I have noticed that it’s not often that we, relaxed ladies, reveal how long we leave relaxer in our hair. It’s way more customary to share our DC time than our relaxer application time. And that’s with good reason, you don’t want someone to burn their scalp/over process their hair by relying on a time that works for your hair. Plus thus we’re all after a different “after relaxer” texture. Finding the right relaxer application time depends on (1) what relaxer you’re using, (2) your desired degree of straightness, (3) your hair’s resistance, and (3) trial and error.
My Relaxer Application Time
I use the Affirm Fiberguard Relaxer System (the No-Lye version), which by most accounts is not known for yielding bone straight results. The application times on their instructions call for 13, 15 or 18 minutes depending upon the coarseness/resistance of your hair. However, I leave my relaxer in for 21-25 minutes. And my hair is fine to medium. The varied times comes in because I’m always watching my roots, especially at the crown (the most resistant) and the edges(the least resistant), for the straightness achieved while the relaxer is still in. I do this now, because one time I went 29 minutes and my edges got the worst of it. I was moving too slowly and wasn’t paying attention to the time. See Relaxer Update September 2011 for more on that.