For a lot of women, relaxing their hair is like cooking: they don’t think deeply about it, they just do it as they saw it done growing up. Imagine the number of middle-aged women putting a relaxer in their hair today. Now, imagine how many of them have never fully read the instructions.
If you want your hair to be healthier (and still keep it relaxed), it’s time to do a little better than that.
Relaxers: What You Need To Understand
We can start by understanding that there is nothing natural about using chemicals to straighten kinks into bouncy bristles. Relaxing your hair is a chemical process.
Your hair, like everyone else’s, has a certain amount of natural elasticity. This gives it the ability to stretch and to bounce back. This means after relaxing, when you have moved on to styling, you will be pulling and tugging on straight strands that are altered from their natural state and stripped of their nutrients.
In many cases, the process is conducted in a way that makes day-to-day contact with the hair too stressful and eventually it breaks. So, the best way to prevent post-relaxing breakage is to understand your hair and the product you’re using.
Relaxers are available in mild, regular, and super. There are different strengths for different hair needs. Realize that a super strength relaxer is not designed for those who want to merely improve their results.
Each hair shaft, or strand of hair, consists of overlapping layers. When you apply a chemical, such as a relaxer, it causes those layers to rise so that the product can penetrate. A super strength relaxer is designed for a person with thick and coarse or resistant hair. When hair is resistant, stronger chemicals are needed to open the hair shaft.
Those whose natural hair is of average thickness and manageability should use a regular strength relaxer. Mild is for those with thin or fine hair that requires a minimal amount of chemicals.
When you apply a relaxer, the product should not be put near the scalp. The application should begin about a ½ inch above the