Chemical Straightening

Chemical Straightening

The natural hair movement has empowered so many women to embrace their natural hair. While it’s amazing to see more women rocking their natural ‘fros and protective hairstyles, it’s left some people feeling ashamed about the choice to relax their hair. Choosing to relax your hair is 100% your choice and you shouldn’t feel ashamed to go all out. The most important thing is that you don’t damage your hair in the process. If you are interested in relaxing your hair while maintaining healthy, strong strands keep reading.

What are relaxers for natural hair?

Chemical relaxer or hair texturizers are treatments that permanently or semi-permanently straighten or alter the texture of your natural hair. The treatment can be done in a salon or at home, and lasts for about six to eight weeks. This gives curly girls who crave sleek strands a chance to take a break from using hot tools.


Relaxers are a cream or lotion-based treatment that are made to “relax” the curl completely, resulting in bone-straight strands. Relaxers chemically — and permanently— break down the bonds of your hair and alter its structure, leaving it straight for up to eight weeks. A texturizer smoothes and defrizzes  your hair, while maintaining your natural curls. Rather than straighten the hair completely, they loosen the natural curl pattern and can give you a wavy texture. 

The amount of time the chemicals are left to react to the hair is the main differing factor between the two processes. Texturizers shouldn’t be left on for more than five to 10 minutes. Hair relaxers, on the other hand, are typically left on the hair for about 20 minutes.

Both relaxers and texturizers contain chemicals that change the hair permanently alter your hair and often they contain the same ingredients. 

A perm, on the other hand, is formulated to create curls and waves in straight hair. No matter which process you choose, the process starts with choosing one that is right for your hair goals. 

Different types of relaxers and how to choose the best one

There are three types of relaxers: sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and ammonium thioglycolate. Sodium hydroxide relaxers are commonly called lye relaxers. Lye relaxers can be used on all hair types. No-lye relaxers, or calcium hydroxide, are formulated for those with sensitive scalps and can be used on all hair types. Ammonium thioglycolate isn’t strong enough to straighten very coarse or coily hair, but is great for straightening fine, curly, or wavy hair. 

Make sure you choose a relaxer that is compatible with your hair type for the best results. The amount of the active chemical determines the strength. Mild is best for fine, colour treated, or damaged hair, regular is for normal hair, and super strength is for those with thick, coarse, or very coily textures. If you have very damaged or bleached hair, you should skip relaxing it altogether.


SOURCE: Luxy Hair