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What's The Difference: Relaxer VS. Perm

Fashion Blog Fri May 13 2022

Have you ever noticed that women get to change their hairstyles every time the seasons change, too? It's only natural that women love to do their hairstyles. But are chemical treatments okay for your hair? What is the difference between a hair relaxer vs. a perm?

Relaxer VS. Perm?

Every time your natural hair wears out thin, you'll get that feeling that you need to do something about it. Of course, no one wants to get bald, so you will choose whether to have your natural hair relaxed or permed to make it still look healthy.

This is a common mistake. Having your natural relaxed or permed can lead to severe hair damage and breakage, and we don't want that. It cannot be undone once you have your hair relaxed or permed. You will need to let your natural hair grow again. However, doing this can have unwanted curls on the roots of your hair.

What is a Hair Relaxer?

A hair relaxer is a chemical treatment for thoroughly straightening your hair. There's no other like this treatment that would give you silky, straight hair. A hair relaxer is quite similar to the perming. It's no surprise that some individuals confuse which is which between the two.

The natural hair's keratin ties are broken and re-established for hair relaxers. The hair is straightened in this treatment rather than curled or waved.

Types of Hair Relaxers

Most of you might not know that there are two types of hair relaxers. Let's see how the two differ.


With a no-lye hair relaxer, the chemicals included don't actually destroy your natural hair's protein bond. Instead, it breaks the bonds. If this type of hair relaxer is used, your natural oils may be reduced in the process, unlike the other type of hair relaxer.

No-lye hair relaxer does have calcium hydroxide, which can instantly cause dry hair and even dry scalp. This type of hair relaxer can eventually lead to hair breakage and damage.


A Lye hair relaxer is the most preferred. They function quickly as it comprises sodium hydroxide, which makes this hair relaxer an alkali. The drawback is this hair relaxer can be washed away from your natural hair; in the same manner, they alter your hair structure.

If you know that you have sensitive hair and scalp, it is in your best interest to consider the no-lye hair relaxer. But, it would help if you remembered to use a decalcifying shampoo in order to have a successful hair relaxer treatment. Also, the decalcifying shampoo will be able to remove the buildup of calcium altogether.

What is Hair Perm?

Like a hair relaxer, the perm is also a chemical treatment applied to your natural hair to change or alter the original structure of your hair. Unlike hair relaxers, perm makes your hair wavy, kinky, or curly.

Types of Hair Perm

The neutralizer is then used to make up for the bindings that have already been broken. There are two types of perms in this case.

Alkaline Perm

An alkaline perm may be your best option for those of you who have stubborn natural hair, particularly tough grey natural hair. It also helps people who already have natural hair, which is not springy, who may have straight hair or even thin hair.

Acid Perm

Acid perm is a milder sort of perm that should be utilized if your natural hair is ruined or unhealthy in the first place. You could also use it if your hair is dyed or if you already have natural hair that is prone to breakage.

Relaxer VS. Perm Pros and Cons

Hair Relaxer Pros

- You will be able to achieve smooth, straight hair. Just be aware that you will not have such curls for an extended time.

- Straight hair makes things simpler to style than if you had natural curls.

- It will only seldom induce frizzes.

Hair Relaxer Cons

- Knowing that you will no longer be able to style your hair curly can be challenging at times.

- In order to avoid damage, you must devote a significant amount of time and effort to hair maintenance.

- Because you would be utilizing extremely damaging substances to produce the alteration in texture, you may experience hair thinning, damage, and stalled growth as a result of this procedure.

- Hair loss is a common side effect of this treatment. For this reason, it is not recommended to experiment and do DIY at home unless you are well-versed in the procedure beforehand.

- You'll lose all the natural oils in your hair due to using this product.

Hair Perm Pros

- Compared to other straighteners, the perm is less harmful to your skin. In this scenario, the substances remain on the natural hair for a brief span of time than those of other relaxers.

- It enables you to maintain the same curl structure on your hair in a more relaxed state. This is typically used to generate the natural curls even while creating beach waves in the hair.

- After texturizing your natural hair, it is much easier to straighten your hair once it has been styled.

- Curls will make it possible for you to go from having curly to having straight hair. In the case of the usage of styling goods and tools

- Your curly hair is easy to handle and style because it is thin and straight. The necessity to untangle your hair will no longer be necessary.

Hair Perm Cons

- It isn't easy to achieve consistent results once you have long curly hair, which is highly different from when you have short hair. Your curly hair should be short to medium in length to work the optimum.

- Because it alters the nature of your hair totally, you must avoid using treatment if you ever seek to change your hairstyle to lasting locks or braids.

- Because of the chemical utilized, it is not a natural process. Don't let yourself be taken advantage of.

>>> Read more: 4 Best Blue Toner for Orange Hair <<< 


With the perfect hair treatment, the outcome will always be stunning and best suiting for you. You need to wear your new hairstyle with confidence. You need to keep in mind that there are things you cannot do with your hair right after treatment as it is far much fragile.

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