How to Make Coconut Milk Relaxer

Homemade coconut milk relaxers can help loosen curls.

Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Paula Begoun puts it to you straight about hair relaxers. According to the beauty expert and author of the book "Don't Go Shopping for Hair Care Products Without Me," chemical relaxers cannot make curly hair smooth and straight without doing damage. In fact, Begoun warns that chemical relaxers with high pH values have a tendency to burn your hair and fry your scalp. While a coconut milk relaxer won't create Beyonce-straight tresses, if you use it on a daily basis, it can strengthen your hair and gently keep your kinks under control.

Prep Work

Coconut milk and lime are great ingredients for cool summer drinks, but they also can create an inexpensive and healthy hair relaxer. A natural protein conditioner, coconut milk is actually a liquid expressed from the meat of the coconut. For the basic relaxer recipe, pick up one can of coconut milk and one fresh lime at a grocery store. Combine 1 cup of the coconut milk and the juice of your freshly squeezed lime in a small bowl. Stir.

Chill

Place your homemade lime-in-the-coconut concoction in the refrigerator overnight until the surface reaches the consistency of a creamy paste. Coconuts, indigenous to the western Pacific, traveled to other parts of the tropics by ocean currents and human activity. Today, it's not only used for food and drinks but also as an ingredient in a number of costly commercial ethnic hair care products. You'll save some cash by making your own.

A Big Dab Will Do Ya

In the morning, remove your homemade mixture from the fridge. Scoop the creamy surface from the mixture, and slather it on your luscious locks. Discard the liquid that remains in the bowl. Wrap your coconut-creamed hair in a hot, moist towel for two to three hours and relax. Rinse with warm water and shampoo.

Alternative Recipe

You can try another version of the coconut milk relaxer recipe that has a few more ingredients but minimum waste. In a small bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of lime juice with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir until there are no lumps. Whisk a small can of coconut milk with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add the lime juice and cornstarch mixture to the coconut milk for two to four minutes, or until the concoction thickens to a hair conditioner consistency. Add more cornstarch if necessary. Evenly cover your hair with the relaxer. Place a hot, moist washcloth over your head and cover it with a plastic cap. Place a second hot, moist washcloth over the plastic cap and finish with a second plastic cap. Relax for one hour, then rinse and shampoo.

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