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African-American women who want straight hair often turn to relaxers for help. Relaxer doesn't massage your hair into straight submission, but it uses chemicals to "relax" the curl. Also called a perm, relaxer is a product that often produces mixed emotions. Although they usually produce hot-looking results, relaxers can create permanent damage. Before you apply this product to your mane, you should find out how relaxer works and what it can do.
How Relaxer Works
Relaxer often makes curly and unmanageable hair easier to deal with. It straightens out your tresses and leaves them soft and smooth. Relaxer uses chemicals, such as lye, to soften the curl out of your locks. Then you or your stylist must smooth the hair straight once the relaxer has done its job. Often it is a time-consuming process, but those who use it are often thrilled with the results.
Tips When Using Relaxer
Although your stylist probably knows what she's doing, it's up to you to look out for yourself. The relaxer shouldn't be left in long enough to start burning your scalp; if it does, tell your stylist quickly to prevent damage. One way to protect your scalp is to apply petroleum jelly to it beforehand; however, make sure you tell your stylist you did so. Additionally, relaxed hair has a tendency to become dry, so make sure you deep-condition your hair often after treatment to keep your mane looking ravishing and lovely.
Since relaxers are chock-full of strong chemicals, there's always a risk for danger. Besides burning your scalp, they can leave permanent singe marks as well, which turn into shiny spots. Frequent relaxer use can also cause your hair to become weak and fall out. So you have to ask yourself, is having straight hair worth the risks? You know you'll look sexy with any hairstyle, so you may just want to go au naturel in the future.
Relaxers get the "perm" nickname because they are permanent. This means that there's no way to get your hair curly again unless you cut off the straight part. However, you can certainly allow new growth to take over and cut the straight hair when the new growth is long enough. But if you want to keep your hair relaxed, you'll need treatments about every two months.