What is a good relaxer to Use?

There are two (2) main types of relaxers, the Lye and No Lye, most relaxers fall into these two categories.

Lye Relaxer
Sodium Hydroxide is the active chemical ingredient in this type of relaxer, it is highly effective at breaking down protein bonds in the hair, because of its high alkalinity. However, this type of relaxer can be irritating to the skin and used incorrectly can cause damage. This type of relaxer is less drying to the hair, as there is no build-up and the relaxer is quickly removed from the hair when it has done its job.

No Lye Relaxer
The main chemical ingredient in these types of relaxers is either Calcium or Guanidine, these chemicals do not break down the protein bond as quickly as the Sodium hydroxide relaxers. They are recommended for people with a sensitive scalp. However, these types of relaxers tend to cause calcium build-up on the hair and this can cause drying, breakage and lack-lustre hair.  Because the relaxer takes longer to break down the disulphide bonds (protein bonds) people tend to leave them on for longer. Users of this type of relaxer are advised to use a clarifying shampoo more regularly to clear the build and if the hair is not conditioned properly after clarifying this can cause breakage.

My preference
As a stylist, I prefer the Lye Relaxer (Sodium Hydroxide), as it does the job quickly and efficiently, the cream  is quickly rinsed off your hair after processing. You cannot apply a Lye Relaxer and go have a coffee as this will cause irritation and possible damage to your clients. I rarely ever use the No Lye Relaxer for reasons given above.  My recommendation is always if your scalp is sensitive then you must look at other alternatives to changing the texture of your hair, relaxers are not for you.  

Children and Relaxers
On the question of what is the best relaxer to use on children? I do not recommend that you relax children under the age of 13.  The skin on their scalp is still developing and the chemicals present in relaxers are far too harsh.  If you are struggling with manageability then alternatives such as Amino Acid smoothing systems will assist in smoothing and softening the hair, a very good one is the Design Essentials STS system as it helps with moisture retention as well. Read Article here on Design Essentials STS Smoothing System

Have you found this article helpful? Do you relax your hair? Let me know in the comments below.



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