Hair relaxers are mainly targeted towards the African American community leaving behind white women with curly hair. White people do have curly hair but they are few in number when compared to black women. So, question commonly asked by white people to me is “Can I use the relaxer designed for black hair?” and my answer would be “No, you can’t”. Of course, my answer is generic, but from what I had absorbed curls in white people are quite different and in most cases the curl pattern doesn’t fall above 3c. Their hair also seems to be frizzier on the top later and is defined in the bottom layer. Sodium Hydroxide based Lye relaxers are quite strong for white hair and they might be better off using a no-lye relaxer or thio based relaxer.
Also, if white women are just interested in reducing the curl patterns products like Curlaway should work for them if applied properly. The advantage that white women got over their black counterparts is that their hair can be styled easily with proper products. Also, white women are good candidate for thermal reconditioning, also known as Japanese hair straightening. The chemical used in the process is a thio based heat activated relaxer.
Japanese Hair Straightening
Japanese hair straightening is a lengthy process and it might take upto 4-6 hrs depending on the length of your hair. The process involves applying the chemical to the hair (usually a thio based one like wellastrate) and leaving it on for 30 mins or above depending on your hair type. Your hair stylist should be able to determine the amount of time the relaxer should be left on your hair. You are places under a hooded steamer. Your head might be wrapped during the process.
After this your hair is washed and blow dryed. You might notice that the curl pattern is reduced a lot as a result of the chemical application. Now your hair will be straightened using flat irons to the straightest form possible. This might not be a pleasant process as they put the flat iron too close to the scalp and you might fell a bit hot near year scalp. After your hair is straightened using a flat irons, a neutraliser is applied. Your stylist would make sure each hair strand is applied with the neutraliser. The neutraliser is left on for about 30 minutes and washed. Your hair is then blowed dried straight. As any hair treatment this should be done with a qualified professional. If done well, your hair will remain straight and depending on your hair growth rate you might have to repeat the process again in 6 months to a year.
Hair Relaxers for Caucasians Men and Women
For most women Japanese hair straightening is a lengthy process they prefer the quick relaxers instead. In that case, for white people I always use a milder strength hair relaxer and a no-lye one. There are many white women who would be a better candidate for the Brazilian Keratin treatment as well. But, that is another topic in itself.
Obviously, I am not going to suggest a specific hair relaxer for white women but affirm and mizani relaxers have a very good reputation in hair styling industry. Before you decide to go with a relaxer, do a strand test to determine whether it is the best relaxer for your hair. This would also help you determine the amount of time you need to leave the relaxer in your hair.