Although the general argument for relaxing hair is to increase manageability and flexibility in styling the Black hair, its damaging consequences are numerous to mention. Most Black women have been brainwashed to think that Black hair does not grow long, is dry, will break off, is unmanageable, is too hard to comb and needs straightening in order to manage it. The reasons for these excuses are due to ignorance and lack of sensible information on how to manage the uniqueness of the Black hair. Most Black women will wait for hours on a busy Saturday morning at the hairdressing salon waiting for their turn, when they finally get seen, the hairdresser slaps the chemical relaxer on their hair, and ask them to wait in another chair for the relaxer to take effect. It starts irritating and burning your scalp but because the hairdresser is very busy she tells you to hold on and in the end you have your scalp burnt with large crumps of skin scaling from your head and in some instances the hair is completely melted away. We do not give the burning sensation any thought as we imagine it to be normal.
Chemical relaxers generally is dangerous but in an untrained hands is worse and is a recipe for untold disaster. Caustic soda on hair is like putting bleach on clothes. These dangerous ingredients are corrosive and if left on the hair longer than required will melt the hair which explains why your hair does not get any straighter but thinner as it continues to melt away the protective layers of the hair strand.
Chemicals in your hair is more than just changing the texture of your hair. The instruction for applying chemicals involves wearing gloves on your hands because it is corrosive but there is no instruction on what to use to protect the scalp. For the reason that the scalp is exposed to these chemicals, they absorb into your skin tissues, through your cells and into your blood stream thereby exposing your health to chemical toxins. The dosage of this exposure is constantly increased depending on the number of times you apply your relaxer e.g 6 to 12 times a year and for an average of the number of years you apply them. This is why it is a taboo to apply these chemicals on children as has been seen to have been practices by some mothers of children as young as 2 years. Imagine the amount of toxin in their body by the time they turn 30 years?
As these chemicals can enter the body through the skin and the lungs, it is also a known fact that this is one of the occupational hazards of beauticians and hairdressers as they are constantly inhaling and working with these chemicals which has been linked to tumors and cancers.
Considering the fact that we are constantly exposed to a barrage of external and environmental pollutants, the least we can do is help ourselves to reduce the amount of chemicals we put in our body. You are therefore personally responsible for putting toxic cosmetic chemicals into your body through chemical relaxers. With the world now developing a greener conscience – cutting down on carbon emissions, the climate change issues, the genetically modified food issues etc, you therefore need to make a conscious effort to protect yourself from exposure to these chemicals by either completely cutting away from them or by decreasing your usage of them. Chemical relaxers should therefore not at any cost be applied on children.
The general consensus is that the chemical relaxers have failed the Black woman. It does not help the Black woman’s hair to grow rather it causes it to break. It leads to brittleness, dryness, baldness and widespread alopecia where the Black woman is statistically known to have the highest rate of traction alopecia exceeding all other races combined. This has caused Black women to accept short hair as normal where genetically this is not true. Chemically straightening the Black woman’s hair is not an option to healthy hair. Natural hair care options provide a healthier solution of non-hazardous styling processes.
The lack of information on the route of natural hair styles is what has sent the Black woman on a search which has led her on a road to misguided information – the beauty supply shop and the Hairdressing/cosmetology colleges.
Beauty supply and hair shops are usually owned and operated by non-specialist in Black hair and are therefore not a solution to Black hair needs. The hairdressing and cosmetology colleges are not a solution to save the natural Black hair as they claim to be authorities on Black hair yet uphold a practice of one standard of beauty – to test the proficiency of the straight hair styling – which does not care for the health of the natural Black hair types. Due to the wrong information offered by these hairdressing colleges, most trained Black hairdressers are also at a loss in helping the natural hair client. They lack knowledge and skill to work with natural Black hair based on their training and their role is to offer their natural Black hair clients the quick solutions of chemical relaxers.
*information via worldofbraiding*