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Hair Perming > Straightening

is just the opposite of permanent waving. The hair must be changed from a curly form to a straight one. Because it also requires a use of chemicals, this whole procedure should not be performed at home. Many relaxers contain lye (ingredient called sodium hydroxide). Lye is a very strong, harsh and dangerous chemical to work with. Use a reputable professional to relax (straighten) your hair. No-lye relaxers are gentler to the scalp and hair, but if not handled correctly they can be as damaging as lye relaxers.
As a professional I like to work with RUSK's relaxers.


Types of chemical solutions

Sodium Hydroxide Hair Relaxer
  • hair should never be shampooed prior to the relaxing, this solution contains lye

Ammonium Thioglycolate Hair Relaxer

  • hair can be shampooed prior to the relaxing, this chemical solution is very similar to a cold wave solution


Strengths of solutions:
  • Mild relaxer - for fine, tinted or lightened hair
  • Regular Relaxer - normal, medium textured virgin hair
  • Strong Relaxer - coarse virgin hair


Applying the solution and processing the hair
  • stylist should check scalp for any abrasions, perm solution could cause poisoning of a clients body through an open skin
  • stylist should drape a client very well to protect the skin and clothing
  • stylist should choose the right solution for the hair (virgin, colored, fine, highlighted etc.)
  • client's scalp (and previously relaxed hair) should be protected with a petroleum cream or jelly very well
  • stylist should start with the chemical application about 1/2 - 1 inch from the scalp
  • stylist should work in sections and very fast to avoid burning the client's scalp with a chemical
  • stylist should use a back of a comb for an application and smoothing out the waves and curls
  • on virgin hair chemical solution should be applied about 1 inch from the scalp and about 1 and 1/2 inches from the ends and then worked in closer to the scalp and ends (stylist should take great care not to burn the client)
  • retouch should be done only on the new growth of the hair
  • chemical solution should be applied on the curliest part of the hair first and then to the straightest area
  • hair should be checked continuously
  • after processing the hair it should be very well rinsed (I usually rinse hair for 15 minutes to get all the processing solution out)
  • hair should be shampooed with a NEUTRALIZING SHAMPOO for about 8-10 minutes and hair should be combed out and away from the scalp (although there are relaxers that neutralizing shampoo is not needed)
  • hair should be rinsed very well again (stylist should smell the hair all over if there is any solution smell left in the hair)
  • hair should be very gently towel dried, as any excess water would dilute the neutralizer down thus causing the curls to bounce back
  • hair should be conditioned
  • hair should be shaped (or cut) after the perm, to remove any frizzy hair and shape it according to the straight form of the hair


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