Over processing is a disastrous experience. It occurs when the strands of the hair have been, well, over processed. A chemical process such as relaxing or color treating hair takes a toll on the hair. Even the healthiest head of relaxed hair is technically damaged.There are a few things to remember when dealing with over processed hair. One, recovering is a long and tedious process that will be made worse if you try to cut corners. Two, it can happen even when you have been as careful as you’re expected to be. Three, this too shall pass.
Color has a similar effect on hair as relaxers. Although they’re not exactly the same, relaxing and coloring are the most common ways black hair is chemically treated. Both processes break down the hair and weaken the strands. With each application, the strands become progressively more weak.
The issue of over processing comes into play when chemicals are applied to portions of your hair that have been previously processed. This is the why one of the main issues with applying relaxer at home is the prevention of overlapping. To prevent overlapping and subsequent over processing, chemicals should be applied only to the portions of hair that are free of prior chemical treatment.
Because of the obvious physical constraints that come into play when self-relaxing, the problem of over processing is most prevalent with ‘box-perms’ applied at home. There are also women who have short relaxed hair who are at risk for over processing as well.
Short relaxed hair can be tricky to retouch safely. The hair is usually relaxed more frequently because the new growth is more apparent. And the sections of hair that need retouching are very short from root to the line of demarcation.
So, what can you do when your hair has been over processed?
The one most important thing to do is to be realistic about the situation. Many times we get caught up into believing that over processed hair can be cured or reversed.
The plain truth of the matter is that, that is simply not true. You have to grow new, healthy hair to replace the damaged hair.
Don’t be totally discouraged, because there are things that you can do to get yourself back to a healthy head of hair.
You do not have to cut your hair.
Trim, yes. Cut, not necessarily. Trimming the ends will help prevent split ends that might result from the damage, from getting out of control.
There are times when the damage is so severe that cutting the over processed hair is the only option available. Some women do also choose to cut their hair once they discover that it’s over processed, because they don’t want to deal with babying their hair.
Use lots of conditioner
Conditioner fills in the gaps that are present in the strands of your hair. It is like a filler. Along with helping fill the gaps of the hair, conditioners also leave a light layer on the outer layer of the hair that acts like a coating. Those two things combined will give your hair the appearance of health.
Apply a good protein treatment
Protein treatments do what conditioners do, but times 100. Our hair is made up of protein and those bonds are broken when hair is chemically treated.
Applying a protein treatment to over processed hair can fortify the strands and bond with the damaged strands to create overall stronger strands that won’t break while you grow your hair out. Conditioner is like a filler and a good protein treatment is like a splint.
Heat is probably the worst thing you could do to your hair when dealing with over processing. You want to avoid anything that will further weaken the hair. Heat can be used sparingly and safely on hair that is healthy and hair that is not severely damaged. Over processed hair is severely damaged.
Styling your hair in heatless styles, or using flexi rods to achieve certain looks, will have to be your answer to hair boredom. Hooded dryers can be used here and there to set the hair or even to do a rod set, but in general, heat is something that will cause you to have to cut your hair because of the weakened state the hair is already in.
Over processed hair can be overcome, just remember that it takes time and patience and you will have to baby your hair if you want to keep it on your head while you grow out new, healthy hair. Have you over processed your hair before? Comment below and let us know how you dealt with it.
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