How to Relax Hair at Home

By Contributing Writer
Vivica Fox has beautiful tresses as a result of relaxed hair.
Photo by Darius Sinclair with Wikipedia Commons

Relaxing your hair at home is an inexpensive way to straighten your hair. But if you aren’t a beautician, it’s easy to make a mistake. These mistakes usually lead to hair breakage, balding and burns. Here are a few steps you’ll want to follow when you relax your hair at home.

Buy a hair relaxer. Avoid ones with the label “super” on them. This means their chemicals are extra strong. If you have kinky or extremely curly hair that is hard to relax, just spend more time smoothing it out during the application time. It will get your hair straight and save your scalp.

Check your scalp for cuts and scratches. Before you start applying a relaxer, check your scalp for any cuts or scratches. Hair relaxer that gets into cuts or scratches will leave a chemical burn. These burns result into blisters and scars. So wait a few days if you have any scalp injuries to apply a relaxer. It will avoid further injury.

Change into an old T-shirt or clothing item you don’t mind getting dirty. Stains can be left from hair relaxers on clothes. The chemicals are very penetrating, so wear an old T-shirt when you apply it to your hair.

Line your scalp with oil. Vaseline or any hair oil is a great protector from the chemicals in a hair relaxer. You should line the area round your scalp and in sensitive spots on the top, back and sides of your scalp. These sensitive spots are the ones most likely to burn.

Part your hair into four sections. You should start with a part down the middle that goes from front to back. Then do the same thing from left to right until you have four equal sections.

Mix together your relaxer by following the instructions on the box. Follow them until your container of relaxer is one color and smooth.

Set your time. Most relaxers have time limits that they can sit in your hair before they damage it. Read these time limits on the instruction form that comes with your relaxer. Use a timer or watch the clock as you relax your hair.

Apply the relaxer to your hair one section at a time. Try to do it from the base up missing the actual scalp. You can use the wooden applicator in the box or a specialized application brush you buy at a beauty store. Try to use the application tool that you can manipulate the best. Thoroughly apply all of the relaxer to your hair.

Smooth out sections of your hair. With your hands (they should be covered with plastic gloves), smooth out the sections of your hair. It is a combination of smoothing and the chemicals that actually straighten out the curl. Work through your hair fast so you don’t go over the allotted time.

Rinse your hair with lukewarm to hot water. In order to add to the straightening action, you will want to lie under a kitchen sink that has a lot of water pressure to it. You can even take a shower and rinse out the relaxer at the same time. Just make sure the water is consistently heavy, warm to hot and strong. Rinse your hair until all of the relaxer is out and then follow up with the shampoo and conditioner that comes with it.

Dry and style your hair as usual. After you’ve gone through this process, your hair should be straight. You can then dry and style it in your normal fashion.