You have relaxed hair and you’re struggling to take care of it ? … In order to choose the right products for your hair, it is important to understand how chemical relaxers affect our hair.
First let’s take a look at the structure of curly hair
Every hair type contains a well-known hair protein, keratin, which makes up 90% of their structure. Keratin contains, amongst others, amino acids called cysteine. Cysteines are linked by disulfide bonds. The more disulfide bonds the hair contains, the curlier the hair. All hair types contain disulfide bonds but it is the shape of the hair shaft that will determine how and in what numbers the disulfide bonds are connected. If the stem is round, it contains little disulfide bonds and these are aligned, which results in straight hair. If the hair shaft is flat and rather oval, it contains more disulfide bonds, which gives curly, kinky hair.
How do hair relaxers affect our hair?
Chemical relaxers break disulfide bonds permanently. As abovementioned the disulfide bonds are components of keratin (protein). Therefore the structure of the latter is modified and weakened. This is the reason why you should rather use protein-based products if your hair is relaxed. Indeed these products strengthen and prevent breakage due to straightening. You can either use traded products or make your own homemade products.
Moreover, hydroxides contained in the relaxer may slightly discolor your hair. Also, alkaline compounds in the relaxer open the cuticles and make hair dull and porous.
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