Is soft and beautiful relaxer safe for kids?

Dallas has a question: What is the pH of Soft and Beautiful texture softener for kids and is it ok to use on my six year old hair which is so hard to manage she is African American 100%.

The Left Brain has an answer:

The Right Brain has blogged before about the chemistry of relaxers and how they work. They all contain some kind of caustic material that reacts with and reshapes the proteins bonds in your hair. The Soft and Beautiful product is a “no lye” relaxer because it’s based on calcium hydroxide and guanadine carbonate instead of sodium hydroxide. Also, in order to work properly, relaxers must function at a high pH. (Soft and Beautiful has a pH of about 13.) However, the pH is not the critical factor to consider in terms of damage, it’s the concentration of the active ingredients.

Because of their reactivity, all relaxers can be dangerous if they are not used properly. But at least the Soft and Beautiful uses a lower active level than a standard relaxer so it has a milder relaxation effect that is designed for softening the texture of children’s hair. Therefore, it should be ok to use on your daughter’s hair as long as you follow the instructions carefully. I can’t emphasize this point enough: if you leave the relaxer on your hair too long, it can cause increased hair breakage and scalp irritation. Write back and let me know how your daughter’s hair turns out.

What do YOU think? Does the need to relax children’s hair outweigh the risks of exposing them to potentially dangerous chemicals? Leave a comment and share your concerns with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.