Got this note over the weekend from a longtime fan of BB&W in response to the story we did about my black “friend” expressing his distaste for women’s afro-textured hair because “that ish don’t move.”
Meet Rachel. She has gorgeous, long relaxed hair.
I want to say thank you for all of your post about natural hair. After being relaxed since I was about 12 years old, I am NEVER putting another relaxer in my hair again! I am 8 weeks post relaxer, and transitioning to natural vs doing a big chop. I was thinking about going natural before, but had decided to get that last relaxer anyway, despite a nagging feeling that I shouldnt. At the time I felt like I didn’t have enough time to research what products to use, and now I regret that decision. I had scratched my scalp more than I thought I did. I have a very high threshold for pain but when the relaxer was applied, I was on FIRE. My scalp turned crimson red, and the stylist rushed to wash it out. My head was bleeding so bad, and clear fluid was oozing out of my head. That night my pillow was bloody, and that was from me sleeping on the side of my head that wasn’t bleeding as bad. I slept in a fetal position and cried as I rocked because I was in so much pain.
I describe the pain like this: picture someone who is bald drinking a motorcycle going fast. The bike stops suddenly and flips them off and they slide on their head for about 20 feet. This is how my scalp felt. Just a light breeze blowing on it when I was outside made it burn, and made me want to drop to my knees in pain. Even when the relaxer was rinsed out I still felt a burning sensation on my scalp.
When I called the dertamologists to make an appointment the receptionist sounded panicked after I explained what happened. She got me in right away and even wanted me to come there as soon as I got off the phone with her. I had 1st degree chemical burns throughout my scalp. I was in constant pain, and my hair had matted together from all of the blood and clear fluid that was oozing out of my scalp. I went to Whole Foods and got two big Aloe Vera leaves. I cut the leaves and dabbed the gel on my scalp. This helped so much and gave me cooling relief for my scalp. I had huge sections of scabs in my hair, but the aloe helped to heal it all, and thank God there were no bald places. I was only able to wash my hair 6 weeks post relaxer (to give everything time to heal).
I think even just the smell of another relaxer would put me into a panic.
I have a wonderful hair stylists, that’s why my hair looked healthy relaxed. I don’t blame her, because she was just doing what I asked her to do. My body is telling me that it doesn’t want that chemical on my scalp because it’s too harsh, and this time I am listening.
The salon that I go to (which has predominantly white and Hispanic clientele) frequently uses my hair pictures on their Instagram page. I am almost at waist length with my relaxed hair. I get stopped all the time by strangers that compliment my hair, and asking if it’s real because it’s so long and thick. But I think that my hair will look nice natural too.
The pain that I experienced, and what you have written on BB&W, and the dangers of relaxers convinced me to go natural. I just wanted to thank you for what you do. You look so beautiful with your natural hair, it brings out your beauty more than flat relaxed hair that just looks blah.
I am so glad to have the BB&W community, and YouTube. I am encouraged about my transition, and having so many hair care tips will make it easier. I think I will be able to retain my length as I trim my relaxer out instead of doing a big chop. I just wanted to share my story with you and say thank you. All of your natural hair post have helped make my decision to go natural easier. Keep on doing what your doing and never listen to the critics and haters are out there. You are truly helping to change lives for the better with your work. God bless you.