After being natural for about seven years and finally choosing to relax my hair this past October, I never would have imagined that I would be courageous enough to try and perm my hair on my own. As crazy as it sounds, I was nervous and flat out scared to relax my hair without any help. But when the new growth is overwhelming and none of your friends are available, you'll get it done

Before doing anything, like always, I tried to do a little bit of research. I asked other people about their experiences relaxing their hair and, of course, I did my routine YouTube search. Though it sounded super simple, I was still hesitant to give it a try. But I pulled myself together, put my gloves on, and did what I had to do. Here are tips I suggest for relaxing your own hair at home:

Use fitted latex gloves

If you're using a box relaxer, they typically come with gloves. If you're anything like me, those gloves are too big and just won't get the job done. I got so fed up with them and just began to use my hands but, I noticed that the strong chemicals made my nails super weak and fragile. To stay on the safe side, just buy gloves that fit your hand

Consider separating your hair into smaller sections

When I did my research, I noticed that people parted their hair in four sections and worked through each one. If you have a lot of hair, I would recommend parting your hair in more than four sections. It makes it easier to get all of your new growth and not miss any spots

relaxing my hair at home
Photo: Lauren Mechelle

Base your edges and scalp

Anytime you get a relaxer, you should use a base such as Vaseline. I've noticed that many people only tell you to base your edges and your ears. When relaxing my hair, I based my edges, my ears and my scalp. Basing the scalp definitely helped stop the burning

Don't forget the smoothing step

If you're like me, once I had the perm on my head, I was ready to rinse it out. I almost forgot about the smoothing step of the process. If you want your hair to get really straight, this is an important step

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Photo: Let's Grow Our Hair

Be sure to only relax your new growth

One thing you do not want is overprocessed hair. To prevent this, only perm the new growth and avoid the rest of your hair shaft

Be sure to wash out all of the perm and follow up with a NEUTRALIZING shampoo and a deep conditioner

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Photo: StyleMagazine
Hopefully, these tips will help you be worry-free when you relax your hair at home
Photo: Giphy
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