In order to have healthy and manageable hair, it is important to practice proper hair care. This includes taking the time to relax your hair regularly. Relaxing your hair is a process by which you use chemicals or heat to straighten curly or wavy hair.
While there are many methods of relaxing hair, this article will focus on using a sodium hydroxide relaxer. We’ll also cover how to get the best results possible by properly preparing your hair before relaxing, how to relax it, and how to care for your newly relaxed hair.
Keep reading to learn more about relaxing your hair and how to achieve healthy, manageable tresses!
What is a Sodium Hydroxide Relaxer?
A sodium hydroxide relaxer, also known as a “lye” or “no-lye” relaxer, is one of the most common methods used to straighten curly hair. Sodium hydroxide is an alkaline ingredient that helps to break down and soften the hair’s natural protein structure, allowing it to be easily manipulated into a straighter shape.
One of the biggest benefits of using a sodium hydroxide relaxer is that it generally produces very smooth results, with minimal frizz and flyaways. However, there are some potential downsides to this type of relaxer. For example, if not used properly, a sodium hydroxide relaxer can cause damage to your hair, leading to dryness and breakage. It is important to always follow the instructions carefully when using any kind of chemical on your hair and to use high-quality products that will help protect your tresses from harm.
Things to Consider Before Relaxing Your Hair
There are a few key things to keep in mind before relaxing your hair, including the following:
- The health of your hair: If you have damaged or brittle hair, you may want to avoid relaxing it. Instead, try some gentle hair treatments that can help restore strength and shine to your locks.
- The appropriate timing for relaxing your hair: It is important to choose an appropriate time to relax your hair, as too frequent or not frequent enough use of relaxers can damage your hair and make it more unmanageable. Typically, you should wait at least 4-6 weeks between relaxer treatments.
- The type of relaxer you will be using: There are many different formulations, including cream and lotion relaxers, and it is important to choose one that is best suited to your hair type. Talk to a professional stylist or hairstylist about which type of relaxer would work best for your hair.
How to Prepare Your Hair for Relaxing
To ensure the best results when you are relaxing your hair, you should follow the steps below:
- You will need a few supplies: a jar of sodium hydroxide or lye relaxer, an applicator brush, protective gloves, and petroleum jelly.
- Do a patch test on a small section of your hair before you begin the relaxing process. This will ensure that your hair is able to tolerate the chemicals in the relaxer without becoming damaged.
- Start with clean and dry hair. This will help to ensure that the relaxer is able to penetrate your hair easily and evenly.
- Use a good quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. This will help to keep your hair hydrated and healthy during the relaxing process.
- Apply a protective cream or oil to your hairline, as this area is particularly susceptible to burning or irritation from the relaxer.
How to Relax Your Hair
Once you have prepared your hair for relaxing, you are ready to begin the actual relaxing process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Section your hair into smaller sections and apply the relaxer to each section. Be sure to work in small, even strokes from the roots to the ends of your hair.
- Cover your hair with a plastic cap and allow the relaxer to work its magic for 20-30 minutes. During this time, you may want to apply heat with a hair dryer or hot towel to help the relaxer penetrate more deeply into your hair.
- Rinse out the relaxer and wash your hair using a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment, as this will help to restore moisture and strength back into your hair.
- Once your hair is dry, style it as desired. You should find that your hair is softer, smoother, and more manageable than before! By practicing proper hair care and regularly relaxing your hair with the right type of relaxer, you can achieve healthy, gorgeous tresses.
How to Care for Your Newly Relaxed Hair
After relaxing your hair, the most important thing you can do is to take good care of it. This will help ensure that your tresses stay healthy and strong and that they maintain their beautiful appearance. Here are a few tips for caring for your newly relaxed hair:
- Be sure to use quality styling products that are designed specifically for relaxed hair. This will help to keep your hair moisturized and prevent damage or breakage.
- Use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush when you are detangling and styling your hair. These tools are gentler on relaxed hair than traditional brushes, which can cause breakage and damage if used too often.
- Use a heat protectant when styling your hair with heat tools. This will help prevent damage and keep your hair looking healthy and shiny.
- Be sure to schedule regular trims at the salon, as this can help keep your relaxed hair looking its best by getting rid of split ends and other damaged areas.
Alternative Approaches to Relaxing Your Hair
If you are looking for an alternative approach to relaxing your hair, there are several options that you may want to consider. These include:
- Chemical-free relaxers and texturizers, which work by temporarily altering the texture of your hair rather than using harsh chemicals.
- Natural oils and other DIY treatments, can help to soften and relax your hair without the use of chemicals.
- Hair-cutting techniques, such as keratin smoothing or Japanese straightening, can help tame frizzy or curly hair without using harsh chemicals.
Whatever approach you choose for relaxing your hair, be sure to take good care of your tresses and work with a trusted stylist in order to achieve your desired look. With the right care and attention, you can have gorgeous, healthy hair that you will love showing off!
The Bottom Line
You now know how to achieve smooth, straight hair through chemical relaxers, natural methods, or some other approach. By following these tips on how to care for your relaxed hair, you can attain the beautiful locks you’ve always wanted. So go ahead and get the stunning hair of your dreams!
Related Read: How to Relax a Perm That is Too Curly?