Chemical hair relaxers are designed to straighten extremely curly, coiled or tightly coiled hair by breaking the disulfide bonds found within the cortex layer of the hair. Hydroxide and are the most common types of hair relaxers. Hydroxide relaxer types include sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, lithium hydroxide and guanidine hydroxide.
These relaxers can be marketed as base and no base relaxers. Base relaxers require stylists to base the client’s entire scalp with a protective cream prior to the chemical relaxer application. No base relaxers have a protective cream built within the relaxer that settles onto the scalp according to the client’s body temperature. Although no base relaxers have a thin, oil like protective cream within the relaxer system, most stylists use a base cream around the ears and hairline for added protection.