This following HairGlamourista article will take you through the types of hair relaxer products that can be used for straightening your hair. Continue reading for more information on the same as well as a list of products that can be used for carrying forth the process.
There are several forms and types of hair relaxer products available in the market today. Before deciding on using any such products, it is important that you understand how it works, and what are the potential side effects of using these.
Hair relaxers contain strong alkaline chemicals, which, when applied to your hair, alter its texture. This alkaline chemical penetrates the cortical layer (inner layer of the hair shaft gives the hair a curly shape, elasticity, and strength) of the hair and helps to loosen the natural curl pattern.
Continue reading this HairGlamourista article for an understanding of the different kinds of hair relaxer products and the kind of products to use.
When a strong chemical is used for relaxing the hair, it damages the strength, elasticity, and natural hair oils. This can lead to hair damage and other side effects, like, burning of the scalp and dryness of hair. The process undertaken for hair relaxing is irreversible, so unless you’re completely sure about what you’re going in for, you should not undertake the same; choosing instead, options like flat irons to straighten your hair―this is a safer and better, albeit temporary, method.
There are basically two types of hair relaxers―lye based and no-lye formula relaxers.
These relaxers contain sodium hydroxide as the main active ingredient. They have a high pH level, making them stronger formulas that are generally only available to the industry. These relaxers are usually a ready formula that is premixed.
Lye relaxers are not as harsh on the hair (each hair strand) as non-lye relaxers are. They wash off all the chemicals without leaving any residue behind. These relaxers allow each hair strand to absorb the moisture provided by them, and therefore, the hair looks shiny and silky. They do not damage the hair as much as no-lye formulas either because the disulfide bonds in the strand do not get broken down as much as when no-lye relaxers are used.
However, due to these basic properties, the hair does not straighten as much as it would with a no-lye relaxer. It is thereby a great formula that works for people who want mild straightening. These relaxers work very fast because of the high pH level contents. It is advised that professionals handle these formulas because they need to be applied in the right manner and then washed immediately after or there are chances that the hair might be damaged.
Even though these relaxers do not damage individual hair strands, there are chances that the scalp might be damaged; in fact, many women complain of scalp burns due to the corrosive nature of these relaxers. Being harsh and strong, it is recommended that a petroleum base be applied to the head during treatment, followed by an intense protein conditioning treatment post straightening and before the neutralizing shampoo is used.
These relaxers contain guanidine, lithium, or potassium hydroxide as the active ingredient. When mixed, these formulas form guanidine hydroxide. These come in both, pre-mixed formulas and ready-to-mix packs, and are good for only one application.
These relaxers allow a much straighter look and are used by people who like to relax their hair by themselves. These are used by people who have sensitive scalps and fine hair.
Even though they are not harsh on the scalp, they are harsh on the hair. These relaxers leave calcium deposits on the hair shaft, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate into the hair. As a result, the hair appears dull, brittle, and takes on a straw-like appearance. It is important to apply a conditioner to the hair before the treatment (like oil), so that the damage is minimized. Similarly, use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse the hair of all the minerals and ingredients that the no-lye relaxers leave behind.
It is important to note that both types of relaxers will lead to some form of damage to the hair and this cannot be prevented. The hair relaxing process entails the same.
It is highly recommended that you do not try this without consulting a professional. Make sure that you read the instructions on the packaged box carefully before buying any product. Also ensure that the product has the right strength and ingredients. Do a strand test of the hair relaxer product before usage to ensure that there are no reactions. To maintain a good texture for your hair, you will need to repeat the application of the product every 6-8 weeks.