Hair relaxer can provide you with silky, straight hair, but you may eventually want to return your hair to its natural state. You may want to do this if you've experienced breakage or even just to enjoy your natural texture once more. No matter what your reasons, you'll need to be prepared for an extended wait.
The amount of time it takes to grow hair relaxer out depends on how quickly your hair grows and how long you want your hair to be before you cut the relaxed hair off. According to the Mayo Clinic, hair grows about a 1/2 inch each month during its growth phase, though this varies from person to person. Many people grow the relaxer out for three to six months before they move to a natural hairstyle.
Some people try natural hair relaxers as they transition from relaxed hair to their natural texture. These hair treatments do not straighten the hair, however. Often consisting of a blend of herbs, they are typically used to make hair more manageable and soften the natural curl texture. They may be helpful for allowing new growth to blend in with relaxed hair during the transition period.
It is a misconception that a person can simply go back to natural hair with no waiting time or drastic change in length. Hair relaxer is permanent, and there's no way to undue a relaxer once you've applied it to your hair. If you're ready to go back to your natural texture, you'll have to grow the relaxer out. You can cut all the relaxed hair off once you have some new growth and wear a short hairstyle while you wait for your hair to grow in. Alternatively, you can nurture both your new growth and the relaxed hair as you slowly grow the relaxer out. As new growth comes in and gets longer, the relaxed hair can be trimmed. Once your hair reaches the desired length, any remaining relaxed hair can be cut off.
It's critical to give your hair extra care and attention as you attempt to grow a relaxer out. This means using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner to help discourage breakage. It's also a good idea to choose a style that doesn't require a lot of pulling or other stress on the hair. Keeping the hair well-moisturised with an effective--but not too heavy--hair cream or lotion may help as well. Some people sleep with a satin cap or bonnet on their hair to prevent breakage caused by rubbing fragile hair on cotton pillowcases during the night.
When you're growing a relaxer out of your hair, you'll need to avoid anything that could stress or damage it, causing breakage or outright hair loss. Avoid tight ponytail holders and other hair accessories. Don't perm or dye your hair during the transition period. It's also best to avoid heated styling elements, such as hot blow-dryers, straightening combs and curling irons.