How To Protect Your Hair During A Relaxer Touch-up

I've learned a lot about taking care of my hair over the last few years. Things such as how to keep my hair moisturized, manage breakage, and also how to protect my hair when getting a relaxer touch-up.

When I first started getting my hair relaxed hairstylists didn't really provide any advice on what I should to protect my hair and scalp outside of don't scratch. There was no talk about terms like relaxer overlap or relaxer runoff. Even to this day, I haven't had a stylist talk to me about either one of these things.

Relaxer overlap is when the relaxer is applied to previously relaxed hair. This tends to happen accidentally when there isn't a lot of new growth or the person applying the relaxer isn't careful.

Relaxer runoff happens when the relaxer is rinsed out and it touches previously relaxed hair. This is also kinda accidental.

Both relaxer runoff and overlap can cause overprocessing which weakens relaxed hair even more and can cause some serious damage. So it's no surprise I got a little worried. I hadn't noticed that this was happening but I didn't want to take any chances and found some tips that could help to lessen the chances of either one happening. Here are the ones that have worked best for me.

How To Protect Hair During A Relaxer Touch-up | A Relaxed Gal
(This post includes some affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

Once I learned what relaxer overlap was I became very conscious about how my hair was being protected during the relaxer process. Because I’m not a professional stylist who would be applying the relaxer I found a few things I could do at home before I headed to the salon. I also learned that I needed to pay more attention to what the stylist was or wasn’t doing during the relaxer process.

Here are four things I do to protect my hair from relaxer overlap and overprocessing during my touch-ups. 

1. Do a protein treatment

A few days before my relaxer touch up I do a hard protein treatment. The protein treatment helps to strengthen and protect previously relaxed strands. I get the best results from this when I do the protein treatment only on my relaxed strands and avoid my new growth.

2. Coat my relaxed hair

Another way I protect my previously relaxed strands is by coating them in a petroleum-based product or thick oil like olive oil. I do this to protect my previously relaxed hair from relaxer runoff and accidental overlapping.

3. Stretch my relaxers

From reading multiple articles from other bloggers, including bloggers who are hairstylists, it's recommended to only relax when you have a few inches of new growth. The minimum number of inches I've seen is 1-2”. The more unprocessed hair on your head, the more area you/your stylist has to work with lessening the chance of applying relaxer to previously relaxed hair.

To make sure I have a few inches of new growth I stretch my relaxers. I go a minimum of 12 weeks instead of the 6-8 weeks most stylists say you have to go. By going at least 12 weeks between relaxers I'm giving my relaxed hair a break from chemical runoff that can occur during applications.

4. Only relax unprocessed hair

I repeat only apply the relaxer to your new growth. The new growth is the hair that hasn't been previously relaxed. Once hair is relaxed it doesn't need to be relaxed again with the exception being the hair was underprocessed but that's a whole different conversation. You only want to relax the new growth because relaxing previously relaxed hair can overprocess it. This weakens the hair even more and can cause some serious breakage.

4 things you can do to protect your hair from overlap and overprocessing during a relaxer touchup. |

1 comment

  1. I just relaxed after being natural for 2 1/2 years. I put a lot of work trying to understand my hair however the regimen for relaxed hair i am having a hard time with. I have high porosity hair.

    Currently, the products i am using.
    1. Olive Oil Relaxers
    2. Hello Hydration Conditioner
    3. Hair Mayo
    4. QP Elasta Leave in
    5. Olive Oil for Penetrating Oil
    6. Jamaica Blk Cast for seal

    * I purchased Aloe Vera juice to do a mist but not sure when to use it.
    -Maybe while i am stretching relaxer with protective styles?

    *Apogee Protein pack

    *Apogee Mousse for when i am stretching.



Spam comments and comments with links promoting other sites will be deleted by the moderator.