When applying chemicals to your hair, you must take the necessary precautions in protecting your mane, allowing it to grow healthy and look it's best. Overlapping and over-processing are two of the biggest hair crimes you can commit when you have relaxed hair.
Overlapping is a term used to describe when you apply fresh relaxer on top of previously relaxed hair. This is over kill on your relaxed strands – don’t do it! It's important to let the new growth grow out to at least 1" before you do a touch up. Relaxing your hair every 4-6 weeks is simply too short of a time frame for enough new growth to appear. I stretch my relaxers at least 10-12 weeks giving me more than enough new growth for a touch up. This way, I can clearly see where the line of demarcation is to apply my relaxer. For extra measures I like to protect my previously relaxed hair with conditioner or a thick oil to prevent possible overlapping. In the past, my hairdresser used to drench my entire head with relaxer from root to tip every 8 weeks - horrible I know! Due to my stylists’ heavily overlapping, I was vulnerable to excessive breakage.
Leaving relaxer on way too long, longer than the recommended time on your relaxer kits, is considered over-processing. Going past the suggested time frame can make your hair overly straight, harm your scalp and make you prone to breakage. Sitting with relaxer on your hair like its conditioner is not the way to go! Over-processed hair tends to be thin and extremely weak. I apply and smooth my relaxers in 20-25 minutes. I don't sit with it in my hair. As soon as I'm done, I immediately hop in the shower, rinse thoroughly, and proceed to neutralize. I can always expect straight hair with a little texture left over. The extra texture has improved the strength and thickness of my hair over the years.
Have you committed the hair crime of overlapping and over-processing your relaxed hair? What have you done to correct the issue?