Vissa Studios

Top 10 Relaxers for African American Women

First things first, let’s discuss what a relaxer is.

Relaxing, or lanthionization is the process by which the hair’s curl pattern is chemically relaxed.  The relaxing agent is usually a strong alkali, or ammonium thiogylcolate (lye or perm salt). Over-processing the hair can lead to problems such as brittleness, breakage & in extreme cases alopecia.

In essence all relaxers do the same thing, however below you will find a list of those that have stood out throughout time (in no particular order).  Please remember to follow all directions when using any relaxer system & invest in a timer. It will guide you in not over processing your hair.  As a rule of thumb, it is always better to roller set the hair with a conditioning setting lotion as opposed to hand-drying the hair which involves excessive pulling & heat.

Mizani – Pay close attention to time, this system is fast acting.

Elasta Qp- The pre-relaxer treatment soothes hair & sets the base for a great relaxer. This relaxer also has the option of Lye or No-Lye.

Hawaiian Silky – Gentle, yet effective

Motions – Purchase the accompanying deep conditioner for a scalp treat

Dark & Lovely – The leave in conditioner is key to a superb finish.

Olive Oil – The hair lotion in this system will coat hair if you so choose to hand-dry

Dr.Miracle- This 100% recyclable box is filled with goodies to hold you over until next time.

Crème of Nature- Another fast acting system with an excellent post-process conditioner/detangler.

Phytologie- This is probably the most pricey, but has the most effective humectants & conditioners

Optimum – Virtually tingle/burn free

So, along with the best come some of the worst systems.  Fabulaxer & Precise are 2 of the most popular, however these two under process hair, which leads to leaving the relaxer in too long.  This of course leads to breakage, brittle hair & sometimes permanent hair loss.

Happy Relaxing

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Vissa Studios celebrates hair care and fashions. We love to share the latest hair trends, celebrity hairstyles, tips, how to's and more information on ethnic hair through web, video, events and other multimedia platforms.


  1. Hair Perms Texturizers Wholesale July 3, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Thanks for calling us the African American woman beautiful.

  2. Best Hair Relaxer January 7, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Very good list there.Another one which is raved by most African american women is Affirm. Some people prefer no-lye to lye and vice versa.

  3. Vissa Studios January 7, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    To be honest, it all depends on the your hair type. As of now since my hair can stay straight without a perm, if I would get another perm, it would probably be a no lye kid perm or anything as light as that.

  4. Ms. T January 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I have gone 8 months without a perm, I usually perm my hair ever 6 months because I do have thin hair(my ends) but my roots become unmanageable and thick. I have to wash my hair every week instead of every other week or every 2 weeks. I’ve been using motions I like the perm but I do not feel like it is doing me justice in the long run nor are the hair products. I am stuck what should I do?

  5. Vissa Studios January 23, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Ms. T, I suggest you switching to Dr. Miracles. I am not sure how long you have been using Motions, but I also have thin hair also well and can switch between Dr. Miracles and Olive Oil as it keeps my hair tame and does not dry my hair out.

  6. best african hair relaxer May 3, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Honestly this list is useless if your hair type is not suitable for these… These are what i normally do and they worked for me for years…

    a. Mix Baking Soda with Conditioner and Leave it in for an hour or so.
    b. The Cherry Lola (Baking Soda, Braggs’s Amino Acids, and conditioner recipe)


  7. Ms. T July 1, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Hi again now it has been 14 months without a perm and I just can’t take it anymore, I have tried Dr. Miracles and I didn’t like it i was using motions for about 2 years. Should I get the whole system in the box or should I just get the tube of relaxer?

  8. Ms. T July 1, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    I am leaning more towards Mizani because they have a good shampoo and conditioner for anti breakage

  9. Vissa Studios July 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    You sure you want to quit being natural? Have you tried everything?

    Personally, Motions is too strong for me, but I do like Mizani. You should get the whole system if you are doing it yourself. Why don’t you think about going to your hair stylist to put in a fresh perm since it has been so long?

  10. Shonte July 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I have been switching back and forth between Dr. Miracle n Olive Oil Relaxers but my hair is so thick, and it breaks and damages easily. What product can I use to help?

  11. Vissa Studios July 16, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    Does it break as you are relaxing? I ask because it may not be the products, it may be the way you are taking care of your hair. Are you moisturizing when you need to? Are you protecting your hair? Are you hydrating? All those things are important as well in maintaining a relaxer.

    If you are still seeing breakage, those relaxers may not be for you.

  12. jamoka b August 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I have very thick hair and i just dont know what to do anymore. I have tried motion dark and lovly and tcb and hawaiian silky can u please help me i try to take care of my hair.

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