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I usually base my scalp the night before with Affirm Gentle Assurance. I also make sure not to scratch or manipulate my scalp 2-3 days before. Also, do not wash or wet hair 2-3 before getting a relaxer.
Here is some info I have on this topic from my notes (HTH):
Preparing your hair for a retouch - I (Cathy) do the following. About 2 weeks before a retouch I ensure I am deep conditioning and if there is too much breakage, I will do protein treatments.
Give hair a protein deep conditioning 1-2 weeks prior to getting a relaxer touch-up. I cover my hair with a plastic cap and sit under a heating cap for 20-30 minutes.
Be very careful with scalp at least a week before relaxer. No scratching or directly handling scalp in any way.
I strongly suggest a protein reconstructor the last wash before you relax and another for the first wash after relaxing because the protein bonds in the hair are attacked during the relaxer process, it is important to supplement the hair with proteins immediately before and immediately after relaxer. VERY IMPORTANT: Always follow a protein reconstructor immediately with a deep moisturizing conditioner. PLEASE NOTE: all other times is important to use moisturizing conditioners to maintain relaxed hair.
On the last wash before a relaxer, wash hair with Nexxus Therappe Shampoo and use Nexxus Keraphix Restorative Protein Creme Reconstructor.
Follow up with Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisturzing Conditioner. Style without
pomades, gels, or hair sprays.
I made sure I based my scalp well (with castor oil every night the week prior and Blue Duchess hair grease the night before). I got no burns what so ever. The castor oil lubricates new growth and prevents shedding.
Oil your scalp up with a castor oil based, hair oil 2 wks prior to your relaxer ever 2-3 days. This will lubricate your new growth, which will slow shedding and make the scalp less sensitive during relaxation.
Day of Relaxer:
The day I go for the retouch, and the day before, I put a creme moisturizer on my hair and especially the ends to make them soft (try the protective healthy ends or breakfree). I also do not exercise for 24 hours before the retouch as the pores are opened to sweat and burning of the scalp can occur.
CONDITION ENDS: Use Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment and Lekair Cholesterol to saturate and protect previously relaxed ends.
Here are a couple of additional tips:
1. Do not wear a scarf, hat before getting your relaxer
2. Sit under the dryer with the setting on 'cold' or 'cool' for about 15mins. This will help close up the pores on the scalp
I recently got a wonderful suggestion from Bevvie that I should base my scalp the night before with vaseline AS WELL AS the day of my relaxer. I did this last time I relaxed and even though I washed the day before I had no problems. I burn easily.
Thanks to all of you. I get my relaxer tomorrow so some of the suggestions I can take advantage of, but I will for my next relaxer. I think I am going to oil my scalp with Castor Oil tonight (thanks Tasha), and vaseline in the morning (thanks Tracy). I currently don't try to stretch my relaxer's longer than 7 to 8 wks, because after that it seems like no matter what I do, my hair starts to shed alot.