How Do I Choose the Best No-Lye Relaxer?

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  • Written By: A. Reed
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
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  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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Thick hair that is naturally curly can be difficult to style and manage, making relaxers useful products. While lye relaxers can straighten hair, they can be harsh as the pH of the hair is significantly altered by their use. For hair that is manageable and healthy, choose a no-lye relaxer that will not only straighten your hair, but will also protect, condition, and even encourage growth. Taking your hair texture and condition into consideration is also important.

Many companies that create relaxers for the hair make the statement that their products do not contain any lye, when, in fact, they do. To be sure that you actually select a no-lye relaxer, check for those that have a mixing step requiring where the activator must be stirred by hand with the cream relaxer. Another way to make sure that you are getting a no-lye relaxer is to read the label and be cautious for the term sodium hydroxide, as this tells you the product does contain lye.​


When choosing the best no-lye relaxer, it is important to get a product that is healthy for hair. Lots of products straighten the hair well, but leave it dehydrated and prone to breakage due to mineral residue. Hair that has been chemically processed with no-lye straightening products can be damaged very easily, so it is necessary to get a relaxer that will include a deep conditioning process to replace the moisture that is lost during the process. Several hair relaxers do come fortified with honey and shea butter for the purpose of conditioning and re-moisturizing the hair. Calcium and guanidine hydroxide relaxers are often enriched with olive oil, as it contains strengthening properties that helps the hair to grow.

Nobody's hair texture is the same. Your hair type is essential to think about when trying to choose which sort of no-lye relaxer is best for you. This helps to ensure that the product is effective; otherwise the relaxer won't straighten your hair and it will become damaged. In the event that you have hair that is very thick and course, select the product for that type of hair which will usually be the most potent formula available from a specific brand. Some products are designed specifically for scalps that are sensitive, but it is usually recommended by hair specialists to keep away from using chemicals of any kind if the scalp is irritated or if hair is breaking off.​

Individuals who have been professionally trained and licensed in cosmetology can give you recommendations for the best products available for your hair type. These people are experienced and tend to have used a wide selection of hair care products, including no-lye hair relaxers. Although a number of the best no-lye relaxers are available for a safe, do-it-yourself application, to get the ideal outcome from the product, you should have a professional apply the relaxer for you.


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Post 3

@ysmina-- I agree, no-lye relaxer with silk amino acids is great. I also like one that contains shea butter. It's less irritating on my scalp.

Post 2

@literally45-- Residue and dullness is very common with calcium and guanidine hydroxide relaxers. I recommend getting a no-lye relaxer kit with a decalcifying shampoo in it. Or you can buy a decalcifying shampoo separately and use it periodically to remove the calcium buildup in your hair.

And keep using no-lye relaxers with lots of moisturizers and natural oils. No-lye relaxers might be milder than some lye relaxers, but they're still very drying. So use a kit with as many moisturizing ingredients as possible to reduce damage. I personally use a no-lye relaxer with natural oils and silk amino acids. Silk amino acids are great. They make hair super soft.

Post 1

I've noticed that after several months of using a no-lye relaxer, I get a white residue in my hair. My hair becomes very dull and dry.

My relaxer does contain natural oils, but this doesn't seem to be enough. What type of no-lye relaxer do I need to prevent these issues?

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