I'm stuck in a natural/ perm faze right now.
Generally, I think natural is better(my opinion) not necessarily easier, but then again, if you want to wear it natural you'll develop the patience for it.
I'll begin with Relaxed hair.
To relax your hair, you have the option of texturizers, lye/no lye relaxers.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there really is no difference between all three, they contain pretty much the same ingredients, only milder doses, which is undone when your hair dresser leaves it in your hair long enough for it to hurt.
Note: if it begins to burn, your hair is suffering, and that means its gotten to the nerves.Thats a no-no.
So Lye vs no Lye relaxers:
Lye Relaxers contain Sodium Hydroxide. The chemical is so strong that it can also be found in drain cleaners. The strength of Sodium hydroxide varies from a pH factor of 10-14. The higher the ph, the straighter the hair will get. However, a greater value can also result in greater damage.
No-Ly Relaxer- The chemical used in No-Lye relaxers is guinidine hydroxide. "No-Lye" does not mean that there are no strong chemicals in the relaxer, it implies that the chemical is less threatening or less damaging to the hair. Even so, it is still very important to ensure that the hair is in good condition before a relaxer is applied. It is also very important to strictly apply the relaxer according to the instructions provided.
The ProcessThe chemicals in relaxers are strong and potent enough to literally transform the original structure of the hair shaft. The chemical accomplishes this by penetrating the cortex layer. The original curl pattern is then loosened or relaxed. The central layer of the hair shaft provides the hair with its shape, elasticity and strength. Therefore, after a relaxer is performed, it is irreparable.
The optimum 'relaxed' state of your hair should still have some curl to it, it shouldnt be perfectly straight or your hair is in trouble, if you have 'negro hair' the health of your hair is in its elasticity.
Hair relaxers may give the effect of straightened hair ; however, they also weaken the hair. it is, therefore, crucial that conditioners are used before and after a relaxer treatment is applied.
DO NOT PERM YOUR HAIR YOURSELF, EVER, i'll explain why
My hair for example has three different types of textures, therefore requires, not longer time to perm, but three different types of relaxers, you often hear people say, 'oh the back of my hair perms faster than the front, or the hair in front is weaker that the others', its because you are using one strength of relaxer all through your hair, thats a no-no.
Also, when you apply relaxers to your hair, you increase the PH of your scalp. These relaxers contain chemicals that can dissolve metal overtime, so dont mess around with your scalp!
These chemicals penetrate into layers of your skin to straighten your tightly curled hair, in the process it scrapes nutrients(proteins), thats why as soon as the relaxer is washed off, if you have a good hair stylists, they would condition your hair, immediately, it also involves going under the dryer, this is so that the proteins can seep into the ares that the relaxers has depleted.
Note: If you have a good stylist, he/she should have a folder for you. It should contain what your hair is like, what works and doesnt, etc. If you ever go to your stylists and they dont remember you, RUN!
Also Never apply relaxer on damaged or already weakened hair. A relaxer should never be applied before the recommended time frame or to already processed hair. Relaxers are only to be applied to new growth to prevent over-processing, which can result in the breakdown of the hair and potential hair breakage.
What should you put in your hair, conditioners, shampoo and creams.
How Do I make it Grow? (Permed and Natural)
Caucasians asians and negros( I hope no one is offended by that word, I apologize if you are) have different hair textures and require different mode of care, meaning, you cannot and should not use products for other hair types on yours.
The sebaceous gland in Caucasians and asains for example secrets more oil into their hair, so they usually have shampoos and conditioners to decrease the grease in their hair so it grows( the downside is of course they tend to over wash their hair and then it becomes brittle and dry) negro hair though is dry and needs oil, it needs to be oiled as often as possible.
I use the word oil, because you oil the scalp, and grease the hair.
Do not use wax on your scalp, because it clogs it up. Imagine if you will, a strand of hair trying to break out of waxed up scalp; oil goes into the pores and does its job(not too much). You want to use natural oils, like avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil etc.
2 Cut off Split Ends!!
Your hair works from the root out, feeding nutrients up, so that your hair is healthy.
Refering to the above image, see that when you have split ends, your hair is laboring to send nutrients all the way to the end thats already dead.
By cutting it off, you maintain healthy hair and thus your hair will grow.
3 As often as you can, Condition.
Conditioning isnt an evil word, and you ca do it at home. Its just to pamper your hair and help it out. Give it some protein once in a while.
Please read the instructions on your conditioner. I mentioned that after your perm, you condition, yea? You usually sit there for about 15-20minutes, but the conditioners dont begin to really seep in until about 3minutes into the process, therefore if you read on the label of your conditioner to leave it in for only 3minutes, you know that aint right!
I'll leave off here for now, up next Curlers, hotcombs and even hand dryers, the myths vs the truths