10 Best Hairstylist-Recommended Relaxers (Perms) For Black Hair – 2024

Transform your look while keeping your tresses healthy and damage-free!

Reviewed by Alexandro Vasquez, Hairdresser Alexandro Vasquez Alexandro VasquezHairdresser facebook_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA, Certified Skin Care Coach Oyendrila Kanjilal MA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BA, MSc Eshna Das BA, MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Hair straighteners and keratin treatments pale in glory when compared to the best relaxer for black hair. Natural black hair tends to be more wavy, curly, or kinky than other kinds of hair and a relaxer is the best alternative to expensive in-salon treatments or risky straighteners. To make exploring the relaxer options an easy task for you, we have collated the best relaxers for black hair and compiled a list. Read to know more.

Top Picks
Best Overall: SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best Conditioning Formula: Syntonics Botanical Conditioning Creme Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best For Reducing Hair Breakage: SoftSheen Carson Optimum Salon Hair Care No-Lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best For Color-Treated Hair: Avlon Fiber Guard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer Kit
Price on Amazon
Best Moisturizing Formula: ORS Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best Protein-Enriched Formula: TCB Hair Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best Quick-Absorbing Formula: Luster's ShortLooks Color Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best For Increasing Hair Strength: Hawaiian Silky No-Lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best Hydrating Formula: Miracle's New Growth No-lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best Natural Ingredients: ORS Olive Oil Organic Root Stimulator No-Lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon

The 10 Best Relaxers For Black Hair In 2024 – With A Buying Guide

1. Best Overall: SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer

SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer Image: Softsheen-carson

SoftSheen-Carson has been transforming all consumers of African descent with a plethora of beauty products by customizing them as per their needs. This No-Lye relaxer for black hair is infused with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, and avocado oil to give moisture, shine, strength, softness, and volume to hair. This home relaxer kit comes in three new components: the healthy-gloss 5 moisture conditioner, healthy-gloss 5 moisture hair creme, and silk keratin serum for soft, non-frizzy hair.

Hair Type: Coarse | Product Dimensions: 3.75 x 6.5 x 4.44 inches | Weight: 1.1 Pounds


  • Easy to apply at home
  • Gives straight, sleek, and shiny hair
  • Preserves 5 signs of healthy hair
  • Infused with natural ingredients to lock moisture
  • Lasts for 6 weeks
  • Cost-effective


  • Makes hair dry
  • Not a good relaxer for thick black hair
  • Not suitable for all colored hair.

Our Tester's Experience

"This SoftSheen-Carson relaxer kit delivers consistent results and gives me smoother and softer hair. Be mindful of the timing to avoid over-processing, especially if you have color-treated or bleached hair like mine. The kit includes moisturizing products and gloves as well. I feel this kit makes a reliable choice for at-home hair management."

protip_icon Trivia
L’Oreal USA purchased Carson Products, another prominent developer of ethnic hair and skin care products, in 2000. In that year, the two firms successfully combined to form SoftSheen-Carson.

2. Best Conditioning Formula: Syntonics Botanical Conditioning Creme Relaxer

Syntonics Botanical Conditioning Creme Relaxer Image: Syntonics

The exquisite Syntonics Botanical Conditioning Creme Relaxer is one of the safest relaxers for transitioning hair and black hair. It is a therapy for scalp irritation or inflammation and improves scalp health. This calming, hydrating conditioner conditions and heals the scalp with aloe vera and calendula, while Shea butter, cocoa butter, and honey increase minerals and phytonutrients. The end result is smooth, luxuriant hair that appears to have been straightened manually. The hair gets body, bounce, and a sleek luster, while also revitalizing and refreshing the scalp.

Hair Type: All


  • Best for sensitive scalp
  • A great relaxer for soft and smooth hair
  • Fixes hair fibers
  • Restores moisture and shine
  • Cost-effective


  • Not a no-lye formula

Our Tester's Experience

"I like the mild approach to hair straightening. After trying this relaxer myself, I can attest to its gentle nature. It smoothly transformed my unruly locks into silkier strands without the dreaded scalp discomfort."

protip_icon Pro Tip
Do not use the relaxer for an extended period. After the waiting period, rinse the product from your strands with water to ensure zero damage and optimum results.

3. Best For Reducing Hair Breakage: SoftSheen Carson Optimum Salon Hair Care No-Lye Relaxer

Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Salon HairCare Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer Image: Softsheen-carson

The SoftSheen Carson Optimum No-Lye Relaxer helps you achieve professional straightened hair at home. This supreme conditioning cream is infused with strengthening ceramide and coconut oil to maintain hair moisture. This results in a smooth and silky appearance. The ceramides keep the hair cuticle flat, enhance shine, and prevent hair from breakage. They also help increase elasticity of each hair strand and retain moisture.

This at-home salon-quality relaxer for black hair comes with six easy and effective products, including the protective pre-treatment, conditioning relaxer cream, activator, neutralizing shampoo, reconstructor, and leave-in strengthener. It also has a whipped oil moisturizer for one application or two retouches. The whipped oil moisturizer will get you a salon-like smooth and straight hair in six easy steps with 90% less breakage. It offers maximum straightness and leaves the hair sleek. It is suitable for normal hair and varying hair texture. This video will help you understand the product better as it explains a tester’s experience of using it.

Hair Type: Kinky-Curly-Wavy | Item Weight: 1.1 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 3.75 x 6.5 x 4.44 inches | Weight: 1.1 Pounds


  • Contains ceramide to prevent hair breakage
  • Easy 6-step application
  • Contains whipped oil moisturizer
  • Reduces 90% breakage
  • Infused with coconut oil for extra hydration
  • Long-lasting no-lye relaxer
  • Leaves hair soft and smooth


  • Does not uncurl Caucasian hair.
  • May cause a burning sensation in the scalp.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 621 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer
Best Overall
Syntonics Botanical Conditioning Creme Relaxer
Best Conditioning Formula
SoftSheen Carson Optimum Salon Hair Care No-Lye Relaxer
Best For Reducing Hair Breakage
Hair Type Coarse All Kinky-Curly-Wavy
Dimensions 3.75 x 6.5 x 4.44 inches - 3.75 x 6.5 x 4.44 inches
Weight 1.1 Pounds- 1.1 Pounds
Weight-- 1.1 Pounds

4. Best For Color-Treated Hair: Avlon Fiber Guard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer Kit

The Avlon Fiber Guard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer Kit is a four-step no-lye relaxer kit that preserves up to 40% of hair strength. This healthy hair relaxer for black hair is formulated with Avlon’s exclusive Fiber Strengthening Complex (FSC) that helps in reinforcing and restructuring hair fibers and strengthens them from the roots. The strengthening polymer in the straightening cream is scientifically proven to penetrate deep into the roots, offer tensile strength, and promote hair fiber elasticity after the relaxing process. The cream offers the hair maximum straightness while improving hair elasticity.

It retards osmotic pressure build-up, provides optimum care, and protects your hair from environmental pollutants and mechanical stresses while styling. This popular breakage control relaxer for black hair restores moisture and shine while giving body to dry hair. It is an ideal maximum scalp comfort solution for a sensitive scalp.

Hair Type: Dry | Item Weight: 1905.1 Grams | Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 4.2 Pounds


  • Available in 3 formulas – mild, normal, and resistant strength
  • Penetrates deep to give tensile strength
  • Fixes hair fibers
  • Restores moisture and shine
  • Infused with an advanced formula
  • Suitable for color-treated or dry or damaged hair
  • Gentle on hair
  • Retains natural hair texture
  • Contains fiber guard
  • Does not cause a burning sensation



Our Tester's Experience

"I tried this relaxer and got good results with time. Its gentle formula helped me avoid hair damage and minimize breakage. I also relied on a few additional steps like a post-treatment conditioner and fortifying treatments to make my hair strands appear healthy. It's quite a satisfactory choice for at-home hair care."

5. Best Moisturizing Formula: ORS Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer

The ORS Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer provides extraordinary conditioning. This at-home relaxer for black hair – 6th line utilizes olive oil and lanolin to protect hair from the damaging effects of a relaxer. Olive oil is a natural elixir that moisturizes hair and leaves it soft, silky, and manageable while improving hair elasticity. Lanolin is a greasy material that provides moisture to each hair strand and acts as a protective barrier to lock in hydration. This is the best professional-grade relaxer for black hair that gives you smooth, silky tresses.

Hair Type: Normal,Fine | Product Dimensions: 8.75 x 8.5 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 1.17 Pounds


  • Retains hair moisture
  • Sleeks down hair in just a few minutes
  • Pre-mixed cream
  • Cost-effective


  • Neutralizing shampoo needs to be purchased separately.
  • No refund policy
  • May cause a burning sensation in the scalp.

Our Tester's Experience

"This relaxer gave me silky and manageable results consistently. It's stronger than regular store kits and is a one-step process if applied accurately. Just a heads-up, it's quite thick, so it takes a little effort for even application."

protip_icon Pro Tip
Before applying your relaxer, avoid scratching or picking at your scalp. Your scalp may be more prone to burning if the skin is damaged or scratched.

6. Best Protein-Enriched Formula:TCB Hair Relaxer

The TCB No-Base Hair Relaxer is specially formulated for the African American hair type. This relaxer contains nourishing ingredients like natural oils, protein, and DNA to strengthen and protect hair while relaxing it. The mineral oil and petroleum jelly in this scalp care relaxer for black hair acts as an excellent protective barrier that reduces scalp irritation during the process. The infused protein protects each strand of hair and reduces damage by providing structural support. This unique conditioner relaxer gives soft, smooth, silky, and manageable hair with perfect volume. The conditioning protein works to improve hair elasticity, and scalp health and gives it a glorious texture. This affordable relaxer for black hair works great for texturized, colored, and permed hair. Check out the detailed review of the product in this video.

Hair Type: Aging | Item Weight: 14.8 Ounces | Product Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.68 x 8.07 inches | Weight: 14.8 Ounces


  • Hair relaxer with protein and DNA
  • Maintains structural integrity of hair strands
  • Does not irritate the scalp
  • Affordable
  • Gives a silky smooth hair texture
  • Good for both men and women


  • Does not come with a neutralizing shampoo and gloves.
  • Leaves hair dry and frizzy.

Our Tester's Experience

"I tried this hair relaxer for taming my stubborn brows and hair and loved the lasting effect. It's convenient, no preparation needed, and works well even on thick, coarse hair, adding sleekness and providing ease of styling. However, make sure of the timing or you could end up with damage."

protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply foundation lotion to your scalp and hairline before applying the relaxer to protect it from the chemicals and prevent dryness.


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 128 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

7. Best Quick-Absorbing Formula:Luster’s ShortLooks Color Relaxer

Luster's Shortlooks Color Relaxer 3-n-1 Diamond Black Image: Luster's

The Luster’s ShortLooks Color Relaxer for black hair is a 3-in-1 solution for your entire hair care routine. You don’t have to look for a separate hair straightener, hair color, hair conditioner, and spend a bomb on each product. This easy-to-use relaxer for black hair is blended with naturally nourishing ingredients to relax, color, and condition the hair for easy styling and a professional look. The Lustre’s ShortLooks Color Relaxer contains shea butter that naturally moisturizes dry or damaged hair. It is easily absorbed deep into the scalp and nourishes hair from the roots. You can just color, relax, and condition your hair in just 30 minutes without any hassle. The unique combination straightens new hair growth for about 4 inches or shorter. The deep conditioner locks in the moisture in the relaxed hair strands.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3 x 2 x 1 inches


  • 3-in-1 solution for the entire natural hair care routine
  • Locks moisture in the roots
  • Easy to apply
  • Available in passion red, diamond black, and sable brown shades
  • Gives your hair volume
  • Reduces hair graying


  • Expensive
  • Only good for short hair.
  • Color fades quickly after a few washes.

Our Tester's Experience

"I recently started using this and it did deliver on the color coverage and was very gentle on my sensitive scalp. I think it could be a potential time-saver, especially if you're blending color treatment with hair relaxation and dealing with those pesky gray hairs."


Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 87 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

8. Best For Increasing Hair Strength: Hawaiian Silky No-Lye Relaxer


The Hawaiian Silky No-Lye Relaxer is formulated with essential oils and lithium hydroxide that strengthen hair and prevent any messy build-up. It provides a natural shine to curls and waves. Lithium hydroxide is a “no-mix” type alkali hair relaxer that straightens hair. Jojoba oil is rich in vitamins and minerals and is a natural straightening agent that leaves the hair sleek. It also prevents dandruff and hair loss. The blend of mink oil improves hair appearance and texture as it penetrates deep into the hair follicles. It is available in mild, regular, and super varieties to change hair texture as per your wish and style.

Hair Type: Coarse Hair | Item Weight: 1.25 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 5 inches | Weight: 1.25 Pounds.


  • Blend of jojoba oil and mink oil
  • Nurtures each hair strand
  • No-mix type hair relaxer
  • Moisturizes hair for a natural bouncy look
  • Cruelty-free
  • No damage on the scalp


  • Not suitable for colored hair.

Our Tester's Experience

"I tried this hair relaxer, and I really like the results. It's gentle, easy to use without mixing, and ideal for me who've had issues with perms in the past. I didn't experience any discomfort, but it's best to stick to the recommended time to avoid over-processing."

9.Best Hydrating Formula: Miracle’s New Growth No-lye Relaxer


Dr. Miracle’s New Growth No-Lye relaxer also detangles curls and conditions your hair to make it smoother and shinier. This is the best home relaxer kit for black hair. It comes with a relaxer, activator, neutralizing shampoo, and a leave-in conditioner, along with a spatula and blending oil for a root touch-up. It is made with a natural blend of vitamins, minerals, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and aloe that hydrate hair deep from the scalp and nourish hair down to the core. Sweet almond oil also prevents breakage, split ends, and itchy scalp. Its emollient properties leave hair soft and smooth making it a great relaxer for coarse black hair. The deep conditioner allows the hair to be soft and manageable. Watch this video that a reviewer has filmed about the nuances of the product after testing it.

Hair Type: Straight | Product Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 2 inches | Weight: 11.29 Ounces


  • Cost-effective
  • Do not cause irritation
  • Relaxes the scalp
  • Moisturizes from root to tip
  • Prevents hair breakage
  • Overall solution for straightening hair and post-care


  • Small jar size

Our Tester's Experience

"I really like how this relaxer works for shorter styles. It left my hair smelling fantastic. It's been very useful in maintaining the health of my hair. My thin, chemical-treated hair has never felt this manageable and soft. I'm making this my go-to."

10.Best Natural Ingredients:ORS Olive Oil Organic Root Stimulator No-Lye Relaxer

The ORS Olive Oil Organic Root Stimulator contains moisturizing olive oil and natural herbs to stimulate roots and nourish and protect the hair during the relaxing process. The hydrolyzed collagen, castor oil, and coconut oil in the relaxer provide deep scalp nourishment. Go through this video to have a detailed understanding of a reviewer’s experience of using the product.

Product Dimensions: 3.81 x 6.56 x 4.91 inches | Weight: 1.05 Pounds | Number of Items: 2


  • Blend of natural ingredients
  • Leaves hair lustrous
  • Strengthens hair strands from the roots
  • Works perfect for a year


  • Not suitable for curly hair.
  • May cause a burning sensation on the scalp.

Our Tester's Experience

"This relaxer has been a go-to for my naturally curly hair. The extra strength formula makes the whole processing time quicker and my hair has become silky and perfectly straight. Even when I've used it on processed hair, a bit of care and some extended conditioning do the trick, giving me that sleek look."

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Hair relaxers are super effective when you pick the right product and use it correctly. But, if you invest in the wrong product, you will not only disrupt the relaxation but also ruin your hair in the process. Here are some factors to consider when purchasing a relaxer for black hair.

How To Choose The Best Relaxers For Black Hair

1. Ingredients

Relaxers which contain lye in them can be very harmful to your scalp. This ingredient is corrosive and adds dullness and brittleness to your hair. Choose a relaxer that maintains the pH balance of your scalp and hair for the best results. This is crucial especially if you have a sensitive scalp.

2. Strength Of The Formula

If you have scalp conditions like dryness, eczema, or extreme sensitivity, choose a scalp relaxer that is gentle, with lesser strength. Some relaxers in the market are specifically formulated and marketed for sensitive scalps. Hair relaxers for children need to be of mild strength to avoid scalp irritation.

  • For very fine hair choose a mild strength relaxer.
  • For coarse hair opt for a super strong relaxer.
  • For normal hair, you may choose a regular strength relaxer.

3. Moisturizing Ingredients

It is vital that you choose a relaxer that has intense and exotic conditioning ingredients if your hair is prone to breakage or is brittle. Relaxing your hair is altering the structure of your hair chemically, and any chemical treatment can be drying. Look for relaxers with moisturizing ingredients like olive oil, honey, coconut oil, shea butter, or organ oil, which adds bounce, body, and shine to your hair while stimulating hair growth. The hair relaxer treatment is different according to the varying hair textures.

4. Content in the kit

When choosing a relaxer, also take note of the products available with the treatment. Go for kits with a protector bass, relax cream, and activator, a PH neutralizing shampoo and a deep hydrating conditioner. It is ideal that you choose a kit with additional products, so you do not have to invest in other products separately.

These are the top 10 relaxers for black hair. They are easy to use and help you achieve those straight tresses you always dreamed of. But before you go ahead and pick your favorite, you need to be aware of certain factors. Not all relaxers are made equal, and picking the wrong or similar product can do more harm than good. In the following section, we have listed out what you need to check in a hair relaxer (for black hair) before you make the purchase.

How To Buy The Best Relaxer For Black Hair

Ensure you make your best purchase by following this checklist:

  • Choose a no-lye relaxer (mild and good for sensitive scalps) with a low pH. The relaxer should be able to balance the pH between your hair and scalp. The types of hair relaxer you need depends on your hair and scalp conditions.
  • Choose a relaxer kit. It contains a suitable neutralizer shampoo, an activator, along with a conditioner.
  • A moisturizing relaxer for black hair should have a blend of natural oils – like olive oil, jojoba oil, mink oil – along with the right relaxer. Aloe vera is another important ingredient that you can look for while selecting a sensitive scalp relaxer for black hair. Natural ingredients nourish the scalp, provide hydration, and strengthen the hair roots. The botanicals are also less likely to cause allergic reactions or damage to the hair.
  • Choose a cost-effective and budget-friendly option with proven efficacy for a long-lasting solution.
  • Know your hair type, the color of your hair, your curls, and also if your hair is easily prone to breakage.

The Bottom Line

Black hair is beautiful and appealing. But, it tends to be more curly or kinky. It may also run the risk of dryness and being brittle. Investing in a protein-based relaxer for black hair is a good alternative to expensive salon treatments or intense hair straightening techniques. If you want to relax your hair gently and effectily without lye, look for products like the SoftSheen-Carson No-Lye Relaxer. For sensitive scalps, trying finding products that have similar formulation to the Avlon Fibre Guard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer Kit. For consistent results and controlled straightening, you can check out the TCB Hair Relaxer. These safe, conditioning relaxers for black hair tame the stubborn and frizzy curls in your hair and provide sleek, straight, and shiny hair. However, you must ensure that the relaxer you choose keeps your hair moisturized, adds volume, and smooths your hair besides straightening it. Also, choose the best hair relaxer for 4c hair that is long-lasting and nutrient-rich. However, refrain from using those formulas that might cause a burning sensation on the scalp, make the hair frizzy, and are not color-safe.

Infographic: What To Keep In Mind While Buying Relaxer For Black Hair

Relaxers are truly amazing for all types of curly hair. Compared to expensive salon hair styling treatments, these hair products are a better option because they provide excellent care without needing you to book an appointment or spend a fortune. But with so many options, how do you select the right one? Check out this infographic below to know the factors you should consider while choosing a relaxer for black hair.

What To Keep In Mind While Buying Relaxer For Black Hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Hairdresser Alexandro Vasquez, advises, “Relaxers and rebounding products contain chemicals that needs a professional attention, in special cases got to be in a correct time of application and a good diagnostic about how is the hair condition. So if you’re looking to use this type of products make sure doing it with a professional supervision because it can be dangerous to use without any knowledge.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use a relaxer at home?

Yes, it is safe to use a relaxer at home, but you must know the right way to use it. Rushing through an at-home relaxing process may cause side effects. For better results, read a few hair styling tips and try it in front of someone who has an idea of how to use relaxers.

How can I keep my relaxed hair healthy?

You can keep your newly relaxed hair healthy by washing it well, trimming off split ends, and moisturizing your strands. Apart from these natural hair care tips, you should also drink plenty of water and eat healthy to keep your relaxed hair well-nourished. Keep a check on your scalp’s moisture levels, and do not let your skin feel dry.

Do hair relaxers make the hair dry?

Some hair relaxers can make your tresses feel drier than usual. However, a nourishing, hair relaxer for African American hair enriched with natural ingredients, a suitable shampoo, and a conditioner can help keep hair damage at bay.

Can I make a natural relaxer for black hair?

Yes, you can make a natural, gentle relaxer for black hair. Try a mixture of honey, olive oil, and lemon juice as a relaxer. However, make sure you do not use chemical ingredients and make healthy relaxers for black hair.

How is a relaxer different from keratin treatment?

A chemical relaxer for black hair is more permanent than keratin treatment. The latter can make your tresses return to their original state after six to eight months. On the other hand, curly hair relaxers keep your hair properly styled for a long time.

What type of shampoo should I use after using a relaxer?

You can use sulfate-free shampoos on your relaxed tresses. These shampoos prevent dryness and clean your hair while moisturizing your tresses. They do not let your hair turn brittle or get damaged due to the after-effects of using a relaxer.

How often should you touch up relaxed hair?

You can touch up relaxed hair anywhere between six to eight weeks depending on the length of your tresses. If you are using a relaxer for fine black hair, pair it with a good hair care routine to reduce the chances of hair damage.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Oyendrila Kanjilal, the author of this article, lives and breathes hair care. Understanding and empathizing how regular visits to the salon aren’t practical, she extensively poured through product reviews online and has compiled this list of best relaxers for black hair. These products are easy to use and contain natural ingredients that improve your hair health without burning your pockets.

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Alexandro Vasquez
Alexandro Vasquez has been a hairdresser since 1997 and has worked in various countries, including Brazil, Spain, Ireland, Indonesia, Singapore, and UAE. His experience spans salon brands such as Toni&Guy, Aveda, and Leekaja.

Read full bio of Alexandro Vasquez