Alternative To Relaxers For Straighter Hair or Defined Curls

The strong hair relaxers on the market which many of us are slaves to, at times have damaged, broken, and stripped hair until its unrecognizable from our tightly curly kinky hair. Its no small wonder that there are persons who are constantly searching for a more natural, gentler way for black, afro- textured hair to be straighter or have more defined curls. The following are some options that you may consider if you are wary of using chemical relaxers or if you are tired of struggling with your relaxed or natural hair or just want another option to the current chemical-based options on the market.

1. Thermal Straightening

Heat can give you the straight hair you desire, these days the hot comb of yesteryear where an iron comb was put in the fire and then taken out at its hottest and then used to straighten hair are gone. If you would like to wear your hair straight occasionally without any chemical intrusions you can use a flat iron. It does the job just as well as the old hot irons used to do. The ceramic flat irons can reach very high temperatures though and this can damage the cuticle of your hair and cause dryness, which leads to breakage. Use heat for hair straightening very wisely. A safer way to use heat is on the lower settings and to use a heat protectant before you straighten your hair.

Pros

  • Your hair will be straight for a day or two without chemicals.

Cons

  • You have to stay away from any water on your hair or your hair will revert, this includes sweat, so exercise is off the table.
  • Using too much heat can actually process your hair to the point where your curls will not revert.

2. Brazilian Keratin Treatment (BKT)

This treatment straightens hair by using the active ingredient keratin, which is close to the protein in your own hair. The treatment does not use any of the hydroxides or ammonium thioglycolate that you will find in other hair straighteners or for hair perms. Additionally, persons who have gotten a BKT claim that their hair feels stronger after a treatment. The process can be done on previously relaxed or color treated hair without the worry of over-processing and yes, it can be done on totally natural virgin hair. The keratin treatment gradually washes away and the hair’s natural curl pattern will be restored overtime. This can last from a month to six weeks. The process is relatively simple, a stylist will apply a keratin solution to the hair and then blow the hair dry (450 degrees) to seal in the solution. Afterward, a hot iron is used to straighten hair so that the formula can be sealed in a straight pattern.

Pros

  • Straight hair without the chemical hassle and with a treatment that actually strengthens hair.
  • It lasts for up to a month.
  • Your hair can revert to your natural curls.

Cons

  • For the first several days after the treatment you cannot wash your hair or go anywhere near water without your hair properly covered, the hair will revert.
  • Until the process is cemented, you cannot wear your hair in any hairstyle that will lead to kinks, the hair will set in this formation.
  • You cannot put any products on your hair the first few days after the treatment.
  • 450 degrees heat is way too high for your hair; this heat is needed to seal in the keratin treatment.
  • Formaldehyde is used in most keratin treatments. These formulas are not approved by the FDA because formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). If a keratin treatment contains trace amounts of formaldehyde they can still legally claim that it is formaldehyde free. So, use this treatment with this in mind.

3. Curlaway

Does a gradual straightening of hair sound enticing to you, without the use of harsh chemicals? Well Curlaway might be the answer for your hair. It is a semi-permanent all-natural hair relaxer that straightens hair more and more with continued use. According to the advertisement ” Curlaway gradually removes curl and eliminates frizz
without damaging your hair. With Curlaway you control how much curl to remove and get the easy to manage style you want, be it S-curls, ringlets, wavy, full and loose curls or completely straight.”

One reviewer describes the process: You have to wet your hair, put it on, brush it straight, and let it sit there for like 10 hours, then, you have to rinse it out, wash your hair, condition and then, apply a dollop of this product again and brush it straight again and make sure that it is straight all the way to drying and then, when finally dried, you have to finish with a iron. You are supposed to do this 3 times a week for 2-4 weeks in order to see results and use the product on dry hair every day.

Pros

  • The product is natural and your hair can revert when you stop using it.
  • It takes care of frizz and loosens the hair curl pattern so that it is easier to manage.

Cons

  • The smell is pungent and not very pleasant.
  • The process to use it is quite time consuming.

4. Baka Beauty Natural-Laxer

Are you transitioning from relaxed to natural and need help to do so? Or you just want to relax your curls so that your hair can be manageable? The manufacturers of Natural Laxer say that it “is a 100% natural/herbal product that consists solely of natural herbs and clay, which can be applied to the hair and the face. It acts as a hair strengthener and gently opens up and defines the natural curl/wave pattern making hair more manageable. It is safe for home application and safe for the entire family.”

For women who are transitioning, the product acts as a strengthener as well as an herbal relaxer, it can help people move through this stage with minimal amount of breakage, allowing those who do not feel comfortable wearing very short hair, braids, wigs, or extensions, to transition without losing their length. Also women, who have decided to keep their relaxed hair can use Natural-Laxer MIX as a treatment, to strengthen their chemically treated hair to reduce hair loss and damage.

Pros

  • The product is truly natural; it can be used as a facial.
  • It relaxes the curl pattern overtime for more defined curls.
  • It can be used for transitioning to give your natural hair more manageability.
  • It is great with frizz.

Cons

  • It is messy to prepare and a challenge to wash out of hair.
  • You have to use several applications once a week for three weeks to see true results and to maintain by applying the treatment every 6-8 wks.
  • It will leave hair dry after applying it.

5. Diva Smooth

Diva Smooth promises many good things for hair. The manufacturers boasts that it allows hair to be manageable with continued use of the product, it repairs damaged hair with the inclusion of honey and other essential oils, it prevents hair loss by strengthening the hair cuticle with the use of virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, honey, grapeseed oil and hair replenishing essential oils, hair is lustrously smooth with the use of a flat-iron to achieve straight styles and hair is protected against heat with continuous use of Diva Smooth and the Virgin Coconut Hair Serum. And finally, since hair is not chemically altered, you can enjoy twists, Afros, naturally curly looks, braids and straight hair without worry.

Pros:

  • It extends the life of your straight hair if you flat iron your hair to get it straight.
  • It smells great.
  • Will make your hair manageable and defines your curl pattern if you are not into using heat for your hair.

Cons:

  • The mixture tends to be stiff and sticky
  • You have to use a flat iron to get your hair straight.
  • The natural ingredients for the main product are shrouded in secrecy.

6. E’tae Carmel Treatment

According to the manufacturers, “The CARMEL”, is a deep penetrating treatment made with real bananas and honey, and will restore life back into all types of hair. Its high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and potassium has the ability to provide the nourishment that is needed for both the hair and scalp. Its strengthening and moisturizing qualities will deeply soften the hair while improving the texture and manageability to create body and a natural shine. It helps people who relax their hair to ‘stretch’ their relaxer for longer periods and helps people with natural hair by softening the hair texture for easier detangling and manageability.

Pros:

  • It loosens the curl pattern of people with natural hair.
  • It helps hair to feel conditioned and very moisturized.
  • It is a 100% natural product with no preservatives.
  • With heat, a person can get straight smooth results after applying The Carmel.

Cons:

  • Product is perishable; it has a shorter shelf life than other products with preservatives.
  • The results of the carmel treatment does not last very long on hair.

43 Comments »

  • cheriD said:

    Thank you so much for this article. This is exactly the information that I’ve been searching for. I am transitioning and it’s been abot ten weeks so now i am seeking natural ways of helping me keep my hair conditioner and it helps relax the curl – great! . Love your recipe for a natural relaxer too! Keep up the good work.

  • Adrienne said:

    I needed this information as well. I have been wearing braids for a year now and the nicest way to describe my unbraided, natural hair is unmanageable. This afternoon I almost went to the store to buy a traditional relaxer after my regular hair braider called out sick on me….after I took my braids out. I like these alternatives, even if it’s until my go to girl is back on her feet

  • LayoLondon said:

    Thank you so much for this article. I’ve been natural all my life and I’m ready for a change

  • faizou said:

    Great article!! What do you think about the japanese relaxer? What are the pros and cons for thick and curly hair?
    Thank you! 🙂

  • Bri said:

    Hi I have really curly hair. I am Half white and Half Black. I have done some Keratin treatments for smoothing my hair in the past but I want to relax my hair now. Everyone says how bad it is to relax your hair but my curly hair is not working for me. I usually just flat iron it but I’m tired of doing that a lot. Do you think that is a good idea for me to relax my hair or try a different straightening treatment? Which straightening treatment do you recommend?

    • Angela said:

      I had LISCIO by milbon.
      this brand permanently straighten my hair its very expensive..all my frizz is gone i just wish it was I had a little more wave but its fine.Its just like a BKT but its permanent ,the condition of my hair is very soft no breakage.just make sure you go to a salon /hairdresser that knows about this product.Do not buy t and try to do it yourself.Good luck

    • jen said:

      The relaxer will change the texture of your hair and turn it brownish red……

  • Genevieve said:

    Trying to find alternative not to relax my hair. Have you heard of str8 away sidle natural hair straightener!

  • Patricia Hill said:

    Iam 64 years old, and i started out early in life with afros. then transitioned to relaxed styles , always shorts styles,sometime chemicaly treated curls. My hair is naturally curly, but tight. I would like to loosen the curls, quite a bit. I’m tied of relaxers, and really want to go back natural, but not so kinky. What is good to use. I also have a granddaugther who have simalar hair, we do not to start using any chemicals in her hair, but she needs something to loosen her hair too,it’s very long thick. HELP

  • Monique said:

    Thank you for this! You just saved me from an identity crisis… Okay, I’m being dramatic, but I’m thankful I have some choices:)

  • Christinia said:

    I really want to try one of these. I’m in the messy stage of transitional hair and its a pain.I like to wear my hair straight and aI really want a perm This is really valuable info

  • Keanica Martin said:

    I have just taken down some braids and I need a way to get the knots out of my hair before I get a perm, which is tomorrow? Can I use honey and olive oil w/o the fear if my hair coming out (from the honey) when I get a perm?

  • Sammy Edwards said:

    Excellent article!Thank you so much. I’m now wearing my hair natural and having to find much more time to style it, before going out to work; than when it was chemically relaxed.

    What do you think about blow-drying virgin hair? A hairdresser did a great job with mine, before she used the flat-iron for a short while. However, I simply cannot make a good job of blow-drying my own hair- but am concerned about too much use of the flat-iron.

    Cheers,
    Sammy

  • Maxximillian said:

    Thank you for posting this. I hadn’t heard of any of these treatments before—except for, of course the thermal treatments.

    I noticed that you didn’t include the use of permanent color to loosen the wave pattern. Is this because it’s a side-effect of using the product and not its intended purpose? Just curious. I’m about to color again and in search of a method of applying the color that will assist this (glorious) side effect of leaving me with a softer wave pattern. There’s a method to applying relaxer to make hair straight and a method of applying to soften the kinks and maintain the wave pattern. This is what I was searching for when I came upon your blog.

    I’m very interested to hear your thoughts. If you have any connections with people who might know, will you inquire and write a post about it?

    I’m subscribing to your blog. 🙂

    Maxximillian
    Fellow blogger, Writer & Artist

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Maxximillian,
      Thanks for stopping by. Yes, the loosening of the curl pattern is a side effect. I have written an article on softening the kinks, it is called tex-laxing. I was searching around to share the link and realized that I haven’t uploaded the article yet, I will do so shortly. Thanks for subscribing.

  • Millaman said:

    Please check out http://jeans-green.com/about All Natural Relaxer/Softener

    Start your kids out natural

  • Millaman said:

    From the head of our cosmetology institutions, to the beauty chair, and even into our homes. There are cosmetologists that still deny chemicals are destructive or have a track record for destruction. The general public (Kitchen Magicians) are also in denial. The alkaline mineral which is the relaxer alternative known as the “Pre-Soft Tx” is the answer to the soft, healthy, wholesome hair.

    We recommend all Cosmetologists, Stylist, and even the general public to open their minds and take a look at an alternative to this destruction in terms of technology, skills & design.

  • Amy said:

    tanks for this info. plz where can I get these product?

  • Evelyn said:

    I love curls and have been longing for em. What to do?

  • Syreeta Downer said:

    Hi
    My hair has not been chemically treated for about 3 months and i do not want to perm it.
    Would like a bouncy curl look with out chemucals.
    Please can you offer any advice.

  • Nerre said:

    interested in loosening the curl love my curls just need them not to be so tightly curled

  • Kalisha adams said:

    Girl, you have no clue what that article has done for me. Im tired of weaves and would love to start new.

  • Lucy Lux said:

    Ladies I drastically loosened my 4c/4b hair. Check out this video, loosen kinky hair with baking soda! This saved my life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PstTRg8pFz4

  • vivian said:

    Hi
    I been using kashmir hair botox but my hairline in the front is breaking and is always kinky, I also use hair color in the front to cover my grey hair. I am tired of my kinky hair in the front and I want to go back to relaxing my hair after 5 years. What should I do?? And if relaxing is the option which relaxer should I use?

  • Ny said:

    Im 14 ,I just let one of my friends mothers ,put a relaxer in my hair ,then It looked fine to me but then,I went to lay down and my back of my hair was flat so, I wait the next day and i picked With an afro comb before I went to sleep , then my mom says come here ,why does your hair looks like it has been, cut I said didnt cut it my friend Leroy put a lot of relaxer in the back of my hair ,then she tried to braid my hair then, my stop short

  • Jane said:

    I was risking being disowned by my family because i announced that i wanted to relax my natural hair……..lol
    this information could never have come at a better timing.
    thank you verily…. at least i get to keep my family and long deep lustruos black stubborn semi curly frizzs……………i thank you

  • Maria said:

    I currently have relaxed hair and I’m trying to let it grow out . I have worn my hair in a short. Spunky
    Look. Is there any product that I can use to just wear it short an curly?

  • Cocoa said:

    I’m trying to find a healthy way to straighten my hair for at least a month til I retreat it please help me natural going on three years

  • Andoni said:

    Hi im a hairstylist in michigan and i use hair botox treatment for my african amirican clients that are natural or trying to go natural. I love the treatment it does not straighten the curl it smooths the hair and takes the frezz out.. NO FARMELDAHID the hair look and feels amazing its has amino acids and protein as its used on all types of hair it lasts 3 month it is pricey but worth every penny clients love it.

  • Edwina said:

    Hi have thin, extremely curly, big hair. I exercise a lot and dont have the time to straighten my hair that often. I don’t want to have it Japanese straightened, but I do completely want to get rid of the curls, at least for a few weeks/months. What do you suggest?

  • Sabrina said:

    THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for because my hair is a total mess and unmanageable. You’re the best. Keep up the AMAZING work. Thanks again.

  • Monica said:

    Hi, thank you so much for your article. I used Curlaway years ago. My mom was always trying the new thing with us. But, that product really did work. I went 8 monts with no relaxer without much issue. I wonder, though. I can’t find the product anywhere. Have they gone out of business?

  • jessica said:

    My daughter hair is thick and matic I want to texturize her hair she cries when I comb I’ve tried combing wet detangle etc wht could I use to detangle matic hair easy with minimal crying

  • Shyan said:

    Thank you so much it worked on my hair so thank u for all of your tips -shyan

  • Janien said:

    My daughter has been begging me to straighten her hair. We tried a press but it didn’t last but a day or two. I considered a perm but I love her curly natural hair and didn’t want to ruin the texture. I’ve been looking for alternatives however, not much detail in the information. This article has been a lifesaver. Now I can narrow it down and not waste time trying many different products on her hair. Thank you

  • K said:

    Thank you for this information. I have been thinking that keratin treatments were the only other option. This information helps so many others as well. Keep doing what you are doing and sharing

  • Meche O said:

    My kids are mixed with Black, Irish and Native American. I have never used chemicals on their hair, we always straighten with a flat iron but it never gets my daughters hair really straight, and it is still kind of frizzy. We have tried using keratin products but it doesn’t seem to work very well. How can I get her hair straight without damaging her hair? I’m really not to thrilled with the thought of chemicals in her hair. Can you help?

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