IndianGirl inquires…I was considering buying the New Options Alkaline hair relaxer, but its not something I can afford on a monthly basis, I was wondering, if the ingredients are as natural as they claim, is it something i could make at home, I have no idea what goes in, but was hoping you could helm me out here!
The Right Brain responds:
I don’t blame you for looking at options to replace New Options. At $28 for 16 ounces this product is much more expensive than most relaxers on the market. Is it worth it? Let’s take a look.
New Options claims
First lets review what all the fuss is about. Here’s what New Options says…
- We’ve combined advanced relaxing technology with alkaline salt minerals.
- 99.9% less chemicals and half the time of a press and curl
- Unlike traditional relaxers, it does not subtract or rob the hair of its natural cuticle layer in order for straightness to occur.
New Options Ingredients
So what is this stuff? We’ve had trouble finding a full ingredient list for this product (so if anyone can find a full ingredient list, please leave a note in the comments!) but the best information we have says it’s based on soda ash (which is what we chemists call Sodium Carbonate.) This is the alkaline salt mineral they refer to on their website.
Sodium carbonate will not break disulfide bonds of hair like a regular relaxer will, however, it will still raise the pH enough to swell the hair significantly.And that’s the problem: Hair doesn’t tolerate swelling very well. Swelling of the hair really caused damage. so while swelling does soften hair it will also cause damage. Is it as bad as hydroxide? No. But then again it will not straighten hair as well either.
Their claim about it working faster than a press and curl maybe true but it is NOT faster than a traditional relaxer which takes about 10 to 20 minutes to process. New Options takes 20 to 30 minutes. The claim about relaxers removing the cuticle to straighten hair is just not true- relaxers straighten by breaking the disulfide bonds which are located in the inner part of the hair called the cortex. They do not “subtract” the cuticle.
Can you make this yourself at home? Sorry, but no. Products like this which have a very high pH can be dangerous if not properly formulated. You’re better off paying for the formulation expertise rather than risking damage to your hair or skin.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
if you’re just looking to soften your texture a bit this could be the product for you. But If you want to relax your hair and you’re thinking of buying an Alkaline Softener because it’s 99.9% less chemicals , then you’re likely to be disappointed.