Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

Total Pageviews

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Calcium Buildup can make Hair Hard to Relax

Photo Credit:

Recently, I had a client to come in for a relaxer touch-up, but based on the swollen and rippled hairshaft that I observed in my analysis, I informed the client that I did not think that a relaxer would straighten her hair in the condition that it was in.  Her hair had two things happening from my observation.

Unlike the model in the picture above, I could not see the line of demarcation between the new growth and the rest of the hairshaft.  So I knew that a protein treatment was needed in order to heal and repair the strands so that I could really see where the new growth stopped.

Secondly, with all of the swollen ripples from the roots to the ends along with the history of home box relaxers, I knew that there was more than likely a calcium buildup.

So of course, after sharing all of my observations in the consultation, the client decided to allow me to detox her hair and complete a pure protein treatment.  Please see my separate article on detoxing the hair if you have questions on that procedure.  Her hair turned out beautiful with the two treatments and using heat styling.

The client returned two weeks later for her relaxer touch-up.  I still saw signs of calcium buildup, but the line of demarcation of the new growth was clear.  I proceeded with the relaxer touch-up.  The "lye" relaxer which happened to be Paul Mitchell regular strength relaxer eventually "broke through" the calcium or mineral buildup and began to smooth the new growth out.  I did not do any corrective relaxing.  I focused on the new growth at the roots only.  It relaxed straight enough to roller set it.  We were both happy.

It was a good call on my part to divide her hair into two different hair services.  Otherwise, paying for a relaxer service that probably would have not taken would be a waste of our time and her money.

Anyone using "no-lye" relaxers for years only to find that their hair becomes resistant to the relaxer should look at getting their hair detoxed before attempting relaxation again.

It is puzzling how "new growth" can have buildup except that relaxers actually can penetrate into the hair follicles and affect future hair growth.


  1. It may be more plausible that hard water is the true culprit in this case (as opposed to a no-lye relaxer depositing minerals into the scalp). Hard water holds a lot of calcium, and this calcium can be deposited along the hair shaft. Just imagine if she shampoos her hair in this water weekly, then she would have quite a build up. She may need to use a chelating shampoo as a part of her regular hair maintenance. Love your blog!

    1. Thanks creoleleo85 for the feedback. To piggyback on your reply, my area has soft water versus hard water, but you are right about minerals being in the water. Reddish/pinkish buildup can be seen around the shower heads so that has to mean there are heavy deposits in the city water. Great chain of thought. I did not take a picture of my actual client because sometimes clients are sensitive about what is going on with their hair, and I did not want to make them uncomfortable. So I pulled a picture from the Internet that would complement the topic. Thanks for your compliments and I also agree that a deep cleansing shampoo for the first wash at home would be a good retail sale for me as well!