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hair relaxers and straighteners

Relaxers as cosmetic products are a kind of lotion or cream generally comprising a concentrated alkaline solution. Relaxers are also known as “straighteners”.

The first chemical relaxers as cosmetic products consisted of highly irritating solutions of sodium hydroxide. In the 1950's, they were improved by adding petrolatum, fatty alcohols, and emulsifiers. Petrolatum enabled excessively curly hair to be manageable and prevented hair from returning to its natural previous state in wet weather conditions.

Chemical relaxers comprise three main ingredients: an alkaline agent, an oil phase, and a water phase. Relaxers as cosmetic products make use of a strong alkaline constituent, which may be either sodium or lithium hydroxide, or guanidine hydroxide. The oil phase includes a strong concentration of oils along with a surfactant. The oil phase can be thought of a conditioning and protecting channel since it increases hair shine, makes combing easier, and keeps the scalp safe. The water phase acts a vehicle for the alkaline component. The efficiency and effectiveness of relaxers as cosmetic products depends on the distribution of these three components. Not only is quick relaxation to be sought but also minimal hair damage and scalp irritation. Because of their high levels of alkalinity, relaxers as cosmetic products require a viscous emulsion. That is why relaxers make use of thick, heavy, cream vehicles, primarily extremely high oil-in-water emulsions.

Two common types of relaxers as cosmetic products are lye relaxers and no-lye relaxers. Lye relaxers' alkaline agent is sodium or potassium hydroxide. Within this group, subcategories include no-base relaxers and base relaxers. The latter contain low oil and a high proportion of lye. Although base relaxers are quick, they irritate the scalp and can damage the hair. No-base relaxers as cosmetic products make use of high-oil-content emulsions and irritate the scalp.

No-lye relaxers employ other alkaline components, within which are the mix and the no-mix relaxers. Mix no-lye relaxers as cosmetic products are cream based containing calcium hydroxide and an activator agent that has guanidine carbonate, which, when combined, activate relaxation by the resultant guanidine hydroxide. No-mix relaxers as cosmetic products generally employ lithium hydroxide. Although “lye” is sodium or potassium hydroxide by definition; most consumers just recognize sodium hydroxide as lye actually.

Straighteners as cosmetic products work in two steps: the hair's curl is first relaxed and then the new hair fiber configuration is locked. The process is initiated with the application of the relaxer. The high PH of the emulsion opens the cuticle. This allows the alkaline agent to penetrate the hair fiber and spread into the cortex. The structural bonds in the hair are broken when the relaxer operates with the keratin protein. Due the increased alkalinity of straighteners as cosmetic products, the spoiling of disulfide bonds denatures the hair so that the fiber can be extended straight.

When the alkaline agent of relaxers as cosmetic products is washed out or a neutralizing shampoo is used, the formation of cross links initiates, creating new bonds which lock in the new shape of the hair fibers. At the same time, the cuticles are closed by the neutralizing shampoo.

Although a great number of hair relaxers are available to consumers in general, it must not be forgotten that the best relaxer for each individual depends on that person's hair type. Each particular hair type will react differently to each one of the many straighteners as cosmetic products. The best you can do is to seek professional guidance in the selection and administration of relaxers in order to get the most desirable outcomes.

Neither should it forgotten that fine hair has less bulk, which results in a quicker saturation. Fine hair makes use of a shorter processing time as long as the cuticle layer is not highly resistant. As well as fine hair, damaged hair, which is porous, needs a shorter period of processing time of the relaxers as cosmetic products.

Hair relaxing should be repeated every 4 to 6 weeks. Chemical relaxers as cosmetic products should only by applied on new growth. Otherwise, there is risk of hair breakage.