Hey Soul Mommas,
Question number one: Would you purposely smear acid unto your skin?
Question number two: Would you intentionally set your scalp on fire?
Question number three: Have you ever thought about maybe creating some open wounds in your scalp?
If you have answered “hell naw” to the above questions, please explain to me why would you put a relaxer on your hair???
I don’t judge, I do not. What I won’t do is sit back and not educate my young Black brothas and sistas on the dangers that are directed towards our community!
Since it’s Black History Month, let’s first discuss the history behind the relaxers.
Invented in 1909 by Garrett Augustus Morgan, the relaxer was created by pure coincidence. (I don’t believe in coincidence). Just a little bit about Morgan, He was born in 1877 and is an African American inventor, publisher and clothing manufacturer. Morgan wasn’t exactly trying to find a way to straighten the tight curls of the African women, in fact, he was looking for a chemical agent to sterilize his sewing needles. The firsts relaxers created by Morgan were made of alkaline chemicals and soap. Not so bad eh? After finding that this mixture straightened fabrics, Morgan began testing this product on the fur of dogs! Abracadabra the fur was straightening and thus the “relaxer” was born. This guy was absolutely brilliant! Morgan is also the inventor of the traffic light, gas masks and cigarettes that extinguish themselves. Morgan also invented the curved-tooth comb (known today as the hot comb) and black hair dye! He knew a thing or two about Black Hair!
THE TRUTH: HAZARDOUS MATERIAL
Now no doubt this brotha was a genius but relaxers weren’t ever any good! Relaxers work by chemically breaking down the protein bonds in the hair shaft causing the curl or coil to permanently straighten. That is literal heat damage my sistas and brothas.
One of the chemicals found in relaxers is lye. And although there are no-lye relaxers, all relaxers contain some sort of toxic chemicals. Lye relaxers in particular contain sodium hydroxide while no lye relaxers contain guanidine hydroxide which is just as bad. Depending on the strength you choose, the ph of the relaxers are between 10-14 causing the chemicals to either work slower or faster and stronger.
I am in no way writing this to persuade anyone to discontinue the use of relaxers but I do wish to inform. Relaxers are doing a hell of a lot more harm than good. The list below shows effects of the chemical when using to straighten hair. Remember these chemicals are able to seep into the scalp and unto the brain of those using the product. It burns its way through nearly any substance.
- Chemical burns on scalp
- Destroys hair follicles causing balding
- Excessive toxic build up within the body causing fibroids, early puberty, cancers, altered immune systems and a whole host of other health complications
- Eye irritation
- Hair breakage
- Hair thinning
- Lack of Growth
And to think they put these pretty little children on the boxes to market this madness!
MY OWN EXPERIENCE
Around the 90s is when I personally begin using relaxer at the age of six. I don’t believe my mother had any knowledge of the contents of relaxers. I wasn’t aware until my college years and that is when I knew it had to go. When I look back, from the time I was six years old until about age twenty one, I was regularly putting these toxic chemicals on my scalp every four weeks. After having beautiful, long, curly hair at a very young age, I never understood why my hair wouldn’t grow passed my neck! It stayed at that awkward length my entire grade school years. I really never learned to maintain my hair when I had a relaxer passed wrapping it before bed. No one told me I needed to trim and moisturize my hair daily. I was ignorant (not knowing) af! I’m grateful that I never experienced the long term effects but I did get chemical burns often. It was almost expected for it to happen every time I got my relaxers put on. I remember one particular time my scalp was so burned a few days later I was unraveling my wrapped hair to find my scalp peeling and bleeding. Not only that but the peeling parts of my scalp had large patches of hair in it. I knew then it was time for a change but I had absolutely no idea what to do.
My college years is when I had awaken. I started getting sew ins regularly and gradually stopped getting relaxers. I noticed a change in my length then. I later big chopped and was so happy to have made the decision. Today I couldn’t imagine intentionally exposing myself or my hair to relaxers. I can’t believe they are still available for purchase! Having straight hair is not worth those effects. I now grow thick, long, healthy hair.
To my mommas who are choosing the relaxer option for hair straightening, this decision should be well thought out. Understand that self love means taking the best care of YOU as you possibly can! If you choose this, make a commitment to self that you will continue your journey to healthy hair care and conditioning treatments prior and post relaxer. Think about all the reasons you can’t or won’t go back to your natural hair texture.
Know that with things like make up, nail polish, hair products, skin products, birth control and feminine hygiene products, corporations will take advantage of women trying to uphold man made beauty and society standards. Ask yourself what is beauty? Are you being mislead? Why are only certain things shown on television? This is not an accident mommas! These products target women and are no good to the body. Do the best you can as a woman to try to stray away from as much unnatural product as you can. Relaxed or natural, do all things in your life for the sake of you! Ask yourself: Would I do this if I were walking this Earth on my own??? Please share this post, like, comment and subscribe. Peace!