Are "no-lye" hair relaxers safer?
Any relaxer can burn your scalp if you use it the wrong way.
Lye is something found in many hair relaxers. It helps the product work, but it can also burn the skin.
Relaxers without lye don't usually bother your skin as much, but you still need to be safe and use them the right way.
Tips from skin doctors and hairdressers to help use hair relaxers safely:
Don't leave the relaxer on longer than the directions say you should.
Wash it out with a neutralizing shampoo. (You can get neutralizing shampoo in most places where you buy shampoo.)
Use conditioner often after relaxing your hair.
Be extra careful when you use hair relaxers on children. Keep hair relaxers out of children's reach. Children have been hurt playing with hair relaxers.
It can be a good idea to get help with relaxers instead of doing it all by yourself. That way you can be surer to use the relaxer evenly and rinse it all out from places you can't see.
You can protect your scalp by putting petroleum jelly on the scalp before using the relaxer.
Don't scratch your head or brush your hair before you use a relaxer.
Remember that curling and blow drying can hurt your hair, too.
How often should I relax my hair?
- Straightening too often can damage your hair. You might want to ask your hairdresser for advice, because different products on the market have different directions. According to some hairdressers, every six to eight weeks is common, but this depends on the product.
It also depends on your hair, such as how fast your hair grows.
Can I dye and relax my hair at the same time?
You are more likely to damage your hair if you use both hair dye and a relaxer.
If you do color your relaxed hair, some hairdressers say you should use a semi-permanent dye. They say it will cause less damage than a permanent dye.
Refer to product directions and talk to your hairdresser because different relaxers have different directions. Some should not be used when you have dye in your hair.
Contact FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Adverse Events Reporting System (CAERS):
* call 1-800-FDA-1088
* email CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov
To learn more:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration