How to do a corrective relaxer

I’m dedicating this whole post to corrective relaxers.  A corrective relaxer is done to correct any under processing from a previous relaxer.  Under processed hair can lead to breakage because you are dealing with two different textures.  The hair becomes breakage prone especially where the two textures meet on the hair shaft (known as the line of demarcation).

The first step to a corrective relaxer is to determine why the hair was under processed in the first place.  There are many reasons why this could happen.  This can be because the relaxer was rinsed off too soon, too little relaxer crème was used or that you had applied something to the hair that slowed down the chemical process of the relaxer.  Often we have under processed hair in the nape because we cannot see the back of our heads when self-relaxing.  Once you determine why the hair is under processed, it will help you avoid repeating this when relaxing again.

Make sure to wait at least six weeks before doing a corrective relaxer.  In that time look after your hair i.e. wash and deep condition at least weekly and moisturise daily.  Pay particular attention to moisture to keep breakage at bay.

After six (or more) weeks you should have enough new growth to relax your hair again.  Apply the relaxer to your new growth as usual.  In the last five minutes before rinsing off the relaxer, apply relaxer crème to the under processed parts / the parts that need ‘correcting’.  This will prevent the under processed parts from becoming over processed which is also damaging to the hair.   Remember that when it comes to the under processed parts, you are picking up from where you left off at the last relaxer – the hair has already been processed the previous time round.  Do not apply the relaxer to all the hair, just the parts that need correcting.

As a final note, if you are not experiencing breakage, tangles or shedding and you don’t mind the different textures then you don’t need to worry about doing a corrective relaxer.  The hair will eventually be trimmed off in time.

Do you sometimes get under processed hair when you relax?  How do you deal with it?


  1. says

    How often should I relax my hair,I use organic root….its long but I noticed putting hair food that’s petroleum jelly like quickly makes it kinky by the roots,what can I do???
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  2. Palesa says

    hey Tee! i totally larv wat u do for ppl who previously thot hair is an undercoat for weaves and anything BUT their own hair (ME). im on my journey and have big goals! thing is iv been using Revlon relaxer since i was a kid, and my hair comes out luking divine! for da past two years i suffered in silence as it began to becum an inferno during application, i finally decided enuf was enuf and switched to Ladene on my last touch up (April) im due to retouch later today…….and my loyalties are killing me, im not quiet sure of Ladene but Revlon is killing me?! wat shud i do? duz da switch from mean i cant switch back??

    • says

      You can safely switch relaxers but make sure you hae lots of new growth to prevent overlapping. You need to remember though that your hair can react differently to different relaxers and the relaxer results may not be the same. You may end up with different textures on your head!

  3. Palesa says

    ThAnx A mil!! Went for da touch up and the horror!! Lol had to fake a burning scalp cauz da gal was about to COMB my hair in da midst of all dat chemical…… I face da issue of severe (according to me) unequal lengths of hair at da back of my head…so wen can I put on my box braIds? My hair is quite soft and supple by nature….

  4. soso says

    self-relaxed my virgin hair this afternoon and unfortunately my rookie methods resulted in underproccessed hair. waiting 8 weeks to do a corrective relaxer. can anyone recommend a good hairstylist in cape town?

    • Louise says

      @soso, have you looked into crotchet braids? Its meant to be less stressful on the hair than the usual extension braids…

  5. Mimi says

    I self relaxed my natural hair and my entire head of hair is under processed. The first time I left it in for 10 minutes.How much time should I leave it in the next time I relax?

    • Tendayi says

      There is no proper answer because it depends on your hair and also how you want it to look. Everyones hair is different and someone with thick coarse hair would need more time than someone with fine / thin hair. I would suggest you follow the directions of the particular relaxer you are using.

  6. Kattie Mcfarlin says

    I stretched relaxed for six months. Started to break off so relaxed to make all one texture. Got relaxer twice after that didn’t take. Recently got corrective relaxer at home. Now have texlaxed hair with three different textures. Frustrating. Back of hair to dry frizzy mess. I moisturize it but nothing seem to work. What to do until can relax again? Plz help. Ready to just chop it off.

    • Tendayi says

      I think until your next relaxer just make sure to deep condition and moisturise. For your next relaxer go to a professional and see what they say and if they can correct any of the relaxers.

  7. Danielle says

    you can try stripping your hair. removing all build up. it could be the cause of why your hair isnt taking anything

  8. marta says

    I used dark and lovely relaxer at home, unfortunately I mix the relaxer cream with the silky keratin serum (pre nutralizer) instead of the activator. I realized after finishing the application so what will happen to my hair?

    • Tendayi says

      I don’t think there will be any adverse effects Marta. The base needs the activator for the chemical process to take place.

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