ALEX Lesson Plan


Chemical Hair Relaxing

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Beverly Thornton
System: Dothan City
School: Dothan Technology Center
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 29773


Chemical Hair Relaxing


In this lesson we will be exploring the world of chemical relaxing. This lesson will serve as a basic guide to the process of using chemicals to permanently straighten the hair. Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to apply a chemical relaxer accurately.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
5. Describe the structure and composition of hair.
HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
6. Determine the impact of acids, alkalis, and pH on the hair and scalp.
  • Defining acids and alkalies, including charting chemicals on the pH scale
  • HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    7. Explain the relevance of porosity, density, texture, elasticity, and disorders of the hair for chemical services.
    HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    8. Differentiate between a soft curl and a chemical relaxer.
    HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    10. Identify factors critical to hair and scalp analysis.
    HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    11. Compare chemical texture services and structural changes that occur in the hair.
    HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    12. Demonstrate client consultation, including hair analysis to determine the appropriate chemical texture service.
    HUM (9-12) Chemical Services
    14. Apply techniques used for soft curls and chemical hair relaxing.

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    The students will:

    • Describe the structure and composition of hair.
    • Explain the impact of acids, alkalis, and pH on the hair and scalp.
    • Determine the relevance of porosity, density, texture and elasticity of the hair for chemical services.
    • Describe structural changes that take place in hair as a result of chemical relaxers.
    • Explain the factors critical to hair and scalp analysis.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Critical Thinking

    Employability skills

    Problem-solving skills

    Higher order reasoning

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Milady Standard Cosmetology Textbook

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Laptop with Internet Access and LCD Projector


    Things Everyone Needs to Know: The Do's / The Don'ts BEFORE &


    How can chemicals “relax”, or straighten hair? Well first of all, as assumed, the chemical would need to be potent enough to do so. Both lye and “no lye” relaxers are very strong chemicals that work in the same manner by changing the basic structure of the hair shaft. The chemical penetrates the cortex or cortical layer (see illustration) and loosens the natural curl pattern. This inner layer of the hair shaft is not only what gives curly hair its shape but provides strength and elasticity. Once this process is performed it is irreversible.

    This process which produces the desired effect of “straighter” hair at the same time leaves hair weak and extremely susceptible to breaking and further damage. One must keep in mind that relaxers do not help the hair, but actually strip it. So by applying chemicals to the hair, even if it is to achieve a desired effect, is never really to the benefit of your hair health. Due to this, it is first strongly recommended that it be applied only under the direction of a hair care professional with a record of success with healthy hair care and chemical straightening, and that the client regularly obtains conditioning treatments before and after the process.

    Possessing a healthy scalp beforehand decreases the possibility of problems occurring. Relaxers should never be applied to already damaged hair, or on someone who has had scalp damage. Age should also be considered. Although your young children may want to have the hairstyles they see on adults or other young people, parents should seriously consider applying such strong chemicals to young hair and the potential damage that could last a lifetime if misused; most times it is not necessary to apply any chemical product to young hair.

    “Over processing”, the excessive use of relaxers on the hair or applying the chemical to already processed or relaxed hair, is the most typical misuse of these chemicals. Once the initial relaxer is applied to “virgin hair” (or a “virgin relaxer” is performed), “touch-ups” (or chemical applied thereafter) should only be applied to new growth between 6-8 week periods (or more). This however, depends on the rate of hair growth and condition of the hair as advised by your hair care professional. (Some say that even six weeks is too soon to reapply relaxer to new growth). And it is standard to wait at least 2-4 weeks before applying hair color chemical (or dye) to recently relaxed hair, if applied at all. We remind readers that the more chemicals applied to hair the more possibility of damage may be experienced.



    • Power Point and lecture on chemical hair relaxing
    • Students will complete a 4-part section on a mannequin as demonstrated by the instructor.
    • Students will complete the procedure for chemical hair relaxers on their mannequin.

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    Assessment Strategies

    See "Chemical Hair Relaxer Rubric" attachment


    Students that finish early may navigate the following website.



    Students will be allowed extra time on assignments.

    Students will be assisted by peer students (grouped by differing abilities).


    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.