Natural ways to relax curls are plenty and the list here will help you give your tight curls a slightly looser pattern without all the health risks and hair damage associated chemical treatments. A natural relaxer of course, isn’t as potent as a chemical one and will require some patience and a few applications for the results to show, but it will nurture your hair and as a bonus, give you a soft, strong mane to be proud of! So, if you want to know how to relax curls naturally as well as pick up a few potent deep conditioning treatments do take a look at the following natural ways to relax curls.
Quite beneficial for both skin and hair, panthenol might be one of the least known natural ways to relax curls and the best thing about it is that the effect is easily reversible, which means you can have your tight curls back whenever you want them. This common ingredient of many skin and hair care products acts like a natural silicone, coating your strands, giving them a smoother texture that results in relaxed curls or even waves. The down side is that your hair might feel drier, which is why it’s best to do a deep conditioning treatment first. Don’t worry though, as most ladies agree, the dry feeling goes away and the natural curls return after the hair has been cleansed with a clarifying shampoo.
How to: Panthenol is water-soluble, which means you can add it to your shampoo, conditioner or mix it with water to make a “curl relaxing” spritz. It builds up like crazy, though, which means that the more you use it, the straighter your hair gets.
Pro Tip: To avoid the feeling or dry or lank hair, wash it with a clarifying shampoo before doing any deep conditioning treatment or applying hot oils for curly hair This will ensure all the panthenol build-up is removed, allowing the hair to soak up all the nutrients.
2. Coconut Mask
Fresh coconut milk and lemon juice will do wonders for your hair and their repeated use is also said to make hair straighter! Whoa, two birds with one stone and not a single chemical to worry about – now if that doesn’t sound like a nice natural way to relax curls worth trying out I don’t know what does. All you have to do is harvest fresh milk from one coconut, mix it with half a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and leave the mixture to chill until it turns thick and creamy.
How To: Apply this mask to your hair and let it sit for an hour, repeating the process two to three times per week until the desired result is achieved.
3. Easy Twist Bun
Still wondering how to relax your curls with a hairstyle? Well, here’s an interesting and surprisingly easy way to do it! Simply twist your wet hair until the twists folds onto itself, securing the bun with bobby pins. You can then wear the bun until your hair is completely dry or sit under a hood to speed up the drying process.
How To: If your hair is long enough for this to work, you can simply section it off and create small buns. All you’ll need to do afterwards is release your hair and finger comb your waves.
4. Milk and Honey Mask
Doesn’t it sound tasty? Well that’s a good reason to try this nurturing natural relaxer that won’t only leave your hair feeling incredibly soft, but will loosen up the wave pattern as well. One application will reveal the truth of the first and, as for the relaxing part, well… you will have to repeat this process once or twice a week until the desired result is reached and keep it up to make sure your loose curls stay that way.
How To: Mix two to five tablespoons of powdered milk on the length of your hair) with enough water to form a thick paste then drop a teaspoon of honey into the mixture,mixing well until all the ingredients have blended. Apply to your hair, allow it 20 minutes to work its magic, then shampoo off and let your hair dry.
Pro Tip: You can use this mixture whenever you like as it will not damage, but nurture your hair, relaxing your curls bit by bit after each use.
5. Olive Oil Conditioner
Mixing olive oil and your standard conditioner happens to be one of many popular natural ways to relax curls so, if you haven’t heard of it until now, you might want to reach into your cupboard and give it a shot. Nothing to lose anyways, except maybe an hour of your time, a bit of conditioner and some olive oil. Three parts of olive oil and one part conditioner to be precise.
How To: Heat olive oil as if you were going to make a hot oil treatment, let it cool off a bit then add conditioner, mixing the mask well and allowing it to go from hot to slightly warm before applying it on your hair. Let it sit for about half an hour, then rinse with water (no need to shampoo) and let your hair dry naturally before styling.
6. Whole Milk Spritz
In case all of the benefits a natural way to relax curls don’t seem so grand in the light of all that mixing and concocting, my next recipe might prove to be perfect for you. I know, I know…not all of us are born with a DIY bone or have the patience and time to pull off the whole Martha Stewart act. So, here it is, a quick easy recipe that won’t take a lot of your time or require an admirable set of cookware!
How To: Fill up a spray bottle with whole milk and give your hair a good spray covering every strand and spritzing until your hair is completely soaked. Let it sit for about 20 to 40 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual.
7. Caramel Relaxing Mask
Next on my list of natural ways to relax curls is a recipe for something you may feel tempted to wrap in a few layers of phyllo dough and bake rather then apply to your hair. Don’t let your cravings get the best of you, though, as this mask is said to be the most effective one for really tight curls and I have a strong feeling eating it won’t work nearly as good.
How To: Combine a cup of honey and a half a cup of each olive oil, lemon juice and caramel into a bowl. Give it a good stir to make sure all the ingredients have blended well, then apply on your curls and let it sit for about half an hour. Shampoo and condition as usual.
8. Blow Dry
What could be more natural than air? Often, air drying your hair and giving it a gentle comb with your fingers periodically can help tame those curls. If that doesn't work, try blowing it dry with your blow dryer. It's completely natural and won't require any chemicals or anything to get the job done.
How To: Attach a comb attachment to your blow dryer. Aim it at your strands, working in small sections from the roots to the tips. Gently work the comb through as the air blows each section. What you should end up with is loose waves.
9. Braid It
Again, this technique won't require any product and can be done in mere minutes. A loose braid helps relax your tight curls without getting rid of them entirely. By putting in a braid before you go to bed at night, you can wake up to just the look you want and crave. It's as easy as having a hair elastic on hand.
How To: Wash your hair then wait until it's still slightly damp, but not wet. Separate your strands into three sections, loosely braiding them from just about your ears until you reach the end of your hair. Secure with a hair elastic and go to bed. When you get up, remove the elastic and give your hair a shake to remove the braid. Easy, right?
Have you ever considered giving some of these natural ways to relax curls a shot and are there any other good natural relaxer recipes you’d like to share? Do tell! I’m still in this phase of trying to get my hair to curl tighter but I’m sure plenty of super-curly ladies out there would really appreciate the info!
This article writtten in collaboration with editor, Eliza Martinez