Why do you flat iron the week before you relax?

December 2012 Relaxer Prep Wash Day
For the girl on a hair journey, who stretches her relaxers there is no finer day than relaxer day.  First, you finally get to say good-bye to the new growth that has been the thorn in your side for the last few weeks of your stretch. And secondly, you get to see (read: show off) all of the progress that you've made from your most recent relaxer stretch.  With that it's no wonder that most of us, myself included, will typically blow dry, flat iron and what ever else it takes to get our hair on relaxer day.  Personally, I schedule my relaxers to land near major social events. ;)

Knowing that there's a high likelihood of heat usage on relaxer day and that I do my best to avoid heat tools, I'm often asked why I always flat iron my hair the week before my relaxer.  As a fine haired lady, that much manipulation and back to back heat usage is a bit worrisome.  Some might even say that I'm venturing into dangerous grounds by doing this.  But I promise I have good reason for using double heat two weeks in a row.

Why Do You Flat Iron Right Before Your Relaxer?
Well first let me say that I stretch my relaxers for 13 to 15 weeks at a time which means that I always have at least an inch of new growth once relaxer day rolls around.  Having that much new growth is always a struggle because it gets tangled before, during and after every wash day.
Having stretched and detangled roots on relaxer day, means that I won't be slowed down by tangles as I am applying the relaxer to my roots.
I spend the last few weeks of each stretch brushing and gel-ing down my edges into smooth buns and ponytails.  A curly roller set or flat ironed hair is easier to wear out and it allows my edges to be free.

But let me say this, I have heeded the warnings of my fellow healthy hair journeyers and for my last two relaxer prep wash days, I have been letting two weeks pass before I relaxing my hair.  While I have done it back to back weeks without noticeable harm in the past, why push my luck.  It doesn't hurt to wait an extra week and it probably is better for my hair in the long run.  

For more on how my hair regimen changes when I'm preparing to relax my hair click here or watch this video:

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