Chemical hair relaxers can be a good option for women with hair that is naturally curly or unmanageable hair that they would like to wear straightened. While hair relaxers can be a very effective option, it is important to keep in mind that the chemicals which are used to change the texture of your hair can be damaging. If you plan on using a chemical hair relaxer, here are some tips for healthier hair to be aware of.
Current hair straightening treatments vary from thermal conditioning (Japanese straightening) to Brazilian straightening and others. Some methods use hair care products that chemically alter the structure of thick hair, making it appear straight and shiny. On average, chemical hair straightening can take up to two hours for a stylist and often will need a hair cut to maintain the new shape. Aftercare products are also required to keep hair healthy and continue looking straight. In Australia, the average cost of hair straightening could set you back around $300 for a short head of hair. The longer the strands, the higher the price can be.
Tips for a Safe Chemical Hair Relaxer Treatment
Using caution when having the procedure done is one of the main keys to healthy hair after a relaxer is done. For starters, keep in mind that it is important to have a relaxer done by a professional. While at-home hair relaxer kits are available, they should only be done by someone who is experienced with chemical hair straightening. Here are some other suggestions that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration makes for anyone considering a chemical hair relaxer:
Choose a relaxer formula that does not contain lye. Lye is thought to enhance the results of chemical hair straightening, but it is also considered to be the most harmful ingredient.
Avoid using hair relaxers on color treated hair, as it can lead to worse damage. If you cannot give up coloring your hair, be sure to talk to a hairstylist to discuss your color options. Semi-permanent dyes are thought to be the safest option. Bleach is not recommended.
Never leave hair relaxers on longer than the directions say if you use a home kit. A hairstylist who is experienced with chemical hair relaxers will know to not leave the product on longer than directed.
Be sure to consider scalp health before having the procedure done. The ingredients which are used for chemical hair straightening can burn or damage the scalp. This problem can be worse if your scalp has any open cuts.
Tips for Healthier Hair After a Relaxer Treatment
In addition to using caution when having a hair relaxer treatment done, it is also important to consider after care as well. There are a number of ways to ensure healthier hair after a chemical hair relaxer has been done.
Be sure to use moisturizing hair conditioners on a regular basis. This will help ensure that the hair remains hydrated and can help prevent breakage from occurring. Also consider using leave-in conditioners when necessary.
Go easy on hot styling tools. Flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can all lead to further damage. It is ideal to use them less often or on a lower heat setting.
Maintaining a Chemical Hair Relaxer Treatment
While hair relaxers provide permanent results, the roots will need to be retouched as the hair grows back in. To ensure that your hair remains looking healthy, it is important to make sure that chemical hair straightening is not done too often. According to the FDA, every six to eight weeks is generally recommended by most hairstylists.
Hair relaxers can provide straight hair, but it is important to follow these tips for healthy hair to keep it looking beautiful. Using chemical hair relaxers too often, using it with other chemicals, and leaving the product on too long can lead to undesirable hair results and breakage. If you use hair relaxers frequently (6 weeks), follow these simple rules;
- Try using pure coconut oil as a hair treatment – Apply a small amount twice a week before showering. Rinse well after half an hour. It not only softens the hair but is also a good scalp conditioner.
- Skip regular shampooing. Use water and a small amount of conditioner to wash hair twice weekly.
- A long thorough rinse after shampooing is best. This removes any residual soap on the scalp.
- For dry, thick hair – more prone to dandruff, use apple cider vinegar to massage the scalp before a shower as this helps restore hair’s natural pH level.
- Trim your hair regularly.
- With thick hair organic shampoos work better by preserving hair’s natural softness.