Every natural-curly-haired girl understands how difficult to keep the hair straight. Especially, in the hot summer days, this can be more challenging. Imagining how tiring you must be when having to repeat the cycle of damaging the hair by straightening it every day and then trying to restore the damaged hair with hair masks and conditioners.
A hair relaxer can handle these matters. This article will tell you everything that you should know before getting a hair relaxer.
What are hair relaxers?
This subject can be a bit tricky since many people simply don’t know about them. What are they? What can they do to your hair or what are the benefits of using them? By definition, a hair relaxer is a cream or lotion that makes your hair easier to straighten and manage. This is a kind of chemical straighteners, which will break down the disulfide bonds within the hair strands and altering the hair texture, thus reduce the curl and straighten the hair. This a permanent straightening method, the relaxer will last until your hair grows out so this requires to be touch-ups from time to time.
You can go to a professional hairdresser to get helps or else you can buy a hair relaxing product and do it yourself at home. We can’t deny the convenience of this straightening method, however, although this may be less harmful than using a straightener to straighten your hair every day since you applied the chemical on your hair, it still can be very damaging.
Types of relaxers
Sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and ammonium thioglycolate – These are three types of hair relaxers.
Sodium hydroxide relaxers, also known as lye relaxers, are used for wavy, curly, or Coily hairstyles. These are most commonly used by professionals as they straighten the hair very quickly but they might also easily rinse out of the hair as a result. However, those who have a sensitive scalp shouldn’t use them because they have higher pH and chemicals.
Instead of that, they should use calcium hydroxide or ammonium thioglycolate, aka no-lye relaxers. They can also be used on Coily, curly or wavy textures but one thing that makes them different from lye relaxers is that they are designed especially for sensitive scalps as they have milder chemicals and pH. The no-lye relaxers, however, can cause dry hair and actually are harsher to the hair than lye relaxers.
The relaxing process
You can either go to the salon to get help from professional stylists or relax your hair at home by yourself. However, getting hair relaxed by a professional is the best option to avoid permanently damaging your hair.
The hairdresser will firstly section off your dry hair and map off the areas to apply the hair relaxers. They will use 2-3 coats of relaxers to apply to each section before rinsing it out starting from the first applied section.
After that, your stylist will shampoo your hair and then apply a deep conditioner. Depending on your type of hair and how you style your hair, you will then get a roller set and sit under a hairdryer for an hour or more.
Finally, the stylist will blow up your dry hair to make it straight and complete the process.
Caring for relaxed hair
Achieving manageable, straight hair can’t be done if you don’t take care of it properly. Here are some tips for you:
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo: This helps maintain the moisture balance of your hair.
- Moisturize your hair daily: Your hair may be dry after getting hair relaxers (especially with no-lye relaxers) so don’t forget to moisturize it every day.
- Deep condition once a week: Add nutrients such as proteins to hair by using hair masks, leave-in conditioners or deep-penetrating light oils. The Keratin in essential proteins will help strengthen and build the hair back up.
- Limit heat use: your hair was already damaged after relaxing, the heat of styling tools can weaken your hair further.
- Trim ends when necessary: the ends of relaxed hair are often very fragile, making them susceptible to split ends and may cause further damage. That’s why you should trim the split ends whenever possible.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using hair relaxers
The benefits of getting hair relaxed are quite visible. Compared to other chemical straightening methods, your hair will stay straight a bit longer. And since it’s straightened, your hair will be easier to style and less frizz, save you a lot of time.
Of course, everything has two sides – advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages here are that your hair might be broken and shed, the hair growth might be stunted, depending on your hair type. Some women have also complained of scalp damaged, scalp irritation or hair loss as this is the result of chemical burns. Remember that, to achieve such a perfect hair straightening effect, hair relaxers have to be powerful chemicals. They will change your hair structure as well as strip natural oils of your hair, so consider carefully if you want to relax your hair.
Getting hair relaxed may be good or bad, this depends most likely depends on how you know about hair relaxers. If you have enough knowledge about this hair relaxers, you can make the best decisions and minimize the possibility of damage. Hopefully, this article has helped you somewhat. If you have further contributions, don’t hesitate to let MCSARA know by leaving your thoughts on the comment section below!