Relaxers are the easy way to straighten out stubbornly curly or coiled hair. Use our guide to make sure you get the best out of them.
Chemical hair relaxers might seem miraculous to those with very curly hair. But with their promise of smooth straight locks there are one or two things to consider before using them.
WHAT ARE RELAXERS?
Hair relaxers straighten hair by breaking the bonds found in the cortex layer of hair that are holding your hair in its curly shape. The cortex is the layer under your cuticle that gives your hair its strength. Basically, it’s a bunch of twisted ‘cables’ of protein– hair relaxers work on this layer.
Chemical relaxers are typically split into base relaxers and no-base relaxers. Base relaxers provide an extra protective cream (the base) to be layered over the scalp before use, while no-base relaxers do not.
Both kinds of relaxers contain strong chemicals that have the potential to cause skin irritation.
RELAX AND PROTECT
Knowing how chemical relaxers work, it’s easy to see how they can damage your hair and scalp.
Luckily, with a bit of foresight you can enjoy straight and healthy locks. The key is to ensure that while you use hair relaxers, you use them as exactly directed by the manufacturer, and avoid contact with your scalp.
Ensure that your hair and scalp is moisturised and in great condition before using relaxers.
This means using a shampoo or co-wash product that cares for both the hair and scalp, strengthening it against potential damage.