How Often Should You Change Relaxer Brands?

Sticking to the same relaxer brand can give the same results time after time.
Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You may have heard that switching up your shampoo every now and then is beneficial to your hair. What's actually helpful is using a clarifying cleanser at some point, to eliminate buildup. So is it a necessity to switch relaxer brands, too?

How Often Should You Change Relaxer Brands?

You don't ever have to change relaxer brands if you're happy with your current relaxer. Some women find that they become less satisfied with the results their relaxer gives them.

In some cases, hormonal changes as women age can affect their hair, leading them to believe that chemical straighteners no longer work as well as they once did.

Unless a stylist advises you to switch from a lye to no-lye relaxer (or vice versa) for some reason, or you just want a change, there's no set reason you ever have to leave a favorite brand and begin using another. The straightening ingredients in most relaxers are very similar; the differences are mostly due to the built-in conditioners that various brands use.

If a stylist tells you to switch brands, find out why. Unless there's a valid reason, don't feel this is something you have to do. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" can apply to your relaxer.

When You Might Want to Switch Relaxer Brands

There may be some instances that occur that lead you to switch relaxers. These include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Discontinued brands
  • Change in formulation

    Allergic reactions can crop up unexpectedly, so even a longtime favorite can cause irritation out of the blue. Sometimes, brands get discontinued or the formulation changes, with or without your knowledge. You may find yourself having to find another brand and you might not be happy about it. If you have a trusted stylist, ask for his recommendations in what you should try next.

    If you're a home kit devotee, look for a product in the same price range and with a similar makeup, although your results may be hit-or-miss until you find the perfect relaxer for you.

    Is There Really a Difference Between Brands?

    Different hair care companies have various ways of marketing their products, but the basic straightening ingredients across relaxers are the same. The differences may lie in which additional ingredients a product contains, such as olive oil for one name and argan oil for another.

    Now, a professional product that stylists use is different from the box kit you'll find in your local beauty supply. Professional-grade relaxers often contain conditioning agents and better-quality non-active ingredients that store-bought products don't and they cost more, which is one reason why stylists charge a premium to apply these chemicals in a salon. Some women may reluctantly change their salon-favorite brand if a big change in price occurs and they need a cheaper alternative.