How can you stop your straightened hair from breaking?
You can begin with the best shampoos and conditioners for relaxed hair.
In general, they are sulfate-free and very moisturizing.
It’s essential to restore the pH balance and replace the natural oils to keep your hair strong and healthy.
How relaxing your hair can wreck it
The chemicals that straighten hair can cause problems.
Most people end up with frizz and breakage. Some suffer from dandruff. Others say their hair feels more fragile and falls out more easily (2).
A small number of people find that relaxing their hair turns it gray.
But straightening your hair has benefits. It becomes more manageable and less prone to tangles.
Moreover, there are easy ways to deal with the side effects of relaxing your hair.
The easiest way to fix and care for relaxed hair
You need to cleanse your scalp to prevent dandruff and acne. But harsh ingredients will dry out your strands.
Dry hair is brittle. It gets tangled easily and looks dull.
No one enjoys it.
To prevent breakage and tangles, you need a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
It also helps to do a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a week (1).
Sulfates are fine if you have naturally oily hair. Otherwise, avoid them. You have plenty of choices, even if you’re on a tight budget.
For example, you can co-wash with conditioner. There are also conditioning shampoos available.
Look for ingredients like aloe, honey, argan oil, glycerin, and coconut oil. They can compensate if you wash your hair more frequently.
If you heat-style, invest in products that provide thermal protection (3).
Top Shampoos & Conditioners for Relaxed Hair
Nairobi Normalizing Shampoo Unisex
Nairobi makes professional-quality products for salons. They’ve been in business for two decades.
In fact, it might be their relaxer on your hair.
This normalizing shampoo is designed to be used right after a chemical treatment.
It restores the natural pH balance of your hair and scalp. It also cleanses any residue from the process.
It’s a must-have if you decide to try relaxing your hair at home.
The treatments are very alkaline and need to be neutralized with an acid (4).
Nairobi Humecta-Sil Moisture Replenishing Unisex Conditioner
Follow up with Nairobi’s conditioner to smooth the cuticle of the hair.
This product also helps with detangling if you haven’t straightened your hair.
Key ingredients include Vitamins a and E, aloe vera, and Polyquaternium-II. The latter is something to watch for when you buy shampoos and conditioners. It protects against damage from excessive heat.
Therapeutic Dandra-Solv Moisturizing Shampoo for Unisex By Nairobi
If you’ve relaxed your hair and developed dandruff, try this shampoo.
It contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the dead skin and stop crusty buildup.
But it also has natural ingredients that heal the scalp and fortify the hair. Some of these include rosemary, sage, nettle, and jojoba oil.
What’s more, it has menthol to soothe the itching.
Ojon Rare Blend Moisture-Rich Cleansing Conditioner
Here’s a sulfate-free shampoo for relaxed hair. It’s perfect for co-washing.
Happily, it’s mild enough to use every day if needed.
It features ojon oil, which comes from a palm tree in the Caribbean and the Amazon rainforest.
The oil is thick and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, so it’s perfect for chemically-treated and damaged hair.
Use it to define your curls or keep your straightened hair sleek and shiny.
Palmer’s Olive Oil Formula Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
Palmers’olive oil “shampoo” calms frizz and hydrates dry hair. It helps restore balance to the scalp as well.
It’s the ultimate way to wash your hair in a hurry. You don’t need to use an additional conditioner afterward.
When co-washing became popular, it solved a big problem. Those of us who sweat a lot feel like we need to shower every day. Dry shampoo doesn’t always cut it.
And Palmer’s product has just enough cleanser to freshen up the ‘do.
There are no sulfates, parabens, dyes, or phthalates.
Instead, the formula has Vitamin E, keratin, and Jamaican black castor oil. These nourish the scalp and strands all at once.
Those of you with concerns about the environment can rest easy, too. The company supports the sustainable production of ingredients.
Carol’s Daughter, Coco Creme Set
Carol’s Daughter makes a variety of hair care products for curly girls.
This set contains a delicious coconut oil shampoo and conditioner. Both are free of sulfates and 100% vegan.
There’s also a rich and creamy mask with mango butter and murumuru to repair damaged hair.
You might be wondering why you’d use shampoo for curls after you relaxed your hair.
It’s because curly hair shampoos are especially moisturizing and gentle.
Don’t worry; they won’t undo the treatment. Instead, they strengthen chemically-treated hair and soothe a dry scalp.
MIZANI True Textures Cream Cleansing Conditioner
Here’s another co-wash product with rave reviews.
Mizani packs lots of antioxidants in the formula. These help the hair recover from damage.
There are also marula, olive, and coconut oils to seal in moisture and smooth the cuticle.
Washing with this product ensures you’ll have sleek locks with no frizz.
All of this, and no sulfates, parabens, or silicone.
Furthermore, it’s 95% biodegradable.
MIZANI Thermasmooth Anti-Frizz Shampoo
If you heat-style your relaxed hair, you need thermal protection. That’s where this shampoo comes in handy.
It’s fortified with coconut oil and cationic polymers. The former prevents tangles and protects brittle hair. Then, the latter repels humidity to prevent frizz and guarantee shine.
There are also ceramides to normalize the hair and help it remain elastic.
The same shampoo also works well if you’re transitioning or doing color treatments. It’s appropriate for texture types two through eight.
MIZANI Thermasmooth Anti-Frizz Conditioner
Grab the accompanying conditioner when you get the shampoo above. It has the same essential ingredients that guard against damage from heat and styling.
MIZANI Thermasmooth Sleek Guard Smoothing Hair Cream
Here’s a leave-in conditioner that’s crucial for when you blow-out or curl your hair.
It makes it easier to slide an iron even if you have little hair.
It also defends against split ends and prevents frizz in high humidity.
If you apply it right after washing and conditioning, then blow dry, your hair will feel exceptionally sleek.
ApHogee Shampoo for Damaged Hair + ProVitamin Leave-In Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner repair damage caused by chemical treatments, heat styling, and hard water.
Both contain the Pro-Phytamine Complex and Keratin Reconstructor. And both make it easier to style your hair, and they won’t leach color out of it, either.
Nexxus Keraphix Shampoo, for Damaged Hair
How do you strengthen relaxed hair?
One way is to use keratin. Keratin is the protein in your hair and nails.
The Nexxus shampoo has both keratin protein and black rice. Together, they begin the healing process.
It’s like a low-dose keratin treatment right in the shower.
You might be wondering why black rice matters. It’s an ancient remedy for hair growth. There was a time when the Chinese Emperor forbade common people from using black rice. They wanted to keep it for themselves.
Nexxus Keraphix Conditioner, for Damaged Hair
Be sure to follow-up the shampoo with this conditioner to repair your hair.
It helps your hair become more resilient and prevents tangling without making it greasy or heavy.
Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Deep Hydrating, Co-Wash
Even Pantene has a co-wash product.
Take advantage of it if you can find it as it’s a lot less expensive than salon formulas, yet it works almost as well.
It’s free of parabens, dyes, and sulfates. Don’t expect a lot of lather because you won’t get it. But your hair will still be clean and soft once you’re done washing.
If you’re transitioning back to curly hair, this is helpful to have in the bath. Once you work it through your hair, take a pick and detangle.
Just be sure to rinse well as this is not a leave-in product.
Pantene Truly Relaxed Intense Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Another option is this Pantene set specifically made for chemically relaxed hair.
The shampoo and conditioner have jojoba and coconut oils to hydrate dry strands.
Users say it leaves their hair silky but not greasy.
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner
SheaMoisture makes a variety of shampoos and conditioners. This one is safe for all hair types, even if the hair is damaged or color-treated.
The clarifying shampoo washes away styling product buildup.
Then, the creamy conditioner protects and fortifies damaged hair.
Both contain natural and organic ingredients like Manuka honey and shea butter.
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Combination Pack
Once upon a time, you might have put straight castor oil on your hair. Then, you would’ve ended up with shiny, but greasy strands.
The modern alternative is to use castor oil shampoo and conditioner. Both are packed with omega oils that fix split ends and brittle hair.
Use these products for a few weeks, and you’ll be astonished at how healthy your hair becomes.
They’re useful if you’re getting regular chemical treatments since they balance the pH of your scalp and hair.
They also prevent tangles and frizz.
In case you’re wondering if your significant other will enjoy them, they have a peppermint scent that makes your skin tingle.
Design Essentials Natural Super Moisturizing & Detangling Sulfate-Free Shampoo, Almond & Avocado Collection
Design Essentials is celebrating thirty years in 2020.
They’re one of my favorite brands for ethnic hair care products.
They have a product for just about any hair type or situation. And they offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
For example, the almond and avocado shampoo is gentle enough to use every day if you need it.
It’s free of sulfates and enriched with natural oils and wheat protein.
There are no parabens, petrolatum, paraffin, or mineral oil in the bottle.
Design Essentials Natural Instant Detangling Leave-In Conditioner, Almond & Avocado Collection
They also make one of the best leave-in conditioners for relaxed hair.
The formula handles hard water and high humidity with ease.
It’s great if you have curly hair, too. The people who will get the most out of it have 2B to 4C curls and locs.
Better yet, it has no parabens, petrolatum, or paraffin.
Design Essentials Peppermint & Aloe Therapeutics Anti-Itch Shampoo For Instant Scalp and Dandruff Relief
Then, there’s the best dandruff shampoo for relaxed hair.
Dandruff is an unfortunate side effect of chemical processing.
But the shampoo starts the healing process with only one wash.
It has pyrithione zinc to stop itching and flaking. There are also peppermint and aloe to soothe the scalp.
Even if you don’t have relaxed hair, you can try this product. It’s more gentle and nourishing than the typical anti-dandruff shampoo.
Unfortunately, it’s not safe for color-treated hair.
Design Essentials Almond Butter Express Instant Moisturizing Conditioner
Revive fragile hair with this almond butter conditioner.
It’s ideal if you’ve had your hair relaxed or a color treatment done.
What impresses me is how weightless and silky each strand feels after using it.
Head and Shoulders Anti Dandruff Treatment and Scalp Care, Royal Oils Collection with Coconut Oil
Speaking of dandruff, here’s a drugstore solution that works on relaxed hair.
The Royal Oils collection is made for naturally curly and coily hair, too.
Both the shampoo and conditioner are free of parabens, dyes, and sulfates.
Avlon Keracare Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo and Humecto Creme Conditioner
The only complaint I have about the shampoo and conditioner is the size of the bottles.
I know that the reasoning used to be that you wash your hair twice and condition once. Therefore, the shampoo bottle needed to be larger.
But in today’s world, that’s just not necessary.
Anyway, fans of these products love how they strengthen their hair and leave it soft and shiny. They prevent flyaways and breakage.
I hope that you’re enjoying more manageable hair these days.
When you use shampoos and conditioners made for relaxed hair, they prevent frizz, breakage, and other problems.
It’s worth it to switch to products with gentle cleansers and rich moisturizers. Plus, there’s a selection for every budget.
If you found something new today, tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.wikihow.com/Take-Care-of-Relaxed-African-Hair by Ashley Adams, published October 18, 2019, accessed January 8, 2020
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746223/ Chemical Hair Relaxers Have Adverse Effects a Myth or Reality, by Vinma H Shetty, Narendra J Shetty, and Dhanya Gopinath Nair, published January 2013, accessed January 8, 2020