I was first introduced to hair relaxers in my younger years. I can remember my mum complaining “Your hair is just too thick, too tough and not manageable” as she spread the toxic poison in to my mane of hair. PAUSE! That is where it all went wrong. For years I became dependent on hair chemicals, managing my hair by relaxing it with DIY home kits believing it was the only way I could have soft enough hair easier to “work with” and it didn’t help that at that time there wasn’t much hair products to cater to natural “nappy” hair. Today I am here to help expose the damage that relaxer causes for our hair.
Since 2008 there had been a drastic drop in the sales of hair relaxers/texturizers and by 2011 the continuous decline in chemical relaxers contributed overall only 15% of Black Haircare sales. The natural hair movement increased in sales of styling products that catered to black natural hair.
A relaxer is a product that makes the hair straight and easier to mange, it chemically changes usually curly, coily and kinky hair textures with the end result of a straight texture which will usually last in this state for about 6-8 weeks.
Chemical relaxers contains chemicals such as Sodium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide- when used by someone who isn’t trained it can lead to severe consequences such as;
1. Scalp irritation
2. Chemical burns
3. Damaged, dry and dull hair
4. Breakage and hair loss
5. Stunt in hair growth (relaxer tends to strip hair of its natural oils)
6. . Alopecia is another risk that comes from using chemical relaxer this can cause permanent baldness
The use of relaxers long term is damaging!
Common consequences of using chemical relaxers.
Hair is made of keratin (Protein) this contains sulphides which when fused together forms disulphides bonds that create a kink or curl in hair structures. The curliness of hair depends on how many of these bonds the hair has.
Sodium hydroxide is a corrosive substance and is at the extreme end of alkalinity on the PH level of 13 and 14. PH is based on a scale of 0-14 (7) being neutral. Healthy hair and skin has a PH factor of around 4.5- 5., if hair or skin is exposed to something more acidic on the PH scale, it is likely to harden, become brittle and burn off.
Sodium hydroxide is the same active ingredient in the household products such as liquid drain cleaners. Really and truly that is shocking to know that corrosive chemicals are added to hair relaxers!
The point where I realised it was high time for me to put an absolute end to my relaxing days was when I lost my edges, my hair was thin and just didn’t look healthy. I lacked education when it came to my hair as I didn’t realise how dangerous the ingredients in hair relaxers were and I am sure there are still people out there that are unaware. I hope I can help someone who may still be using relaxer unless you get a professional to relax your hair for you (a real professional) I would suggest say NO to chemical hair relaxers.
Thanks for stopping by.