Answers To 10 Common Healthy Hair Journey Questions

If you’ve taken up an interest in caring for your relaxed hair and starting what is called a healthy hair journey you may have started doing lots of Google searches, watched several YouTube videos, and joined some Facebook groups.

When I started my healthy relaxed hair journey I did all of the above. And even though I’ve been on my healthy hair journey for several years now I still do all of the above. Personally, I feel like there is still so much for me to learn and understand when it comes to my hair and I do that by seeing and reading about other people’s experiences.

Answers common healthy hair journey questions | A Relaxed Gal

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I also get to see what questions other women out there who are just starting or are in the beginning stages of their healthy hair journey have. It seems like several of the same questions tend to pop up so I decided to answer in this blog post the ones that I see pop up multiple times. One caveat, these questions aren’t listed in any particular order.

1. What is pre-pooing?

I’m not surprised this is a question that tends to get asked quite a bit in the Facebook groups I frequent. This is pretty much a made-up term that doesn’t make sense until you know what it means.

Pre-pooing is applying a conditioning or oil treatment before washing your hair to add moisture and some protection. This isn’t a necessary step but it can be helpful if your hair is damaged or on the dry side. Or if you’re going to be doing a clarifying shampoo.

Doing a pre-poo is really easy, you can learn more about what it is and how to do it in my video What Is A Pre-poo And How To Do It.

You can also see some of the products I currently use in my homemade, DIY pre-poo in this Instagram Reel.

2. What is moisturizing and sealing?

When you moisturize and seal your hair you are applying a moisturizer to your strands and are helping to keep as much of the moisture in your strands as possible by “sealing” it in with an oil or serum.

This works best when a water-based moisturizer is used because the molecules that make up the oil or serum are typically large enough to block the smaller water molecules from escaping the hair so the moisture stays longer.

There really isn’t a hard and fast rule on how often you should moisturize and seal. It really comes down to a combination of how your hair holds moisture on its own and the products you’re using for your moisturizer and sealant. Some people tend to moisturize and seal every day, and some every few days.

3. How many times should I shampoo my hair?

This is a question that I think the answer will be debated for a while. The reason is that the answer is so nuanced.

As I mention in this video, it all comes down to your lifestyle. Over time you’ll figure out if once a week, twice a week, or twice a month works best for your hair and scalp. 

I wash my hair typically once a week but that can increase or decrease depending on what I have going on in my life. For example, if I’m sweating more and spending more time doing things outside I may wash my hair twice a week. If I’m not going anywhere and keeping my hair wrapped up all day every day I could probably go two weeks between washes.

4. How do I find a good hairstylist?

Finding a new hairstylist that is good and who you can trust with your hair is hard to find. Believe me, I know. I’ve had to search for a hairstylist several times due to various reasons. I’ve found a few good ones, some decent ones, and some I wouldn't recommend.

For me, it all came down to knowing what I was looking for in a hairstylist, what I wasn’t willing to compromise, doing research online, and asking questions about their experience and views of relaxed hair care.

Check out this video from TwoLaLa where they share 8 tips for finding a hairstylist.

5. What is relaxer stretching?

When you hear the term relaxer stretching, it refers to going longer than six weeks between relaxer touch-ups. This allows you to have more new growth on your head making it easier for the relaxer to only be applied to the new growth and not to hair that has been previously relaxed which can cause really weak hair and breakage.

There is no specific length of time to stretch your relaxers. It’s really up to you and how your hair performs.

I’ve got several tips about relaxer stretching that you can check out via the links below.

6. What products should I use on my hair?

If I was ranking the questions by which was most popular this would be it. I tend to get a few emails or DMs a month with questions about what products they should use on their hair. This is also a common question in the Facebook groups I frequent.

So if you’re planning on asking this question let me save you some time. You have to figure out what products work for your hair by trial and error. Meaning you have to buy and try products out on your hair to see what it likes and what works.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to randomly select products to try. You can figure out a starting point by figuring out a few things like is your hair damaged, what’s your hair porosity, and what’s your hair density. If you know these things when you see or read a review of a product that talks about what it does and how it performs on certain hair types you can determine if it’s a product you’d want to try.

You can find out about all of the products I’ve tried on my hair over the years by checking out my product review directory page

7. What do I do with my hair at night?

No matter what we do to our relaxed hair when we’re awake it may be all for nothing if we don’t take care of our hair when we go to bed. Even before I started my hair journey I always protected my relaxed hair at night by using a satin pillowcase and wearing a satin cap. While those things are great there are some other things we can do. I share my current nighttime hair routine in this video.

8. What is protein overload?

Don’t get me started on protein overload. I became quite familiar with it and it really messed up my hair to the point that I was nursing my hair back to health for over a year.

Protein overload is when the hair gets too much protein. When the hair is coated with protein it becomes dry, hard, and dull and there tends to be a lot of breakage and even split ends.

There are a few things you can do if you’re experiencing protein overload. I share several of them in this video

9. How do I repair my hair damage?

This is kinda a loaded question because the cause and type of hair damage can help determine the best way to address the damage. I share how I dealt with hair damage in this video.

Despite the extent of the damage, going to see a hair professional is a good option. They can tell you how extensive the damage is and provide a plan of action to repair your hair.

10. What is causing my dry hair?

Whew. I hear you on this one. I have hair that tends to be on the dry side and it can be very frustrating when it seems like you’re doing everything right and yet your hair is still dry, fragile, and may even be breaking.

Dry hair is due to the hair not getting moisture but the reason for that could be one or more of many things such as

Product build-up: There are too many butters and oils on the hair and it’s keeping moisture from getting into the strands. The best way to fix that is to clarify the hair using a sulfate shampoo such as the ORS Olive Oil Moisture Restore Creamy Aloe Shampoo which can be purchased at Target, or Walmart

Product overload: Like product build-up, there is too much protein coating the hair strands keeping moisture out. Getting rid of protein overload takes a bit more work, see what I did in this video.

Wrong products: Sometimes it’s the products being used. I’ve seen many women say they’re using oils to moisturize and their hair feels so dry. Well, that’s because oils don’t moisturize. They can help seal in moisture, so putting oil on dry hair it’s just sealing in dryness. A water-based moisturizer is what you should be using. A couple of my favorites are the TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer and the TGIN Green Tea Super Moist Leave-in Conditioner.

Hair porosity: Hair that is on the higher end of the porosity scale has a hard time retaining moisture because the hair cuticles are raised allowing moisture to escape the hair. Hair on the lower end of the scale has flattened cuticles making it hair for moisture to enter the hair. Here are some great resources for moisturizing high and low porosity hair.