Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Wash And Wear Relaxer ™
   

   
Wash and Wear or Semi-Natural Blow-Dried Straight
This is one of our clients who has been coming to our salon for over 15 years. 
She reminded us at the photo shoot that this was the first time in over 4 years that she had worn her hair in a straight style.

 


What is a Wash & Wear Relaxer ™?


Black hair, and super curly hair types , may need some of the natural texture of the hair's curl pattern relaxed and released to enable more versatilty of style. A Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ is the technique and process of working with your hair's own natural texture to achieve more softness and manageability in the hair. Our curl releasing agent creates a more desired texture. When you have Wash & Wear relaxed hair, it offers you the versatility of wearing straight styles, by being able to wet-set or blow dry your hair as often as you choose, or the opportunity of having as we say, wash and go no fuss hair. We accomplish this by using precise section timing and some very unique,  revolutionary "off the scalp" application methods that we have developed. We have proven over the years this is the safest way to relax hair. Our goal is to take your hair to its optimum curl release point. This curl release point varies from individual to individual. By doing this we allow you to wear your hair in smooth styles or in a semi-natural look.

We have found that Black hair and super curly hair types tends to break more easily when taken to a  "bone straight" texture, as has been the traditional way to do relaxers for many years. We have found that when virgin, natural hair is taken to a "bone straight" state breakage occurs because most of the elasticity and strength are removed by removing too much texture from the hair. By taking the hair to a Wash & Wear relaxer state, we have found that women who formerly didn't think their hair would grow, now find their hair at much longer lengths and in superb condition with much more body and shine.
Why do you use the products that you do?


We developed and formulated Kerasoft as a result of never being truly satisfied with the products we were using at our salon. In the years before Kerasoft, to suit what we were trying to accomplish, in terms of the health and condition with our client's hair, we had to carry many different product lines. We found no one manufacturer made a complete line of products that we were completely satisfied with using.  We had always tried to find the best possible products for our clients regardless of cost. To benefit our customers, we would carry the conditioners from two or three different companies, the shampoos from another, botanical oils from another and so on. Because we used an innovative relaxer technique we always felt that the relaxers we used lacked in many aspects. We knew if certain modifications were made to the  relaxer formula our results would be much better and more consistent for our client's hair.

In 1992  we set out to formulate a new line of products that would be better in all aspects than those we were then currently using. After working on the formula for three years, we eliminated many batches; we wanted to make sure that we had the best possible formula for our customers. When we felt we had a great formula, with noticeable benefits to the hair compared to what we were previously using, we tried it on our stylists and our in-house models. It was important that we observed  no adverse reactions of any kind during this testing period. Adverse reactions usually do not present themselves for long periods of time after the first use. Although we were eager to have the new formula for our clients, we did not rush, as we wanted to make sure we were creating an outstanding formula.

Next, we turned to our client advisors for advice. This group of our long time clients had agreed to help us with our final formulations. We relied on the input from this group as they told us with no hesitation, when something was good or bad. When this group declared that 'nothing needed to be changed and the formula was ready for sale', we knew we had the final formulation.

We brought Kerasoft hair care products to market in 1995. We felt that we had exceeded our goals with this product line. Since then we have continued to develop Kerasoft by adding new items to the line as well as continually looking at new innovations in ingredients or formulations which might make improvements to our product. 

The product that we use in releasing texture from the hair is Kerasoft®  Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer, (*This product and the rest of the Kerasoft products used to process the hair are only available to licensed hair stylists who have taken our course, or by people who have purchased our Wash & Wear Relaxer Application Video or Wash & Wear Relaxer Kit.) The products are not listed or shown at this site, please e-mail us for information, as we only list the retail products.

Release® is a sodium hydroxide based relaxer ("lye"). Its formula has been enhanced with extra conditioners and designed for a consistency to facilitate the off the scalp application techniques  we promote to prevent irritation and scalp burns.  We use a "lye" based product over a "no lye" product. It has been our experience that a lye based relaxer in the hands of a professional hairstylist will without exception leave your hair in better condition with more body and bounce, than a "no lye" product. We have also found that "no lyes" quite frequently  tend to leave the hair dry and dull looking. It is important to understand that Release® is not an experimental or a "new technology " product. Click here for a more in depth explanation of our thoughts on formulations.

The "lye", "no lye" labels we believe are just advertising angles that companies use to sell their products. The chemical that we use is sodium hydroxide, the active ingredients in our Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer. Other relaxers typically use calcium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or lithium hydroxide. They are all members of the hydroxide family of chemicals and they are all deemed caustics. Even if other relaxers do not use sodium hydroxide, or "lye" as it is more commonly known, they are still allowed to label their products as "no lye", because they are using chemicals within the hydroxide, or "lye" family. However, they are all very similar products and in the same chemical family.

We have been pioneering the Wash & Wear Relaxer™ at Jazma for over 22 years, long before the "texturized" look started to gain popularity. Over the course of those years we have tried a number of different relaxer products, always seeking relaxers that would give us the best possible Wash & Wear result with the least amount of harm to the hair during the process. We have found that no other relaxer we have tried, has given us the strongly consistent performance of a well formulated sodium hydroxide based relaxer. Our development of the Kerasoft®  Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer allows us to be very precise in our timing and placement of this relaxer. This is quite crucial in achieving a good Wash & Wear Relaxer™ texture and natural looking curl pattern. Our Kerasoft  relaxer also gives us excellent results on all hair textures, from fine, soft hair to very coarse kinky hair.

Many clients that come to see us already have a traditional hydroxide based relaxer in their hair and this is of critical importance for people who desire a semi-natural look, in the fact that some products that promise a texturized result are formulated with ingredients that absolutely are not compatible with hydroxide based relaxers. If these products are used over a hydroxide based relaxer, this may cause breakage, ranging from minor to the disastrous. We have seen clients who have lost most of the hair on their head because cautions were not emphasized strongly enough by some product manufacturers or warnings were treated too lightly by some consumers.

Will other more "natural" products give the same result?

Today many people are leaning towards so called "natural" products that will loosen up the texture of their hair and help improve their hair's look and manageability. We feel this quest for a more natural solution to loosening the curl in our hair has been brought about because of frequent burning and irritation of the scalp, caused by traditional relaxing methods that people have experienced in the past. For many people hair breakage can be traced directly to their relaxing service. Nowadays more than ever, we want to embrace and work with our hair's own natural texture. We do not want to suffer the repercussions associated with traditional relaxing methods and products.

The problem we found with these "natural" products is consistency in results, especially on coarser textures of hair. The real concern for some of these more natural products causing breakage is the overlapping and mixing with  the traditional hydroxide relaxer. Unfortunately, it is very easy to make the mistake in thinking that products labelled "natural" are a better choice, when in fact, they may not. Even on the most sensitive of clients, our off the scalp techniques and the products we use allows us to give them what they are seeking, which is no irritation or burns, a consistent great looking result,  and most importantly; healthier hair.

What our goal is, the best possible result for our clients with the least amount of potential downside risk, harm or injury to the body. This goal maybe achieved through methods that are not always "natural".  When it comes to great looking results our cleints may require a semi natural hair treatment, or what we call the Wash & Wear Relaxer™.
What types of hair can be processed with the Wash & Wear Relaxer ™and how often does it have to be done?


Most types and textures of hair of African descent can be processed this way as well as other types of super curly hair and Afro textured hair. How often you get it done depends entirely on your natural texture and whether or not you like to wear your hair in predominently straight styles or are going to leave it semi-natural or "Wash & Wear". If you prefer straight styles we recommend that you get a touch-up on much the same schedule that suited you for previous relaxers, generally every 8 weeks. Your touch up time may also depends on how loosened the hair texture is and the length of the hair. 

For shorter hair, relaxers need to be done every 4 - 6 weeks. For longer hair that has only been loosened to 50%- 60%, touch ups must be done every  6 - 12 months, if they want to maintain a natural look. Hair that is relaxed 80% or more must be touched up every 8 -12 weeks depending on the tightness of the natural texture. The looser the hair the more frequently you have to touch up the root area.

If you plan on leaving it in a Wash & Wear Relaxer™ look most of the time, I find that our clients who do this come every 3 - 4 months to get their hair retouched. This is on true Afro textured hair. With hair that is more naturally curly or mixed textured hair we generally do spot relaxers once or twice a year, just to even the texture.
Can all of my hair be treated with the Wash & Wear Relaxer ™right away?

The answer to this question is perhaps. By that we mean, if your hair is natural with no other chemicals processes applied to the hair, the answer is yes. The process can be done on all lengths of hair, although it truly looks its best on longer lengths of hair where gravity pulls the hair in a downward direction. Pulling in this downward direction adds a corkscrew,ringlet, coily or crimped, looking style. With the Wash and Wear process there is no reason you can't start out short and grow your hair into a longer length.

If you have hair that has been previously relaxed and all of the natural texture has been taken to "bone straight", there is nothing that any chemical or any other process can do to put back the elasticity and natural curl into your hair. The new growth of your hair may be processed Wash & Wear and you would continue to wear your hair in straight styles. The Wash & Wear Relaxer™ look will not really be possible until all of the hair you are wearing is processed Wash & Wear. If all of the hair is not processed Wash and Wear you would have the old straight relaxer at the ends and the base curly. The total conversion process may take a few months or a year or two depending on the final length you want in your hair. In the transition to bone straight to Wash and Wear you would not notice that much of a change or difference from what you may have previously been doing, as you would receive wet-sets or blow-drys keeping your every day look the same.

By slowly trimming off the old "bone straight" hair we will eventually have all of your hair in the Wash & Wear Relaxer™. In the meantime during the conversion process, you will notice quite a difference in the feel, texture and overall condition of the hair that has been processed with the Wash & Wear Relaxer™. 

Our Kerasoft Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer is compatible with the majority of other relaxer and texturizing systems on the market, so transitioning into our system should not pose a problem.

How is your Wash & Wear Relaxer technique different than getting your hair texturized? Is your relaxer the same as a mild relaxer?


Our Wash & Wear Relaxer™ is a system we developed to help hair grow to longer and stronger lengths, even though it can be used for shorter hair styles. Our Wash & Wear Relaxer and “texturizers” are both done without the use of any heat, perm rods or rollers. The Wash and Wear relaxer uses a curl releasing agent to loosen the texture in Afro and super curly hair to give hair more manageability and versatility in style, while keeping it in a semi natural state.

In 1983 when we started developing our Wash & Wear Relaxer method, the word texturized to our knowledge was still being used in the beauty industry to describe a technique used in hair cutting. At that time as well, Jheri curls were the rage. A few years later, men who had been wearing Jheri curls stopped doing so as style trends and fashions changed. Manufacturers in an effort to give men an alternative hair styling options and to replace lost revenues from curly perm sales, created "wave kits" or "texturizers".  Women also started to like the look of short "texturized" hair. As this look became popular with both sexes, “texturizer” became the common word to describe this type of style.

In our salon, we were always developing new styling techniques, it's part of what we do as hair design educators to stay ahead of the curve. In the early 1980's we started using a relaxer in a more creative fashion to try to accomplish what people were seeking in a curly perm. We coined the term Wash & Wear Relaxer™. The advantage of our Wash and Wear system was the elimination of the "greasiness" associated with curly perms,minimizing problems with breakage in trying to maintain longer lengths of hair, decreasing the amount it took to do a curl service, as well as providing a reasonable price for this new service. 

Often our clients ask, “isn’t your relaxer just a mild relaxer and can’t I use any relaxer to do the same thing?” I usually explain the answer in the way my husband who helped formulate the line does. If you take a bagel and a doughnut, upon first glance they look the same and are made using the same ingredients. After close inspection the products are really quite different. For the first eleven years, we used other relaxers before we started to manufacture Kerasoft. The reason we developed our Kerasoft Release® Conditioning Crème Relaxer was because other relaxers were lacking key aspects needed to noticeably improve our developing Wash & Wear system. 

We want to be quite clear and mention again that our active ingredient is sodium hydroxide, which is the same ingredient found in the majority of other professional relaxers on the market. We have made formulation changes with our relaxer which makes it different and better suited to our Wash & Wear Relaxer process. 

Our challenge was to ensure a method of maintaining the desired curl pattern. When too much texture is removed, you end up with poor looking results. The entire strand of hair, from root to end should have the same texture and wave pattern, with no demarcation lines, from service to service. This is crucial because it is at these demarcations lines that friction between different textures takes place which may result in breakage. This is the key reason people who have tried to grow their "texturized" hair longer and are not using our system find their hair tends to break. After trial and error we developed and perfected our application techniques, and Kerasoft products. We decided to call this tried and tested product for people who desire semi natural hair Wash & Wear Relaxer™. 

The innovative application techniques that we have developed over the past 20 years are just as important as having the right products for the hair. We start our Wash & Wear relaxer by either doing what we call a Wet-Down or by doing what we call a Pre-Clean as well as a Wet-Down. With this technique your hair actually gets wet before your service is started. This is a revolutionary way to begin a relaxing service. Our methods are very different than traditional methods. There are some real benefits and important reasons for us doing these pre-relaxer treatments to the hair. The way that we apply the relaxer, the sectioning methods we use, and our off the scalp application methods make our system the best way to ensure consistent results, healthy hair and a healthy scalp.

The purpose of our website is to share our expertise and knowledge in hair with others.There really is so much more to giving a semi natural hair service in the way we do it, than just combing a mild relaxer through the hair. We’ve put a system together over the last 22 years of achieving and maintaining great Wash & Wear results. Our system and products are unique, and they work. Through the website we also sell our exceptional Kerasoft line of products so our customers can bring the Wash and Wear experience home.

Is having a Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ in my hair anything like a curly perm?


Yes and no. Yes, due to the low maintenance involved in the daily upkeep, it really is wash & go hair. Many of our clients tell us that they save hours a week not having to blow dry or set their hair. They have the freedom to make the decision to style and wear their hair without a lot of fuss when they are wearing a Wash & Wear Relaxer™. 

There are two reasons why our product is not like a curly perm. First, with curly perms (curls) it is not recommended that you set or blow dry your hair frequently. Curly perms, also referred to as Jheri curls or body waves, are done using products that contain as their main active ingredient ammonium thioglycolate, this chemical can be extremely drying to Black hair. The dryness has to be compensated with an abundance of maintenance products. It is from this over compensation of maintenance products from which curly perms have the reputation of being "greasy". The second reason is that we don't use perm rods of any kind when we process the hair. We only use Kerasoft® Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer and our processing methods to achieve the Wash & Wear Relaxer™ look.
I have been reading about your Wash & Wear Relaxer ™. Where you list your products you do not list the perm. How much is the perm itself and can someone purchase it?

The Kerasoft®  Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer and other products that make up the professional items that go into doing the Wash & Wear Relaxer™ can be purchased by a stylist who has taken our Wash & Wear Relaxer course. Clients that purchase our Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ Show and Tell DVD Vol 2 Instruction Guide, or buy the complete Wash & Wear Relaxer Kit for at home use can also purchase this product. The Release Relaxer is not available for general consumer purchase without the kit or DVD. You can e-mail us for details.
Once I have Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ in my hair, can I go back to "bone straight" if I wish to?

Yes, all that you would need to do is have your stylist process your hair to "bone straight" again. Unlike some of the products we've mentioned prior, were there are some real precautions to be emphasized that have to do with incompatibility.  With our system, there really are no precautions (except the usual ones in applying any relaxer), warnings, or waiting periods, since we are using a hydroxide based curl releasing agent which is compatible with the majority of other relaxers on the market. There would only be an issue if you were part way through the conversion process from a traditional relaxer to Wash & Wear hair and still had part of your hair "bone straight" at the end parts. Your stylist would have to do what we call a corrective relaxer, which simply means that they match textures without any overlap, which may cause over processing that could lead to breakage, when they take all of your hair back to "bone straight".
I've never had my hair relaxed before, but my hair is really, really curly, but not Black hair would I be a candidate for a Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ process?

Again the answer is yes. Although super curly hair types are most frequently found in people of African descent, many times these hair types can be found in people with European and Middle East backgrounds. We would be processing your hair to control the curl, allowing you to obtain more manageability and ease of style in your hair's own natural texture. Following our Wash & Wear Relaxer™ program will help your hair to be less frizzy and puffy. 
What do I use in my hair to maintain the Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ look? Are the products greasy?

We have four after care products, all made by Kerasoft®, that we recommend to maintain your hair when you are wearing it in a Wash & Wear Relaxer™ look and since the process is not thio based as are curly perms and body waves are, it  does not dry out the hair requiring you to compensate with lots of after care products.

Some people use all four of the products some people use none or only one. It all depends on the individual and the natural texture of the hair that we are working with. The products we recommend are all water based  so they are never greasy. They are very light, and they rinse easily and do not promote product build up on your hair.
What does it cost for a Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ and can I do it myself at home?


In our salon* the cost for a relaxer, or for any service, is based on the length of your hair, it's natural texture and density. When you have your hair serviced with our Wash & Wear Relaxer ™ and leave the salon with it semi natural hair, (see the first picture at the top of this page), the cost is actually less than what you would pay for a relaxer and style, that is blow-dried and curled or wet-set. Wet-sets and blow-drys' are added options you can always have with a Wash & Wear Relaxer if you desire.  After you`ve had a virgin relaxer we recommend that you wear it in  the Wash and Wear look since we do not want to traumatize the hair with heating implements the same day. We also provide you with a class on how to maintain your Wash and Wear daily on your first visit at the salon. We offer a two week guarantee on our service.

The products that we use to do our Wash & Wear Relaxer ™, such as our Kerasoft®  Release® Conditioning Creme Relaxer, are designed for use only by stylist who have taken our Wash & Wear Relaxer course, or  clients who have purchased our Wash & Wear Relaxer Show and Tell DVD Vol 2 Instruction Guide. Clients who have purchased our Wash & Wear Relaxer Kit, which includes the DVD and all the products needed for the service and after-care can also purchase the professional products. Please feel free to e-mail us for more information on our home relaxer kit. 

We feel to achieve the kind of results on our site and on our streaming video testimonials, your Wash & Wear Relaxer should be applied by a stylists certified by Jazma. Certified stylists understand why we do what we do, and how to apply our products professionally. When a stylist is properly instructed through the classes or a client is trained through our Wash and Wear Relaxer DVD Application Guide, only then will they be ready to properly apply our Wash and Wear products. Written instructions, even very detailed ones, would not be adequate enough to convey all the important information we feel is necessary in understanding and mastering our system. We feel  our classes and DVD application guide is the best way to ensure the satisfaction of those who wish to use our Kerasoft Release® Wash & Wear Relaxer, as we want people to have great results when using our products.

 

 At what age would you give a child a Wash and Wear Relaxer?

 

We have realized that recommending loose cornrows, twists or plaits with hydrating products was the only safe option, but not realistic for all families. Since pressing is risky and can lead to permanently melting the bonds within the hair or scorching. We now start relaxing hair at any age where the child will sit still and not cry, usually 3 -5 years of age.

However, when we do apply a relaxer it is always the Wash and Wear Relaxer System and we only apply it to the midshaft, ends and 2" -4" away from the scalp.  As they get older we will apply the relaxer closer to the root area. Thereby, the child will only have to get Touch ups every 6 - 12 months. The looser the hair is relaxed the more frequent the touch ups. Therefore, we recommend 50% - 60% looser while keeping blowdrys and irons to a minimum if at all. Just a reminder, heating implements, the sun, chlorinated pools, unlined wool or cotton hats, and sharp hair accesories can all lead to damage.