Women with curly or very wavy hair that tends to be unmanageable may be looking for ways to chemically relax it. Though some types of hair straightening may seem pricey for some, it will be easier to blow dry and flat iron the hair. That said, you will still be able to curl your hair if desired. Anyone who is considering having a professional hair straightening treatment may want to consider either a chemical hair relaxer or Brazilian keratin hair treatment. Here are some things that you should know about both types of hair relaxers.
About $20 for home kits or $65 to $200 for salon relaxers. The cost varies widely according to the salon and geographic area.
Note that while at-home relaxing kits are available, but it is always recommended that you have the beauty procedure done by an experienced cosmetologist.
How Long it Lasts:
A hair relaxer gives permanent results, but the roots will need to be retouched as they grow in. Most women need to have their roots retouched every six to eight weeks – which generally costs less.
Hair relaxers cannot be done on hair that was previously dyed and it may not be bleached before or afterwards. Your hair stylist can explain what hair dye brands and colors can be used after the procedure has been done.
Is it Safe?
Since the bonds of the hair are broken by the chemicals in hair relaxers, they are not considered to be the healthiest option for your hair. The hair tends to become more brittle and break. Hair relaxers are not recommended during pregnancy.
Brazilian Keratin Treatments
$170 to $250, though some salons charge significantly more. Once again, it really depends on the specific salon and the geographic area.
How Long it Lasts:
The hair will generally need to be retouched after three to four months (12 to 16 weeks). Unlike with hair relaxers, the hair from root to end must be retouched because the keratin eventually becomes inactive and if you wait too long, you’ll need the full treatment done again. Touch-ups generally cost less.
Hair can be color treated prior to a Brazilian keratin treatment. While it can be colored afterwards, there is a risk of the keratin being removed and/or the dye looking streaky.
Is it Safe?
Brazilian keratin is thought to be a safer option than hair relaxers, as some solutions do not contain potentially harmful chemicals. That said, it’s important to make sure that the salon you are having the treatment done at uses a formaldehyde-free Brazilian keratin formula.
The Brazilian keratin treatment was founded by a mortician who noticed that the hair of corpses became straighter due to embalming fluid, according to Essence.com. Since formaldehyde is a carcinogen, this is alarming. Brazilian keratin solutions containing formaldehyde are not thought to be safe for anyone – especially pregnant women.
There are many factors to take into consideration if you are trying to decide between a hair relaxer or Brazilian keratin hair treatment. Keep in mind that both options are recommended for women with African-American or ethnic hair.
Essence.com, “Ask the Experts: Brazilian Keratin Treatment.”
HairBoutique.com, “Chemical Hair Relaxers: Myths & Magic.”
HairFinder.com, “Relaxers and Straightening.”