All About Hair Relaxer

January 11, 2015 by admin | Filed under relaxers.

hair relaxer

A hair relaxer is a type of lotion or concoction used to straighten wavy and curly hair. Most relaxers use certain chemicals to straighten hair thus, the name chemical relaxing or hair straightening. Because of the very kinky and curly hair nature of African Americans, they are the top users of these products.

How hair relaxer treatment works

The secret behind the effectiveness of relaxers in straightening the hair comes from its chemical ingredients. Although there are now products that promise an all-natural formulation, there will still be one or two chemical components that help you achieve your hair straightening goals. The most common chemical ingredient used is Sodium Hydroxide which is considered “lye”. The strength of the solution is usually suggested by its pH level.

hair relaxer treatment


When applied, all relaxers particularly their key ingredients will penetrate deep inside each hair strand or the cortex and break the protein or disulfide bonds that make the hair curly and kinky. This process is called lanthionization. The results will be permanent and non-reversible. And only the newly grown hair will have that original curly nature.

The different types of hair relaxer

If you are looking for the best hair relaxer, you have to be familiar with the types first.

best hair relaxer


  • Lye or alkaline relaxers. These are the original and most common type of relaxers. Basically their main ingredient is Sodium Hydroxide which produces a very high pH level oftentimes ranging from 10 to 14.
  • No-lye relaxers. Because experts argue that lye relaxers have very strong chemical components, the no-lye relaxers were formulated. Instead of sodium hydroxide, these relaxers use weaker alkaline agents like guanidine hydroxide, lithium hydroxide, and potassium hydroxide.
  • Thio relaxers. These types of relaxers use ammonium thioglycolate. This is primarily used in permanent waving and because of its high pH level at times greater than 10, the results achieved are quicker.

Potential side-effects of hair relaxers

Of course, you already know the numerous benefits of relaxers and that they are effective in straightening your hair no matter how stiff, dry, or curly it is. But what are its possible risks or side-effects? Please do note that even if you are using the so-called natural hair relaxer, there are still side-effects involved.

natural hair relaxer


  • Hair breakage and brittleness. Because it breaks the bonds of curly hairs deeply, it might make your hair brittle and break.
  • Hair fall or thinning. The final consequence of breakage and brittleness will essentially be the falling and thinning of the hair.
  • Scalp irritation. Every individual has a distinct skin or scalp reaction on the chemicals contained in a relaxer. An example of which is irritation, itching, redness, and drying.

Final note on safety

If you are not professionally knowledgeable or are not that familiar in applying a hair relaxer even the most popular brands like Mizani relaxer, it is recommended to leave it to the experts like salons. This is to minimize or eliminate the potential side-effects that your hair and skin might suffer. Finally, it is also advised that you don’t overdo or frequently undergo relaxing treatment.

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