's some element of truth in what they are saying, then KA-BOOM the chopping begins, that's right chopping NOT trimming. The stylist may as well be chewing on gum and facing the opposite direction because as far as you know he/she simply can't see the chunks of hair falling by your feet. Anyway if it's not the trimming incident then you've been burned and the scabs were enough to keep you as far away from any salons or hairdressers as possible.

Before Nov 2011 I had successfully relaxed my own hair for almost 5 years because I couldn't stand scissor happy stylists, but just last year it all went wrong and my hair just didn't relax properly! After stretching for 8 months before hand, I clearly didn't process all of my new growth or relax it for long enough which left me with curly and straight bits all over the place. Fair enough I could have done a corrective treatment afterwards [had my hair relaxed as if it were a virgin relaxer all over again], but I decided to transition anyway so that was no longer an issue.

There are pro's and con's of self relaxing without a doubt, but i'll throw myself to the lions and say that a great stylist [God willing you have one] will always win hands down. Truth is however, finding a great stylist who will show you the half an inch she will cut [like Felicia Leatherwood] is like looking for sugar in salt, so if you are a member of the self relaxing crew then it's best you crack on and just remember your at home self-relaxer essentials.

So you have your relaxer kit ready, here are a few other essentials that may not not be in your relaxer kit... 
1| Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - you can use oils to protect your hairline and nape area from relaxer and also to coat hair that you don't intend on relaxing e.g hair that you do not want to overprocess. Oils create an extra barrier for the relaxer to penetrate through.

2| An abundance of towels - you'll need towels to protect your neck, back and any other area of skin that the relaxer can fall onto. Of course to protect your clothes and floor too!

3| Latex gloves - you should not apply relaxer with your bare hands. Plus if you have any open wounds and use your bare hands you'll be ouching all the way through the application process.

4| Combs - relaxer can be applied using the back of a tail comb or a hair dyeing brush. The tail of the tail comb works well to part hair sections for further application. You can then use a wider toothed comb to comb through the hair and ensure full coverage.

5| Be time conscious - leaving relaxer on for too long can burn your scalp whilst if not left on for long enough can result in under processed hair.

Finally be sure to follow the directions on your relaxer kit for optimum results!

Are you a self-relaxer why/why not? What tips can you share on how to improve your salon experience or how to achieve a successful self-relaxer experience at home?

Avec amour...
edF ❥


  1. I've only tried to self-relax one time & it did not turn out so great. It was about this time last year when I was studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. I had previously gone to a woman in the area w/ my own relaxer & she didn't do a great job of relaxing. My hair was virtually not-processed at all & then I had a little problem with alopecia (a nice little bald spot in the front of my head). I decided to try to relax my hair myself 6 weeks later and that didn't turn out so great either. I was so afraid of burning & my hair falling out that i didn't even leave it in long enough & pretty much had the same results. I was too happy when I finally got back to the states & let my regular hairdresser take care of my hair. She was like what happened over there? My hair was not in a good place. I wish I had started researching hair blogs & caring for my hair better on my own before I left the country. But I know better now.

    1. Yeah its a shame we drift towards self relaxers because of bad experiences with stylists. Thank goodness thats a thing of the past and their is so much knowledge on hair care and practices now than even a few months ago! Thank you for sharing x

  2. Girl. Paragraph Number 1. *raises hand* literally JUST happened to me! Chopping indeed!!!!

    1. Grrr makes you just want to smack somebody!


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x Fi