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.