Even though relaxers have; sodium hydroxide, guanidine hydroxide, ammonium thioglycolate, lithium hydroxide, or calcium hydroxide as the active ingredient, most box relaxers contain calcium hydroxide. Now, there are a few reasons box perms should not be a part of the African American women’s hair care routine.
One reason is, with frequent usage the calcium in these relaxers will coat your hair. This coating will seal your locks and won’t allow moisture inside, which is very bad news; especially if you are getting a relaxer and your hair is naturally coarse (coarse hair has a tendency to be drier by nature, which makes this twice as bad).
Once the hair is coated it will need to be stripped down to moisturize and revive your locks. Using relaxers, out of the box, will eventually lead to your hair developing a reddish ‘tint’, without ever having color or highlights. The reason this happens is because your locks are getting so dry, the color is starting to lift. People may think they have some kind of natural highlights (they probably believe this is due to the sun) but the truth is this is not the case.
Depending on the texture of your hair, and its condition, anything that dries your mane out will make it weak, brittle, and extremely prone to breakage.
Even though box relaxers have pictures of children, I STRONGLY suggest parents avoid them at all costs.
Relaxing a child’s head that has not gone through adolescence does have immediate and long term consequences.
Because children haven’t gone through puberty, their bodies (and skin) are still developing and as a result they become more likely to have skin and scalp issues over the long run.
When this happens, instead of addressing and correcting the issues at hand, many people turn to cosmetic enhancements and unfortunately, any unresolved issues they have over time get worse.
Finally, the fact that companies retail chemicals over the counter at wholesale prices is VERY misleading.
It gives the public the idea that the entire process of applying chemicals to an adult or a child’s head is so simple and easy, it can be done from the comfort of your own home, without the presence of a professional.
It makes people believe that there are no, or very little, consequences for relaxing hair at home, when the truth is the earlier you start using chemicals on children, the worse the long term effects.
The problems that can occur from misuse or long term usage can be extreme. Skin and scalp issues mean more visits to the dermatologist, fake hair in the form of weave, or wigs and not to mention the almost irreversible damage that can occur from self esteem issues.