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Friday, June 21, 2024

7 Signs That Using Relaxers is Damaging Your Hair

Many people still embrace their natural hair, while some love the look that comes from relaxed hair.

Of course, there are benefits of relaxers for ladies, and on the contrary, it still has some damages and after effect. 

Regular relaxing of hair at home or hairdressing salons can cause some challenging damages. Again, using relaxers with high and strong chemical contents can damage the hair as well.

Below are seven (7) signs that relaxer is damaging to hair 

1. Burning

Women tend to believe that beauty is pain. Yes! But it shouldn’t be associated with the burning sensation that comes from chemicals in relaxers. 

Sores come along with burning and might result in infection or permanent hair loss. Burning sensation from relaxers results from chemical substances like alkaline caustics. 

If the chemical burn caused by the relaxer was so severe, there is every possibility that the affected part won’t fully regrow hair. You will have the feeling of tingling and burning on the hair scalp.

2. Sores

Sores on the scalp don’t depend on the number of hours you allow the relaxer to stay on your hair. At times, sores from the relaxer occur a few days after its application. 

Moreover, sores on the scalp are a warning sign that the relaxer has a poor processing method. It might occur as a reaction to the chemicals from the relaxer, allergy, or the relaxer may be of low quality.

3. Thinning

Too much chemical contents in relaxer and regular usage are major causes of thinning, also called moderate or minor hair loss.

To avoid such damage, the stylist should focus more on lightly loosening the curl, making the hair stick straight, and then avoiding over-processing and thinning out the hair over time. 

Chemicals applied on already thin hair, or damaged follicles can result in hair loss.

4. Breakage

If it seems your hair isn’t growing, it might be breaking way faster than the way it grows. Many times, you notice uneven lengths or thinner ends. 

You can prevent hair breakage by adding a regimen between relaxers.

Also, ensuring that the hair is protected with a satin scarf or pillowcase while sleeping can prevent hair breakage.  

5. Dryness

Dry or hard hair is an indication that the hair is damaged or over-processed. 

Relaxers have the tendency to break the disulfide bonds in the hair, and because the hair shaft undergoes such change, it appears to be weaker and can’t hold onto moisture like healthy natural hair.  

There’s a need for the hair to be moist before applying products such as oils, sprays, and lotions to it. Otherwise, they will gently sit on top of the hair shaft. A situation whereby your hair can no longer hold onto moisture leads to severe dryness.

6. Follicle inflammation

Just like the way a cut on the skin turns to a scar after healing, the same way it occurs with a scalp, just that it’s more of the follicle that will return to scar. 

A relaxer burn causes inflammation to the scalp, and you might entirely lose hair in that area.

Frequent application of relaxer that contains the type of chemical in no.1 above can lead to inflammation in the hair follicle.

7. Unbalanced scalp Ph

The pH balance of a relaxer is between 9 – 14, and the scalp is around 4.5 – 5.5, so when applied to the scalp, it has the organic reaction of swelling, which causes inflammation. 

Often, it depends on the pH balance type of relaxer, how long it sits on the scalp, where the pH balance falls, and whether or not you used a base to protect the scalp. 

All these will determine the severity of the reaction.

Do relaxers cause hair damage?

Relaxers can damage hair when you use them regularly because they contain Lye. This action leaves the hair weak and prone to breakage as well as other damages mentioned above.

How can I relax my hair without damaging it?

The best way to relax hair without damaging it is by applying a light coating of Vaseline, grease, thick conditioner, castor oil, or olive oil to the scalp and to already relaxed hair. 

The light coating will surely help to prevent the hair from getting re- relaxed.

Can relaxers permanently damage hair follicles?

Relaxers do not permanently damage hair follicles, but strong chemicals on the scalp will further lead to thinner hair when such happens.


Though relaxer is a product for beautification for women, it is still clear that it contains chemicals that counteract the natural hair and are capable of causing extensive damage to the scalp.

So, the idea is to handle with the utmost care, choose the type with less hazardous ingredients and for touch-ups, apply at least 8 – 10 weeks on average. With the list above, one may understand the damaging effects of relaxers.

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