Many sisters want to convert their twisted tresses to straight strands, but the consequences can be terrifying. Harsh ingredients can cause hair loss and breakage, plus irritation and even scarring of the scalp and the skin at the hairline. In rare cases, if burns occur on the skin, they can leave scars as well.
Natural and Organic
Model and beauty mogul Kimora Lee Simmons uses Diva by Cindy products, a favorite of pro stylist Natasha Peacock of Baltimore’s Hair Cuttery. Peacock says the Diva Natural Organic hair relaxer contains aloe and shea butter to soothe the scalp and moisturize the hair as it's being relaxed. Once the relaxer step is complete, a stabilizer is applied. The unique formula contains hops, yarrow and balm mint that seals the first layer of the hair, called the cuticle, and returns it to an optimal pH level. After rinsing the stabilizer, the Diva by Cindy neutralizer is the final step. “Hair is softer, silkier and straight without shedding and damage,” Peacock says.
Fast and Gentle
At her Minnetonka, Minnesota salon, P3 Hair Design, owner and stylist Sarah Kelly prefers the professional-grade relaxing products made by Mizani. She says the timing of the relaxing treatment is no longer than a reverse perm service, and the outcome is silky, damage-free results. The Mizani Butter Blend system is a three-phase conditioning relaxer that nourishes the hair with cocoa butter, honey and shea butter. Beauty pros can use Mizani with confidence and knowledge, as “The company offers a great support system for stylists with descriptions of the various curl types and the products to use with them,” she says. The line makes shampoo, conditioning and styling products that complement the relaxing treatment.
Fair Trade and Organic
San Dimas, California stylist and co-owner of Platform Color Style Salon Elsa Rhodes is a fan of the Davines line of products for non-chemical relaxing. “Davines products penetrate the hair shaft with beta carotene, so they nourish the hair from the inside out,” she says. She recommends cleansing and softening your hair with the Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner, then using two relaxing treatment products. Davines OI/OIL Absolute Beautifying Potion is formulated with fair trade Amazonian Roucou oil to both combat environmental damage and stimulate hair growth. Apply it to wet or dry hair to give it smoothness, shine and hydration. You can use Davines Relaxing Fluid with your hair dryer or flat iron to get your locks poker straight, with no evidence of waviness at the crown.
The Liss Ultime by L'Oreal Pro Serie Expert is another one of Rhodes’ favorite lines for relaxing hair into silky-straight, frizz-free strands. Cleanse the hair using the Liss Ultime Smoothing Shampoo, then follow with a leave-in treatment. During the daytime, opt for the ultra lightweight liquid Shine Perfecting Serum or the richer Liss Ultime Smoothing Treatment. To cut time from your morning routine, try the leave-in Liss Ultime Smoothing Night Treatment on dry hair to relax and smooth it for easier styling in the a.m.