Beauty & Fashion

Are Hair Relaxers Safe? 5 Things All Moms Should Know

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As a mom, juggling between daily chores and personal grooming can be hard. If you’re contemplating using hair relaxers to ease up your hair care regimen or considering it for your kids, it’s crucial to understand the basics, benefits, and potential risks associated with them. 

From understanding what hair relaxers are and how they work to knowing how to use them more safely, we’ve gathered some important insights just for you. Let’s dive deep into unraveling the world of hair relaxers while aiming for healthier tresses that don’t break or dry out.


5 Things All Moms Should Know About Hair Relaxers

Before using any products on your hair or body, you should take the initiative and do your own research. Hair relaxers and straighteners can be very dangerous if they aren’t used correctly.

1. What Exactly Are Hair Relaxers, and How Do They Work? 

Hair relaxers are chemical treatments that reduce the natural curl pattern of your hair by breaking down hair follicles. Essentially, they change the structure of your hair. They work by penetrating the outer layer of your hair strands and restructuring the part that makes it curly. 

This is achieved using strong alkaline chemical ingredients such as sodium hydroxide or lye, but some formulas use milder agents like ammonium thioglycolate, which can be gentler on the scalp and hair. Chemically treated hair needs special care in order not to damage it further.

2. Common Non-Fatal Risks of Using Hair Relaxers

The use of chemical hair relaxers can result in a high percentage of adverse effects, according to a study in the National Library of Medicine. These effects include but aren’t limited to frizzy hair, dandruff, hair loss, thinning and weakening of hair, graying of hair, and split ends. 

3. Chemical Hair Relaxers Have Been Linked to Uterine Cancer

A recent study has linked hair straightening chemicals with a higher risk of uterine cancer. Black women who use chemical hair relaxers are at a higher risk of uterine cancer, as they’re the demographic that uses these products the most. However, every demographic is at risk.

If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer and have used chemical hair relaxers, you may be able to join a hair relaxers lawsuit, whether you used L’Oreal products or another hair strengthening or relaxing product. Although there are risks involved with using hair relaxers, it is possible to use them safely by choosing the right type of relaxer and using it correctly.

4. Not All Hair Relaxers are As Dangerous As Others

Chemical hair relaxers often contain lye, which is a highly corrosive substance that can cause cancer, especially after prolonged use or misuse. Although lye-based relaxers are powerful and effective for oily hair, there are other types available that may be safer to use. 

  • Calcium hydroxide is better for sensitive scalps but can dry out hair if left on too long. 
  • Ammonium thioglycolate is a good option for curly hair and has fewer side effects. Guanidine carbonate is a no-lye relaxer that is considered the safest but is weaker. 

It is recommended to explore these alternatives and follow safe usage practices when using hair relaxers. Misuse could cause many of the non-fatal risks or increase your risk of cancer.

5. It’s Possible to Use Hair Relaxers More Safely

Even though using hair relaxers comes with risks, there are ways to make it safer. Firstly, ensure you have healthy, undamaged hair before attempting any chemical treatments. If your hair is damaged or dry, adding a relaxer may exacerbate any existing issues. 

Secondly, always do a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities to the product. Lastly, never leave a relaxer on longer than directed, and always follow up with a neutralizing shampoo and deep conditioning treatment. This way, you can avoid potential harm.

In Conclusion… 

Whether the smooth, easy-to-manage look of relaxed hair is right for you or not, be confident that you’re equipped to make the best decision for your (or your child’s) unique hairstyle needs. For any more concerns or questions, always consider consulting a professional hairstylist.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

15 thoughts on “Are Hair Relaxers Safe? 5 Things All Moms Should Know

  • Haven’t researched much on it, but like the above commenter said regarding uterine cancer – I saw that video and I think it’s actually not a good thing…

  • I don’t like knowing that they are related to uterine cancer…. that would make me want to keep my hair natural…. and natural is beautiful! I am getting more and more grey’s myself and it feels like I have to color my hair constantly which I do not love either……

  • I have straight hair so I haven’t tried relaxers or straighteners. But thank you for sharing these tips.

  • I love to use only hair masks for my hair. But my daughter loves to experiment new treatments. So I prefer to be informed about everything new!

  • I really enjoyed reading this post and I found it to be very informative.

  • Your article on hair relaxers is incredibly informative for moms. It covers the essentials, raising awareness about safety concerns. A must-read, it empowers moms with knowledge to make informed choices for their kids. Thanks for sharing such valuable insights!

  • Your article on hair relaxers is incredibly informative for moms. It covers the essentials, raising awareness about safety concerns. A must-read, it empowers moms with knowledge to make informed choices for their kids. Thanks for sharing such valuable insights!

  • I don’t use this type of product in my hair. I would stay clear of them. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • I used to have my hair straightened but I hated the damage it did to my hair. And I prefer not to use chemicals anymore.

  • I don’t really know much about hair relaxers as I’ve never used them before. This was a very informative read. It’s helpful to know that some options are not as dangerous but having read this I won’t be using them. Thanks for the advice x

  • As a mom, it’s vital to stay informed about the products we use on ourselves and our children. Your detailed insights on what hair relaxers are, how they work, and the potential risks associated with them have been incredibly enlightening.

  • I am not familiar with hair relaxers, and I didn’t know how they worked. It is nice to know the pros and cons.

  • When you have curly hair, this does sound like a good idea. I think I will be avoiding hair relaxers.

  • I haven’t tried it yet, but I have heard of them. Maybe I’d try a safer one in the future.

  • I occasionally use hair straighteners, but not too often. I don’t like the idea of subjecting my hair to that much chemical all the time.


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