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