Deciding to relax hair after being natural

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Hello! I did the big chop a year ago, which was my second time. I have not relaxed my hair in about 4 years. I hate to say this b/c I know people feel so strongly, but I really feel like my hair is too nappy to be natural. It is so hard to manage, it's like a brillo pad. I wear braids, wigs, and I do like rocking an afro. I tried a twist out...nothing happened really, no difference. My hair is so dry, thick, and grows extremely slow.
I am really interested in other people experiences of getting your hair relaxed after being natural. I feel bad wanting to get a relaxer. I see so many women with beautiful natural hair, but I just don't feel I am one of them.
Are you cowashing & deep conditioning regularly? If not, those will help dryness & manageability. Pick products that will hydrate you hair. I had thick dry hair too & deep conditioning & cowashing helped. Remember, natural hair is beautiful. 😉
Janiece likes this.
Your hair is like a brillo pad because it lacks moisture.

Unless your body hair isn't growing then your hair is slow growing because you aren't retaining it because it lacks moisture.

There are very simple things you can do to rectify it.

Also just dumping a chemical on it won't solve the problem that your hair lacks moisture in fact it's more likely to make it worse.

Oh and when I relaxed my hair it was originally relaxed from natural. As I have fine low density hair the main issue was not over processing it.
Janiece likes this.
I do cowash and deep condition. It's extremely frustrating. I have always had a problem retaining moisture. My hair is light brown and always looks so dry, even when it's not. I have tried several different leave in conditioners and deep conditioners.

Thanks so much for the advice and replies!
Post your exact routine and you will get help.
Janiece likes this.
You may benefit from a hair analysis because it sounds like you may be using products that aren't suited to your specific hair properties. You may be using products with lots of proteins when your hair may actually need more humectants (moisture). Also, if you live in a very humid or arid climate, products with glycerin high on the ingredients list will cause hair to be dry because of how glycerin affects moisture balance.

I am not sure what your curl pattern or hair texture are, but certain types of hair naturally look drier. For instance, coarse hair, whether straight, wavy, curly or kinky, doesn't reflect light as well as fine and medium hair so this texture may look dry even when it isn't. Really tight curls like 4a and 4b that aren't fine also may look drier than other curl patterns because the less smooth the surface of hair, the less it reflects light, which causes less shine.

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Janiece likes this.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
I do cowash and deep condition. It's extremely frustrating. I have always had a problem retaining moisture. My hair is light brown and always looks so dry, even when it's not. I have tried several different leave in conditioners and deep conditioners.

Thanks so much for the advice and replies!
Originally Posted by Janiece
Does your conditioner have Dimethicone in it. Even if it is far down on the list (my major mistake in co-washing). This ingredient made my hair look nice but feel like a brillo pad. I didn't realize the difference it made until I found a conditioner that doesn't have it.

I thought my hair was dry and wouldn't retain moisture before I started no-pooing. Dimethicone in my conditioner was the culprit.

Drinking lots of water helps.

Like the other poster said, list what you use. More help will come.
Blueblood and Janiece like this.
Janiece,

I understand b/c I am now currently relaxed and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. Yes, there are many here on this board who love curls, and so do I, just not on my head.

I was natural for 3 yrs when I realised that even though my curls looked great, and my hair had looked better than I had ever thought, I just couldn't love my curls on me! Somehow I just couldn't get my mental image of myself to mesh with the curls especially since my hair turned out to be curlier than I had ever remembered it being as a child.

If this is how you feel as well, then do what makes you happy. If your simply thinking about relaxing just to be able to make you hair more manageable, then I would experiment more. Right now I am trying to stretch my relaxer a bit more, but taming the new growth is becoming a bit more difficult (but still easier than flat ironing my hair everyday! Xp). Do you really want to go back to that?

Even I recently had to hunker down and experiment more with my hair to resolve and issue that had plagued me for as long as I could remember. The result was that I found my hair needed more conditioning as opposed to more moisture and/or oils.

I found the only way that I could achieve this was by using a RO conditioner as a LI. All of the products I tried that were marketed as a LI just wasn't enough. Perhaps this might help you as well?

Another thought: You say you condtion/DC alot, but does this include protein treatments as well? Sometimes a lack of protein can inhibit retention of moisture as well.
Janiece likes this.
Very fine, high porosity, currently dyed and growing out the relaxed portions. I'm pretty sure my hair's 3b something IIRC. We will be finding out for sure as time goes by.

It's official: My hair just loves Shea Moisture. I use a mixture of products from the Raw Shea Butter, African Black Soap, and Coconut & Hibiscus lines.
Thank you for the replies

I co wash a couple times a week with Hello Hydration. I put a leave in conditioner in my hair every day. I recently started using Miracle 10 and use olive oil.
I shampoo every other week. When I shampoo i do a hot oil treatment and deep condition with mayonnaise.
i recently moved from northeast US to Middle East. It is not yet summer, but with temperatures reaching 120 I really want to figure out the right things to do.
Mayo is a protein, try cutting back to once a month or even less. Too much protein can make your hair hard, dry and break off.
Thank you for the replies

I co wash a couple times a week with Hello Hydration. I put a leave in conditioner in my hair every day. I recently started using Miracle 10 and use olive oil.
I shampoo every other week. When I shampoo i do a hot oil treatment and deep condition with mayonnaise.
i recently moved from northeast US to Middle East. It is not yet summer, but with temperatures reaching 120 I really want to figure out the right things to do.
Originally Posted by Janiece
The desert is harsh on hair. If your hair is already dry then relaxing is probably not a good idea since it will make hair dryer. You may want to try cutting out all sulfate and silicone for three months and see if that improves your hair. You also probably need a much more moisturizing conditioner than HH or at least add a little oil to it. Your leave in probably needs to be a rinse out.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using CurlTalk App
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 279
Good luck with this tough decision. I appreciate the issues you are feeling. People who have lovely natural curls think that everyone should love their natural hair but that is not the case. Some people do prefer their hair styled differently than how it grows off their head and that should be fine too! It is about what makes YOU happy right???
Consider a Brazilian Keratin Treatment and then using moisturizing leave ins for a semi natural effect. That may give you an enhanced version of your natural hair which might be a bit more pleasing to you short of going completely straight. Another option would be some sort of a smoothing curl like a Wave Nouveau.There are many options along the spectrum of hair care techniques between kinky on one end and totally relaxed on the other end. Consider the entire spectrum of options available to someone with natural hair to find the formula that might work just right for YOU!
curlypearl likes this.

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