Welcome to the very first Reader Mail post!
I get questions all the time from readers, and many times they are iterations of the same question. I LOVE getting emails from you guys (so keep them coming!), but also thought it would be helpful to put up some of the more popular ones here so you don’t have to wait for a response from me.
Side note: I am TERRIBLE at returning any kind of correspondence – emails, messages, calls, and especially VOICEMAILS! Having a real-world job has changed that in my professional life, but probably only because I can’t ignore them. I realize this about myself, I’m working to be better!
So. Question numero uno comes from Ibony:
My response: DON’T DO IT!!!
In order to lighten your hair, you need to bleach the color out of it to make a blank canvas, then deposit the color you want it to be back into the hair strand. This process is already damaging without the added processing of relaxers. That said, it CAN be done, but I would ONLY get it done by someone very familiar with black hair & a proven record of success. I’m serious. My sister (the one in my blowout video) colored her hair twice, and had a terrible outcome. I asked her to share her experience + pictures as a caution to girls out there that are considering getting color with relaxed hair (huge thank you to her for sharing!). A couple of things to keep in mind going forward:
- This wasn’t an at-home dye job. She went to James @ James Brown Hair (see this post or this post for more about him, he IS a great stylist, she just had a bad experience with dying).
- My mom also goes to James & gets her hair colored – it comes out great every time. That said, my mom doesn’t relax her hair & is fully natural. Here’s a couple of pics of my mom for reference (first pic is her hair air-dried, second is blow-dried/styled):
June 2012 | Dani gets highlights 2 weeks after she last got a relaxer. The picture on the left is about a half hour after she left the salon – her hair was so fried, she put it up because she didn’t like how it looked. Her hair was breaking off in the sink at the salon & didn’t look healthy when she was finished getting styled. The picture on the right is her first time blowdrying it at home after getting the highlights. Her hair felt very brittle, and would break off as she brushed it.
July 2012 | Six weeks later, she gets her first relaxer since the highlights. Her highlights all broke off, leaving her with uneven length. Wherever highlighted hair met new, un-highlighted growth, it fell out. Hating how unhealthy her hair looked, she got creative with braids, twists, and buns to hide the damage.
September 2012 | By September, effects of the relaxer + manipulation of her hair (brushing, etc) were really catching up with her – one side was now longer than the other even though she was doing her best to go easy on her hair.
January 2013 | After trying to wait for her hair to grow long enough to trim, she went to Jamez (see this post for more about him) and let him cut all the damage off. It was the shortest she’d ever gone, but he did an amazing job!
February 2013 | With the highlights gone, Dani returns to her regular hair routine, giving it a chance to re-grow.
June 2013 | One thing we both love about Jamez’s cuts is that they grow out beautifully!
July-August 2013 | Fast-forward to today, and she has regained most of the length she lost, and it’s all healthy!
My sister talked to Jamez about how she could get highlights/color with relaxed hair, and he said it’s possible with an experienced stylist. The next time I see him I’ll ask about how it can be done & will share his tips with you guys!