The highly popular return to natural hair has dominated magazines, headlines and social media so much that one can be forgiven for not taking the time out to remember that there are still sisters out there who just aren't about to give up the creamy crack.
'Creamy crack' aka relaxer is a type of chemical cream generally used by people with tight curls or very curly hair which makes hair easier to straighten by chemically "relaxing" the natural curls growing out of the scalp.
How does it work?
It alters the hair's texture by a process of controlled damage to the protein structure. However, the hair can be significantly weakened by the physical overlap of excessive applications or by a single excessive one, leading to brittleness, breakage, or even widespread alopecia - a problem that many black women who continue to relax their hair face.
The process also strips the hair of it's natural oils, which contributes to its weakness.
So what can women who still want to relax their hair do to fight the damage? We recently spoke to Boitumelo Phatlane of Afri-fro Hair Salon which is based in Braamfontein and specializes in natural hair care.
Increased moisture and cutting down on the use of damaging habits are the cornerstones of natural hair care so we asked Phatlane if it was possible to apply these principles to a relaxed hair care routine in order to keep the hair as healthy as possible.
"Hair regimens or routines that women with natural hair formulate are at the core of it all, a routine for healthy hair. Why it is predominantly observed in the natural hair spaces is due to the requirements of maintaining an afro. All hair types need moisture, all hair types need hydration however because of the coily state of natural hair, hydration and moisture are required more frequently than in relaxed hair," explained Phatlane.
"Products formulated for natural hair are generally made up of natural ingredients and can be used by both women with processed and women with natural hair. It's a good thing because every woman deserves good products for their hair, whether they choose to wear it natural or processed," adds Phatlane.
You can find Afri-fro salon online, or contact them on 078 799 1855. They are located at Cnr Stiemens and Melle street
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Main image credit: instagram.com/curlyhairmag