My last relaxer was in early May... it was NOT what you would call a "textbook" relaxer application. I had quite a bit of burning
I have been using lye based relaxers for my entire hair journey. I started using Silk Elements relaxer and then moved to Mizani. I noticed, around this time last year, that I was having extreme itching and flaking issues on my scalp! I have had to postpone relaxers because of it as well as have many-a sore scalp problems due to the scratching. For my entire life, I have NEVER had issues like this (however, full disclosure: my mother has extreme seborrheic dermatitis for which she has to use certain, prescribed shampoos and she has to be careful of what she uses on her hair/scalp... it's so bad that sometimes she gets dry, inflamed patches in her eyebrows!). There can only be two explanations, maybe it's genetic or maybe the harsh chemicals from the relaxers that I'm using are causing my scalp distress. Likely, it's a combination of the two since I've had a sensitive scalp my whole life.
Either way it goes, I have been sweeping this issue under the rug for long enough. Cliche or not, healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp: PERIOD. Who cares if Shika had long beautiful hair if she screwed up her scalp and abused it for so many years that the hair just stopped growing?
The one fact that I am trying to wrap my head around is that in order to maintain the health of my hair and the integrity of my scalp I may have to end up quitting relaxing and go natural. As you all know, while I love natural hair and stan for some natural heads in the forum/blogosphere, going natural was never something that I planned for my own head. Again, there is nothing wrong with going natural, but because of the way I prefer to wear my hair, relaxing seems to be my best option. Because of that, going au naturale will be my last resort. However, there are a few last ditch attempts to relaxing that I'm ready to take (and feel free to suggest anything that I'm missing)
- Phytorelaxers: I've done a bit of research and am ready to try Phytorelaxers. Many women with sensitive scalps were able to see success with this brand. The only pitfall is that they're expensive as hayylle!! However, they offer a good alternative for regular, no-lye relaxers.
- Regular, no-lye relaxers: for me and my hair, I'm not a fan of no lye relaxers. I'm not a fan of the build-up and the drying effect they have on some women's hair (including mine, pre-HHJ). However, they are typically easier on the scalp that Lye relaxers... because of that, they may be a good option should I choose to keep relaxing my hair.
- Heat-training: I'm not apologetic of the fact that I prefer to wear my hair straight/stretched out. My natural texture is 4B. Women with that texture tend to have difficulty retaining length (due to the hair tangling and knotting on itself because it's soooo curly). Transitioning to heat-training offers the best of both worlds... it makes it easier to straighten out the hair while eliminating stress to the scalp.
Questions? Additional comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org