8 Things That Have Helped My Relaxed Hair Thrive

Currently I am happy with how my relaxed hair looks, feels, and acts. That wasn’t always the case. It took some time and effort to get my hair to this point. For years I abused my hair so it was really dried out and breaking.

This got me to start my healthy relaxed hair journey so my hair stopped breaking and looked and felt great! A few years into my hair journey I had a setback due to protein overload from which my hair recovered from.

shoulder-length beautiful relaxed hair on woman with green sweater
(This post includes affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

In both instances, there were 8 things that have helped my relaxed hair thrive and I’m going to share them with you.

1. Getting regular trims

Getting regular trims has helped my hair by getting rid of damaged hair allowing the healthier hair to thrive. I get my hair trimmed pretty much at every salon visit and I typically visit the salon only when I get a relaxer touch-up every 10-12 weeks.

Trimming gets rid of split ends which can cause some hair damage but also make the hair not look so great. It also makes my ends look neat, even, and thick. When my ends look that way I don’t feel like I need to style my hair or curl it as much. When I wear my hair out I just wear it straight.

When I style or curl my hair I’m manipulating and the more and more the hair is manipulated the greater the chance of having some damage to the hair.

2. Deep conditioning

Deep conditioning is another technique that has helped my relaxed hair thrive. It helps
  • To restore lost moisture in my hair by deeply penetrating the hair shaft
  • My hair retains moisture better
  • To add strength to the hair when the conditioner contains protein ingredients
  • To add more shine to my hair

When it comes to deep conditioning though there are two things I did that have made it so beneficial for my hair.
  1. The first is using heat or steam to enhance the deep conditioning and help the conditioner penetrate my hair strands even more than when it’s used solo
  2. The second is using the right deep conditioners for my hair

There are a few deep conditioners that I really like and I share about them in my video 10 Top Deep Conditioners For Relaxed Hair. Some of those deep conditioners I use regularly because I deep condition my hair weekly.

I’ve found that when I don’t deep condition and I don’t use heat or steam my hair is less moisturized and doesn’t have the same amount of body, movement, and moisture retention it should have.

3. Wearing buns

While wearing only the buns can be boring and not always a pretty hairstyle it helped my relaxed hair so much.

When I was rocking a bun style every day of the week I was doing what is sometimes called short-term protective styling.

Protective styling is wearing a hairstyle that will keep the hair tucked away and safe from things that could damage it.

When most speak about protective styling they are talking about long-term protective styles which are styles that completely cover the hair and last for several weeks.

Wearing short-term protective styles like buns allowed me to have access to my hair because it wasn’t completely covered.

Buns helped my hair by
  • Disguising breakage like I previously mentioned
  • Keeping my ends from drying out which could result in breakage
  • Keeping ends from rubbing against my clothing which could cause split ends, dryness, and damage
  • Giving me fewer chances to have my hands in my hair and manipulating it

During the start of my hair journey and during my setback wearing buns was my go-to style because it helped to protect my hair and just let it grow while lessening the opportunities for breakage. It was also a good way to disguise the breakage my hair had.

4. Moisturizing and sealing

Moisturizing and sealing has helped my relaxed hair thrive because it added moisture to my hair and locked that moisture in. Moisturizing and sealing is applying a liquid and/or cream moisturizer to your hair and then sealing in that moisture by following up with a sealing oil or serum.

I used to moisturize and seal my hair every night. That was when my hair was recovering from some damage and needed some extra love. Now that my hair is in a much better place I typically moisturize and seal the night after I wash my hair and then maybe one or two other nights before my next wash.

I prefer to moisturize and seal at night because I cover my head with a satin scarf or cap which captures my body heat and helps the moisturizer to penetrate my hair strands deeper than it would during the day when my hair isn’t covered.

The products I use are a cream moisturizer and hair serum like the TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer and TGIN Argan Replenishing Hair And Body Serum.

5. Nighttime protection

Protecting my hair at night was another thing that helped.

As I mentioned I moisturize and seal at night so after doing that I cover my hair with a satin scarf or satin cap.

I cover my hair at night with satin for three reasons
  1. Reduced friction on my hair strands from rubbing on cotton fabric which can cause dryness or breakage
  2. Retains moisture because satin doesn’t pull out moisture like cotton does
  3. Helps to keep my hair in place so I don’t end up with tangled hair in the morning

I can’t imagine not covering my hair at night as I’ve been doing it for years now. Even before I started my healthy hair journey.

6. Regular hair steaming

Hair steaming is using moist heat on the hair to help open the hair follicles and scalp allowing for better moisture absorption.

Steaming the hair
  • Improves hair elasticity
  • Reduces hair breakage
  • Increases moisture retention
  • Helps with cleaning the scalp by loosening up buildup and dead skin cells

To steam my hair I use a tabletop hair steamer that I bought online.

For a while, I was steaming my hair on a weekly basis as I was helping it to fully recover from protein overload damage. Now I steam once or twice a month when I deep condition my hair.

7. Not air drying

Yeah, I know that I have touted air drying as a way to dry hair and avoid heat. That’s because it is a way to do both of those things but air drying isn’t for everyone.

For a while in the beginning of my relaxed hair journey, I was able to air dry my hair and have it come out looking nice, smooth, and moisturized. At some point, my hair changed its mind and decided that it didn’t like air drying anymore.

When I try air drying my hair now it takes forever to dry. I’m talking literally all day and even into the night. Since wet hair is really fragile my hair is at risk of breakage. Once my hair fully dries from air drying it lacks moisture, feels and looks rough, and won’t retain moisture.

Guess what all of that leads to. If you said breakage you’re right. Plus, with my hair in that kind of state, I would have to manipulate my hair more to style it creating more opportunities for damage.

To dry my hair now I may air dry for an hour or two, if I have time, and then use low heat on my hair from a hooded dryer or a blow dryer.

Another way I dry my hair is to roller set and sit under a hooded dryer. When I do that my hair not only looks and feels smooth, but it also retains moisture throughout the week. Plus, using heat helps me to dry my hair a lot quicker than if I air-dried.

8. Having a hair professional apply my relaxers

When it comes to chemicals like relaxers I don’t feel comfortable applying them to my hair myself. Instead, I have a hair professional do it. A licensed hair professional.

A relaxer is a strong chemical that needs to be applied correctly to not cause damage to the scalp or hair. I have no training in hair care, plus I know I wouldn’t have the patience to apply a relaxer to my own hair.

It’s all I can do to properly apply the conditioners and moisturizers I use.

By leaving my relaxer applications to a professional I am greatly decreasing the potential for
  • Relaxer overlap: Previously relaxed hair is being relaxed again. This weakens the hair even more making it more susceptible to breakage
  • Underprocessing: When the relaxer doesn’t fully straighten the hair. This happens when the relaxer isn’t left on long enough or is expired
  • Overprocessing: This can happen in two ways. When hair that was previously relaxed is relaxed again and again. Or when the relaxer is left on for too long

What is one thing that has helped your hair to thrive? Share in the comment section below.