What Relaxers Really Do to Your Hair

Are you a girlie that uses relaxers?

I believe that the majority of us can live without relaxers.  Although relaxers make our hair flow straight and pretty, that is only what it gives to the outside appearance.  So lets go more in depth about what a relaxer technically does to the hair!  

What is a hair relaxer, and what does a hair relaxer specifically do to the hair strand?

A hair relaxer is a manmade chemical with a lotion or a cream texture that is used to make the hair easy to straighten and manage on a daily basis.  It reduces the beautiful curl pattern by altering the curl structure of the hair.  It makes the hair resistant to returning to its original curl pattern.  

In most relaxer instructions, it suggests that you leave the chemical lotion or cream in your hair for about twenty minutes.  (I know some of you may leave it in a little bit longer to make sure it fully takes well).  So as it is sitting in the hair, it is causing your hair cuticle to burn every time it touches your hair.  Consistently using relaxers, we often start to physically see the stress and weakness that our hair is slowly transforming into.  The hair will start to grow at a slower rate and it is known to cause split ends and hair breakage.  

The process:

  1. Damage Follicle: When the hair is relaxed, the scalp becomes burnt leading to a damaged follicle.
  2. Scab Hair: The hair from the damage follicle continues to grow but not in the proper way, therefore a new follicle will start to grow.
  3. New Follicle: The damage follicle then sheds and dies off while a new follicle with normal hair growth takes over.

In conclusion, this sums up what a hair relaxer actually does to our hair.  How do you feel about relaxers?

 

Photo via bellemocha.com

Related Post

The Never Ending Roller-Coaster: My Natural Hair Journey

Where do I begin? Who possessed my mother into putting classic Alkaline and Ammonium Thioglycolate, also known as, perm onto my 3c/4b coily curls?

When I was younger, my hair was shaped into a Jackson 5 Afro but was always in two pigtails styled in twists or the good old fashioned hot comb straightened hair with grease sizzled edges. I used to be a dancer so my mother had to figure out a way to make my hair more manageable and easy to detangle.

When I was around the age of 6-7, my mother took me to a hair salon where they gave me my first perm and boy oh boy, did it burn. The pain of the perm made me want to shed more than a few tears. Prior to getting this perm, I would constantly scratch my scalp which will create scars on the scalp and extreme burning sensations. As I’m typing this blog, I’m sort of envisioning the pain I felt back then.

I continued perming my hair until I was in 7th grade. I decided to transition from permed to natural because during this time my mother was also transitioning so she stopped taking me to the salons for touch-ups every month and once I started to try and take care of my hair I  noticed a difference in textures and I completely fell in love.

During the time of transitioning, I would constantly get blow outs from the Dominican hair salons or I would get box braids, twists, or two french braids with added hair. Throughout this process it was very important for me to at least get a trim every month just to let go of all of the permed ends. 

I wasn’t alone throughout this process. My mother also had a perm and was beginning to transition so for the emotional aspect of transitioning, she understood my frustration with my hair. I honestly had to learn a great deal of patience and I’m glad I did.

Once I reached my freshman year of high-school, I asked my mother if I can get my first real cut and I went from having long permed hair to a Dora like bob cut with bangs that were too hideous and embarrassing to even re-visit. By my sophomore year, my hair grew out and I was fully natural. Not a perm in sight but then I did another dangerous thing to my hair, can you guess what I did? Yup. That’s right, I bleached it. I bleached my entire head a platinum blonde and I thought I was killing the game. I ended up killing my curls, again.

I got tired of putting my hair through so much stress during all four years of high school and dying it from blonde to red, then red to brown, then brown to jet black and now back to purple, I knew I had to make a change. I promised myself that I would nurture my hair once I graduated.

My freshman year of college came and I cut my hair into a brown bob. I would constantly straighten it which also does damage to your curls so I began wearing weaves and trying to keep heat out of my hair. Yes, it is hard. I gave into temptation many of times for the first two years of college but I knew it was time to let it go.

I am now a Junior in college and prior to becoming a junior, I shaved my hair all off as a fresh start. Chopping my hair off is not only a physical growth spurt for me but also is helping me grow emotionally. I am learning to love natural hair and I have a long ways to go as far as my curls prospering. It’s a journey. A journey to acceptance and self-love.

 

Related Post

Product Spotlight: EDEN BodyWorks

As a black girl going through the whirlwind of emotions when starting your natural hair journey, our first question we ask ourselves is, “What products should I try for my curls?” or “Will this product work for my texture?” We go from Cantu to Creme of Nature to Curls, Miss Jessie’s and many more to achieve those beautiful braid-outs and trendy twist outs but to complete this look we need the one essential product that every curly girl should have: a to-die-for edge control.

EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Control Edge Gel has my heart wrapped. During my journey, I recently stumbled upon this gem when looking for a gel that would lay and SLAY my edges and honey, this product will lay your edges to the edge GOD. When I first opened the product, I was skeptical about how much would be in the jar but there are about 6 ounces worth of product that can be used for about 6 months to a year. This product has a very lightweight consistency and doesn’t cause your hair to flake like snow around the edge of your hair.

Trust me, I wouldn’t want for you to look like Santa dusted his snowy jacket off on your edges girl, because I understand how bad that can be. Trust me, this product will have the maximum hold you need for the entire day.

When I first started using this product, I was shocked that it gave me the maximum hold I needed for the day. I probably had to reapply it once more after being in the sun all day but understand that sweat absorbs products so if you are a person who perspires a lot, you may have to reapply product. The good thing about this is, the product retails between $8.45-9 and at $8.75 plus shipping and handling on Amazon.com and is also available in different sizes if you don’t want to splurge on the big jar for your first try. You could also buy the big size for day to day purposes and the smaller size for travel. On the go products are a must when going through your natural hair journey and of course, edge control is too.

It is very important to also disclaim, this product was made without sulfates, dyes, parabens, mineral oils such as petroleum. Products with these chemicals can cause breakage to your hair follicles and thinning as well. It is very important that you read more about the pros and cons of chemicals in your products prior to starting your natural hair journey. After months of achieving those beautiful curls, you want to make sure you’re using products with ingredients that will help you maintain those curls.

For all of my animal lovers, this product is cruelty free and has not been tested on animals. So just a few reminders when choosing your to-die-for edge control, always check for chemicals, never splurge on $13 edge control, always purchase a travel size for on the go, purchase a silk/satin scarf from your local beauty supply store, and bam! Beautiful curls and edges that slay!

Related Post

Curly Hair 101: How to Tell the Health of Your Natural Hair

As curly girls, we know the amount of time that goes into maintaining and growing our natural hair. But are we taking care of our coils as best as possible, or are we doing the bare minimum because we know how tedious #WashDay can be? Check out the four indicators of healthy natural hair, and I promise you’ll never skip a deep conditioning treatment again!

1. Shrinkage

Your hair’s ability to draw itself in or “shrink up” as we call it, shows just how healthy your curls are. Seeing as though it hides our true length, shrinkage has proven to be one of the most annoying things for curly girls. But don’t worry too much, textured hair that shrinks up proves that your hair is at its strongest and most moisturized. Help to ensure the continued health of your hair with a weekly deep conditioning treatment to seal in moisture!

2. Elasticity

Elasticity or the “stretch” in our curls is closely related to the keratin in our hair. Think of healthy natural hair as a brand new scrunchie or rubber band; you can pull it as far as it will go and it still bounces back into its original position. On the contrary, unhealthy coils tend to be and look more lifeless, break easily, and struggle to spring back, if they do at all. Want to see if your curls can withstand the test? Gently tug on a strand or two. Do they bounce back into formation, break off, or struggle to get that curl back?

3. Shine

Shiny hair is normally hair that has a lower porosity and easily retains moisture. Healthy natural hair will shine without the help of oils and sprays because the shine comes from within. The next time you have the dreaded #WashDay, put your hair to the test by taking a curl and patting it dry (with a t-shirt or microfiber towel of course). Is it dull and lifeless, or springy and full of shine?

4. Fullness

The true fullness and thickness of natural hair can sometimes be a little hard to see, being that every curl is different and we tend to use so many different products, which can manipulate the look of volume in our hair. For example, certain cream based products can wear the hair down, making it look thinner. Naturally, fuller hair tends to “clump” together when it is combed or brushed. The best way to determine the fullness (or lack thereof) of your natural hair is to look at it in it’s natural, product-free, unaltered state.

How do you maintain the health of YOUR hair?

Related Post

Umm? Can I Get Some Real Ingredients? ft. Lion’s Crown™

Are you tired of looking at YouTube videos, blogs, and websites that advocate the use of 100% natural ingredients to help your luscious locks? Are you then met with the dilemma of not finding the right product at your go-to Target, Walmart, Walgreens, or even beauty supply store. Sure products can say no paragon, no paraffin, no synthetic fragrance, etc.  but where can you find that product with nothing but the good ingredients!?image1(1)

I was there too, until I decided to opt out of going to whatever store and spending my coins on products that had maybe 5% of the natural ingredient that I was looking for and made my own. With months of experiments and research of natural ingredients that would mix together perfectly, a moisturizer was born! TAME THY MANE: curl lock&softener is our first product from our brand Lion’s Crownthat is made of 100% natural ingredients! At Lion’s Crown we want to emphasize that it is important for your hair to receive the upmost care with natural ingredients and be able to supply you with products that have just that. We want ladies like you to have fierce but healthy fros.

TAME THY MANE: curl lock&softener is the first of many ideas and products that Lion’s Crown has wanted to present to natural ladies. After I had trouble finding products that could provide 100% natural ingredients and never really trusting what was listed on the back of most products, as CEO of Lion’s CrownI wanted to create my own trust-worthy natural hair products. Outside of providing natural hair products, Lion’s Crown™ caters to naturalists who love to make their appearance bold through their natural mane. We also strive to support ladies who are transitioning and just beginning to start their natural hair journey. Our mission is to support those who need the courage to stand out by supplying them great quality hair products and aid them in their confidence.

image2The Lion’s Crown product line provides quality hair care that will give your hair the TLC it oh so deserves. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays from me, Rienn. Keep that hair bundled up too!

If you want to check up on Lion’s Crown™ products please visit the link below and like our page for more info:

https://www.facebook.com/LionsCrown.TM

 

Related Post

Naturalistas You Should Know #2: Naptural85

If you are a woman in the natural hair community, you should definitely know or get to know Whitney White, better known as Naptural85!

Whitney is a blogger, vlogger, and of course a natural hair enthusiast. She is also a wife and a mother, all in twenties!

Her husband’s name is Filipe and their daughter’s name is Olivia. And of course, little Olivia is a natural sister too.
whitney
She started her YouTube channel in August of 2009 and her very first video showcased her natural hair journey. She didn’t plan on keeping up with a YouTube channel when she first began.

The positive feedbacks from the natural hair community made her want to continue to make videos and inspire women everywhere. Now 6 years later, she has over 650,000 YouTube subscribers to her natural hair care channel, Naptural85.

If you were wondering what her term “naptural” means, here is that definition for you, found in a recent interview Whitney did.

Whitney: ““Naptural” hair is hair without boundaries or rules. It does what it wants in the moment, and it never apologizes.”

On her channel she offers DIY hair tips, natural hairstyles and how to achieve the looks, and even recipes on how to make the best natural hair product concoction. Also on her channel you can find gift giveaway videos, style and fashion videos, and even videos reviewing everyday products and hair products.

You can visit her Naptural85 channel here. Not too long ago she started another YouTube channel, found here, and titled DearNaptural85.

This channel strays away from the natural hair theme and focuses a lot more on being a mother, wife, and her daily life with her family. There are videos showing family outings, recordings of silly and cute things Olivia does, and videos showing the joys of parenting.

Whether you are watching her natural hair channel, her family channel, or both, you can definitely see how Whitney is an awesome hair inspiration and role model.

Related Post

Naturalistas You Should Know: My Natural Sistas

Do you want to learn how to grow long, thick, and healthy natural hair? Are you tirelessly searching for some natural hair inspiration? Well, My Natural Sistas can help you out!

My Natural Sistas consists of 3 biological sisters, Carmen, Toni, and India, who have become YouTube sensations because of their gorgeous natural hair, amazing beauty and makeup tips, helpful product reviews, and so much more.

These sisters are excellent role models for thousands of natural girls and women who interact with the sisters through Facebook, Tumblr, and of course, YouTube.

There are numerous reasons why you should know, follow, and love this trio. What are some of these reasons, you ask? Well number one, their hair is definitely #hairgoals and will surely give you sooo much LIFE!

Number two, these beautiful women aim to motivate, inspire, educate, and spread love not only within the natural hair community, but among women in general, which is awesome!

Number three, the videos posted by My Natural Sistas will help you out in almost any area of your life. They discuss numerous topics such as natural hair, health, fashion, fitness, beauty, and even love.

Don’t know what style to wear your hair, check out their videos showcasing up do and afro hairstyles. Want to learn how you can improve and simplify your makeup routine, check out their numerous makeup tutorial videos.

These girls are the go to natural sisters! Not only are they all gorgeous ladies, but they are also super sweet and caring towards their fans and girls and women everywhere who look up to them.

My Natural Sistas encourages natural women everywhere to WORK their natural hair! So embrace your curls and kinks ladies and keep your heads up high.

If you want to check out and subscribe to My Natural Sistas YouTube channel to stay updated with all of their amazing tips, you can do so here.

Related Post

Why You Should Be Using Rosewater On Your Hair

Every natural has a spray bottle containing some DIY moisturizing concoction perched somewhere in their room. Usually equal parts water, leave in, and oils, having a simple moisturizing spritz for your hair is just something you must do. Because of its moisturizing and healing properties, aloe vera juice or gel is often a frequent ingredient in DIY moisturizing sprays. Many naturals swear by aloe vera juice, but I never felt that it was benefiting my hair when I used it in my spray bottle mixtures. Because of the magical wonderland that is Pinterest, I stumbled across Rosewater which has been a great addition to my moisturizing spritz.

(photo credit:http://bit.ly/1joNBT6)

Rosewater is an easily accessible super ingredient with many beneficial properties for hair and skin. I originally went on the search for a bottle of it because I read that it worked well as a light fragrance and morning refresher for the skin. I found an 8oz bottle of Heritage Store brand Rosewater at Vitamin Shoppe for $6. I started off spraying a little on my face in the morning or throughout the day, but after more research I found that Rosewater could work even better for my hair. Not only is Rosewater moisturizing, but it is also conditioning, antimicrobial, and stimulates blood circulation. After getting my hair braided, I mixed rosewater and castor oil in a spray bottle as a moisturizer and it worked amazingly for preventing my hair from feeling dry and brittle. I always go a little longer between washes while I have my hair braided, and the rosewater mixture was great at refreshing my hair and adding a light fragrance. Its antiseptic properties helped kill some of the germs and reduce product build-up that I had. Rosewater can also help reduce dandruff and stimulate hair growth by promoting blood circulation. Its like super water for your hair! There are various brands of rosewater that can be found online and in most health food stores. I encourage you to give it a try in one of its many uses and share your results with us.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

 

Below is the recipe for my Rosewater Moisturizing Spray. It’s great for braids and protective styles, as well as general everyday use.

Rosewater Moisturizing Cleansing Spray:

¼ cup Rosewater

1.5 Teaspoon of Glycerin

2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil (Or oil of your choice, I recommend a light oil)

Additional tap or distilled water as needed

Play around with the measurements and see what works best for you

Related Post