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Some pros of a lye relaxer are that it can straighten hair faster than a no-lye relaxer and it does not need to be mixed with an activator. No-lye relaxers can take more than 20 minutes, while lye relaxers can take as little as 10. In addition, it is ready to use instead of needing to be thoroughly mixed with other bottles of ingredients. Lye relaxers have cons, such as being capable of causing more damage in less time than no-lye relaxers. Any kind of relaxer should always be applied by a professional hair stylist to avoid burns and hair loss, but lye relaxers in particular are very dangerous when used by someone without experience.
A lye relaxer works more quickly to straighten hair than a no-lye relaxer. Some people note that it produces better results in addition to working faster. This is because it contains a stronger chemical than the no-lye alternative. Lye relaxers were the first type of hair relaxers, discovered around 1910 by a former slave working in a sewing machine repair shop. The discovery was an accident, but Garrett Augustus Morgan went on to create a line of beauty products.
Another pro of using a lye relaxer is that it does not need to be mixed with an activator, like no-lye relaxers. It is ready to use and can be used multiple times. The instructions on a no-lye relaxer usually state that any leftovers must be thrown away.
Both lye and no-lye relaxers are capable of producing disastrous results when not used properly. Severe hair damage, hair loss, and burns on the scalp are some potential side effects if a relaxer is left on a person’s head too long. A lye relaxer, however, is made with a stronger chemical that can cause these effects faster than a no-lye relaxer. Both kinds of relaxers are best left to professional use.
Due to the nature of a lye relaxer, it is generally advisable to find a professional to apply it. Such an application can be expensive, especially if a person has a lot of hair. In addition, a lye relaxer needs to be touched up as the person grows new hair, which can be equally as expensive because it is time consuming. Stylists must be careful not to apply the relaxer to already relaxed hair, because it can cause the older hair to break off due to excessive damage.