How I Care For My Hair Before A Relaxer Touch-up

Getting a relaxer applied is a serious process because it’s a chemical that changes the structure of the hair strand and it can cause some serious damage if not applied properly.

Even when applied properly there can still be some damage or discomfort if our hair and scalp aren’t properly prepared for the process. When I first started getting relaxers the only advice I was given to prepare my hair for a relaxer touch-up was to not scratch my scalp the week prior. 

Over time I learned that while it's good advice, it fell a bit short. There are more things that should and can be done to get the best results from a relaxer touch-up. 

Caring For Hair Before A Relaxer Touch-up | A Relaxed Gal
In addition to not scratching, we
  • Shouldn’t be brushing our hair as it can scratch the scalp.
  • Shouldn’t be shampooing less than 6-7 days prior. That can lead to scalp scratching and can open up the pores of the scalp leading to burning.
  • Should keep our hair, both relaxed and new growth, moisturized.
  • Should be drinking lots of water to help keep our scalp moisturized.
  • Should protect our already relaxed hair from relaxer runoff by applying a thick oil or petroleum-based product.

To make sure we’re doing or not doing all of the things above it helps to have relaxer preparation as part of our healthy hair regimen. Keep reading to see how am now preparing my hair for my relaxer touch-ups.

7-6 days prior

The week before I clarify my hair. This gets rid of all of the dirt, oil, and product that’s built up since I last clarified my hair. It’s said that doing this helps the hair to better accept the relaxer. I can’t say this is 100% true but I do like the results better when my last shampoo was a clarifying one.

After using the clarifying shampoo once, I follow up with a moisturizing shampoo. Even though I’m clarifying I make sure to focus on moisture so my hair is hydrated and supple. Additionally, I use a moisturizing deep conditioner leave-ins as I finish up my hair.

5-2 days prior

During the days after I wash my hair, I follow my normal moisturizing and sealing routine to keep my hair feeling good and not dry out.

Every now and then I will put some oil on my scalp and do a scalp massage using the pads of my fingers. I do this in areas that may either feel like they’re drying out or could use a little extra love.

Additionally, I make sure to not scratch my scalp which can break the skin leaving it vulnerable to irritation from the relaxer.

1 day prior

The night before, I base my scalp using either Jamaican Black Castor oil or some Vaseline. While my stylist also bases my scalp I like to do it myself because I don’t do it quickly ensuring that I’ve covered all areas.

The day of

Before I head off to the salon, I apply an oil or Vaseline to my already relaxed hair, paying special attention to my ends. This helps to protect my hair from what’s called relaxer run-off. Relaxer run-off is when the relaxer comes into contact with previously relaxed hair as it’s being rinsed out. This can cause the hair to be unintentionally over-processed in some areas.

Now my hair is ready to get a touch-up!