Damage Caused by Chemical Hair Relaxers

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African American women, and even some Caucasian women, have been going to great lengths to straighten their hair for ages! Straightening is painstakingly attempted at the risk of completely harming the hair and scalp. African American hair is extremely fragile and delicate, and is prone to damage; it should be handled accordingly to maintain its health.The African American hair shaft has tightly curved follicles, and the scalp produces less oil. In attempts to control this extreme curl, harsh chemicals are frequently used by women who want to change the texture of their hair. Chemical relaxers are very harsh, and hair should be treated carefully with natural hair relaxers which achieve excellent results.

Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” addresses this issue and explores the extreme methods women use to straighten their hair, including the use of chemical hair relaxers. The film has many women, and even men, express their longing for “good hair” and how it affects their confidence and happiness. The film is meant to be funny, but it also addresses the self esteem issue which it is for some women and even young girls.They want their hair changed, and will go to great expense, risk and discomfort to make it different…which is not so funny.

When chemical solutions are not used correctly, and sometimes even when they are used properly, they can cause harm to the hair and scalp.Dermatologists agree that the misuse of chemical relaxers can lead to scalp irritation, scarring, hair breakage and hair loss.The chemicals break down bonds which support hair strands, thus weakening the hair.

Doctors, not just stylists, advise that instructions must be strictly adhered to, and that chemical relaxers should only be put on hair which has not been previously processed.Again, even when used correctly, these chemicals can burn and lead to damage or injury.Dermatologists have seen hair damage and loss so extreme, that women need to use wigs after years of chemical relaxing.The FDA even has warnings about the use of chemical hair relaxers, which include understanding the risks involved with using these products.

Stylists observe misuse of chemical relaxers by the condition of clients’ hair including thinning and breakage.Thinning near the scalp can indicate improper application or overlapping of the relaxer – it should only be done on new growth.Thinning and damage along the length of the hair can be due to chemical overprocessing and too much heat from blow drying and flat irons.

Natural hair relaxers use gentle and natural ingredients including alkaline water, amino acids and conditioners.Just because it is gentle does not mean a natural hair relaxer is ineffective; they leave hair with a softened, touchable texture and a healthy shine.

Good advice from stylists and beauty experts is to work with the hair, not against it.Find natural hair relaxers and products, and gently style to achieve the desired result.

Grace Enderlein is a freelance writer and editor.“Damage Caused by Chemical Hair Relaxers” notes the dangers of using chemical hair straighteners. Freshlookhair.com supplies BodipHier, a natural straighten hair & hair relaxer which uses gentle ingredients for excellent softening and straightening results. For more information on hair texturizer visit our website.

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