Many women with naturally curly hair are less than happy their natural hair texture because of the difficulty they experience when it comes to hair maintenance. Although many women decide to embrace their natural hair texture and bring out the best form their tresses, other women would do anything they can to get have their hair perfectly straight on a daily basis.
Even though flat irons can help women with curly get the aspect they desire, the effects are not long lasting and this procedure requires daily maintenance which might be inconvenient for those who are always on a tight schedule.
About hair relaxers
On the other hand, chemical hair straightening delivers good results that don’t need a constant maintenance, being an optimal solution for those who are willing to wake up on a daily basis without worrying about hair styling. Chemical hair straightening is done with the help of creams or lotions called ‘hair relaxers’. The results of hair relaxing process also called lanthionization usually last up to 6 to 8 weeks before the treatment musty be reapplied.
There are two main types of hair relaxers: lye based relaxers and non-lye or alkaline based lotions. Sodium Hydroxide Lye relaxers are used without any other additions while Calcium Hydroxide-No-Lye Relaxer must be mixed with an activator before being applied on the hair. Because in the case of lye based relaxers the negative effects on the hair such as hair breakage, hair thinning, scalp irritation and damage or even hair loss were more pronounced, many women as well as hair styling professionals are more inclined to using calcium hydroxide-no-lye relaxers.
However, even though non lye hair relaxers can be less damaging compared to lye relaxers, the negative effects can still occur with improper usage. It’s not uncommon to develop hair dryness or hair breakage with this type of hair relaxers as well. The procedure of hair straightening can be done either at home with the help of a friend or someone who has experience with chemical hair strengthening or at a hair salon where a professional can take care of your tresses with fewer risks.
Applying hair relaxers
If you are experimenting with hair relaxation for the first time it is advisable to turn to professionals for best results. However if you decide to take this matter on your own hands you must make sure that you have all the tools at hand before you begin.
Aside from purchasing the hair relaxing kit that should contain the relaxer and the activator together with a stirring stick, a hair base, a neutralizing shampoo and conditioner as well as pair of gloves you will also need petroleum jelly or Vaseline to protect the scalp form damage. In addition to these you should also have a a tower a plastic cap and a large comb ready to use.
It is recommended to avoid shampooing your hair a week prior to the hair relaxation treatment to never attempt to apply a hair relaxer if your scalp is irritated or wounded in some way. Also, avoid brushing your hair before applying hair relaxers. Before applying hair relaxers on the hair it is always good to first do a strand test to see if you are not allergic to the hair relaxer chemicals.
The first step in applying hair relaxers is to apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline on the scalp as well as the hair line and the top of the ears for maxim protection. Next you will divide your hair into four sections to make you work easier. Ask a friend to help you apply the hair relaxer in the back at first , on thin strands of hair than repeat the process for the rest of the hair and leave the product on the hair for the time specified by the manufacturer.
Then, rinse your hair with warm water starting from the back and apply a deep conditioner leaving it on the tresses for about 5 minutes. Shampoo with the neutralizing shampoo two times and wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo after that. Finish the treatment with a deep conditioner for best results.
Tip: To avoid hair brittleness it is recommended to wash your hair with a de-calcifying shampoo and to avoid using heat based styling tools as much as possible.