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By definition, a hair relaxer is a lotion or cream that makes the hair easier to straighten and manage. It reduces the curl by breaking down the hair strand and chemically altering the texture.  Most women who decide to get their hair relaxed have curls that are unmanageable and in need of taming. The results vary depending on your hair type, but usually a hair relaxer will leave your hair straight for about six to eight weeks. Unlike other permanent straightening methods, relaxing your hair will require touch-ups from time to time.  You can go to a professional stylist, or you can purchase a hair relaxing kit to be used at home.

What are the benefits of going to a professional?

While getting your hair relaxed by a professional is expensive, it is really the healthiest option for your hair.   Putting any sort of chemicals in your hair can be damaging, and it requires careful attention that a professional can give. First off, a professional can perform a “strand test,” which will test the strength of your hair in order to further assess which type of relaxer is best for you. Apart from their years of experience, some professionals actually keep records of what treatments you have had or what procedures other clients had that will help them determine the best type of relaxer for you.

What are the different types of hair relaxers?

Hair relaxers, most commonly, are available in two types: Lye relaxers and No-Lye relaxers. Opinions on the two vary, but as with everything, it depends on your hair type and texture. Lye relaxers are known to work quickly on the hair, but as a result they might also rinse out of your hair easily. Their main ingredient is sodium hydroxide, and they are also known as “alkali” relaxers. No-lye, on the other hand, is mostly made of calcium hydroxide, which can dry out the hair. However, no-lye is better for people with sensitive scalps. When using no-lye, it is imperative that you use a “de-calcifying” shampoo to prevent calcium buildup.

What are some disadvantages of using a hair relaxer?

Hair relaxers are very powerful chemicals; they have to be if you want the job done. Depending on your hair type, hair relaxers might cause breakage, hair thinning, and stunt your hair growth. Some women have also complained of scalp irritation, scalp damage or hair loss. Remember that hair relaxers are stripping your hair of its natural oils, so be very attentive to your hair if you decide to relax it.

Depending on your hair type, hair relaxers might cause breakage, hair thinning, and stunt your hair growth. 

Should I get my hair relaxed?

Many people praise the magical abilities of hair relaxers, and return to their stylist over and over for it. However, achieving manageable, straight hair cannot be done without proper care. If you decide to get your hair relaxed, be prepared to pay special attention to it. Keep your hair properly moisturized, as hair relaxers are very drying to the hair overall. Use deep conditioners weekly, drink plenty of water, and utilize leave-in conditioners.  Be sure to use a reconstructing shampoo and conditioner the week following your hair relaxing, and stay away from heat that will further dry your hair.

0 Comments
Relaxers can't be healthier option for the hair even if done by professional. But, we all have to agree it makes the hair to be easily maintained. Most people these days are looking for a natural relaxer, but there is not such thing as natural relaxer. Maybe we can say some relaxers are milder than others. http://www.besthairrelaxer.net
"The results vary depending on your hair type, but usually a hair relaxer will leave your hair straight for about six to eight weeks. Unlike other permanent straightening methods, relaxing your hair will require touch-ups from time to time." I found this quote funny because I cannot think of any permanent hair straightener that Does Not require touch ups. Hair straighteners including relaxers only work on hair growing outside the scalp it does not change the structure of the hair inside the hair shaft or the follicle which determines how curly or straight the hair will be.
@ multicultcurly Agree that Ms. Gonzalez dropped the ball on this article. She should have expounded on the disadvantages of this instead of the limp paragraph present. Oh well maybe she is helping those who are considering going to the creamy crack
The article is badly written and factually incorrect, as curls2nv and others pointed out. I am surprised that Gretchen and Michelle okayed this, especially since Michelle used to relax her hair and is currently texturizing with the Brazilian Blowout. They should know facts about relaxers. And 4A/Bs aren't the only ones to relax their hair. Thermal relaxers and BKTs are generally not marketed to 4Bs, as the promotional BKT pictures demonstrate. @leahsanders I was also offended by that comment.
I was surprised that the article said it "is really the healthiest option for your hair". I'm inclined to disagree. I've had my hair relaxed with "no-lye" relaxers for years. Even though I did constant deep treatments and I could make it look nice and shiny and swingy, it was only an illusion. Damage is damage. It's been 3 years since my last relaxer and almost two since the BC, and I've discovered that the healthiest option is no relaxers at all. Now I can say my curls are manageable and don't need "taming"!
@leahsanders Yes, I noticed it and was offended.
I still think that even if you pay close attention to your hair and mositurize it and leave in conditioner your hair in the end it will still cause damaging effects to the curls. Once the chemicals are added to the curls its game over. I'm just suprised how the article is saying its ok to relax your hair on the naturallycurly website. A thing were trying to stay away from.
"Unlike other permanent straightening methods, relaxing your hair will require touch-ups from time to time." Any permanent straightening method will require a touch up because the hair that was straightened permanently will never revert and the new hair grows out of head curly. No one can straighten their hair permanently and have it stay straight forever if it is not in a person's DNA to have straight hair. "Lye relaxers are known to work quickly on the hair, but as a result they might also rinse out of your hair easily." Relaxing the hair is a permanent procedure. Lye, no lye, Japanese thermal reconditioning, etc. are permanent procedures to chemically alter the hair. Lye or no lye relaxers do not simply wash away after six to eight shampoos or whatever, just like if u permanently dye your hair, it won't return back to its normal color. Relaxers do not temporarily rearrange the bonds in your hair like straightening does. the procedure is permanent.
Um...maybe it's just me...but what's the point of putting ?an article about relaxers on a "naturally curly"? For information purposes ? I thought the purpose of NaturallyCurly.com was to embrace your natural curl. Most black women -- 3b/3c/4a/4b/etc are familiar with relaxers. I know there are women with really nice relaxed hair, but for some 30 plus years relaxers have done nothing but damage my hair. It didn't matter if I put it in my hair, or a professional did it. I ended up with breaking hair, sebborhic dermatitis and a bleeding scalp. When I embraced the curls that God gave me instead of trying to hide it with chemicals, my hair loved me for it. @leahsanders, I was offended too. Are not all curls seen as equal on this site? If this site is about "naturally curly" hair, I don't know how pimping articles for the relaxer business is "caring" for natural 4a/b curls. If you're going to be about curls, teach me how to care for them properly instead of using a chemical process to damage my hair...or else change the name of your site to "Chemically Straight".com.
"...curls that are unmanageable and in need of taming." Does anyone else find this offensive or is it just me?
I had my hair relaxed a few years ago at a salon. When I first had it done, I really liked it, but after a while I really missed my curls. It seemed to take forever for my curls to grow back and I had to keep having the straw-like ends chopped off. I cried with relief when my stylist did that final cut to remove all trace of straight damaged hair. I'm glad I did it though because it made me appreciate my natural curls even more.

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