There seems to be a lot of information for caring for and styling relaxed hair, however it all seems to be geared at women’s hair. A lot of men relax their hair and their hair care needs are completely different to women in terms of the way their hair is styled and the maintenance that is required to keep their hair healthy.
Men, thankfully do not have to (for the most part) worry about maintaining relaxed hair while wearing hair extensions or braids. It is is however important that men take very good care of their relaxed hair or it will break off. So without further ado here’s a list of tips to help you keep your hair strong and healthy.
Wash your hair once a week if you can. If you are particularly active and either work out regularly or play a sport that makes you sweat a lot then rinse your hair after you’ve worked out to get rid of the sweat. It should not be necessary to shampoo your hair every single day/time you work out. This will just lead to dry hair that will be more prone to break off.
There is nothing wrong with using a shampoo that contains sulphates, however make sure you use a shampoo that is rich in moisturising ingredients. Relaxed hair is fragile so you want to incorporate moisture in your regimen as often as possible. Shampoos that are enriched with natural oils like an Avocado shampoo or Coconut shampoo will cleanse your hair without stripping it of it’s natural oils.
Deep conditioner your hair on a weekly basis. This again is to keep your hair soft and supple and repair both internal and external damage. The difference between a deep conditioning treatment and a hair conditioner is the size of the particles. Hair conditioners are meant to make your cuticle smooth for easier brushing, combing and styling, while a deep conditioner has smaller particle sizes intended to penetrate your hair so they can repair internal damage. This is a step your really shouldn’t miss out on a weekly basis. Invest in a good deep conditioning treatment. While there are many types of deep conditioning treatments, it is very important to bear in mind your hair needs both moisture and protein treatments. So having a deep conditioner rich in protein and another heavily moisturising deep conditioner is NOT a bad idea. Just use each one on alternate weeks to keep your hair moisture and protein balanced. The Nano Queratina mask recommended in the article about best treatments for relaxed hair is no longer manufactured, which is a crying shame because it worked WONDERS on relaxed hair. A great alternative is the Toque Magico Intensive hair treatment with Keratin in it. For a moisturising hair treatment, an argan oil hair mask is a good choice.
Don’t use excessive heat on your hair, and if you do blow dry or straighten your hair then always use a heat protector. Heat protectors form a shield around your hair strands to protect it from heat damage so heat protectors are a MUST before blow drying or using hair straighteners. A good leave in conditioner should have some heat protection in it. However if you aren’t sure and want a product that is 100% designed to protect your hair from heat damage then use a spray that is designed only for this purpose. The Laciador spray I recommend is used during Dominican Blowouts, a process that exposes your hair to a lot of heat from blow drying, then straightening.
Use the right styling tools for your hair! This may sound obvious, but choosing the right brushes, combs and straighteners is not as simple and straight forward as it may seem. You want to select products that are very gentle on your hair and top on the list of recommendations is to use a boar bristles brush. The Mason Pearson brushes are excellent quality brushes but quite expensive. There are cheaper alternatives out there, so shop around and see what you can find. Boar bristle brushes are great for smoothing hair into a nice sleek style.
For tangles, a tangle teezer brush does a brilliant job of detangling your hair without snagging and causing breakage.
When it comes to hair straighteners forget trying to buy the most expensive GHD straighteners you can afford. Apart from the fact that there are many fakes out there, an unforgivable flaw is the fact they don’t have temperature controls! A lot of styling damage occurs because of the use of excessive heat and straighteners that get as hot as 200 – 220 degrees celcius are a major culprit. A nice cheap alternative is the Nicky Clarke Frizz control straightener which retails at around £30, a massive £170 cheaper than GHD straighteners. Or the Lee Stafford Rainbow Shine straightener. The important thing is both have variable temperature controls and using them at a setting between 160 and 180 degrees should be enough to get your hair frizz free and straight.