Part of maintaining your hairstyle is taming new growth that occurs weeks after chemically treating your hair through relaxing, as new growth tends to be dry and prone to breakage. The rate of new growth depends on your health, as vitamins B-12, B-6 and E, and protein contribute to faster hair growth. According to "Hair Savers for Women" hair grows an average of six inches a year, which means you'll need to several touch-ups during the year to keep your style from looking dull and old. Controlling your new growth requires weekly hair rituals that include shampooing, deep conditioning and moisturizing to protect your hair from breaking off.
Wash your hair twice a week. Replace your shampoo with a conditioner to wash your hair, since shampooing can remove moisture from your hair, thereby making it hard to detangle and control. Conditioning the hair twice a week maintains your hair's natural oils, which leaves your hair soft and causes the new growth to lay flat, making it easier to manage. Avoid using hot water to wash your hair, as you can cause heat damage, which creates split ends and dryness.
Apply leave-in conditioner after washing. A leave-in conditioner penetrates your hair with oil to maintain manageability, which reduces the need for heavy styling products later. Spray or pour a nickel-sized amount of the liquid into your palm, and massage into hair, focusing on the new growth and ends. A leave-in conditioner reduces hair breakage that can occur on the hair follicle at the demarcation point between new growth and the chemically treated hair by keeping the hair moisturized.
Comb your hair gently. Avoid using thin-toothed combs. New growth tends to be kinky, which makes it harder to comb and increases the likelihood of pulling the comb through your hair, which can cause hair breakage. Use a wide-toothed comb after using a leave-in conditioner to detangle your hair.
Use a light creme moisturizer. A light creme moisturizer keeps your hair hydrated, but should be used sparingly, as overmoisturizing your hair can cause build-up, which makes your hair feel heavy and look greasy. Apply daily or every other day to your roots and comb it through your hair. If used correctly your new growth should be smooth, not dry and tangled.
Use deep conditioner on your hair weekly. A deep conditioner restores your hair's health after it has been stressed from chemical hair treatments, and softens your new growth, which helps manage the new growth until the next chemical treatment. Shampoo hair as usual, followed by saturating the hair with a deep conditioning hair masque. Allow masque to stay in your hair for 45 minutes to an hour, followed by thoroughly rinsing your hair. For maximum results, use a hair dryer on a low heat setting while the deep conditioner is in your hair, followed by rinsing it out.
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- Hair Savers for Women: A Complete Guide to Preventing and Treating Hair Loss; Maggie Greenwood-Robinson; February 2000
- Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions to Real Problems; Shamboosie; April 2002