The chemicals used to straighten hair can be rather dangerous and hazardous to the skin and scalp. Because of the dangers, a layer of petroleum is used to protect the scalp from irritation. The damage depends on the type of chemicals used to relax the hair. The product that causes the most damage and burns of the scalp is called lye.
The use of these oily shields has been practiced for almost an entire century. Lye relaxers were quite prevalent and widely used in the mid to early 1900’s. Since the products were almost entirely composed of lye, keeping the men from burns was near impossible. A protective petroleum base was applied over the entire scalp, so that the lye solution did not contact the scalp. However, since the solution was so strong, it rarely did much to help with the pain. The person having their hair straightened or relaxed were forced to suffer through this pain until enough time passed. They then dumped their heads into cool water to alleviate the excruciating pain. This description is enough to prove the non human friendly nature of chemical straighteners.
The petroleum base used to protect the scalp, skin and surrounding areas is much different than petroleum jelly found in stores. It has a unique formula that triggers to the temperature of the human body. The body temperature actually causes the base to settle onto the scalp. It creates a layer around the scalp, so that the harsh chemicals do not cause severe burns. This base does not stop all of it though. Even though all precautions are taken into consideration, most people still feel lots of pain during this process. Make sure that the technician takes caution around the eyes and ears because this chemical could be potentially dangerous to eyes.
Even using all precautionary measures, most people will end up with a few burns on their scalp. The petroleum base can only do some much to protect the fragile skin on the scalp. There are new formulas for relaxers that do not require the use of a petroleum base. This may be an option for those that do not want to suffer through their relaxer! If these chemicals seem rather frightening, then it may be possible to buy an electrical hair straightener that will give temporary results. Look to find one that is best for your unique hair type.