Caribbean Dream RelaxerQ: I am looking to get my hair treated with a fairly new product called Caribbean Dream Relaxer to get rid of frizz in my hair. My hair is somewhat curly and gets extremely frizzy in summer. I need to find out how safe and effective this product is.
A: The Caribbean Dream Relaxer uses cysteamine chlorohydrate (which is - very simplistically put - an enzymatic compound in a salt form) to break the disulfide bonds in the hair. This is the traditional reaction that occurs in the hair to remove curl and change the wave pattern and texture of the hair. Other relaxers have traditionally used ammonium thioglycolate, and hydroxide compounds to break the chemical side bonds to reshape the wave of the hair.
All the current reports on the Caribbean Dream Relaxer system seem positive. The results seem to be long-lasting, and the odors usually associated with relaxers and chemical services are lessened. However, the process is not inexpensive, ranging in average costs from $150 to $750 depending on the length and density of the hair and other factors.
The CDR system would appear to be one of the relaxer types that permanently break the disulfide bonds in the hair. This is the presumption based on the strict admonition that "retouch services" need four inches of new growth and that technicians must never overlap the relaxer onto previously relaxed hair. (The latter is common practice with the use of hydroxide relaxers which also permanently break disulfide bonds.)
The product would appear to be safe based on customer reviews, and the before and after photos from various salons who offer the service verify its general effectiveness. But you should always remember that the safety and effectiveness of ANY chemical salon service is largely dependent on the skill and experience of the technician performing the service. So, you really have to do your homework, not only on the product itself, but on the salon and the stylist who will be performing the service for you.
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