Hair Relaxer – What, Why and Uses

If you have an unmanageable curly hair, hair relaxer would be a boon for you! A hair relaxer is nothing but a kind of lotion or cream that is used to straighten very tight curls; the lotion chemically relaxes the natural curls. The active component that does this job is basically a formulation having a strong alkali, some formulas also have ammonium thioglycolate as the base.

hair relaxer

What is a Hair Relaxer?

Hair relaxers are often also known as hair strengtheners and it gives a sleek and straightened look to any curl. The process is scientifically termed as lanthionization, and is a well known service given by most salons; however you can use hair relaxers at home as well with a little caution. Periodic application of hair relaxers is important because once new hair sprouts out; it might not give the consistent straightened look as the rest of the hair length.

How to Use a Hair Relaxer?

Step 1 – First check the strength of the hair relaxer, it should be determined by matching the texture of your hair. If your hair is very coarse you would need a hair relaxer of a greater strength.

Step 2 – Wrap your skin areas with a towel or hair dresser’s cape properly. A hair relaxer is made of chemicals and this is a vital precautionary step to avoid skin burning.

Step 3 – Part your hair into 4 divisions – front right, front left, back right and back left. Now take a rat tail comb and make further sections of around 3 mm each.

Step 4 – Put on your gloves – this is MUST! Then mix the hair straightener product as you will find different containers within the pack. The relaxer agent will be in paste or cream form, while the chemicals are kept separate. Mix them to let the chemical process happen and use it to “relax” your curls.

Step 5 – Use a colour brush or paint brush to apply this relaxer to the hair sections made. Make sure each and every hair shaft is well coated with this relaxer.

Step 6 – Finally use your fingers and back side of the comb to pull out the curls using the relaxer. This will stretch out the curl and you need to run the flat side of the comb along the hair shaft to get it straightened. Repeat this to all the hair sections at least twice.

Step 7 – The time duration you need to keep the hair relaxer depends on the brand you are  using, thus use the manufacturer’s direction and keep it for the specified time on your hair. Rinse you hair very well, use a neutralising shampoo if needed. Finally, use a moisturizer to cure the damaged ends.

You can style your hair as you wish now as it’s all free of curls! However, excessive use of hair relaxers can damage your hair since its nothing but a mix of chemicals. Often it’s seen that prolonged usage of hair relaxers have lead to breakage, damage, brittleness and even alopecia in many people. Thus, use reputed brands only and under professional supervision. If possible do a quick oiling session just after using hair relaxer to restore the natural oils that were lost during the process.


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