Hair answers: Chemical relaxers


Posted in Uncategorized on June 22nd, 2010 by Reagan

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Q by Annette:
I love your blog! I wanted to submit a question, or a few questions to you. My hair used to be curly but I have lost the curls with my pregnancies. Now my hair is just wavy but I cant do much with it. I prefer it to be straight so I spend a lot of time straightening it. Do straightening perms work and are they expsensive? I wanted to find out what you would recommend, straigthening it on my own or getting a perm? The other question is what products would you recommend to help keep the hair straight and not frizzy? The last question I have for you is can you suggest straight iron that you would suggest that works well? Thanks!
A by Reagan: Here is how strongly I feel about chemical straighteners (relaxers)…..DONOTDOIT!!!!
Dramatic? Picture this. A great blow dry regular comes to me suddenly with PIN straight hair. She tells me she got it chemically relaxed, and then she says she wants her regular big, full, wavy, Miss Texas blow dry. I say “sorry sister, you wrecked your hair and now it is going to take about 2 years to grow out that chemical treatment.”. She starts to cry. The more time passes, her brittle, damaged hair starts to break off and suddenly she has short hairs all over her head and has more frizz than the initial amount she thought she was getting rid of. Then she cries more. Then I cry because her hair is wrecked and I loved it.
Again, a little dramatic. But let me tell you a few things about chemical relaxers…
~They are the very most damaging of ALL chemical treatments. It is without a doubt, the most harsh thing you can do for your hair.
~They are permanent. The real kind. So, it isn’t going to soften after six months. It is pin straight until it has grown out and been cut off.
~Did I mention breakage galore?
~Yes? Let me remention breakage galore…
~Very expensive. So your stylist will make a lot of money and might try and talk you into it, not really caring that it is going to wreck your hair and make you cry. (I care about you, though. We’re in this together!)
~You have very little options with styling. It is chemically straightened, it wants to be pin straight. And it is going to take a lot of effort to manipulate it any other way.
~When the treatment starts to grow out, it looks really funny. The ends are uniform and straight as arrows, the top is a brillo pad.
I plead to anyone considering a relaxer not to do it. There are very few cases that a relaxer isĀ  apropriate, and 99% of those cases are on ethnic hair.
Get a great flat iron! It will cost the same or less as ONE time relaxing treatment and will last a long time! I like CHI flat irons, but I just ordered a new flat iron (different brand) that I’ll disclose as soon as it arrives and is tested out.
Straightening oils and syrems are going to do the trick for you, my friend. You might not get away with creams like many. (I know Annette personally, so this question is a little easier to answer, keeping in mind I can visually picture her hair as I type away..). I don’t have one on the top of my head, but this is the type of thing that every single proffessional line has. And I’ve liked every one I’ve tried out.
Good luck Annette, I hope you don’t get relaxed!


11 Responses to “Hair answers: Chemical relaxers”

  1. megan Says:

    my mom got a brazilian blow out… is that a chemical straightening process? it looked good and only lasted like 6 weeks. she has thick, wavy hair and the blowout made it straight all the time, even when it air dried all by itself. it felt pretty and smooth. is that damaging?

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  2. Keli Says:

    I think chemical relaxers have come a long way in the last few years. I’ve done them to myself (Yikes! I know), and I’ve done them on clients that have begged. For the most part, they’re okay, but not great. There is a new relaxing method where you can spot treat areas. Such a gift! My niece has straight hair, except for 2 random curly q’s on each side of her bangs. It just looked weird. So I did a little spot relaxing just on those areas, and it is a miracle. She is so much happier, and her hair looks much better. She was a little sad though, when I told her we couldn’t do any highlights for a while. Just not a risk I’m willing to take. Honestly, though, as a stylist myself, if a client was in dire need of one, I wouldn’t talk them out of it right away, I’d let the time commitment and price tag do that for me! ;)

    Love the blog! Keep it up!

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