What is a chemical relaxer for the hair

what is a chemical relaxer for the hair

What is Hair Relaxer?

Natural hair relaxers, also known as chemical straighteners, are chemical lotions or creams applied to natural hair to give it a sleek, straight appearance by “relaxing” your curls. Jan 27,  · Hair relaxer is a type of chemical used to straighten hair permanently. It's used by people, usually women, who want to straighten their naturally curly hair without having to use hot combs or pressing irons. It may also be used by women who are seeking a means of thinning out hair that is very thick or making it more manageable.

I run a science communication module for undergraduate whaat. One of te assessments involves writing a blog or news style article. Untangling the mystery of how relaxers work and delving into the chemistry behind the process to reveal how kinks, curls and coils are smoothed into a hqir style. Relacer use of hair relaxers is something that is very common among women of colour all over us world and despite its name, the process is far from chemicao.

The desire for silky, straight hair stems from the way the relaer present these flowing locks to be the epitome of beauty, but this comes at a price. From a young age, many girls, myself included, are unfamiliar with their natural hair texture as a result of their attempts to conform to this standard to beauty that they are constantly surrounded by.

Despite the widespread use of relaxers, many of us would never consider how they work on a scientific level. Now that I have embraced my natural hair, I look how to find out processor on the relaxers that I depended on for so long to find out what they really did to my hair. Relaxers come in a range of brands, strengths and consistencies, but how do they work?

Instead of using heat to straighten the hair, chemicals are used to loosen the tightly set curls. Hydrogen and disulphide bonds are a main factor in determining the curl pattern of the hair.

Hydrogen bonds are bonds that form between water molecules, and are responsible for hair curling as it dries. When hair is wet, the hydrogen bonds are broken. As it dries, the what is a chemical relaxer for the hair reform, as do the curls. This is why hair can be manipulated by using rollers as a temporary alternative to relaxers. As the hair dries around the rollers, it holds its new shape once they are removed.

Disulfide bonds are much stronger than hydrogen bonds. These bonds form between sulfur atoms in hair fibres in order to provide strength in addition to the formation of curls. These bonds cannot be broken by water like hydrogen bonds, so hair relaxers are used. The chemicals present in hair relaxers break the disulfide bonds. This permanently straightens the hair. However, breaking these bonds makes the hair more susceptible to breakage and split ends. Illustration of disulphide bonds in hair fibres breaking due to the use of hair relaxer.

The relaxers are strong enough to break the disulfide bonds in hair fibres and consequently alter the structure of the curl pattern. Thw because of their typically high pH. In chemistry, pH is a numeric scale used to state how acidic or basic a substance is. If it has a low pH, it is more acidic and if the pH is high, telaxer is more basic.

Hair relaxers are basic, with their pH ranging from 9 to 14 to ensure that they are strong enough to change the hair structure. There are different types of hair relaxers available of varying forr and made up what is a chemical relaxer for the hair different chemicals. Thio short for ammonium thioglycolate relaxers are much thicker in consistency than other relaxers, which makes them easier to apply. They have a pH value of at least 10 to ensure that enough of the disulfide bonds have broken.

The relaxer is then rinsed out and a neutraliser used to bring the hair back to its original pH value of 4. However, lye relaxers work in a slightly different way.

Teh this process, lye is the active ingredient. Lye is a mixture of sodium hydroxidewater, petroleum jelly, mineral oil and emulsifiers. The curls are then loosened as the hair fibre swells open. However, the amount of lye in the relaxer can vary, so weaker products can minimise the extent of damage to the scalp. Lye relaxers typically have a pH between 12 and 14 and do not require a special neutralising step, unlike thiol relaxers. Increasing awareness of the potentially harmful effects of sodium hydroxide led to the development of no-lye relaxers.

They work in the same way as lye relaxers, but the sodium hydroxide was replaced with potassium, what vitamins does your body need daily or guanidine hydroxides. This means no-lye relaxers are gentler on the scalp.

Once the hair is relaxed, it halr permanently straightened. But as the hair continues to grow, the roots will be natural. This means the relaxing process should be repeated regularly to achieve a consistent look, but excessive use of relaxers relaxdr cause damage over time, leading to chemical burns and hair loss. Relaxers contain strong chemicals to ensure that all the bonds holding the curls are altered. These chemicals can be harmful if overused or applied incorrectly.

Overall, hair chemicql are useful in managing thick, tightly coiled hair when used moderately. Personally, my hair is much healthier without the use of relaxers, but this is not the case for everyone.

What you do with your hair is your choice and should come from you, and you alone. Ultimately, all hair textures are wonderful and beautiful in their own gor and should be celebrated! As well as research, teaching and blogging he can sometimes be found 'science busking' on the streets of Yorkshire. Good information about the chemistry. Your email address will not be published. Your Name. Your Email. Your Website. Tweet I run a science communication module for undergraduate students.

My relaxed hair 5 years ago compared to my natural hair now. How hydrogen what is a 7th day adventist in hair are broken and reformed.

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Chemical hair relaxers are designed to straighten extremely curly, coiled or tightly coiled hair by breaking the disulfide bonds found within the cortex layer of the hair. Hydroxide and Thio are the most common types of hair relaxers. Hydroxide relaxer types include sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide and guanidine hydroxide. Chemical straighteners like relaxers can help keep fuzz at bay and permanently smooth and straighten coily, curly or wavy hair. Relaxers straighten . Apr 14,  · This relaxer is infused with olive oil and shea butter and enhanced with the HydraStrength Vitamin & Protein Complex to condition and strengthen while straightening your hair. Long story short, it doesn’t just make hair more manageable, it promotes health for the long-haul. Best Gentle: Just for Me No-Lye Regular Conditioning Creme Relaxer.

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We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. If you've been blessed with naturally wavy, curly, or coily hair, but prefer to wear it bone straight, then you've likely heard of hair relaxers before. These lotions or creams work by chemically altering the structure of the hair for temporarily usually about six to eight weeks sleeker strands.

It sounds intimidating, but the good news is that hair relaxers have come a long way since the 90s. The results are consistent and the formula claims to protect the five signs of healthy hair : moisture, shine, strength, softness, and body. The kit is also super easy to follow, making it an ideal choice for newbies. This no-frills, no-fuss relaxer gets the job done without breaking the bank.

Fair warning: This is a professional-grade relaxer made for those with some cosmetology knowledge. Remember that healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. You might have become accustomed to burns from relaxers, but burning and scabbing are not a good sign. Apply a base cream on your scalp and hairline to protect it from the chemicals. Sure, this formula is targeted towards children, but adults looking for mild results or with sensitive skin can also benefit from this gentle no-lye relaxer.

To avoid burning and irritation, always be sure to remove braids, extensions or any other hairstyles that create tension on the scalp at least a week before relaxing.

This transformative relaxer leaves hair smooth and more manageable while also hydrating with shea butter, cocoa butter, and honey. It comes with a protective pre-treatment to prevent burns, and users rave that it washes it out easily. Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is found in many relaxers because it works to break down curls, but it can also cause burns and has a less than pleasant smell.

For hair textures that are more resistant to relaxers, this extra-strength formula gets your hair straighter without compromising its integrity. The kit comes complete with castor oil and olive oil-infused treatments for nourishment and shine as you prepare to style your hair. This formula is made with color-treated hair in mind to gently relax without causing breakage or brassiness of hair color.

After relaxing hair, one should wait 2 to 3 weeks before doing color services to prevent damaging the hair. This gentle formula is safe for color-treated hair and even the most sensitive scalps. Users report that it can relax coarse hair with ease and minimal to no irritation. The reversible system lasts for up to six weeks, allowing you to straighten your hair less and experience less reversion. This gentle formula can relax delicate gray hair while also having enough strength to straighten unruly textures.

It also neutralizes brassiness with its yellow-out formula. Dark and Lovely Moisturizing No-Lye Relaxer with Shea Butter made the top of our list for being super easy to use and straightening hair without compromising strength or shine. It gets hair sleek and straight while avoiding burns. Relaxers that use lye have sodium hydroxide as the primary ingredient. These relaxers tend to be stronger and have more of a potential for burns, so they are typically applied by a licensed professional.

Most at-home relaxers are no-lye relaxers that use calcium hydroxide. These tend to be a bit milder on the scalp but could result in calcium buildup and dryness if not used properly. You should also be sure to pretreat your hair with a protective base and be sure to never apply the relaxer directly to the scalp. Coarse hair and tighter textures are going to need a stronger formula while light waves and finer textures might need a more mild formula.

Take your hair texture into consideration before choosing a relaxer. Regularly keep ends trimmed, and always sleep on a satin pillowcase or satin scarf. Thank you [email] for signing up. Please enter a valid email address. Your Privacy Rights.

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Byrdie's Editorial Guidelines. Our Top Picks. Best Overall:. Best Budget:. Best for Damaged Hair:. Best Gentle:. Best for Dry Hair:. Best No-Lye:. Best for Coarse Hair:. Best for Color-Treated Hair:. Best for Sensitive Scalps:. Best Texturizer:. In This Article Expand. Our Picks. Final Verdict. What To Look For. How Long Do Relaxers Last?

Why Trust Byrdie? Buy on Amazon Buy on Sallybeauty. Buy on Sallybeauty. Buy on Amazon. Buy on Riteaid. Buy on Walmart. Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart. Buy on Amazon Buy on Riteaid. Formula Strength Coarse hair and tighter textures are going to need a stronger formula while light waves and finer textures might need a more mild formula.

How long do relaxers last? Is it safe to relax hair at home? Related Stories.



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