Relaxing very short hair - advice needed!

Does any one have any advice on relaxing very short hair, please? I have a style in mind that invloves buzzing hair short at the sides (1.5 to 2cm) or maybe razor cutting. I'm 3b and 3a mixture, so I don't think I'd need to relax before about 3cm (product and comb should do it.) It's after this that the hair won't lie flat and would also be too short to straighten. Wondering if anyone has or does relax hair that's only about 3-4cm long?

My confidence is growing that the cut would suit me (with the help of some on this site!) I just want to know the score with relaxing as I've never relaxed before. I thought this would be a better topic to ask on. Are there any other methods I should know about? Would a home relaxer do it...? I researched Japanese straightening, which I think is done thermally somehow. But it's mega expensive.

If I relaxed at say 3cms and then again at 4cm, would my hair cope? Guessing would only be about a fortnight apart - is that too close? Once the hair was about 6cm long I'd straighten (NOT daily - I don't like to go over board with the heat and never have the heat up very high.) Probably twice a week then should hold with small amount of product (in theory.)

I have attached a couple of pics to give an idea of what I mean. I'm not sure about the back yet but don't think I'd cut it too high up, just a bit. Rihanna had a more extreme version of this cut at one point but it looks a bit softer in these pics, which I prefer. The back was shaved quite close and high in line with the sides. I wouldn't want to take the back too high, maybe two inches up from nape hairline. Relaxing advice would be fab and please share your stories of this cut if you've actually had it : ) Thanks v much.
Attached Thumbnails
Relaxing very short hair - advice needed!-rihanna-short-hair.jpg   Relaxing very short hair - advice needed!-rihanna-lt-ss.jpg  

Last edited by CurlyQueen88; 04-21-2012 at 03:45 PM.
Please? Anyone...? Really need advice. Thanks.
Any advice would be really appreciated, thanks. I'm in the dark about relaxing!
Hi CurlyQueen,

I'm bumping this because I'm surprised you didn't get any responses. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about relaxing hair (I'm a 3a 3b and have only chemically straightened my hair once in a salon) but I suggest you try posting in one of the other forums or in the general discussion.

Good luck - I hope you get some answers!
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Hi curlypearl,

Thanks for replying. Especially as, as you say, I didn't get any other responses. I'm surprised too, as I know relaxing short hair isn't uncommon. I'm still considering it and really want a change but need to gather advice (and momentum!?) first.

I did get some replies on general forum but posted here for advice on the relaxing bit. I know I won't be able to straighten hair that's only 3cms or so long and I'd want it to lie flat (ish)
I think if you aren't sure how it would look once u relaxed it after u cut it, do it before the cut. Then you can find someone to cut it the way you want. And outline exactly the way you want it cut just in case the stylist is scissor happy.

I think u asked what kind of relaxer to use? I used to use a no lye relaxer. Soft n beautiful I believe and its cool. Oh and when I did a texturizer I used African pride and its good. It has oils that u add in and I added in my own oils so it wouldn't be so strong. Plus some to my hair. If your texture is fine then I wouldn't suggest a lye perm (the ones u don't have to mix) cuz they tend to be stronger imo. And they straighten really quick so doing those at home wouldn't be good if you've never done it.

Also the box always suggests not to apply directly to the scalp so u can follow that. For me, I just made sure I based my scalp really good with vaseline and i could be at ease a little if I got some on the scalp. Hth!

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Who's My Hair?
3c/4a-b looking stuff lol
BC- May 16, 2010
Why I chopped: heat damage/breakage
Luv'd my permed hair I just didnt take care of it.
LUVVV my natural hair!!!
Thanks, B-Nessa11 : )

Yeah, perhaps relaxing first is better idea. I did ask about home relaxers, yes. I definatley want to use a no lye one. As I said nothing too harsh. I'm 3b with some 3a so I don't need anything too strong. I suppose I'd just want it to behave more like 2a or b hair if was so short. Thanks for your advice.

And I am a little afraid of a stylist getting 'scissor happy'... I won't be happy if I come out too cropped! This is where you need a hairdresser friend!
Lol I know right! And yea even with the no lye it works about the same as a lye. So just to make sure its not to strong u can at least coat ur hair with a conditioner. I would do suave coconut because of the protein. Your hair is going to appreciate it lol. And plus u can still have some wave in there. Hopefully since ur tryin to almost fully relax it your hair won't get more curly like my best friend's did.
I'm glad I could be of service

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Who's My Hair?
3c/4a-b looking stuff lol
BC- May 16, 2010
Why I chopped: heat damage/breakage
Luv'd my permed hair I just didnt take care of it.
LUVVV my natural hair!!!
My hair is currently cut very similar to this and I actually prefer it better with my hair curly and I'm a 4a. I'd imagine with 3a/3b curls that straightening it would not even be needed since the curls are already lose. I think the curls add to the cut and make it unique. And If you relax the hair, keep in mind you will lose the volume and you hair will end up sorta limp and I don't think it will come put the way you are thinking it will.

ETA: ok I just reread your post. I don't think you need to relax the short part for it to lay straight. I'm able to get my short hair straight when I want it with product (gel) and a boar bristle hair brush. It does have a slight wave but since the top of my hair is curly, it fits. Also keep in mind LOTS of AA men and some women with hair that is much curlier cut their hair that short or shorter and get it to lay down straight or with a slight wave and they don't use any chemicals to achieve it. It can be done, I think you just need to investigate a bit more.


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Last edited by Nappy_curly_crown; 05-11-2012 at 06:51 AM.
My hair is currently cut very similar to this and I actually prefer it better with my hair curly and I'm a 4a. I'd imagine with 3a/3b curls that straightening it would not even be needed since the curls are already lose. I think the curls add to the cut and make it unique. And If you relax the hair, keep in mind you will lose the volume and you hair will end up sorta limp and I don't think it will come put the way you are thinking it will.

ETA: ok I just reread your post. I don't think you need to relax the short part for it to lay straight. I'm able to get my short hair straight when I want it with product (gel) and a boar bristle hair brush. It does have a slight wave but since the top of my hair is curly, it fits. Also keep in mind LOTS of AA men and some women with hair that is much curlier cut their hair that short or shorter and get it to lay down straight or with a slight wave and they don't use any chemicals to achieve it. It can be done, I think you just need to investigate a bit more.


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Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown
I agree

Sent from my Desire HD using CurlTalk App
Who's My Hair?
3c/4a-b looking stuff lol
BC- May 16, 2010
Why I chopped: heat damage/breakage
Luv'd my permed hair I just didnt take care of it.
LUVVV my natural hair!!!
Thanks, Nappy_curly_crown and BNessa-11

Maybe I don't need to relax, I just thought it would make for a sleeker version of the style. I think it can look good curly too, but personally I'd want it straightish/wavy. Perhaps I actually have to cut it, then see what happens! I'd only want to relax once if I did, as in when it's only about an inch long. Could use a bit of heat after that (not too much.) I imagine it would curl a bit at inch kind of length but... who knows! I haven't had my hair so short since I was about 1 or 2.

One thing I forgot to mention : / Are relaxers ok over 'colour enhanced' hair? I've never used permanent dye but have used a gentle semi-permanent a few times. Just incase I do end up relaxing.... Does it depend on the dye? I'd hope it would say on relaxer packaging.

Thanks.

Last edited by CurlyQueen88; 05-12-2012 at 07:56 AM.
Most relaxers say yes, but every person I know that's used relaxers and color has ended up with some damage. With a semi permanent color, I think the out comes are much better (especially if you have not bleached or lifted too much color) from the hair.

Remember that relaxers and color are both sort of "controlled" processes. The processes themselves cause a certain degree of damage to yield the desired look. When you add one damaging process on top of another, there is often no way to know what can/will happen no matter WHAT a stylist will tell you.

If you decide to do it, research extensively and proceed with caution.

Good Luck


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Thanks for your advice. I will proceed with caution! Definatley don't plan on ever bleaching or using a harsh colour - will stick with the mild semi-permanent stuff. Hopefully my hair will take it if I treat it well.

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