BLACK HAIR CARE PRODUCTS - RELAXERS, PERMS AND TEXTURIZERS - WHICH ONE WILL YOU CHOOSE?

1. For a while I was getting my hair cut into a "bob" style cut with the back shaved off my neck..The last time I got my hair cut was in august and since then I've been trying to grow it back. my hair is growing wonderfully, except for the back of my neck. I know its due to the relaxers I put in my hair but I do not know how to get it growing. Do you think I should just skip that section of my head when relaxing it? I know that you can over process your hair and I think this is the problem. what do you recommend?

Your hair can have that problem for any number of reasons. If you think that is the problem, it may be. Relaxers arent harmful unless they are misapplied or left unmaintained. Even the wrong products can affect your progress. It is up to you to determine what is causing the problem through the process of elimination by understanding what the hair requires and how it cant possibly thrive when it is abused as well as using products that may cause you concern. Read my book if you have not already to understand what may be causing some of your problems.

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2. I'm 20 years old. i've been getting my hair relaxed for about 5 years now. i am considering letting my hair grow out but i don't want to cut it just yet because it took those five years to get my hair shoulder length. can your book address my dilemma? i only have about one inch of new growth but want to keep my relaxed hair as long as possible without going through an akward hair transitional stage. will your hair system work with my conflicting hair textures and keep both healthy enough until i am able to part with the relaxed hair?

Yes, my book will address your hair care concerns. Dew is an excellent product for helping to extend retouches by keeping the hair soft. You do not need to cut your hair, just ensure it stays soft whether you relax or go natural to keep it from breaking. The weakest point will be where the two different textures meet. You must keep this hair strong, yet soft to keep it on your head.

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3. I will probably go ahead and get your book, but this is my concern: Please consider the following info: Your hair may break for a number of reasons. Relaxers are one of the most potent and alkaline chemicals anyone can put on the hair. The purpose of a relaxer is to destroy peptide bonds. In contrast to a curly perm which only breaks the bonds and then they are reformed, relaxers destroy them. Peptide bonds create the strength in the hair and physically "holds the hair together." When the peptide bonds get destroyed , the hair straightens because it has lost most all the strength. When too many peptide bonds get destroyed by relaxers, the hair has no way to hold together and breaks (falls apart). Once a peptide bond is destroyed no conditioner on earth can fix, mend, or repair it (contrary to many ads you see.) It is impossible to repair. Deep conditioners, protein treatments, oils, treatments, etc., physically can not repair a destroyed peptide bond ever. Cathy, I fear this IS an example of my case, my hair grows very good in some areas, but near my front line I have very little to no hair growth(it's bald in some areas).When I used to relax my hair this is where I FELT most of the burning. If the above info is true then there is no possible way my hair will ever grow back as it did before. IF this is true then Im only wasting time and money. I at least would like my hair to evenly grow back..and if possible have new hair growth where there presently is none. Do you think there is any -hope??

Your consideration is partially correct. According to Milady's Hair Structure and Chemistry Simplified...Page 188-190 I will paraphrase - the relaxer breaks apart the bonds and the hair is in a reduced state where the bonds are TEMPORARILY broken. The bonds are rearranged by combing. 50% of the bonds are reformed in the neutralizing process.

So your case is not hopeless. The bonds in the hair are not going to stop your hair from growing in new from the scalp. If you have hair in these places and it is not bald then this system will help the hair you have now and the knowledge will keep you growing for years to come. The balding is another issue and if it has been gone for a year or better, nothing will help you regain in those areas. Did your relaxer do this? It is tough to say. (did you ever wear braids - 2nd only to glued on weaves, braids cause this problem too) If you repeatedly put it on your scalp! Yes this can be your problem.

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4. My name is lisa. I just read the book. I was just wondering how I should know what relaxer to use. I'm debating between affirm, mazini, and dudleys. I haven't had a professional relaxer in about four years and am out of the loop. I've inquired about affirm at several salons and none of the beauticians seem to like it very much. they say they have had complaints from customers about it causing damage to their hair or it seems to not work in their hair after a year or so. Or do you think this is due to just bad upkeep or bad applications? Can you help me?

I only recommend Affirm as it is the only one I use and have used for about 15 years so the "dont work after a few years" is just another lie perpetuated by the industry. I dont believe the hairdressers who are saying there were problems with it either. If it was a problem, perhaps it was misapplied or perhaps the customer did not know how to maintain the hair after the relaxer. Dont be fooled by them as they probably only have other products they want to use as opposed to the Affirm. The one you choose is ultimately up to you!

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5. I have been using Wave Nouveau (similar to jerri kurl) for several years, and would like to try your products. (My hair is oh-so-dry!) But I have a concern. Is it "safe" to use your products on my already over-processed hair?

My products will not negatively affect your hair and they actually help to improve our hair especially when it is over processed.

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6. I wear my hair in a curl and my ends tend to become tangled and they are dry. What would you suggest?

Use a product that improve the hairs condition.

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7. Hi Cathy...Just found your website..and I love it...I have relaxed my hair..Using Wave Nouveau...and my hair is nice.getting longer...the only problem I have when I wash it..it feels like a lot of strands are coming out on my hands as I put my fingers through it Now I usually wet my hair and use rinse out conditioner...and leave it in for a day or so.......air dry ..or I will wet my hair and use the finishing lotion and air dry my hair Is there something I am doing wrong or should not be doing...I dont comb or pull my hair at all in any way..but and its nice and curly..but I want to ensure that i am not damaging it...by wetting it everyday...

Kevin, first let me tell you that a Wave Nouveau is a perm not a relaxer. It is important to know what chemical you have. Based on what you have told me your products are not improving your hair just sitting on it. Chemicals dry our already dry hair so you need to continually add products that improve it to keep it from breaking. It sounds like to me you are just not getting something your hair needs. Read my book to understand why this is necessary. Wetting it every day is no problem at all. In fact your dry hair loves it. Water evaporates and you are left with dry hair once again unless you also keep it moisturized. I really suggest you read my book. You will then understand your hairs requirements.

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8. What does it mean to texturize the hair? What is a texturizer?

A texturizer is a chemically much like a relaxer that does not completely straighten the hair but loosens the curl. 

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9. Just to say I received your book from Amazon.com on Wednesday, and I finished the book the same day, I have gone back to reading it all over again. and just cannot put it down. My colleague at work is intrigued by it. I also would like to thank you for sending the condtioner and moisturizer, I received it this morning (UK ) time. One other thing, please could you give an advice for my colleague. when she uses a relaxer kit, whether kiddies or normal, they always seem to burn her scalp, can you explain why this happens., and what advice could you give her to prevent this from happening.

For your colleague- A Kiddie relaxer contains the SAME ingredients as the adult relaxer. This is a common misconception we have just because it is marketed for kids - it still has to do the same thing which is relax the curl pattern in our hair. Look at the ingredients the next time you shop for a relaxer. Ingredient for ingredient will be the same as the adult product. The difference is that they work slower in an attempt to stop burning too soon. My sugestions for your friends burning problem:

  1. Do not wash your hair or even exercise the day of your retouch because the pores will remain open for 24 hours and can burn your head severely.
  2. Do not scatch an itchy scalp 2-3 days before a retouch this can also cause severe burning
  3. Keep the product off the scalp!

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10. Would you recomend a product called Volumax, I believe its some kind of texturizer to soften my new-growth instead of relaxers, of course to use with your conditioner?

I do not recommend changing chemicals. That is one of the reasons we lose our hair when we do that. Some chemicals do not work together. A texturizer is a chemical similar to a relaxer but often can be different enough that changing will cause you to lose your hair that has the texturizer on it. My Dew moisturizer helps extend retouches because it keeps the hair soft not hard like creme moisturizers do that contain protein. Using the techniques described in the book with the dew will allow you to grow your hair out without all the breakage associated with wanting to go natural. So no I do not recommend Volumax. Stick with the chemical you currently use or be prepared to start all over.

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11. I have a texturizer and I will need a touchup soon and I want to relax it now--how long should I wait or -- what do you recommend that I do to my roots?

Choose to do your retouch when YOU decide to do it because I would NEVER recommend you get a relaxer on your hair at all. I will not tell you 2 weeks, 4 weeks etc because what you want to do can cause you severe problems and I dont want you thinking that my advice was wrong if it turns out disaterous for you.

The roots can be straightened with the curling iron or flat iron if you use the Dew on your hair then dry it after you wash. How long can you do this? I have stretched my retouches to 14 weeks by using this method.

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12. What's the difference between relaxed and permed?

This is in my book however a relaxer straightens and a perm curls.

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13. My friend gets her hair permed by this beautician and her perms come out really well. I had used Affirm for 3 years on my hair prior to now. I like the results. She also uses Vital too, I want to use what she uses.

Stick with the chemical you currently use. Switching back and forth will cause damage to your hair!

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14. I have been looking on the web for information on black hair care concerning pressing the hair while wearing a "Wave Nouveau" and I found your website. I am impressed with your website and I will be ordering the UBH book and hair products this week. Your hair is simply gorgeous and so is your skin. I am also a Mary Kay user. I have worn a "wave" for years and my hair is long and healthy, although its not quite as long as yours, but, its getting there. I agree with you when you say that it is not good to apply different chemicals to the hair. However, I don't want to change from the wave perm, but I would like to start getting it pressed between touch-ups. I have discussed this with my beautician, whom I have been with for the past five years and she does not press hair, but referred me to a lady that does.

STOP PLEASE CANCEL YOUR APPT TO HAVE YOUR CHEMICALLY PROCESSED HAIR PRESSED!!!!! If you want to keep what hair you have you WILL NOT have it pressed. This is one of the things I talk about in my book. Hair that has been chemically processed was NEVER intended to be used with extreme heat such as the pressing comb! I am not surprised that your hairdresser did not tell you this because MOST hairdressers do not know this fact! If you get your chemically processed hair pressed, you will experience EXTREME breakage if not immediately, real soon. Before you do another thing to your hair, get a copy of my book. Your eyes will be opened and you will be able to direct the hairdressers yourself. Please read my book Cheryl, it is worth the $15.00 investment!

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15. My hairdresser swears by Mizani. I thought I recalled reading that you like it, too. Anyway, she says she prefers it because it's the only relaxer she knows of that will let her put a deep conditioner in a patron's hair BEFORE shampooing with a neutralizer. I never had to read your book to know that that sounded extremely risky, and consequently, I've never let her handle my touch-ups. Is that something you've ever heard of, deep conditioning with Mizani BEFORE using a neutralizing shampoo to stop the straightening process?

I have NEVER used Mizani anything and as far as my chemicals, I wont use Mizani because I use Affirm and will not change my chemicals.

Putting conditioner on before the neutralizer is what Affirm suggest doing also. I dont particularly like this method because I like the chemical reaction to stop immediately after I have rinsed my hair. Based on my experience the purpose of the conditioner before the neutralizer is to get the product in the hair while the hair shaft is wide open. Well guess what - it is still wide open after the neutralizer too. I even apply my color (Bigen) as it takes better immediately after a retouch too as opposed to waiting weeks later.

I prefer my conditioning be done after the chemical has stopped working with the neutralizer. This to me is more practical. I have done the conditioning method before the neutralizer and more often than not, I still continue to neutralize BEFORE the condition.

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16. What is a fiberguard affirm, and will my hairdresser know what it is?


Fiberguard is the latest Affirm relaxer product (at this time to my knowledge). I like the Fiberguard better. It is supposed to strengthen the hair when it is relaxed. If she knows anything about Affirm she will know the name.

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17. Hi, my name is Tavon. Before I cut my hair I had hair about 12 inches that took me two years to grow and I never got my hair clipped so I know that's true. My hair was very curly sometimes and I couldn't really comb it when I would get cornrolls. So I would blow dry it. I finally decided to get a perm so I wouldn't have to comb it so hard and to make it easier for people who braid my hair because I have thick hair. They used dark and lovely. Is that a good perm? My hair is to thick. It didn't take so well and the back of my head was like it was never permed but towards the end it was straight and it wasn't done professionally so that may be why. I cut my hair all of it and want to start over. I want to know how often should I wash my hair and is blue magic (green in color) Hair and Scalp conditioner good to use to oil my hair.

Tavon, it does not sound like you are looking for a relaxer (perm) you are wanting a texturizer (just to loosen the curl). As far as the products you are inquiring about, I dont recommend any products but my own conditioner and I dont recommend products that I have not used. I have used neither of the ones you are inquiring about. Also if you read my book you know I dont recommend anything on the scalp.

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18. If I used a perm all my life can I switch to a texturizer? I always really want to loosen my curl pattern not straighten my hair. If so can I use anyone off the shelf, which are typically for men?

Different chemicals do not work well together. So my answer is NO. I would not switch. The texturizer is similar to a milder form of a relaxer. Use the relaxer you currently use but dont leave it on as long.

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19. I have a question. I have had a wave noveau (curly perm) for the last 10 years. Recently I went back to a mild relaxer, but I find that my hair is breaking off very badly. My hair breaks off when I comb my hair. Everywhere I go I'm noticing strands of hair. I get a wash and conditioner every 2 weeks from my beautician, and I also have my hair rolled and set under the dryer. It's getting so bad that I'm thinking about going back to the wave noveau, but I really don't want to do that. ANY SUGGESTIONS!!!!!!

Please, Please stop changing chemicals! The reason you are losing your hair is because a Perm and a Relaxer are different chemicals! If you have not read my book I suggest you get a copy immediately. Relaxers and Perm products do not work together. You have changed the structure of the hair once. You can only change it once! When you put the relaxer on the perm you tried to change it again! When the structure of the hair is broken, there is nothing you can do to correct it except a pair of scissors! I am sorry you have experienced this. If you have not read my book please, please read it. If you had, you probably would not have done that. You can try to do a Aphogee treatment (Sally's) If the hair is not severely damaged, it may help but if the chemical bonds are broken, regretfully there is no solution but a pair or scissors!!!

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20. Hello. I am a young female who has taken out a kiddie perm relaxer for three months now. Now that it is back to school time I want a relaxer, a real relaxer. It will be either Lady Velvet or another one like Optimum because those are the only kinds my hair dresser uses I think. I really want to know, is my hair growing now (about an inch and a half since she trimmed it two inches in January when I first permed it). I am pressing it or should I get my relaxer?

The products you are wanting to use I do not recommend. Also I see the potential for major problems with things you have said. You are pressing your Kiddie Permed Hair!!! Your potential problems are lerking if not already there and I suspect they are. You are causing problems on your own hair so certainly I am not going to tell YOU to get a relaxer!! You also cannot press chemically processed hair!! Read my book. Your hair care is in need of serious help!

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21. My hair texture is coarse and kinky. Your products appear to be targeted for women with relaxers. I would like to read your book and try your products. Does your hair care system work as well on natural hair as well as relaxed hair? Please let me know quickly, since I'm anxious to order your book and products ASAP. My hair seems to reject everything and is very dry and breaks easily.

Hair is hair, our hair is dry, in fact the driest of any race of people. Relaxed hair is the worst case scenerio because it dries our dry hair more if not maintained properly. Yes this will work for natural hair as well as chemically treated hair.

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22. I was in a salon here in town today. My friend from Peru has a salon and I went in to see if she could tell me where I could shop for a hooded hairdryer. I talked to her about my hair and she showed my a texturizer product from a company named Joico. I looked them up on the net, but their product did not seem to be something that would work well on OUR hair. Have you ever heard of Joico?

I have heard of Joico but have never used it. Athough I have never used Motions, I would recommend their relaxer before I recommend Joico.

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23. I would like to know if you've heard of the "Naturalaxer" and what are your views on it.

Yes I have heard of them and I have never used them. I do not recommend anything I have never used

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24. My hairstylist uses the Affirm perm Which has changed the curly structure of my hair. However, each time I get a retouch, it gets very dry. Not to mention, that I go once a week for a conditioner and set. Is once a week too much for very fine hair? My hair seems to be very thin.

Relaxers dry our already dry hair out more. The conditioner is probably not providing you with the requirements needed after a relaxer. Is once a week of what too much? A deep conditioner is needed for relaxed hair. It has to be done at least once a week. If that deep conditioner does not contain the requirements I have stated in my book, your hair is probably not doing as well as it can be. Get a copy of my book to find out what you need to do for your hair. It is worth the $15.00 investment.

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25. Hey, Cathy, Donna Kearse, AGAIN!!! Got calls from some girlfriends who caught this piece on our local ABC affiliate station, Channel 6-Action News. Thought I recalled you writing about "thio", and if I'm correct, whatever it was, it wasn't good. Check out this website. It is called The Secrets of Japanese Hair Straightening
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/09262002_sr_hairstraightening.html

Donna, Thio is the same chemically used to either perm the hair. If you use a chemical relaxer, under no circumstance should you use Thio products. Thio products were also used in the curly perms. Saying the customer who uses this method would not have to reuse for 6 months would not work for us because of the tight curl pattern of the new growth. We would have an afro with straight hair sticking off it (not pretty in my opinion) So my comment -sistah you are a black girl and it wont work for you!!

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26. I visited your website and found it quite interesting. I keep my hair cut short and was very pleased with a texturizer called Dark n Natural. This product did wonders for my hair and now has been discontinued. I have since tried several other texturizers, but can not achieve that "same look" anymore. I have decided to just let my hair grow and just go natural. How long do I have to wait before I can perhaps try a perm or relaxer to obtain a different look?

Pricilla, you can never change perm (texturized) hair to relaxed hair. Once the hair has been shaped in the texturizer pattern by the chemical, trying to change it to a different chemical will weaken and destroy the hair. In some cases even disintergrating it. Your hair will either have to grow out with the chemical on it or expect to lose it all the way down to the new growth if you decide to relaxer now. Those two chemicals dont work together at all!

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27. Hello, I am writing for some information on what to do with my hair. My hair has been damaged from medication and perms over the years. I don't know what to do but cut it down to about 1-1/2 inchs. I am now having a problem with how tight the natural curl looks. I feel I look like a boy. I would like a softer look. My question is should I put a home kit texturizer on it or should I perm it with a regular perm? I want it to grow also and in the past the perm only take it so far and I am right back were I started. I also need to know how to put the texturizer on so it gives me the wave look and not the regular look. I hope you will be able to help.


Sharon, I will not advise you to do a perm, relaxer, texturizer or any chemical on your hair because you could be causing more problems with your hair than you have now. Especially if you dont know that you are doing and what to watch for. I do not advise on these procedures eithr. Go to a salon to have it done. Then after you have the chemical, ensure you read my book to know what to expect and how to care for your hair to keep it on your head and from breaking off.

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28. Please settle a matter in my mind. Are stylists meant to COMB the relaxer through the new growth or simply SMOOTH it through. I think to smooth it is the correct way but it appears that most people have their stylists comb it through. Isn't that damaging?? I want to have my hair professionally relaxed but am hesitant cos their method of relaxing-I might have a friend do it for me. How does your stylist apply your relaxer? Any thoughts on this issue?

Combing through is not recommended as the teeth will often touch the scalp and cause the relaxer to burn the scalp. The back of the comb can be used to smooth the product. Myself, as well as my stylist smooths the chemical on with gloved hands and fingers. I personally prefer to put the chemical on each small section quite heavily and press it between my gloved fingers, thereby keeping it off my scalp.

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29. There is a girl at my job with a pretty good legnth of hair and she mentioned to me that she gets a touch up about every 3 weeks! I don't know about you but that sounds a bit dangerous to me. What do you think. I am guessing that she does that to prevent the breakage that we get around the time for the next touchup.

For whatever reason your coworker is doing retouches as frequently as she is doing them, it is not a good idea as chemicals can destroy the hair. They are a lot less damaging to the hair than they were decades ago. But they still should never be put on so frequently!

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30. Well, turns out MY hairdresser DOES use the Affirm FiberGuard. It was turning into a major production to find a salon here in Center City Philadelphia that DOES. And guess what, Avlon's website lists salons in any given area that are "supposedly" retailers of Affirm FiberGuard, and when I called on of them, not only did they tell me they don't use the Affirm FiberGuard, they told me they use something called Syntonics which is much better. Told 'em thanks, but no thanks, and went right back to my girl.

GOOD for YOU! I dont know what the heck that Syntonics is but I would not let them use it on me either. Glad to hear you found some one who DOES use Affirm that hopefully you can trust. You do trust her, right?

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31. After a month of using the Revlon hair repair kit I told my hair dresser it was not working. Only than did she start giving me deep conditioners without charging me (I guess she had a guilty conscience). During this same time period she also "trimmed my hair" which was really a drastic haircut even after I told her I wanted to keep my hair in the style I was currently wearing. It was than I realized that I am ultimately the one responsible for the health of my hair. Once I made that distinction I felt empowered and in control. I went online and typed in " Black haircare tips" and your web address appeared. I went to your website and you looked like an angel to me. I am just starting the system but I know what my hair has been like all my life and the change in such a short time has given me more hope and optimism about my hair than I have ever had in my life. I feel as if my prayers have been answered after all of these years. I will keep you updated on my progress.


Yvette, God needed a messenger. I feel blessed to carry this important message. I know that as time goes on you will know this is the truth about our hair.

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32. I just accidentally found your website and I have a question. Can I use your products even though I have the "Wave Nouveau" relaxer?

Use my conditioner instead of what they have as my product improves the hair. Their moisturizing product (aka the curl activator) they offer can be substituted for the Dew.

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33. The reason why I want to get a new relaxer at this time is because my hair is growing and the roots are kind of hard to comb. This seems to just cause more breakage. What can I do in the meantime to get my hair back in health condition while dealing with the kinky roots? At this point I am really scared of losing my hair.

Avoid combing the hair at the roots and use Dew moisturizer along with the curling iron straightening technique I talk about in my book. You will be able to extend your relaxer using this method. Use protein treatments to strengthen your hair but ensure it is softened by moisturizing.

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34. Cathy, I need help with my hair. I have a situation where my hair grew out at a comfortable long length that I really liked. However, I decided to get highlights on 6/01. In Nov. 2001, I started to notice hair breakage in the crown or top of my head. When I asked the hairdresser about the relaxer, she told me that she used something different than before. The hair dresser started out using Excelle Relaxer, Then, she switch to Optimum. Then to Lustre Silk. This was all done without my knowledge. I suggested to her that switching relaxers might have causes the breakage. She denied it, because only the color treated hair broke and not the hair at the root. She suggested a hair trim or cut because the hair shaft split the hair. However, this hair in the crown of my head is so short around the rest of my hair until I would have to cut all of my hair to get it even. So she cut some, but it still looks damaged and bad at the top. Please give me some suggestions, because I don't want to cut my hair. I was recommended to another hairdresser in which she uses Affirm. Is this a good time to use another relexer. I have been using Kerecare products at home.

Switching relaxers was one problem, but the highlighted hair on relaxed hair is another problem. Please get a copy of my book because if you had read it you would not have double processed your hair with the relaxer and highlights. Also ask before you get in the chair what relaxer the hairdresser is using. Changing chemical products WILL also cause problems if the products do not work together. Finally it is NOT a good time to get yet another relaxer. Get your hair in a better condition before trying this again. Get a copy of my book and read it before you do another thing to your hair.

If your hair has any breakage I would recommend a protein treatment (aphogee) the weekend BEFORE you go for the touch up. Your hair will be hard so soften it all weekend.

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35. Do you allow your hairdresser to use the Affirm Reconstructor and/or Positive Link Conditioner for Medium & Course Hair on your hair AFTER the Affirm Relaxer has been put in and rinsed out? What's the name of the chemical blocker?I'M REALLY NERVOUS ABOUT THIS CHANGE, CATHY!

The relaxer I use is called Affirm FiberGuard for Sensitive Scalp. Positive Link is not used with this product. You must put the Preservo Chemical Block on the hair before the relaxer. The relaxer you are talking about is the First relaxer Affirm did. They still sell it too but I found out about the FiberGuard from a hairdresser friend and the first application sold me on using it from now on.

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36. Good morning, Cathy! I've been doing a lot of reading lately on relaxers that are supposed to be less harsh than those containing sodium hydroxide, like the one I believe you said you use, Affirm. I've been using Revlon's Relaxer (normal strength) for some years now, but I think that I'd like to give my hair something of a break with regards to the sodium hydroxide exposure. I know that what's in Affirm can be damaging to hair and scalp, too, but from what I'm getting from MY research, the damage should be much less because of some "cationic" something or other. Bottom line to my question: do you think that I can safely make the switch from Revlon to Affirm as long as I maintain your maintenance system?

Affirm is the only relaxer that I recommend sistahs change too from anything else the may be using. But remember you cant change back. If your hair is in good condition now and you dont have a lot of breakage then I would say you can safely switch to Affirm. Just ensure the stylist puts the chemical block on the hair before putting the chemical on.

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37. Cathy, I'm giving my hair a break from relaxers. My hair is medium length (10 inches long) and very thick. Currently I'm using beeswax on my hair ( I don't use that much but, a dime size). To keep it straight once I have pressed my hair. Do you know of any other products that I can use to keep it straight without relaxers? I also think I need a protein treatment my hair is breaking pretty bad. I spend over an hour in the beauty supply store trying to find a good protein treatment. Everything I picked up contained cethly alcohol ( I know that's not good for my hair, I learned that from reading your book, thank you). Can you recommend a protein treatment? Or would the UBH conditioner correct my hair problems?

After you wash your hair on (Wednesday) try spraying Dew on your hair then dry it. Ensure it is dry throughly under and in between. Avoid the grease and see how your hair feel. The only protein treatment I recommend is Aphogee. It has to go on the hair and dry hard to work. (Sally's has it) My conditioner is for regular maintenance. If you have severe breakage, you need a protein treatment.

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38. Hi, Cathy. I'm Donna Kearse, and we've corresponded by e-mail previously. Over the last two months, my hair shows signs of needing a touch-up by my 3rd or 4th week. Prior to using your system, which I've been on now since April 2002, my hair wouldn't show signs of need for a touch-up until my 4th or 5th week. I'm inclined to believe that between the iron and zinc supplments, the twice a week shampooing and deep conditioning, and the constant moisturizing, my hair is growing much more quickly. However, I've never been one for the "big hair" look. I don't live in Texas, I live in Philadelphia, PA and I prefer a much less "mile-high" appearance!

The only way my hair appears to lay down is if I smooth it back into a bun after I've washed, conditioned and mositurized it. This way, it dries shiny and wavy. And while this is a beautiful, sophisticated look for the office (I'm the office administrator for a law firm, it gets boring QUICKLY. Any suggestions? Any insight about what I've described? Thanks!

Currently I am 9 weeks into my last relaxer and this is how I do my hair to keep it soft and the new growth smoother. After washing and deep conditioning with my conditioner I rinse my hair then apply the Dew (apply it a little heavy to cover all the hair), go back under the dryer to dry the hair, smoothing it as it drys, combing it away from the sides to dry the sides thoroughly, lifting the hair to dry the nape area and feeling inside the hair for still wet spots, use the end of a long handled comb to section the hair in these places, smooth with the hands as it continues to dry. Do this all over the head and DO NOT use a creme moisturizer during this time that contains protein (motions) as it will make the hair hard and stiff instead of soft and smooth like the dew was intended to do. You are then free to style as you wish. Let me know if this helps

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39. I have recently ordered your book and products and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. I have had hair problems for several years now. Everytime I get a relaxer, I get a bald spot in the back of my head about the size of a half dollar. I have been fortunate that although thin, it grows back after the relaxer has grown out. I have decided no more relaxers. Could you give me advice on what would have caused this.

This balding spot could be caused from a number of things. It is hard to diagnois when you dont know what is being done. You might be able to identify the cause after you read my book.

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40. I cannot afford to go to the beauty shop as often as I would like (money is tight). What at home relaxer would you recommend in this instance?

I dont recommend ANY off the shelf relaxers. And I also do not recommend you changing back and forth with chemicals

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41. I have my friend do my relaxers, and the chapter on chemicals is helpful to both of us, since we do EACH OTHER's relaxers. We are both on a budget. I know that I can trust her to trim my ends. I am glad to finally hear someone back up what I have been telling people about the fact that trimming CANNOT make hair GROW. Every time I cut my friend's hair she would say that it grew because I had cut it.

I wish I had someone like your friend to do my hair but I either have to do it myself or go to my hairdresser whom I trust and who does not do anything that I do not want. These people are few and far between.

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42. How long should I wait to get a relaxer?

If your hair is in bad condition wait until you have had about 6 weeks of treatments to strengthen the hair. If it is not breaking a lot, you should be safe to do one sooner but I really recommend the protein treatment BEFORE you relax.

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43. My hairdresser uses Revlon Fabulaxer, regular strength, and adds oil to make the mixture milder. Friends have suggested Mizani and Affirm Relaxers. I am not familiar with them. How are they different from the Revlon product?

I am not familiar with them. If Fabulaxer is working for you and you are not experiencing adverse problems from using the product and it works for you - use it. I have never used Mizani and I love Affirm and recommend it. How are they different from the Revlon product? - I have no idea because I don't use anything but Affirm. 

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44. Would you recommend making the switch from Revlon Fabulaxer to Mizani or Affirm?

I would not recommend you switching to anything except Affirm and after you switch once, stick with your second choice!

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45. I have been relaxing my hair since I was small an now that I'm, older I color it probably once a year. And I just put extensions in my hair this summer and it destroyed my hair and it was shoulder length. How long does it take for your hair to grow?

The average growth rate of hair is approximately 6" per year. Some may have hair that grows slower, some faster but the average is about 6" per year. Keeping it on your head requires you to take care of it. It is apparent you have not read my book and I recommend you do so before you do another thing to your hair. The damaging things you are doing to your hair are self-inflicted and you are the reason you are having hair problems. Get a copy of my book and read it to grow your hair out!

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46. Can I use Affirm on top of Vigorol or wait?

Wait 6 weeks before going to Affirm IF you are not having a lot of breakage. If you are having a lot of breakage I recommend you treat your hair like I specify in my book for 6 weeks BEFORE you change to Affirm. 6 weeks of treatments will strengthen the hair and prepare it for the change you will make with the chemical. I used Vigoral years and years ago. I found it to be okay but not a good product for Type 4 hair. It is more of a mild formula whereas Affirm can be adjusted from Mild to Resistant strengths. IF you decided to change to Affirm - STICK WITH AFFIRM - IF you decide to use VIGORAL - STICK WITH IT. To avoid unnecessary breakage you must stick with one chemical! Finally get a copy of my book. Even if you decide not to use the products, the $15.00 investment is worth its weight in gold!

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47. Do you have any suggestions for caring for a curl? Also why is my hair thinning?

The way you take care of a curl is the same way you take care of a relaxer - they are both chemicals. After reading my book you should understand why your hair could be thinning. Is it perhaps because you have not used protein to rebuild the hair? There could be a number of reasons and it is up to you to identify it after reading my book. After you read it and have specific questions, I can perhaps better answer your questions - but currently it is too broad.

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48. I have not done anything different (chemically ) over the years to cause my hair loss and I really wanted to change to the Affirm that you recommend, but am now afraid. Should I switch to the Affirm at this stage or wait ?

If you are not having a lot of breakage, you can switch to the Affirm. If you are having a lot of breakage - treat the hair with my conditioner and protein for several weeks until the breakage stops then you can have the Affirm.

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49. I would like to know if it's safe to relax my hair while I am pregnant? I am in the first trimester (7 weeks) and currently wear it short and have no chemicals in it. Thanks!

There is no evidence to my knowledge that confirms relaxing the hair during pregnancy effects your unborn child.

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50. I have been using a Revlon relaxer and would like to make a change to Affirm relaxer, how long should I wait before changing over?

You can do Affirm on you NEXT retouch

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51. Do you use Affirm (Guainidine) Or Sodium Hydroxide. Lye or no Lye is the question I quess.

Fiberguard is what I use. The no-lye formula.

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52. I've relaxed for years now and am tiring of it. I used Avlon's thio products years ago and would like to start using their relaxers now (especially since you use it). When on their website, I found that they sell a moisturizer also. Have you used their moisturizer at all?

I do hope you dont intend to relax hair that has been already been processed with a thio product!!!! If you do, you will experience major breakage! These products do not work together and will destroy the hair. I have not used their moisturizing products because they too contained protein from my last review of them.

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53. Your argument for NOT having to oil the scalp is that the glans take care of our root already. If relaxers dry out our dry hair and hence we need to apply moisturizers plus grease (oils) to retain that moisture, dont you feel that our scalps are somewhat affected during the relaxing process?

The relaxer should be kept off the scalp, thereby decreasing the negative scalp effects.

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54. I want to get a perm eventually but I heard that they take your hair out in the top leaving a bald spot. Would you suggest perming my hair myself?

No I do not recommend YOU do your hair yourself!!!

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Disclaimer: UBH products do not fix balding and alopecia problems. UBH products address dry, brittle hair that breaks.

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Last Revised: February 2010

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