I have an addiction, and there's no way in Hell I'll ever kick it.
I've tried numerous times. OK, I've tried once. But it was SO hard that after a few weeks on the wagon, I jumped back on that chemically fueled bitch and haven't looked back since.
Every once and a while I'll see other people who have broken free from the shackles of this demon and envy their perseverance. But then I think of all the hard work and time that they put into being "chemical free" and I'm back to my dealer picking up a new supply.
It sucks because for the past few years I've been slowly making this shift towards living a more natural and holistic life. My family and I have changed the way we eat, I've cleaned out toxic products from our home, and have even started this site to share what I've learned from awesome women, like those in the Holistic Moms Network.
I really am dedicated to making small changes that will, over time, transform my life into something more simple. The trouble is, making this change scares the shit out of me.
You see I've been using since I was about 9 years old. My babysitter helped me try it for the first time. It felt so good and really boosted my confidence. I've gone to professionals in the past, but now I save time and money by getting it myself.
I know it's harmful to me and my body, but that doesn't seem to stop the vicious cycle from continuing...I'm addicted to what many Black women refer to as "the creamy crack" aka hair relaxer!
What did you think I was talking about???
OK lets get down to it! For those of you in Granolaville who are unfamiliar, chemical hair relaxers are used by 80% of Black women to transform their hair into something that closely resembles the texture and softness of Caucasian hair.
|Not me, and not her real hair, but you get the idea.|
|Don't ALL little girls want to look like her?|
Hair has two bonds, a physical bond and a chemical bond, referred to as the S and H bonds. These bonds create the S-shaped kink or curl in African-American hair. Chemically processing the hair changes the molecular structure by breaking down these bonds... thereby damaging the hair. Once the bonds are broken, the hair loses its natural shape and elasticity, and can then be manually formed into straight hair. The changed S-shape bond can never be returned to its original healthy form.So there are only two way to get rid of a relaxer: Let your hair "grow out", which would mean the top part of the hair would look like the girl on the left, while the ends would look like the girl on the right. Not cute AT ALL. OR you can do what they call "The Big Chop" and cut OFF ALL OF YOUR HAIR , getting rid of the processed ends.
Either way I choose, putting my hair back into its "natural state" would be a 1-2 year process, and once complete means I can't just whip into a ponytail when I'm rushing around with 3 kids.
I'm sorry but I am not confident enough to rock a buzz cut, although I applaud those beautiful women who do.
|Solange Knowles rockin something Beyonce would never dare.|
I used to wish, when I was younger, that my tresses could be long and luxurious like my girl friends in school. I was too young to realize that I needed to embrace my differences and not cause irreparable damage to my hair.
Here's the truth about chemical relaxers as documented in Chris Rock's movie Good Hair (a must see for my Caucasian husband):
- The principal ingredient in "Lye Relaxers" is Sodium Hydroxide which is a long-lasting chemical agent also found in commercial drain cleaner, floor stripping products and cements. If inhaled or ingested can lead to throat swelling, loss of vision, vomiting, collapse, or Necrosis (holes) in the skin or underlying tissues
- Most women use "No-Lye Relaxers" which instead contain Calcium Hydroxide. A less caustic chemical alternative that still has the ability to melt metal and your scalp, if left on too long.
- Changing the level of cystine – a protein responsible for strengthening the hair.
- Male patterned baldness
- Chemical burns
- Using a Ph level near 13---the same PH used to break down hair in your drain with Liquid Drano
- Dry, brittle hair that breaks very easily
- Exposure to carcinogens that are absorbed through the skin, tissue, cells and blood stream
I guess start figuring out a way to cut my addiction and find a more natural alternative that won't have me looking like Golum or Miss Celie from The Color Purple.
What's been the hardest thing you've had to give up for a holistic lifestyle?
Detoxing in Granolaville,