6 Reasons To Stop Relaxing Your Hair NOW!

6 Reasons To Stop Relaxing Your Hair NOW!

Every so often we realize we need to try and change our habits. Our resolutions are often big and ambitious, and women especially give themselves a hard time if not everything goes according to plan a few weeks in to those promises we made ourselves.

New habits take weeks to form, but here is one we encourage you to commit to asap!

Stop relaxing your hair. Completely. Forever.

We know the pressure is real, trust us, we know.

But here at Afrocenchix we care about your health, and the health of your hair and scalp. So if you do one thing for you this year, make it embracing your gorgeous natural hair. Still not convinced? Read on for six reasons to never relax your hair again.

  1. Relaxers = toxins

Chemical straighteners such as relaxers are filled with toxic chemicals. These toxins such as Thio (Amonium Thioglycolate), lye (Sodium Hydroxide) and no-lye relaxers (Guanidine Hydroxide, Lithium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Calcium Hydroxide), need to be harsh in order to disrupt the way your hair grows naturally, and break those naturally strong disulphide bonds.

By using relaxers, you are exposing your hair and skin to toxic chemicals. Please don’t! There are many gorgeous varied styles you can wear with natural hair.

  1. So many health risks

While many cosmetics contain toxic chemicals, studies have shown that afro-haired women using relaxers are at a risk of serious harm.

A study published in the Environmental Research Journal showed over 78% of hair products marketed towards black women containing chemicals linked to obesity, infertility and cancer. The study also showed that around 80% of relaxers contain toxic chemicals such as parabens as well as phthalates which are commonly used as preservatives despite being linked to early menopause, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

  1. Hair thinning, hair loss and alopecia

Relaxing your hair is a cause of thinning, hair loss and alopecia.

Alopecia is an umbrella term for hair loss anywhere on the body, which can be permanent or temporary. It can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or age. Hair can grow back on its own or with treatment. The condition is said to affect 1 person in every 100 in the UK.

There are many forms of alopecia. When follicles are faced with chemical relaxers (or repeated tight braiding), the body tries to protect itself from harm by causing inflammation, which in the case of scarring alopecia destroys and replaces your hair follicles with scar tissue. As a result, the hair follicle is no longer viable and cannot produce hair. The condition may have no other symptoms or you may also experience erythema, severe itchiness, discomfort, varied pigmentation, blisters with pus or fluid, strong burning and pain.

There are also forms of alopecia which can occur suddenly after years of using relaxers with (seemingly) no problems. Patches can appear on the crown of the head, in a symmetric centrifugal pattern. It may occur along with papules, pustules, severe itching and sensitivity.

  1. Burns and scalp sores

If hair loss wasn’t enough, chemical straighteners can lead to scalp irritation that is so bad, it leads to burns and sores.

Paying attention to pH balance can be important for hair health. The ideal pH for hair products is reported to be within the range of 4-5.5, close to that of our hair’s resting pH. Relaxing creams have a pH of 12-14, which is as alkaline as a drain cleaner! The sebum that our scalps produce is a little acidic and this creates the ideal condition for healthy hair growth. To keep your hair naturally locking in moisture, ensure that the pH of the products you use is below pH 8 but above pH 3.

You can read up more about healthy hair pH balance here.

  1. Dryness

All relaxers denaturalise your curly pattern and make your afro dry. 

The chemical processes of relaxing hair can leave your hair very brittle with increased breakage as it loses its distinct elasticity. The relaxing process changes the surface of your hair leading to tougher, drier hair.

Top tip: Battle dryness this by following the LOC and LCO methods. The acronym indicates the order by which the products (L = liquid O = oil and C = cream) should be applied to your hair. Using this method (with our Moisture Surge Set) after you’ve washed your hair will help you lock in moisture and combat dryness. 

  1. Breakage

The chemicals which relax your hair can also cause breakage. The main causes of hair breakage are typically dry hair and frequent manipulation. Structurally, our hair cuticle is made of overlapping 'scales' which help keep your hair strand together. In healthy, undamaged hair, these scales are intact, however breakage can occur when these scales are damaged or fall apart.

One commonly believed myth is that afro hair doesn’t grow as fast as other hair types. Often, it is just that it is more prone to breakage.

 Watch Afrocenchix founder Rachael's video on how to stop breakage below.

Top tip: Give your hair some extra TLC with a pre shampoo or hot oil treatment using natural oils such as Soothe.

NB: Afro hair care can be quick and easy with the right products and routine. Thinking about transitioning to natural? Want more helpful hair information or just want natural hair encouragement? Then check out our many blog posts designed to help you on your journey.

Our Newly Natural Set comes with everything needed for the newly natural embarking on their natural hair journeys

 

Related links:

Hair Relaxers: Everything You Need to Know

12 Ways to Make Transitioning to Natural Hair Easier

Trimming Split Ends