How young is too young for a relaxer?
A relaxer is composed of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), a very harsh chemical treatment. Even a no lye relaxer is still made of potassium hydroxide (KOH), a harsh chemical. It must be applied with gloves and often technicians wear masks for the damage that could be done to the skin and over time the fumes can cause damage to the lungs. This is not said to scare you, but to let you know that relaxer is serious business. Some relaxer brands have beautiful pictures of little girls that make you feel that a relaxer is harmless and innocent. But it is still a chemical treatment.
Make relaxers a last option.
Things to keep in mind when choosing when/if to relax your little girl’s hair:
- Relaxer is a chemical, which can cause a lot of harm if not handled properly.
- It is very important to make sure that all chemicals are applied by a licensed professional.
- Licensed professional must be trained in proper rinsing techniques for all variations of kinky hair to ensure there are not trace amounts of relaxer left on the hair and scalp.
- The towel should be changed after the relaxer is applied, before and after rinsing before shampoo is applied.
- If trace amounts are left on the scalp the relaxer will dissolve the hair.
Be a Proactive Parent!
Knowing this, make a choice as to when/if you want your child’s hair relaxed and make sure you do your homework on the professional that will be applying it, ensuring that you pay attention during the whole process. Please do not leave your child with the professional because your child might not be comfortable enough to report if her scalp is burning*, tingling, or if anything else out of order is happening.
*Relaxer should not burn a healthy scalp when applied correctly. Burning is not normal unless the scalp is damaged.
- How often
Children that have relaxers should get them no sooner than every 10-12 weeks and longer in cases where new growth can be managed.
- Potential Damage
With any chemical, if applied incorrectly you can have damage. Scabs in the scalp are not normal, although they are accepted as a common result of relaxer application.
- Managing new growth
When it is getting close to time for another relaxer, you may get frustrated with her hair. Make sure that you are patient and calm. Choose a style option that you can maintain during this time. Above everything try to stay patient, frustration can cause the worst damage. Your support products will particularly help you during this phase. Use your New Growth Management Program and call one of our consultants if you need any free counseling.