Do you need a refresher course in relaxing? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s what to consider before your next straightening job.
Step-by-step, here are the products you need to care for your natural hair as you grow that awesome afro.
Nothing beats the feeling of running fingers through newly straightened hair after a salon appointment. It’s also totally freeing, and allows for quicker, hassle-free styling in the morning. But for all the great styling options that relaxing opens up, many still feel uneasy about the damage relaxers may do to hair. Well, worry no more. We’ve got the low-down on how relaxers work and examine the good and bad of hair treatment. Let’s find out more.
Hair is made up of chemicals called disulphide bonds. These bonds make up the protein structures that create your curl pattern. They also give your hair elasticity and stretch, so you can pull off your favourite styles. Now come the hair relaxers. Hair relaxers work by breaking these disulphide bonds. Once the bonds are broken, the curl pattern is loosened, leaving the hair to ‘relax’ and creating straight hair.
There are different types of relaxers on the market, most commonly categorised as no-lye, lye and low-lye. These refer to the pH levels in the relaxer, which is, after all, designed to affect the pH of your hair. The pH indicates how acidic or alkaline the chemical in the relaxer is – with normal human hair having a pH of around 4.5–5.5. Lye relaxers are more acidic as they contain hydrochloric acid, while no-lye relaxers are free from the acidic chemical and are usually used to straighten hair on sensitive scalps.
The good: Hair relaxer is the most effective method for straightening hair for a longer period. Also, the bonds in your hair are quite resilient and can be repaired, so there’s probably no need for all the panic. Another plus is that there are many products used during the treatment to prevent permanent breakage, like the Mizani BOND pHORCE range. This is a great way to continue relaxing your hair while keeping it protected.
The bad: There is a risk of over-processing if you relax your hair frequently over a short period of time. This can lead to breakage, resulting in the disulphide bonds losing their ability to revert to your natural curl pattern for growth. Thankfully, if you’re ever at the point of no return from damage, there’s Redken Extreme Strengthening Mega Hair Mask For Damaged Hair to improve the integrity of these bonds.
It’s comforting to know that the relaxers used nowadays by salon stylists are far milder than ones from previous decades. Stylists also have all the experience they need to assess the condtition of your hair, and are sure to let you know if they think it’s a good idea or you to lay off the relaxing for a while. There’s never been a better time to go for that smooth straight and glamourous hair without worry!
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