The Best Relaxer For Black Hair – Our Top 10 Picks

relaxer for black hair header

Best Relaxer For Black Hair

If you’ve got kinks or curls you might have considered relaxing your hair to experience the feeling of silky,  smooth, straightness.

You can relax your hair at a salon, or do it yourself at home.

Choosing a good relaxer is the starting point.  But you’ll also need a good hair care routine to maximize results.

To help you out we’ve compiled everything you’ll need to choose the best relaxer for black hair and and to make sure it looks amazing for ages.

 

The Best Relaxer For Black Hair Right Now

For a full review of the top ten products keep reading.  For those in a rush, here are three of the best options right now:

Preview
Great Value
SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer - Super
Highly Recommended
ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit (Pack of 1)
Our Top Pick
Optimum Care by SoftSheen Carson Care Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer, Regular Strength for Normal Hair Textures, Optimum Salon Haircare, Hair Relaxer with Coconut Oil, 1 Kit
Product
SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer - Super
ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit (Pack of 1)
Optimum Care by SoftSheen Carson Care Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer, Regular Strength for Normal Hair Textures, Optimum Salon Haircare, Hair Relaxer with Coconut Oil, 1 Kit
Rating
Price
$5.58
$9.99
$6.87
Great Value
Preview
SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer - Super
Product
SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer - Super
Rating
Price
$5.58
Highly Recommended
Preview
ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit (Pack of 1)
Product
ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit (Pack of 1)
Rating
Price
$9.99
Our Top Pick
Preview
Optimum Care by SoftSheen Carson Care Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer, Regular Strength for Normal Hair Textures, Optimum Salon Haircare, Hair Relaxer with Coconut Oil, 1 Kit
Product
Optimum Care by SoftSheen Carson Care Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer, Regular Strength for Normal Hair Textures, Optimum Salon Haircare, Hair Relaxer with Coconut Oil, 1 Kit
Rating
Price
$6.87

 

Types Of Hair Relaxers

Before we get into our favorite products, let’s take a quick look at the two main types of hair relaxer:

 

Lye Or Sodium Hydroxide Relaxers

best relaxer for black hairLye relaxers are the most common types of hair relaxers on the market and their main component is sodium hydroxide.

Lye relaxers break down your hair’s natural bonds to make the whole relaxation procedure super quick.

They’re are also known to rinse out quickly, leaving hair clean if paired with a good quality neutralizing shampoo.

These relaxers are best suited to curly, wavy or coily hair.

They contain strong chemicals that can damage your hair and scalp if not used probably, so exercise caution if using.

Unless you’re a professional, you’re better off with a no-lye product.

 

No-Lye Or Calcium Hydroxide Relaxers

No-Lye RelaxerThe main component of no-lye relaxers is calcium hydroxide which makes them ideal for those with sensitive scalps.

A few no-lye relaxers contain lithium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide as their main component.

These relaxers typically have a lower pH level than lye relaxers which make them popular with those who wish to relax their hair themselves at home.

Like lye relaxers, no-lye relaxers too work very well on wavy, curly or coily hair.

What you have to watch out for with no lye relaxers is that they can quickly dry out dry hair types.

This is due to the unintentional calcium build up these relaxers tend to cause on your scalp.

This build up can be treated with clarifying shampoos followed by a deep conditioning treatment once a month.

 

Our Top Ten Picks

This section started off as a top ten review, but we found three more products we like so it’s now a list of 13 great relaxers for black.  Here are the pros and cons of each:

Best All Round Option

1. Optimum Care by SoftSheen Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Optimum Care by SoftSheen Carson Care Defy Breakage No-lye RelaxerThis Optimum Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer by SoftSheen is suited to normal hair textures to provide professional grade results.

It includes a conditioning relaxer cream, activator, neutralizing shampoo, reconstructore treatment, leave-in strengthener and whipped oil moisturizer that you can use for either one application or two retouches.

This formula has a unique and trusted dual strength complex that combines Ceramides R and Ionone G to help reduce hair breakage by 90% after just one use.

It contains coconut oil to help keep your hair nourished and moisturized both before and after relaxing.

We love that this relaxer focuses on reducing hair breakage as this is a major concern post relaxation, especially for black hair.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It reduces hair breakage
  • It leaves hair with a smooth, silky texture
  • It’s quite strong and well suited to black hair
  • The application process is very easy
  • It doesn’t leave any filmy or greasy residue

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It can cause very dry hair to go a little stiff immediately after application

Optimum Care by SoftSheen Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer is an ideal relaxer for black hair with its strong formula that specializes in reducing hair breakage.  It’s the best-seller and a fan’s favorite.

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Runner Up

2. ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

ORS Olive Oil Zone RelaxerORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit contains a crème relaxer base and a crème relaxer activator.

This product is a zone relaxer in the sense that it’s not meant to cover your whole head, just small sections of it which makes it an ideal product for touch ups.

You can use this relaxer for the edges, the back of your head, or any other sections to blend in with your hairstyle.

As the name suggests, this relaxer is enriched with olive oil to help protect your hair from damage during the relaxing process.

The olive oil also leaves your hair softer, silkier and shinier.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It has a smooth, thick consistency that makes it easy to apply
  • It’s the perfect quantity for a touch up
  • It leaves hair with a lovely scent
  • It leaves hair feeling silky smooth
  • It works very well on sensitive and extra-sensitive skin

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • Contrary to what the instructions say, it takes about 10 minutes to take effect

ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit is the perfect product for a quick touch up and slightly bigger jobs.  It’s a quality product that provides your hair with a great finish.  It’s also very easy to use.  Highly recommended.

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Best Value Option

3. SoftSheen Carson Dark & Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture No-Lye Relaxer – Super

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

SoftSheen-Carson Dark and LovelyUnlucky not to take top spot SoftSheen Carson Dark & Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture relaxer is designed to preserve and enhance the five key signs of healthy hair: strength, shine, moisture, softness and body.

The inclusion of jojoba oil, avocado oil and shea butter in this formula makes it suitable for coarse hair as these ingredients naturally improve your hair’s texture and volume.

This relaxer is enriched with proteins to help enhance your hair’s inherent strength.

And the addition of silk keratin serum adds body and definition to your hair.

With the help of this  unique, enriching formula, you’ll be able to maintain your relaxed hair without frequent  trips to the salon.

For optimal results, we recommend you follow the instructions very carefully.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It makes coarse hair more manageable
  • It contains some great natural ingredients
  • It works well on coloured hair as well
  • The protein and keratin noticeably add definition to hair
  • It moisturizes hair very well

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It can leave hair feeling a little too stiff if not used correctly

SoftSheen Carson Dark & Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture relaxer is a great product that can make even the most stubbornly coarse hair silky and manageable.  It’s very well priced too.  Go for it!

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4. ORS Olive Oil Built-In Protection No-Lye Hair Relaxer

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

ors olive oil no-lye hair relaxer extra strengthORS Olive Oil Built-In Protection No-Lye Hair Relaxer is specially designed to condition your hair deeply while also protecting it from damage during the relaxing process.

This relaxer works best on coarse or generally resistant, kinky hair types.

All the products in this application kit are enriched with olive oil to leave your hair softer, silkier and shinier after one use.

The olive oil also adds loads of moisture to your hair, regardless of how dry it is.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It works very well on making coarse hair softer
  • It adds volume to limp hair
  • This formula works very gently on both hair and scalp
  • The effects of this relaxer are long-lasting
  • It makes hair appear healthier and shinier

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It dries out hair if not used along with conditioner

ORS Olive Oil Built-In Protection No-Lye Hair Relaxer carefully relaxes your hair while simultaneously protecting it from the strain of the whole relaxation process.

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5. ORS Olive Oil Professional Crème Relaxer Extra Strength

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

ors olive oil professional creme relaxerORS Olive Oil Professional Crème Relaxer is enriched with olive oil and lanolin to provide your hair with controlled, gentle straightening.

The highlight of this product is how smooth and manageable it can make even the most stubborn, unmanageable hair.

This extra strength formula in particular works wonders for coarse or resistant hair types.

Make sure you don’t shampoo your hair before using this product or you might end up burning your scalp a little.

Also, we recommend using the neutralizing shampoo after you’ve relaxed it as this will reduce the chances of damaging your hair.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It’s very easy to use
  • It’s quite strong and takes effect very quickly
  • It’s sufficient for about two applications
  • It makes hair silkier
  • It works well in all weather conditions, even extremely humid climates

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • You have to be very careful while using it on fine hair
  • It can leave oily hair feeling a little greasy

ORS Olive Oil Professional Crème Relaxer Extra Strength is a simple formula that relaxes hair very efficiently and is easy to use.  We wouldn’t recommend it for very oily hair though.

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6. Motions Classic Formula Hair Relaxer Mild

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Motions Classic Formula Hair RelaxerMotions Classic Formula Hair Relaxer Mild is designed for non-resistant, medium-textured, normal hair to add condition while relaxing it.

This formula contains cationic conditioners that lock onto each hair strand to keep it hydrated and protected during the relaxing process.

We don’t recommend you use this relaxer on bleached, permanently coloured or extremely damaged hair as it doesn’t react too well to these.

For everyone else; in a few easy steps you’ll find your hair looking smoother, silkier and more radiant than ever.

However, we think this formula is best-suited for professional use.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It takes effect fairly quickly, within a few minutes
  • It’s nicely packaged
  • It’s gentle and doesn’t dry out hair
  • It’s easily affordable
  • It adds healthy volume and bounce to hair

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It doesn’t work very well on extremely coarse hair types

Motions Classic Formula Hair Relaxer Mild is an affordable product that’s effective on most black hair types.  It’s not the greatest if you have rough or coarse hair though.

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7. Linange Alter Ego Shea Butter Cream Relaxer

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

linange alter ego shea butter cream relaxerLinange Alter Ego Shea Butter Cream Relaxer is a smooth formula that glides over your hair easily to hydrate it while relaxing it.

The addition of shea butter in this relaxer is what gives it a rich, creamy consistency that you’ll instantly fall in love with.

You can use this relaxer on any hair type to achieve impressive results.

This relaxer comes in a 16 ounce jar providing enough for several applications.

We recommend that you don’t shampoo your hair before application of this relaxer, particularly if you have a sensitive scalp or damaged hair.

Also, make sure you use the neutralizing conditioner to restore moisture and hydration to your hair post relaxation.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It’s very easy to use
  • It lasts for about 12 weeks
  • It leaves hair feeling strong, healthy and voluminous
  • It also leaves hair feeling very moisturized
  • It doesn’t leave hair feeling coarse or stiff, as many relaxers do

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • The packaging is a bit fragile and not ideal for traveling

Linange Alter Ego Shea Butter Cream Relaxer is a great value buy that lasts a long time.  Aside from the poor packaging, we don’t have any complaints about this highly effective relaxer.

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8. Avlon Affirm Fiberguard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Avlon Affirm Fiberguard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer KitAvlon Affirm Fiberguard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer is created with Avlon’s fibre strengthening complex to maintain your hair’s texture while relaxing it.

The relaxing crème in this formula contains strengthening polymers that penetrate your hair fiber to leave your hair with more tensile strength and elasticity post relaxation.

This is a great feature of this relaxer, however we’re even more impressed with how well it protects your hair during the harsh relaxation process.

It can restore shine and moisture to even the most dull, lifeless hair types.

You can even use this relaxer on damaged or colour-treated hair for great results.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It’s very gentle on sensitive scalps
  • It leaves hair looking healthy and radiant
  • It makes hair silky and easy to comb through
  • It’s easy to use and has a very subtle, pleasant scent
  • It lasts for about seven weeks between applications

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It may cause thin/fine hair to shed
  • It’s a bit on the pricey side

Avlon Affirm Fiberguard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer is an impressive formula that offers professional-grade results from the comfort of your home.  It may be more expensive than similar relaxers on the market but we believe its great features justify the price tag.

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9. Nairobi Replenishing Hair Relaxer Plus Formula

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Nairobi Replenishing Hair Relaxer Plus FormulaNairobi Replenishing Hair Relaxer Plus Formula is designed specifically for stubborn, coarse or resistant hair.

This relaxer contains natural humectants which help to replace your hair’s natural oils, moisture and proteins.

During the relaxation process, your hair tends to lose many of its essential oils which this relaxer goes on to replenish.

You’ll find this relaxer takes effect fairly quickly and relaxes your hair smoothly and evenly.

It also washes off very quickly and easily and can be used on any and all hair types.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It’s a gentle formula that works well on sensitive scalps
  • It straightens hair effectively
  • It offers salon-like results
  • The effects last for over six weeks
  • It leaves even extremely dry hair feeling soft and moisturized

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It’s quite pricey

Nairobi Replenishing Hair Relaxer Plus Formula is a super-effective, professional formula that works better than almost any other relaxer on the shelves.

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10. Hawaiian Silky No Base Relaxer

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Hawaiian Silky no base relaxerHawaiian Silky No Base Relaxer is designed to provide your hair with a silky smooth sheen upon relaxation, and it does exactly that and more.

This relaxer contains lithium hydroxide which works on your hair rather differently than most of the other relaxers out there that contain sodium hydroxide.

It also contains jojoba oil and mink oil that help restore moisture and softness to your hair as they are often depleted by the relaxation process.

In addition, these oils blended with the relaxer crème coat your scalp and effectively form a protective layer over it to help prevent burning and irritation.

This product works particularly well on medium, coarse and dry hair.

Things we Like About This Product

  • It makes hair appear instantly silkier
  • It doesn’t burn hair or scalp
  • It contains natural oils that aid healthy hair growth
  • It leaves hair smelling sweet and fresh
  • It takes effect quickly (within 8 – 10 minutes)

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • The packaging isn’t great
  • It doesn’t react well to color–treated hair

Hawaiian Silky No Base Relaxer is an affordable product that works very well on coarse black hair and is definitely worth a try.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s very gentle on your hair either, athough we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for those with bleached or colored hair.

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11. Gentle Treatment Relaxer For Grey No-Lye Kit

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Gentle Treatment Relaxer for GreyThis leading Gentle Treatment Relaxer For Grey No-Lye Kit treats your hair gently (just as the name suggests) and enriches it with special proteins.

This relaxer helps maintain your hair’s natural, silvery glow with the help of its Yellow -Out formula that is infused with gentle aloe vera.

The aloe vera also ensures that your hair receives the moisture that it requires post relaxation, especially for wiry, thin grey strands.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It’s easy to use and quite affordable
  • It relaxes hair with great results
  • It’s gentle and works well on ageing hair
  • The kit includes conditioners that moisture hair effectively
  • It makes naturally grey hair shiny, straight and silky

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • The scent is not appealing to everyone
  • It’s a little on the costly side

This Gentle Treatment Relaxer For Grey No-Lye Kit is an effective formula for grey natural, grey hair and is very easy to use.  The price however, may make it slightly less accessible for some.

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12. SoftSheen Carson Precise No-Lye Supreme Relaxer

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Softsheen Carson Precise No-Lye Supreme RelaxerSoftSheen Carson’s Precise No-Lye Supreme Relaxer is carefully designed to relax your hair, smooth it, remedy any damage and tame fly-away strands.

It conditions your hair simultaneously during the relaxation process, which is why we’d recommend it for dry or very dry hair types.

This conditioning formula can be very effective as it binds itself to individual hair fibers and hydrates them.

As it doesn’t contain sodium-hydroxide it’s less likely to irritate your scalp than those that do.

We recommend you follow the instruction carefully on this one as the amount of time it takes to relax hair varies according to hair type.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It offers great, effective relaxation
  • It’s easily affordable
  • The effects of the relaxer are fairly long lasting
  • It’s gentle and doesn’t burn sensitive scalp or damaged hair
  • It leaves hair silky and tangle free

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • The kit doesn’t contain any neutralizing shampoo or conditioner

SoftSheen Carson’s Precise No-Lye Supreme Relaxer works very effectively in terms of relaxing, conditioning and taming frizzy, curly or coarse hair.  However, we wish this kit contained a shampoo and conditioner like most other relaxing kits do.

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13. TCB No Base Hair Relaxer Crème

Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

TCB No Base Hair Relaxer CremeTCB No Base Hair Relaxer Crème contains DNA proteins as well as natural oils that effectively strengthen and protect your hair while relaxing it.

If you want hair that’s not only straight but also easily manageable, we recommend you give this relaxer a shot.

It not only straightens your hair very quickly, it also adds noticeable body, volume and shine to it.

What’s great about this product is that it works equally well on all hair types: natural, texturized, colored or permed.

However, our favorite feature  is that it’s a no base crème, meaning it doesn’t need to be mixed with an activator to take effect.

Things We Like About This Product

  • It relaxes hair very quickly (roughly five minutes)
  • It’s gentle on damaged hair
  • It gets rids of knots and tangles
  • It works on all hair types, especially damaged hair
  • It contains natural oils that help condition and moisture hair

Things We Don’t Like About This Product

  • It’s scent is not for everyone
  • It can dry out dry hair even more

TCB No Base Hair Relaxer Crème is a strong relaxer that is very easy to use and easier to stick to once you’ve tried it out.  While we’re not too impressed with the scent, it washes off easily enough.

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So, What’s The Best Relaxer For Black Hair Then?

After a through review, our pick for the best relaxer for black hair is SoftSheen’s Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer

Runner up was the ORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit.

And best value option was and SoftSheen’s Dark & Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 Shea Moisture Relaxer.

Our Top Pick

gold medalSoftSheen’s Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer is suited to all types of natural hair and can be used for either one application or two retouches – depending on the length of your hair.

This relaxer is formulated using a dual strength complex and coconut oil that is sure to moisturize your hair both during and after the relaxation process – a seriously important feature.

This relaxer may not be suitable for very sensitive scalps but we’d strongly recommend it for all other normal hair types as it reduces hair breakage during the whole relaxation process.

Runner Up

silver medalORS Olive Oil Zone Relaxer Kit – just like the name suggests – is meant to relax only sections of your hair and not your whole head.

This product is mainly used for touch ups and we’re a fan of the addition of olive oil in this formula – a great natural hair care ingredient all around.

Even though the effects of this relaxer don’t last very long (a little over a week), we’re still impressed by how effective and easy to use it is.

You may also want to take note of the fact that this is a very gentle product and works well on sensitive and extra – sensitive scalps.

Great Value

bronze medalSoftSheen – Carson Dark & Lovely Healthy – Gloss 5 Shea Moisture Relaxer is meant to enhance the 5 main signs of healthy hair with its rich formula that contains jojoba oil, avocado oil and shea butter.

This formula also contains proteins and silk keratin that help bring out the natural silkiness and shine in your hair and we can say it achieves this successfully.

This product can make even the most stubborn, curly, coarse hair more manageable and for the price it retails at, we’re on board all the way!

 

Things To Consider

magnifying glassLet us now take a look at a few tips and tricks that you’d want to make use of before, during,and after relaxing your hair:

Take Protective Measures

While it may be true that no-lye relaxers are generally milder and less harmful than lye relaxers, they can still cause a lot of damage to unprotected hair or scalp.

Apart from you hair / scalp, hair relaxers can also damage any areas of your skin that could come into contact with them such as your ears or neck.

Most hair relaxing kits include petroleum jelly as a protectant though not all do.

So if you do have petroleum jelly (a simple drugstore jelly will do), make sure you apply some on the aforementioned areas before you commence the relaxation process.

 

Follow The Product Instructions

instructionsOne of the most careless things you can do when it comes to relaxing your hair at home is to skip out on reading the instructions mentioned on your kit.

All types of hair relaxers contain fairly strong chemicals that can cause sustained damage to your hair / scalp if not used properly.

These instructions can range from simple (use your fingers not a comb to spread the relaxer) to specific (never skimp on using a neutralizing shampoo post relaxation).

Another instruction most relaxing kits mention is that you shouldn’t shampoo your hair before you relax it as this can damage / dry out your hair.

Besides using a neutralizing shampoo post relaxation, you’d also want to make sure you wash your hair thoroughly.

Also – and we cannot stress this enough – pay close attention to the processing time mentioned on your kit and do not exceed it no matter what.

Doing so can (and often does!) cause irreversible damage to your hair.

 

Wash Your Hair Properly

how to wash relaxed black hairWe don’t just mean immediately after you relax it but in the weeks following the relaxation as well.

Relaxed hair, particularly relaxed Black hair, tends to be more sensitive and susceptible to damage and breakage than natural hair.

So, instead of using shampoo, which can be too harsh on the hair, we’d recommend you use conditioner to wash your hair and keep it moisturized.

Make sure you spread the conditioner evenly and gently through your hair, coating it from the roots to the ends.

Keep it on for as long as you normally would (3 – 5 minutes) and rinse off thoroughly.

If you’d rather use shampoo than conditioner though, ensure you opt for a shampoo that has natural ingredients and is free from any sulphates or parabens.

These harsh ingredients tend to strip your hair of its’ natural oils and leave it more vulnerable to breakage.

Check out this article for a list of the best shampoos for relaxed hair.

 

Deep Condition Your Hair

relaxer for black hairRelaxed hair requires extra care as it dries out quickly and can go from a sleek, silky curtain of soft hair to frizzy mess really quickly.

Due to this, we’d recommend you use a deep conditioning treatment at least once or twice a week to keep your hair in ship shape.

A deep condition treatment could be any treatment involving a nourishing hot oil massage (using coconut, olive, argan oil etc.)

You can use a deep conditioner on either wet or damp hair and should ideally leave it on for about 15 – 45 minutes.

If you want an intense, deeply penetrating hair treatment, consider putting on a shower cap and sitting under your hair dryer for a few minutes.

The heat will greatly help the conditioner penetrate your hair / scalp and infuse it with all the nourishment it needs.

 

Use Natural Hair Products

coconut oilAny hair care product that contains sulfate, paraben or alcohol is bad news anyway but even more so with relaxed hair.

These products effectively strip your hair of its natural oils and sebum which leads to a dry hair and scalp.

You’d also want to avoid products that contain petroleum or its derivatives as these too, can damage your hair with consistent use over time.

Naturally, this will especially affect dry hair types and cause them to dry out further, prompting more attention to hair care.

You’d be doing your hair a huge favour by using products that contain natural, organic ingredients that not only make your hair look and feel great immediately after you use them but also aid healthy and consistent hair growth in the long run.

Products that contain coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, olive oil or shea butter are best – suited to African hair types.

 

Be Gentle With Relaxed Hair

black woman smilingThe whole process of hair relaxation makes your hair follicles more fragile, leaving it vulnerable to sustained damage over time.

Relaxed hair should therefore be treated with extra gentleness than normal hair if you want to make the relaxed effect last for as long as possible.

You’ll need to be careful with your hair before, during and after the relaxation process, though mainly after.

Remember to comb through your hair carefully so as to avoid breakage.

A good tip to remember is to detangle your hair working your way from the bottom to the top, as this prevents the knots from clustering towards the ends of your hair.

Also, makes sure you use a wide – tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair, particularly after you wash it.

Besides being gentle with your hair during the detangling process, also remember to wrap your hair in a silk scarf or use a pillowcase to minimise friction with your hair while you sleep.

The friction a cotton pillowcase can cause against your hair can greatly contribute towards the knots and tangles you’ll have to battle with in the morning.

You can also check out the following video for some basic Do’s and Don’ts regarding the hair relaxation process:

 

FAQs

q & aQ – How Do I Choose The Right Relaxer For My Hair?

A – We’ve already covered the main types of hair relaxers in an earlier section to help you choose the right one for your hair but we’ll have a quick recap here.

If you have hair that’s curly, wavy or coily you’d be better off using a lye relaxer (though we must warn you these have the harshest chemical compositions).

Again, if you have curly, wavy or coily hair you could use a non – lye relaxer instead but the catch here is that these relaxers are extremely drying and not suitable at all for dry hair types.

Lastly, thio relaxers are not usually the strongest formulas and so they are effectively on mostly only wavy, thin or loosely curly hair.

 

Q – Do Relaxers Dry Out The Hair?

A – A very common fear among those who wish to relax black hair is whether or not their hair will become wiry and dry after they do so.

Now, any chemical procedure, be it regular hair dyeing or a more complex hair relaxation process, has the ability to dry out your hair if not applied properly.

Not only that, the relaxation process can seriously dry out/damage your scalp too if you’re not careful enough.

Hair relaxation is a process during which you alter the physical structure of your hair and without adequate neutralizing measures and regular, deep conditioning treatments, you can’t hope to have a healthy head of relaxed hair in the long run.

 

Q – Is It Difficult To Relax Hair At Home?

A – Absolutely not! Relaxing hair by yourself at home is an easy, even fun process.

Like all chemical treatments, hair relaxation be a little tricky, sure but that doesn’t mean it’s a difficult or demanding process.

We’d recommend you go through all instructions mentioned on your relaxation kit carefully and thoroughly before you use it.

Most of these kits will ask you to do a strand test first (along with directions on how to do it) to check how your hair reacts to the product.

Make sure you don’t skip out on this step as it could potentially save your hair from severe damage.

Relaxing kits also generally contain neutralizing shampoos and conditioners with directions on how to use them so watch out for these.

 

Q – Can I Use My Regular Shampoo Post Relaxation?

A – No. You must always, always clean your hair with a neutralizing shampoo after you’re done relaxing it.

Almost every good relaxing kit includes a relaxing shampoo so don’t worry, you won’t have to go hunting for one.

A neutralizing shampoo not only cleanses all traces of the relaxing agents from your hair and scalp but also helps restore your hair to its normal pH level.

Most relaxers have a very high pH level which means they have a high alkaline concentration which can severely damage your hair.

Furthermore, neutralizing shampoos close your hair cuticles that open up during the relaxation process.

 

Q – How Often Should I Relax My Hair?

A – While this really has no concrete answer the amount of time most people take in between hair relaxing sessions is about 8 weeks.

Again, this depends on how fast your hair grows, etc.

It’s generally recommended that you let your hair grow at least by one inch before you consider retouching or relaxing it again.

This period of waiting could range from those with slow hair growth (6 weeks) to those with healthy hair growth (8 weeks).

 

Best Brands

Here are a few brands that are considered to be the best in the industry, and worthy of recommendation:

 

SoftSheen

SoftSheen has been in the beauty business for over 110 years and has been providing tailor-made products and services that cater to African skin and hair types.

By developing formulas that are both innovative and unique, their commitment towards providing their loyal consumer base with the highest quality, safest and most effective products is truly commendable.

They also have a memorable yet simple brand motto: ‘We believe in beauty without compromise.’

 

Nairobi Professional

Even though they’re a relatively new brand that has only a little over 20 years of experience in the hair care industry, Nairobi Professional has a proven dedication to excellence that shows in all their salon – quality products.

Every product from this brand is tested by a licensed hair stylist and not on animals to ensure a cruelty – free product reaches you that also has a 100% hair satisfaction guarantee.

 

TCB Naturals

Established in the year 1975 as an ethnic hair care line that manufactured only 8 products, TCB Naturals is now considered one of the leading hair care brands that cater to African women.

In order to meet the growing demand for natural products designed for Black hair, this brand is committed to creating only the highest quality products from all naturally – sourced, organic ingredients.

Since 2016, TCB Naturals is being controlled by Godrej Consumer Products Limited.

 

ORS Hair Care

A leader in the ethnic hair care market, ORS Hair Care caters to both relaxed and natural hair with its innovative healing remedies.

These products have earned a reputation for themselves by not only being effective and safe to use but also for their therapeutic, restoring properties.

Their aim of revitalizing hair and scalp with the help of natural ingredients only has made them a household name in the hair care industry with a loyal consumer base.

 

Avlon Industries

Avlon Industries was founded in 1984 back when it had just one employee; today it operates in 46 countries all over the world.

Built on the foundation of professionalism and innovation, Avlon seeks inputs from professional hair stylists and hair care experts all over the world to develop effective hair solutions in their technologically advanced research centre.

Avlon is also known for its many charitable activities which includes scholarships for minority students in underprivileged activities.

 

The Best Relaxer For Black Hair – Wrapping It Up

Hopefully you’ve now got a pretty good idea about all the basic dos and don’ts regarding the whole relaxation process.

As relaxation can potentially damage your hair, it’s advisable to do your research research before you commit.

After reviewing 13 great  products in our view SoftSheen’s Care Defy Breakage No-Lye Relaxer is the best relaxer for black hair.

best relaxer for black hair

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It’s very easy to use and offers great results, making hair more manageable, and more voluminous as well.

We love how well it works on black hair types as it’s very moisturizing and contains a lot of great natural ingredients that won’t damage your hair in the long run.

It’s the best-seller by some way.

Finally, for best results, make sure you follow the instructions.

Happy relaxing! Let us know how you get on below.

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