Why I no longer use Affirm fiberguard relaxer


     Alkaline substances have the ability to lift the hair cuticle, therefore causing damage. Relaxers are made to be highly alkaline with most having a pH range of 11-14. I figured that the ‘lower’ the pH, the less damage. This is the main reason I decided to change my relaxer. The relaxer I’ve been using for the last one year is Affirm Fiberguard Mild Creme Relaxer and I couldn’t find any info online about its pH. (It is a lye relaxer but Affirm Fiberguard also has a no-lye version called Affirm FiberGuard Sensitive Scalp Relaxer.
)  In addition to that, although I was using the mild strength, it would burn my scalp but not process my hair as well as I wanted.

     While searching for no-lye relaxers online, I learned that Beautiful Beginnings No-Lye Relaxer Kit for Fine Hair had a pH of 10.25. This is what I used for my last relaxer and I think I like the results. It might be too early to tell but I’ll use it for my next touch-up and see.

Dr Fomsky

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About the author
Dr Fomsky

Nigerian-born Dr Fomsky is a God-lover, a wife, a mom of three, a medical doctor by day. Plus she owns a Nigerian-based online hair product store called Sizzelle.
Dr Fomsky is very passionate about hair, skin and weight management. Since she's had her babies, she's been struggling to keep her weight and her tummy down!
At night, she likes to read books, write blog posts and leave comments on other blogs. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is also the author of Solving your relaxed hair breakage book .
LAST RELAXER DAY: December 15th, 2016
BIG CHOP: January 14th, 2017
Natural Hair, Unknown Porosity, Fine Hair strands, Low to Moderate Density

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30 Comments to Why I no longer use Affirm fiberguard relaxer

  1. Jewel says:

    Thanks for this post, I was just telling a friend today how I believe this mfg. has changed the formula in Affirm relaxers. I was using Affirm for almost a year, despite the extreme burning, noticed a lot of breakage. The Affirm was being applied at the salon by a professional always. However, late I was told the company had ‘changed’ the formula. My burns became worse.

    After an Aloe Vera gel/raw Coconut Oil treatments along with Jason’s Aloe Vera Shampoo & One-n-Only restorative mask, my scalp was healed and ready for a Design Essential Relaxer. This Design Essential felt like butter to my scalp. My hair growth increased drastic measures and NO more burns. I had far less shedding too.

    I will never ever use an Affirm relaxer again due to its extremely harsh chemicals. I believe its worse on graying hair too.

  2. Bola James says:

    I am a Nigerian Medical Doctor too, I live in New York. I have tried different relaxers, they do not relax my hair well and this was not the case when I was in my 20s over a decade ago. Do you know about PHYTO Phtyospecific relaxer, and if yes, what is your opinion on it? Thank you.
    Kindly email jamesxtie@yahoo.com for a copy of your reply.

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      Hi Bola. Glad to know you’re a doctor too. 🙂
      It might be that your hair texture has changed. What us your normal regimen in the week leading up to your retouch? Do you use a lot of oils or hair creams? This might affect how straight your hair turns out.
      I’ve never used Phyto relaxers but I hear that they are ‘natural’. However, they still contain Calcium hydroxide which all no-lye relaxers contain. They have different strengths and your choice should depend on the nature of your strands (fine or coarse) or how straight you want your hair.

  3. Shelly says:

    Bola, if your hair is not taking perms, it may be that your porosity changed to low porosity, therefore the relaxers are no longer penetrating into the cuticle to relax it. My hair journey has totally changed since I considered this single characteristic of hair.

  4. Donna says:

    I need some help with my hair, my parents are from the Caribbean both my mum & dad had/have very soft fine hair texture hence my hair is very soft fine and sensitive when relaxing when I lived in Jamaica for a while I always had healthy feeling and looking hair although i went to the gym 5 days per week in my 20s now I still go to the gym 5 days per week in my 40s but my hair is so damaged I don’t what to do.
    I always let a professional relax and look after my hair but still no joy.
    The last hair dresser used the Affirm fibre guard sensitive after £150 later my hair came out dry itchy and at some stage i was scared to comb my hair as it was breaking and shredding from the roots.
    I get regular treatments, wash trims and i use Kera Care products in my hair and follow the advice from my several award winning salon.
    When i told my hair dressers she said it’s because my going to the gym that it will settle down as it is a new relaxer for my hair the dryness has settled but the breaking is still there. My hair doesn’t feel healthy.
    I think the only thing keeping my hair alive is my diet.
    I need some help please not going to the gym is not an option. I also do Bikram yoga (yoga in a heated room) once per week but i now wash my hair leave on a conditioner do the class then wash it out.
    Help help please…..i was thinking of changing hair dresser and using Mizani instead what do you think.

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      Hello Donna. I’m so sorry that I didn’t reply earlier. It’s not a bad thing you had a professional handle your hair. I have however discovered that many of them might not know as much about hair care as they think. I’m not sure the ingredients of the Keracare products that you use but if they contain proteins, they might be contributing to your hair breaking.
      To control hair shedding, you can try using aloe vera juice spray. Pour 100% aloe vera juice into a spray bottle and put it in the fridge. Part your hair into sections and spray it on your scalp 2-3 times before moisturizing your hair. I got this tip from my hair mentor, Hairlicious Sunshyne.
      Garlic-infused oil is also known to help and black tea rinses. If it continues, you might need to see a trichologist or dermatologist.
      I also concur with all the suggestions made by Suzanne. I have never used Mizani relaxers before but I have heard good reviews of some of them.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Hi Donna, sorry to hear about your hair woes. I am Jamaican with fine hair that is almost waist length. I too have had my share of hair issues over the years and experienced breakage from improper relaxation. I do not like “sensitive” relaxers because they are often no-lye (calcium hydroxide) based which when used leaves your hair riddled with calcium salts. These calcium salts cause the hair to be dry and brittle. These are my recommendations to you for healthy hair.

    1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove the calcium salts. I recommend Giovanni Hydrating-Clarifying Shampoo. Use this sparingly as you do not want it to over-strip your hair, preferably after each relaxer application.
    2. Try Linange Shea Butter Relaxer diluted with deep conditioner. This is lye based and gentle.
    3. I recommend using Giovanni Smooth As Silk Shampoo and Conditioner. Giovanni products are sulfate-free and both strengthen and moisturize your hair.
    4. Get the recommended daily amount of protein in your diet (50g). I drink a high protein shake each morning for breakfast.
    5. Deep condition your hair weekly.
    6. When having your hair relaxed, tell your hair stylist to apply the relaxer with a sprush and do not comb it through. Combing the hair is not necessary for the relaxer to work neither is it wise to apply tension to the hair while a corrosive chemical is on it. This just causes further damage. Smoothing with the hand or a sprush will suffice.
    7. Only trim your ends when needed. I trim mine every other touch up – every four months or so.
    8. Ensure that your stylist abides by the proper relaxer application time and does not process your hair until it is bone straight. Retain your texture, elasticity and strength.

    I hope these tips prove helpful on your healthy hair journey.

  6. ena says:

    I have a super-sensitive scalp. My hair was so coarse that my mom had to try a relaxer in my African-American hair at 3 years old. My scalp and edges burned so badly that my skin looked like I had 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Since then, I have natural hair, but my scalp is super-sensitive to heat also. I have tried having my hair straightened with an old-style hot comb, and flat-iron. My scalp cannot take the heat. I have been able to tolerate an electric straightening comb on a very low setting, however my edges will not stay straightened past one day. I am trying to see if there is some type of sensitive scalp hair straightener that I can use just on my edges. I have read about the Design line of products, and also Affirm. I am terrified to put a chemical back onto my scalp because what has happened in the past. However, my kinky edges and “kitchens” simply make me self-conscious, uncomfortable, and I have been insulted more than once about my kinky edges. Can you suggest something that I can just use on my edges?

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      Hi Ena. I’m so sorry to read of your experience with relaxers and heat. Have you tried Ecostyler gel on your edges? I hear that Fruit of the Earth aloe vera gel and Ampro Pro-styl ice gel are also quite good.

  7. Babs says:

    I have been using Affirm Fibreguard for over a year but the back of my hair keeps breaking and there is also a lot of shreding though the front of the hair is growing. What can I do please?

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      Hello Babs. Maybe you need to change your relaxer. To reduce shedding, you should try doing a hair rinse with black tea or coffee. Also concentrate your deep conditioning on the back of your hair and add some coconut oil to your conditioner to reduce breakage.

  8. Adetola says:

    Hi, thanks so much. My issue is with the front of my hair, nothing seems to work, I have used all types of temple defense and regrowth cream, yet to no result.
    what else can I do,

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      I’m sorry I just saw your response. I advise that you moisturise that area every day and afterwards, apply either an essential oil mix (using cedar wood oil-thyme oil-lavender oil-rosemary oil) OR Jamaican black castor oil.

  9. kludy says:

    Not sure if this is proper arena for this ?, if not maybe you can direct to proper source. My 8yr old daughter has naturally soft wave. hair usually easy manage with coconut oil an weekly shampoo/cond w/ Keracare products she has severe alopecia for 2nd time. Have been under ped & dermatgist care with steroid creams i discontinued use. Looking for more safe way hair growth currently taking herb mixture from herbologist all blood/hormonal levels normal

    • Suzanne says:

      I am not a dermatologist but massaging her scalp with a mixture of Jamaican black castor oil diluted with a thinner oil such as grapeseed or jojoba oil will stimulate her follicles. Castor oil alone is much too thick and potent and will cause itchiness and dandruff. I’ve recommended this to numerous people and used it myself and we’ve all seen great results. Hope this helps.

    • Dr_fomsky says:

      Hi Kludy. I am sorry to hear about your daughter. As descrined by Suzanne, Jamaican black castor oil is quite helpful. There are also 2 alternatives that have scientific evidence: 1. Use of onions. Blend the onions and filter the juice. The best way to use it is to apply it once a day, rinse it out and condition her hair. This might be difficult to do more than once a week but do this as frequently as is convenient.
      2. Use of essential oils. Rosemary, lavender, cedarwood and thyme oil. Mixed to a 0.5 to 1% dilution with grapeseed or jojoba oil. Apply it to the scalp lightly. Essential oils are safe in children above 6. http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/

  10. Simonn says:

    After my stylist used Affirm on my 13 YO’s hair, it broke off around at the nape of her neck, but we assumed it was the head bands she was using. We got that back growing, and then 4 mos later, she got another Affirm relaxer, then she lost a big chunk of hair in the back, right above where it broke before. Then we started doing a little research and also saw that maybe they changed their formula. My stylist said she has been using Affirm for years and no issues, but she did notice she was having a hard time finding it lately. So now my daughter has some breakage on her left side hairline. So I’ve been using wild grow and coconut oil. But Im convinced it was aAffirm because my daughter has had other relaxers in the past, and did not experience what is going on now. I wish I could post pics. Its like it happens overnight. So we’ve been doing deep conditioners and hoping no more spots of breakage will occur. Ive also heard to use castor oil as well. No more high ponytails for her until that section in the back grows back.

  11. David says:

    hi Simonn, are sure that your stylist is qualified to used affirm relaxer, because affirm relaxer is for professional hairdresser .

  12. David says:

    there are 4 important questions a good hairdresser will ask before applying affirm relaxer.

  13. […] Why I no longer use Affirm Fiberguard relaxer […]

  14. AnnieM says:

    Need help to change to a new relaxer
    I have used affirm fibergaurd sensitive scalp relaxer for the past 8 years,
    worked great for my hair until 2 relaxers ago I noticed after relaxer my hair looked like I have never seen it before. I could not believe, thinned out, uncontrollable, frizzy, and breakage at my desk at work. That’s how I can tell when hair is breaking

    Next relaxer same thing

    Then something told me to look at the relaxer box to see if hairdresser bought the wrong relaxer

    I have a ‘professional’ buy the products for me and do my hair and I keep the products at home.

    Well low and behold it says ‘new and improved preserves 40% more strength’

    Now why didn’t hair dresser noticed this and they think they know everything about ‘MY’ hair. Now I am due for another relaxer, I want to change.
    I need any suggestions. My mid back length is no longer healthy and I don’t know if my hair will ever get used to this new formula

    • Suzanne says:

      Affirm has changed their formula and I too found that the new Fiberguard caused my hair to break. It was not an error on the part of your cosmetologist. I have since switched Linange Shea Butter Relaxer. Regardless of which relaxer you choose, I would advise using lye based instead of no-lye which tends to be very drying and can cause further breakage.

    • Dr Fomsky says:

      I think that your hair might not get used to the new formula . You might need to change relaxers. I use Phyto relaxer because it under processes the hair (not everyone likes this). ORS olive oil relaxer also does this. If you want to get your hair straighter, try Profectiv relaxers. After using a no-lye relaxer, I advise that you use a chelating shampoo like ORS aloe shampoo. Secondly, deep condition your hair weekly or every other week.

  15. AnnieM says:

    Thanks all for the reply. I am thinking of switching to Phyto. I don’t mind the under relaxing. Fiberguard was the same. I hear it may be a period of transition from no-lye to lye.
    Does Phyto have a full kit with neutralizer, shampoo and all. I have to guide my stylist through these things. She doesn’t really read instructions, but will listen to me. Not many choices where I live.

    I have used Design essentials in the past but cant recall if no lye or lye. Also don’t recall a neutralizer ie the product you put in right after rinsing out relaxer.

    Relaxer day coming up. I am trying to stretch to gather the products to switch. I did do deep condition with sustenance(don’t usually use except on relaxer day) this past wash and hair looks a little better.
    Thanks in advance for response

    • Dr Fomsky says:

      Yes AnnieM. It is a full kit with neutralizing shampoo and protein deep conditioner.
      It is a good thing you deep conditioned: it really helps keep the hair healthy. Wishing you all the best.

  16. AnnieM says:

    So, Is Phyto lye or no lye. Reading back through the posts its not clear
    or do they have both. I am looking for both.

    Looking for quick response don’t think my hair can go longer than another week.


  17. Amanda says:

    I had managed to keep my hair natural for 5 years it was thick and ling but very cury coarse painful 4c hair which i like to call 4z. Yesterday I decided i could no longer deal with the pain and relaxed it. I used all affirm products scalp protector, the hair protector, relaxer , reconstructur, neutraliser. We did the low manipulation relax but almost all my hair fell off in climps at first and more when shampooing and even more combing after washing and drying i m left with about 40% of hair I started with my hair was healthy and thick. Now I need help do i cut it all off or do I keep it. If i keep it how can i regrow it. Please help .

    Thank you

    • Dr Fomsky says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this. The Affirm reconstructor is a strong protein so maybe your hair is experiencing some protein overload. Or your hair was too underprocessed.
      Clarify your hair and use a protein-free deep conditioner afterwards. No don’t cut it all off. Give your hair a break and do a protective style.

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