Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Truth About Hair Relaxing

My hair now is beginning to look very untidy so I decided to relax my hair at my aunt's new beauty salon - Rica Marie's Salon. After my hair was relaxed it is now soft and straight but when wet it would be hard to comb if you don't use conditioner. Shampoo alone will make it dry and hard to comb. Relaxers require conditioning treatments before and after application.

When you decide to relax your hair you should know these things:

About the chemical relaxers
Relaxer is a special type of lotion or creme used in the treatment of hair. This treatment relaxes the curls of the recipient, giving it its name. Misuse of chemical hair relaxers will cause you hair breakage, hair thinning, lack of hair growth, scalp irritation, scalp damage, and hair loss.

The Do's / The Don'ts BEFOREHAND
Relaxers are very strong chemicals that work in the same manner by changing the basic structure of the hair shaft. The chemical penetrates the cortex or cortical layer (see illustration) and loosens the natural curl pattern. This inner layer of the hair shaft is not only what gives curly hair its shape but provides strength and elasticity. Once this process is performed it is irreversible.

This process which produces the desired effect of “straighter” hair at the same time leaves hair weak and extremely susceptible to breaking and further damage. One must keep in mind that relaxers do not help the hair, but actually strip it. It is strongly recommended that it be applied only under the direction of a hair care professional with a record of success with healthy hair care and chemical straightening, and that the client regularly obtains conditioning treatments before and after the process.

Possessing a healthy scalp beforehand decreases the possibility of problems occurring. Relaxers should never be applied to already damaged hair, or on someone who has had scalp damage. Age should also be considered.

“Over processing”, the excessive use of relaxers on the hair or applying the chemical to already processed or relaxed hair, is the most typical misuse of these chemicals. Once the initial relaxer is applied to “virgin hair” (or a “virgin relaxer” is performed), “touch-ups” (or chemical applied thereafter) should only be applied to new growth between 6-8 week periods (or more).

Now What?
When you decide to straighten your hair the first thing you should do is to consult a professional for “strand test", to determine the best type of chemical to use on your particular hair type.

Before coming in for your chemical relaxing treatments, avoid scratching, excessive brushing or combing all of which might leave lacerations on the scalp causing “burning” if any of the chemical comes into contact with the area.

Life with Relaxer
If newly chemically straightened hair is not given special treatment it can become brittle, dry, damaged and break. Relaxed hair will tend to be drier and break easily. When combing it may be best to use a large tooth comb and start from the tips of the hair up to the roots. Regular deep conditioning is a must. Remember once you've made the decision to chemically straighten the hair you have also decided to commit to regular quality conditioning treatments to maintain not only the look you want, but the healthy hair we all desire.

1 comment:

- i.r.v.i.n.e - said...

my hair is hard and bushy. relaxers help>? hehe