Recently there has been some bashing of the Dominican salons putting relaxer in shampoo to help loosen natural hair before giving a Blow Out service. So, I decided to do a little case study on Relaxer and Shampoo mix.
The pictures are numbered from 1-5 to show exactly what I did. I used Roux shampoo which has a pH between 7-8 and Mazani butter blend relaxer that had a pH 14.
When I first mixed the two products I was afraid of the STRONG ammonia smell that it gave off. I then decided to try the mix on curly hair to make it straight. Notice in picture #3 the mix lathered on the hair. However, it didn’t straighten it because of the surfactants/detergents in the shampoo weaken the sodium, calcium or lye in the relaxer. Also, since it’s a new formula the pH was altered to a 9 picture #5, making this solution less likely to straighten the hair without staying on for a long period of time. Shampoo is normally on a persons hair for 5 minutes or less. However, this solution can still cause severe damage to the cuticular layers because of its high alkalinity level.
Notice in the top right picture (labeled 1 week) after a week of sitting on my station the solution started to separate, leaving oils from the relaxer on top and the contents of shampoo which are water and other chemicals on the bottom.
If at all possible someone was using this in any salon you would notice:
- The person shaking up the bottle to mix the solution (remember it separates)
- A STRONG ammonia smell (alkaline chemicals smell strong and burning to the nostrils, Acidic chemicals smell like rotten eggs)
- Weak lather in the shampoo
- It should BURN the scalp. Remember we are rubbing the product on the hair and scalp. (That’s called Irritation when applying chemicals)
- The person performing the service should be or is wearing gloves because their skin can become irritated as well. It’s called Irritant Contact Dermatitis or ICD, skin irritation/inflammation.
Some common causes of irritant contact dermatitis include harsh solvents, surfactants in topical medications and cosmetics, alkaline soaps, detergents, and cleaning products. Common chemical irritants implicated include: kerosene also called paraffin, sodium lauryl sulfate (used in a lot of hygiene and cleaning products), Acetone (solvent that soaks off acrylic or gel nails) and alkalis (drain cleaners, strong soap with lye residues i.e, relaxer and shampoo mixed).
I hope this information has been beneficial to you. And remember to Always pay attention to what any Stylist is doing and don’t be afraid to ask questions, it’s YOUR HAIR that we are taking care of.