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How to Cure Chemical Burns



Ideally, relaxers straighten curly hair without making it limp, and shouldn’t cause any harm to the hair or scalp in the process. Unfortunately, many women know the pain of a relaxer burn. Sometimes the chemicals are left on too long; other times, the chemical mix causes an allergic reaction or the skin is simply too sensitive for the relaxer. If you’ve suffered chemical burns, follow these steps to restore the health of your scalp and hair.

  • First, treat your scalp with extra tender loving care. This isn’t the time to irritate it or bother any scabs that may have developed. Don’t comb or brush your hair if it hurts.
  • Use clean cotton swabs and apply aloe vera gel or an antibacterial cream like Neosporin to any painful spots or scabs. You can also use cotton swabs to dab Vitamin E oil on your scabs to soften them.
  • If your hair is stuck in a scab, leave it alone for now. Wait at least a few days before gently pulling the hair out of the scab. Otherwise, you can irritate the wound and prolong healing.

Do not wear any wigs or weaves during this time. Your hair and scalp need to breathe as much as possible, not be suffocated under a wig. If your hair and scalp are in really bad shape and you don’t want to go out without a head covering, a silky scarf will have to do in the meantime.  It may take several days to a couple of weeks before your scalp improves, so be patient.

Taking care of a chemical burn is no picnic. Not only can it be unsightly depending on where your burns are, it can also affect your hair and scalp’s overall health. Try preventative measures before your next relaxer so that you never have to worry about burns in the first place. This includes knowing when to rinse your relaxer out (before the burning starts!), using the correct brand and formulation for you, and basing your scalp, neck, ears and hairline thoroughly if you know you’re prone to irritation.

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