If you have been straightening your hair with chemical relaxers for years, then you know that these hair straightening products can damage your hair. In fact, you may have noticed your hair becoming more and more fragile over time as you have repeated your relaxer treatments. You may even have hair breakage that makes your hair appear unkempt between hair cuts.
If you are tired of hair relaxer damage, then you should learn about alternative hair straightening treatments that do not damage hair as much as traditional relaxers do. Here's more information on why traditional chemical hair relaxers are so damaging to hair and your alternative hair straightening treatment options.
Why Traditional Chemical Hair Relaxers are so Damaging
There are two main types of traditional chemical hair relaxers: ammonium thioglycolate ("thio") relaxers and lye-based relaxers. While these two relaxer types do differ in chemical composition and texture, they straighten hair in a similar way.
When these relaxing solutions are applied to curly hair, they break down disulfide bonds. While these bonds that are present in all hair strands are what help curly hair hold its shape when intact, disulfide bonds also play a role in hair strength. For this reason, while traditional relaxers do straighten naturally curly hair well, they also weaken hair greatly and make it more susceptible to all types of damage.
Less-Damaging Alternative Hair Straightening Treatment Options
While there are several less-damaging alternative hair straightening options for black hair, one straightening treatment that is growing in popularity is the keratin straightening treatment. Unlike traditional chemical hair relaxers, keratin straightening solutions contain no lye or ammonium thioglycolate. Instead, their active ingredient is keratin, which is a natural protein found in all hair.
For this reason, not only are keratin straightening solutions less damaging to all hair types than traditional chemical hair relaxers, but they can help restore strength to hair when keratin molecules bind to the hair strands during a keratin treatment.
The keratin hair straightening process also differs greatly from the chemical relaxer hair treatment process. A relaxer is applied to the hair, kept on it long enough to break down the disulfide bonds, and then, if necessary, a neutralizer is then applied to hair to de-activate the chemical solution before styling.
On the other hand, after a keratin treatment is applied to clean curly hair, hair is dried with a hairdryer and a heat-straightening iron is then used to bond the solution to hair strands. Since the treatment solution contains no harsh chemicals, application of a product to neutralize potent chemicals is not needed.
Unlike chemical hair relaxer results that last until hair grows out, keratin treatments must be repeated about every 4 to 5 months, since the results are only semi-permanent.
If you are tired of the hair breakage that occurs with the use of traditional chemical relaxers, then consider less damaging alternative hair straightening solutions, such as a formaldehyde-free keratin treatment. To learn more, contact a company like Magic Sleek.