If you have always wished that your curly tresses were sleek and straight, relaxing your locks may give you the look you desire. While relaxing your hair doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the beauty parlor, you should exercise extreme caution when you try at-home relaxing, as the chemicals required can be incredibly damaging. Before you begin your relaxing attempt, educate yourself on safe techniques.
Read and Re-Read the Directions
No two at-home relaxing kits work in exactly the same way. If you’re using a kit that you’ve never tried before, carefully read all accompanying directions before starting the process. Misreading or failing to follow the directions could leave your tresses permanently scorched, so adherence to these usage practices is vital.
Move Up the Strands
Unlike when you apply hair dye to your locks, you shouldn’t start at the scalp and work down when relaxing; instead, start at the tips of the hair and work up. Avoid getting relaxing liquid on your scalp itself, as it is likely to burn this tender skin. Also, limit the amount of time the relaxer is left on the hairline, as this part of your hair is most prone to breaking.
Use a reliable timer when timing your relaxing efforts, as even just a few extra minutes could leave your hair fried. Don’t just check the clock, but instead, set a kitchen timer or cell phone alarm to ensure that you don’t exceed the recommended time.
Listen to your Scalp
If your scalp starts to burn, it’s likely a sign the relaxer is damaging your locks. If you feel any burning, remove the relaxer from your hair immediately. If you fail to do so, you run the risk of burning up your prized tresses.
Rinse and Repeat
Don’t just rinse the relaxer from your hair once, but instead, rinse your hair several times to ensure that all of the chemical is removed. Most relaxing kits include a neutralizing shampoo to apply after the relaxing process. If your kit comes with a shampoo of this type, wash with it at least three times, leaving the shampoo on your locks for an extended period of time after each lather. This ensures you’ve fully removed the relaxing chemical from your hair.