Is it better to do your relaxer at home or go to a salon?

Relaxer/”creamy crack”

For years it has been somewhat of a ritual for women to go to the beauty salon every week or at least every other week. Often times we go to get our hair fried, dyed, blow dried and flipped to the side. Many times we leave feeling our best and looking amazing, but there are plenty of times where tears occur when we get home and truly look at the final product. Whether it be the stylist cut too much hair off or the color you requested is not exactly what ended up on your head, we have all experienced the best and the worst of entering a salon and getting treatments done. But do we as women go to these salons and spend our hard earn money because we like being pampered or are we just too afraid to do our own hair at home? Treatments such as relaxers scare some women so bad they couldn’t imagine doing them at home themselves; while other women wouldn’t dare waste their money on a process they could do at home for a fraction of the cost. We are going to explore which is better to do a relaxer at home or at the salon or perhaps there isn’t really that much of a difference at all.

Relaxers where first introduced as a way to tame unruly hair over 100 years ago in the year 1877 by Garrett A. Morgan. These relaxers where not commercially produced until 1971 and these were lye relaxers. Lye relaxers are made with harsher chemicals and strip the hair of its natural moisture and cause the hair to thin and break. It wasn’t until 1981 when the first no-lye relaxer was created that people were able to use a relaxer without losing a majority of their hair to breakage and thinning. This relaxer had less harsh chemicals and does not strip the hair as quickly.

 Garrett A. Morgan

Women have been going to the salon for decades now to get their relaxers done to lay down their edges and hide their natural texture from showing. But with the invention of Garrett A. Morgan’s hair relaxing comb men and women have been straightening their hair at home for years and well before salons even carried such a product. But why have women all of the sudden taken heed to going to the salon to spend crazy amounts of money to get a process done that they could very well do at home?

Well many women believe that if they go to the salon and get this chemical relaxer with a professional that they will not have bad breakage and damaged scalps. It is true that when you go to a salon that you are supposed to be dealing with a licensed beautician that should know how to chemically treat your hair. These stylist are professional for the most part and many women have never had an issue with their relaxers being done at the salon. But for everything good there is always a flip side of bad. There are horror stories of women going to a salon to get a basic relaxer and leaving with burns in their scalps and their hair fried off. This can happen when you are dealing with a stylist that is either new, not paying attention to their process times, or using a relaxer that has been mixed up prior to your arrival and has been sitting in the open.

The best rule of thumb is that if you plan on going to a salon to get your hair done that you must make sure that you are paying attention to what your stylist is doing. If you smell the relaxer and it smells like spoiled rotten eggs then this is the number one sign that the relaxer is old and should not be placed on your head. If your stylist does not fully wash your hair out with a neutralizing shampoo and conditioner to restore the protein of the hair then you should not be going to this stylist for this process as they are not taking the proper steps to secure the health of your hair. Another thing to pay attention to is making sure that all of the relaxer is properly washed out of the hair when your stylist begins to dry your hair. If your hair feels stiff than you should stop he/she and advise them that you still feel the relaxer is still in your head. If you do not pay attention to this, then you will have after chemical burns caused by a relaxer just sitting on your scalp and this could also cause baldness over a period of time.

Relaxer damage

Doing a relaxer at home can actually be a cheaper alternative then going to the salon and paying $50-$60. Many box relaxers range from $6-$20 which is a fraction of the cost. But are you risking the health of your hair by doing this process at home? These at home “box relaxers” are only as dangerous as the person using them. In other words if you have not fully read the directions on how to apply the relaxer and wash it out then you have a high risk of burns and inflamed scalps and thinning breaking hair. Just like at the salon only you are in control of your hair in the end so you must pay attention to the process times and making sure all of the relaxer is washed out. Women choose to do their relaxers at home because they want to be in control of the final product. There are nightmare stories of women getting the relaxer in their eyes and burning their skin but this too can happen when going to the salon.

In the end it is truly up to you and how you want to spend your money. Do you want another person to apply a relaxer or would you rather do it at home? Of course there are going to be a group of women that say doing a relaxer at home is a guaranteed way to rip all the hair out of your head. But this is not true at all most relaxer horror stories involve a professional stylist and the customer not paying attention to what they are they doing. Along with the tips in this article please make sure that you pre-treat your hair before you have a relaxer. Pre-treatments include doing a protein treatment to build up the strength of your hair and making sure you do a deep condition of your hair before and after the relaxer. Flourishing Tresses Natural Hair Care Line actually has Transcender a natural conditioner that can serve as both a light protein treatment as well as a deep conditioner before and after your relaxer. Please make sure you are not over processing your hair by applying the relaxer to already relaxed hair. The best way to prevent over processing is to use Unique Fighter Serum by Flourishing Tresses on the already relaxed hair. You just need to saturate the already relaxed hair with this serum and it will protect it from the relaxer double processing it which leads to breakage. You can also add some of this serum directly to the relaxer if you want to texlax your hair. Texlaxing is when you just want to tame your curls but you don’t want to straighten them completely. This process can make the hair a little bit more manageable without destroying your natural texture.

If you have any other questions or concerns please leave us a comment or email us at Also don’t forget to get your natural hair care needs at


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