"relaxing" without "straightening?"

I'm a curly guy with short 3a/3b hair. I usually take a blow drier to my hair once a week and straighten it out into a crew cut/faux hawk type style. The straightening holds until the next time I wash it, which since I have naturally clean and very dry hair is usually about a week.

I would relax it and get rid of the blow drying all together except that sometimes I'll let it be curly because, while it doesn't look as good, it is nicer to touch when it isn't styled because my hair is soft.

But the sides are a very very tight 3b, and even though the top is a little more loose it can still get very poodle-like on a humid day. I don't like that look

ANYWAY, I was thinking that applying a relaxer to my hair for a shorter time than it recommends might help loosen those tight areas, without removing the curl all together, so that when I don't totally straighten it I can have soft curls rather than tight ones.

Before I go putting anything in my hair though, I wanna know if you guys think relaxers work that way, or if you have another suggestion. I don't want to completely remove the curl, I just don't want it to be so tight to my head.
I use a soft kids relaxer , still have great curls but theyre not as tight & springy as they use to be , so my suggestion is putting in a kids relaxer for about 10 mins , that should do the job : )
NatNat ; 3C !
Whats the name of the kids relaxer you use?
This is exactly what I want to do and would love some recommendations on what to use- I'd like to be able to do it at home... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I'm from Columbus, Ohio and we have an Aveda Institute here (the students do all the work). I went and got a "phytorelaxer", level 1 (the weakest). I used to have 3c-ish, tight curls, and now my hair is wavy and soft. I recommend trying a beauty school if available because they relax the hair for you and it's pretty cheap ($40 for me with mid-length hair). For those of you who relaxed to wavy, what products do you now use to keep your hair wavy? Good luck!

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