Traditional relaxers usually contain either sodium hydroxide or a derivative of sodium hydroxide. Deratives include calcium hydroxide (such as the Phytospecific Relaxer), lithium hydroxide (such as the Soft & Beautiful Botanicals Regular Texturizer), and Guanadine hydroxide.
Natural Hair Relaxers or Relaxer Alternatives usually contain sodium carbonate. Natural hair Relaxers such as "Bodiphier" and "Curlaway" usually have the words PERMANENT written on it somewhere. Any chemical that says PERMANENT is chemically altering the hair strands. It may not straighten the hair, but the hair becomes "processed hair" whether it is straight or not.
Also, companies such as the Bodiphier/Fresh Look Products, do not have a "technical support" department. They only have marketing people; so they are not trained to answer questions like "what permanently changed in the hair?" Which hair bonds were altered to permanently soften the hair?
I have mentioned the Paul Mitchell Relaxers before in this blog as well as the Bodiphier. I have to tell you that I did successfully put the "Super" Strength Paul Mitchell relaxer over the shorter lengths of my hair that had been overprocessed by the Bodiphier, and it survived with "flying colors." I was so surprised. I was prepared for my shorter hair to break all the way to the new growth, and it did not.
The Paul Mitchell relaxer seemed to have rebalanced the hair strands from whatever the Bodiphier had done to it. It did not straighten all the way, but it felt much straighter and healthier. I am going to stick with the Paul Mitchell Relaxers for texturizing! Absolutely love and trust it now.
I think that I have mentioned the Essations relaxer before as well. I have never used the relaxer, but I taken the class on it, interviewed a few folks on the relaxer system, and I have seen it applied a few times. Based on all the information that I have, I will not be using that relaxer line.
For those who are sensitive scalp, Salon Exclusive Sensitive Scalp relaxer seems to cause the least irritation and it straightens.
As far as technical support, the caucausian based companies have the BEST technical support. 9 times out of 10, I get my answers within one phone call and I talk to someone immediately. It is a very comfortable feeling when you know that a company is standing by their product. I don't even want to get started discussing the customer service of some of our ethnic lines.
I can not think of anything else to discuss about relaxer choices. I hope that this discussion has helped.