How Safe Is Hair Relaxing? 5 Facts Every Curly-Haired Woman Should Know

How Safe Is Hair Relaxing? 5 Facts Every Curly-Haired Woman Should Know

How Safe Is Hair Relaxing? 5 Facts Every Curly-Haired Woman Should Know

Are you tired of dealing with your curly locks? Do you want a lasting solution instead of struggling daily with heating tools and styling woes? Well, you may think of getting a hair relaxer. Millions of American women, specifically Black women, rely on relaxing to manage their curly locks.  But hold up, ladies, it doesn't make the treatment the safest one.

Before you make any decisions, you should dig deep to know the facts. After all, any chemical treatment that alters the structure of your hair to make it straighter and more manageable may have potential side effects. You've got to weigh the risks and benefits before going ahead with the procedure. 

So, is hair relaxation safe? Should you opt for it without second thoughts? The answer is complicated, so you've got to invest some time in research. While many women successfully use relaxers without significant issues, you shouldn't overlook the potential risks. Let's explore some facts every curly-haired woman should know before opting for treatment.

Understand how the chemical works

The first thing you've got to know is that hair relaxing is a chemical process. The product breaks down the bonds in your hair with harsh chemicals like sodium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide.

You can imagine the damage it can cause to your hair and scalp if you go wrong with the quantity and technique. How sure are you about your stylist applying it perfectly? And what if you do it yourself at home? Either way, there's always a chance of going wrong with the application. 

Possibility of chemical burns

Well, when you're using a chemical on your scalp or hair, there's a possibility of chemical burns, right? Imagine the effects of direct application on your scalp or leaving it for too long. You may end up with painful burns and scarring. 

Additionally, repeating the treatment too frequently can make your hair brittle. So you resolve the problem of curls but end up with breakage and damage. It isn't a worthwhile deal! 

Allergic reaction

Another fact every woman seeking treatment should know is that it can cause allergic reactions. Not all skin types are the same, which means you may suffer from severe allergies by using a chemical on your scalp. 

Allergic reactions to the chemicals in hair relaxers may cause redness, swelling, and itching. If you're extra sensitive, you may even experience difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Risk of uterine cancer

A more significant concern for women using hair relaxers is the prominent risk of uterine cancer. A recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute linked hair product usage with the incidence of uterine cancer. It also led to a series of lawsuits in the country. 

While navigating hair relaxer lawsuits is complicated, women suffering due to these products deserve every dollar of compensation. An experienced lawyer can help in this context, even if one is pitted against a popular brand. And the evidence is enough to reconsider your decision regarding using these products.   

Following precautions is crucial

Ladies, you cannot undermine the risks of hair relaxing, no matter how much you try to overlook them. But you can follow some precautions to lower the risk. Here are the expert-recommended ones to stick with before, during, and after the procedure-

  • Always go to a professional for the treatment, even if it is tempting to save some dollars with DIY. A seasoned stylist knows the exact amount and steps for the process, so they ensure minimal damage. It's a small price to get the treatment safely and correctly.
  • If you still want to DIY, read and follow the instructions on the product package. Be extra cautious with the quantity and timelines because applying too much or leaving it for too long can have dire consequences. So follow the essentials diligently. 
  • Remember to do a patch test to check for allergic reactions before your first-time treatment. You should also do it every time you switch products. Apply a minimal amount to a small area of your scalp and wait a bit to see if you have any adverse reactions.
  • Do not skimp on hair care following the treatment because it is essential to minimize the risk of damage. It means avoiding heat styling tools, using moisturizing products, and skipping other chemical treatments like coloring or perming. Also, leave enough time between applications. 

Summing Up

Hair relaxing seems like a great option for women who want straighter and easier-to-manage hair. But you've got to be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions to minimize them. Your curls deserve all the love and care before and after relaxing, so go for it.