Today we talk three reasons you may be dealing with dry hair after a hair relaxer.
In the article Caring For Your Hair Post Touch Up, I recommended clarifying and chelating the first wash day after a hair relaxer. Upon reading this recommendation, a reader asked if this was true for lye-based relaxers. The answer is no but let’s talk about it.
RELATED: Clarifying vs. Chelating Shampoo
Lye Relaxers vs. No-Lye Relaxers
The active ingredient in lye-based relaxers is sodium hydroxide and in no-lye relaxers it is calcium hydroxide. Both have pros and cons.
Lye-based relaxers work faster which is great for those that burn easily. Unfortunately though, it causes more scalp irritation because of the high pH. Because scalp burns and discomfort are no fun, many have chosen to use no-lye relaxers.
No-lye relaxers work slower and cause less scalp irritation which is a good thing, right? Sure. It has a lower pH so its much gentler on the scalp. However, before you start feeling like no-lye relaxers are the way to go, there’s one detail we need to cover. No-lye relaxers transfer calcium to the hair during the relaxer process. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong. Calcium buildup often lead to dry relaxed hair that appears very dull and frizzy.
I’ve experienced the side effects of a no-lye relaxer and it was awful. That struggle is 10x worse when you’re not aware that your hair is suffering from calcium buildup. Thankfully, not everyone has the same experience. However, my hair was constantly dull, frizzy, dry and breaking. A nightmare, I tell you.
Clarifying Shampoo vs. Chelating Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo removes product buildup and a chelating shampoo removes mineral buildup caused by relaxers and hard water.
I personally believe all relaxers deposit some form of buildup on the hair. Therefore, I recommend clarifying and chelating the hair regardless. My favorite is Redken Cleansing Cream! It has a creamy formula that is non-drying and very effective on my hair.
RELATED: Redken Cleansing Cream
3 Reasons You Experience Dry Hair After A Hair Relaxer
Chelating your hair post touch up removes calcium buildup and other impurities caused by no–lye relaxers. Although lye-based relaxers are not generally known for leaving this type of buildup on your hair, chelating your hair is a sure way to remove any problems before they start.
Clarifying your hair post touch up will take your hair back to a blank canvas which opens the window of opportunity for your favorite products to perform magic on your hair. This is especially important if your hair is exposed to products known for causing product buildup.
Hard Water Buildup
Chelating removes hard water buildup from your hair. This is great for those of us living in a hard water area. In addition to chelating, I also use a water filter to protect my hair.
RELATED: Sprite Water Filter
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