Folks, please use your head when it comes to neutralizing a relaxer. Answer these questions.
1. When you base the scalp before applying the relaxer, what is that product made of?
2. What ingredients are in the relaxers that make them slick the hair down?
And the answers are: OIL.
Now, does oil and water mixed? And the answer is NO.
So what would make you think that you can rinse all traces of the relaxer out of the hair without shampooing? All of the oils will not rinse out without some heavy duty water pressure. Every salon does NOT have "fire hydrant" steady water pressure. So do not count on all traces of relaxer to rinse away without shampooing.
So with that said, disregard Affirm's recommendation to condition the hair before shampooing the hair. This pre-conditioning has caused hair thinning in some clients. Once they come to me, and I start shampooing before conditioning, then their hair begins to fill back in.
Of course, someone is thinking -"but Affirm says to condition while the cuticles are still open."
Listen. What is the pH of water? 7.0 Right?
As long as the hair is wet, trust me the conditioner will condition just fine right after shampooing three times. Truth be told, the relaxers are so high on the pH scale that the cuticles will take about three days to calm down anyway. The neutralizing process is designed to start to close the cuticle, but if you air dry, you will probably notice that the cuticles look frizzy because they don't actually close without some product help or some heat help - so ease your mind. Shampoo all the bad stuff out before you condition. Please.
And by all means, use the designated conditioner that goes with the relaxer system. Too many people are adding too much extra protein during the relaxer process. If your cuticles are open, then the hair shaft is going to absorb too much protein and prevent your cuticle from sealing back down. This creates more frizz and more damage.
I have seen a lot of incorrect relaxing tips floating on forums and message boards. These tips were scary because the people giving them sounded like experts. Be careful what you read when it comes to chemicals.
If my tips listed in this article does not make sense to you, then do not follow my tips, but do inform me if you have questions.