How to Apply Hair Relaxer : How to Pick a Level of Hair Relaxer
How to Select a Hair Relaxer
Hair relaxers are a way of chemically straightening one’s hair and can turn a super curly or coily mane into straight strands. It is a fairly popular method of permanently straightening one’s hair but the availability of relaxers on the market can be overwhelming. There are generally two different types of relaxers, lye and no lye. Certain types of relaxers work best for different hair types. With a basic understanding of the best types of relaxers for various types of hair, you can select a hair relaxer for yourself with confidence! Be sure to do a strand test before using any relaxer on your entire head to ensure that you won’t have a reaction, as well as to see how well it works.
Picking a Relaxer for a Sensitive Scalp
Choose a no lye relaxer.If you have a sensitive scalp, look into getting a no lye relaxer. These types of relaxers are known for being milder and are often used on sensitive scalp. These formulas work very quickly so it may be in your best interest to enlist the help of a friend or a professional when working with them.
- No-lye relaxers are best for people who want to relax their own hair at home.
- No-lye relaxers can take longer to process than lye-based formulas, which can lead to hair damage since users sometimes leave them on too long.
Choose a relaxer with natural plant extracts.Relaxers that contain natural plant extracts can help soothe the scalp. Some relaxers contain extracts such as chamomile, sage, and aloe, which could help to minimize the irritation to your hair and scalp. There are also relaxers that are designed to work on sensitive scalps.
Look for labels that say “made for sensitive scalps.” This will immediately designate relaxers that are specifically formulated and designed for sensitive scalps. These types of relaxers should contain chemicals that are less severe, thus reducing the harsh effect that most relaxers can have on the scalp.
Use a clarifying shampoo.The use of no-lye relaxers can dry out the hair due to the buildup of calcium, which is contained in the formula of most no-lye relaxers. Calcium deposits on the hair will eventually dry it out and make it look dull. This can be remedied by using a clarifying shampoo to remove the deposits. Most clarifying shampoos can be purchased at your local grocery store or beauty supply store.
- Do not use clarifying shampoos more than once every month or two if you have dry hair and no more than every other week if you have hair that is more oily. This is because frequent use can begin to strip your hair of its natural oils, thus drying it out even more and making it more susceptible to damage.
Choosing a Relaxer for Curly Hair
Choose a lye relaxer.The main ingredient in a lye relaxer is sodium hydroxide. This type of relaxer is ideal for super curly or coily hair, as it will act on the hair quickly and have a dramatic relaxing effect. It can also be very harsh on your scalp so exercise caution when using this type of relaxer on your hair. Avoid leaving it on for too long, as doing so could damage your hair.
- A lye relaxer will still be harsh, but relatively gentler on your hair than other types of relaxers. The hair absorbs and retains moisture more effectively when you use a lye relaxer, thus reducing breakage and making hair stronger.
Consider seeing a professional.Lye relaxers are often sold in a large tub for commercial or professional use. The active ingredient also works very quickly so it may be in your best interest to enlist the help of a professional. Someone who is trained in using hair relaxers professionally will be able to help you work quickly, protect your scalp, and get the most effective results.
Be cognizant of pH level.When purchasing a lye relaxer, it is most likely going to have a higher pH level than other types of relaxers. A higher pH level means that the formulation is stronger, which is why lye relaxers are generally reserved for professionals. Lye-based relaxers will also rinse off without leaving a residue, unlike no-lye relaxers, which means that they can leave the strands of hair less damaged, healthier, and shinier.
Using a Relaxer for Fine, Color-Treated, or Damaged Hair
Choose a milder relaxer.Relaxers that contain an active ingredient of ammonium thioglycolate aren’t as strong as other relaxers so they may not effectively relax coarse or coily hair. This type of relaxer would work well on hair that is wavy, somewhat curly, or fine.
Browse relaxers designed for damaged or fine hair.There are plenty of relaxers available on the market that are specifically designed with damaged hair in mind. These relaxers will generally be on the milder side and may contain natural plant extracts that nourish the hair. When browsing relaxers in your local beauty supply store or online, look for ones that are marketed for color-treated, fine, or damaged hair.
Use with caution.Over processing your hair can cause it to become weak, brittle, and damaged. Those with damaged and/or color-treated hair are cautioned against using relaxers, since it can further weaken and damage the strands.
QuestionDoes Dark and Lovely make hair long?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on what kind of hair you have. If you have an Afro or African-American hair it will make it longer, but your lovely Afro hair will be straightened permanently.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the cost of hair relaxers?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the brand, but most will range from to .Thanks!
- A strand test can be used to determine the appropriate brand and strength or relaxer to use.
- The pH of the relaxer will indicate how strong it is. Mild relaxers have a pH level around 9 and the strongest relaxers can have a pH level around 14. Bear in mind that higher pH levels in relaxers can potentially irritate the scalp.
- A relaxer is a harsh chemical. Consider leaving the hair in its natural state in order to retain optimum hair health.
- Do not use a relaxer more than once in a short period of time as it could result in weakness and breakage.
- Do not apply a relaxer to the hair of a child under the age of 6, as the chemicals are too harsh and could be dangerous to their health.
Video: Hair Care Tips : How to Pick a Hair Relaxer
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