I was perusing through Pinterest when I saw a Buzzfeed article that caught my attention, “12 Things Black Women Have Been Told About Their Hair…” Number seven on the list drew my attention and warranted another click.
Relaxers are OK in moderation.
FALSE: Our skin is porous, meaning that almost anything you put on your skin and scalp has the ability to seep into your body and affect your organs, bloodstream, and other bodily systems. From a safety standpoint, all you need to do is view this clip from Good Hair to determine if relaxers are safe. (Spoiler: They’re not.)
I continued on to watch the clip from Chris Rock’s Good Hair Documentary, which I’ve heard about in the past but never actually watched it. After that clip, I began to watch clips about the chemicals and the process of a relaxer. I’m dramatic, but in all honesty I teared up at one video when a little girl told Chris Rock he should let his little girl get a perm because, “You’re supposed to.” The reality is, that is what I believed as well.
Unfortunately, I didn’t necessarily go natural because of health benefits. I went natural because I wanted long hair. After being around Pentecostal women with super long glory my entire life … and I felt like “Wait…you say this is what is causing me to lack growth?! I can have long hair?” I watched video after video of black women that couldn’t grow their hair past a certain length, but experienced extreme growth after going natural! I’m definitely a believer because this is how much hair that I’ve grown and KEPT in less than two years!
I can hardly believe it myself. My hair is thriving and I’m too excited about it. It happened because I quit the creamy crack! I am very happily nappy now. For those of you that are still addicted, let me tell you a few things about the sodium hydroxide you’re putting in your hair…
- Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive substance, one that will destroy and damage other substances with which it comes into contact. The word corrosive is derived from the Latin verb corrodere, which means to gnaw, indicating how these substances seem to “gnaw” their way through flesh or other material.
- It is an alkali that decomposes proteins (yeah … that stuff your hair needs).
- This chemical it causes chemical burns on contact. I googled sodium hydroxide burns because I was going to insert one here … but I just couldn’t. It’s disgusting, don’t do it.
- A drain cleaner is a chemical-based consumer product that unblocks sewer pipes or helps to prevent the occurrence of clogged drains – sodium hydroxide is that chemical.
- Inhaling sodium hydroxide can cause breathing difficulty, lung inflammation, sneezing, and throat swelling.
I can hardly believe we put this stuff in our hair …
I know some of you are on the fence about relaxing or going natural. I never thought I would be one of those natural hair natzis, they honestly really irritated me when I was relaxed! But I am totally, entirely sold on natural. And you should know that I have officially thrown away that perm hiding in my fridge *gasp* and I am living nappily ever after!