Before you decide on using a chemical hair relaxer it is is important to educate yourselves with the benefits and risk associated with relaxing your hair. Curly hair can be disguise and a blessing depending on how u look at it. For most people, it is a pain and considered high maintenance not just because you need to invest in high quality products but also invest a huge amount of time when compared to straight hair to maintain it. People with curly hair can either style it curly or straight depending on the mood. If straightening it with a flat iron is not something you adore, and if you want a straighter look for a longer period of time then you can use relaxer. It is important to note that in order to achieve a straight look that is decent enough for easy styling you need a chemical hair relaxer. The so called natural relaxer like vinegar based ones are simply not capable of relaxing the curls but can be used for taming the curls if needed.
Identify the curl type
Before you decide to use a relaxer on your hair you need to identify the curl type that is applicable for your hair.
If you do embrace your curls and you problem is only managing them, then you can probably achieve it by using he right products for your hair. For most people with hair types less than 3b some hair relaxing products might be too strong and you might be better off using a flat iron than a relaxer. While using flat iron it is important that you use a heat protection product in order to prevent any damage to your hair. Based on your curl type you need choose the type of relaxer that is more suitable for your hair.
How does hair relaxers work?
Relaxers work by breaking the disulphide bonds and capping them preventing it from reverting back to normal. This is achieved by the high level of pH present in the relaxers.
Lye and No Lye Relaxers
Most of the traditional relaxers are based on Sodium Hydroxide which is also called as “Lye”. The main ingredient of Lye based relaxer is Sodium Hydroxide. Lye based relaxers generally have the pH level of 10 – 14. More the pH of a relaxer more damaging it is to your hair and scalp. In recent years, many relaxers without sodium hydroxide have also started dominating the market. No Lye relaxer typically consists of ingredients such as lithium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, ammonium thioglycolate, guanidine carbonate and have the pH of about 9-11. The pH level of the relaxer determines how good the relaxer is at straightening. Higher the pH better the straightening effect can be. But, it also means the relaxer is more damaging to your hair.
Are No Lye Relaxers better?
Some people believe “No Lye “relaxer means no harsh chemicals are present in the relaxer. That’s simply not true. “No Lye” can be as damaging to your hair as “lye” relaxer.
As a general rule of thumb, lye relaxers comparitively better for your hair than no lye relaxers, but more damaging for your scalp . No Lye relaxers are bit better for your scalp but your hair needs to be in conditioned well enough before and after the relaxer application to prevent any hair breakage.