The Harmful Effects Of Relaxers – A Critical Look And My Own Experience

relaxers

Our girl Chime Edwards has been on a real educational kick lately and her latest video is about some of the harmful effects of relaxers.

She makes a note to say that her video is in no way intended to bash women who use relaxers but basically to give you more awareness on what we might be using in our lifestyles. “Each one teach one”, right?

I never watched Chris Rock’s movie on black hair back in the day.  Actually, I generally do not really watch videos about the dangers of relaxers, just on this occasion.

This video intrigued me, more so because I am subscribed to Chime and I trust her content for the most part. Additionally it reminded me of my own experience with relaxed hair.

I remember before ‘the final straw’ I could not for the life of me get my hair to be healthy regardless of how much protein I used, how much money I spent with the stylist, how much I deep conditioned, it just did not matter. My hair broke and shed as if I neglected it for months at a time.

With all of that said I never one time considered giving up my relaxer, I never ever thought that it was the problem because I just did not want my hair any other way than straight. I refused to listen to what my hair was telling me.


Then it happened, I lost all of my hair in the middle of my head. It fell out, gone,…. kaput, it gave up on me and I was forced to make a decision.

My hair is very very fine. If you read my posts you will probably hear me say that I have the finest hair on the planet. Fine hair cannot survive years of relaxing and I learned that the hard way.

Ladies when your body is telling you something you should listen, this is my one and only message to you based on my own experience. But I have to be honest, do I recommend relaxers? No! Based on what I went through, how can I?

What I will not do however is bash another person for their choice to relax. We will not stop educating women who relax or go natural on the best way to care for their hair though. Through education you can decide for yourself on the best choices for you.

Check out Chime’s video and share your thoughts below:

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

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Comments

  1. kim

    Haha, are black women still defending the use of relaxers in this day and age? Putting a corrosive chemical on your scalp is stupid. I can’t believe I was that ignorant. Now, I love myself a lot more and care about what goes in and on my body. No junk food and no corrosive chemicals for me.

  2. Marie

    I have been relaxed and natural. I also went to a quality salon and had my hair done by a professional stylist and instructor with over 20 years experience. She also based my head prior to relaxers. Over time, my scalp began to become sore, itchy and flaky and I needed an alternative to relaxing my hair. Enter the natural hair movement. I transitioned and cut my relaxed ends. I had long beautifully healthy relaxed hair and now I have beautifully healthy long natural hair. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that harsh chemicals+years=damage. It really doesn’t have to be this serious. I believe the goal should be to teach women that your natural hair can be manageable and beautiful. Honestly I spend less time doing my hair now. Me and relaxed hair had some struggles.

  3. Mimi Merritt

    Find someone who knows what they’re doing, or stop trying to yourself. Never had this problem.

    1. Laura Marie

      Everyone is different. My mom always had a professional that she trusted do her relaxers and her scalp is damaged to the point that her hair won’t grow. She also has really fine hair so I don’t know if that matters since I have really thick hair and never had a problem

    1. Mika Sampson Rowell

      All these pro-relaxer folks finding justifications as though these caustic ingredients found in them are safe. For those who feel they are harmless, continue to apply them…just maybe you won’t experience alopecia or hair thinning. It’s your life, your choice.

  4. Mika Sampson Rowell

    Relaxers are just the worst…chemicals right directly onto the scalp…near the brain. European ideal of beauty led black women to believe that they needed to apply chemical relaxers to their head to achieve that beauty standard of white women.

    1. Mika Sampson Rowell

      If it’s not true, then women would learn to accept their hair just the way it grows out their scalp. They would not resort to putting toxic chemicals onto their scalp to include sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate, guanidine hydroxide, thioglycolic acid, lithium hydroxide. This is all to achieve straight hair. They need to remove the kinks from their minds; not their hair~Garvey.

    2. Ram Reives

      It’s not just about us accepting our hair when we are targeted at school and work for allowing our hair to grow as is. Society doesn’t like our hair.

    3. Lexi Martinez

      Some people just don’t like the hassle of being natural. I miss perms but since I enjoy weaves majority of the time I don’t bother. Bring natural isn’t for everybody. Stop trying to make people feel bad for their decision for their hair.

    4. Kira Stevens

      RIGHT! People are brainwashed into not seeing it his way though. Relaxing your hair is just as bad as bleaching your skin ????????‍♀️. Like it or not, nothing but facts.

    5. Roxanne Nelson

      ” The argument that “natural” hair is unmanageable is another myth “. Girl call it whatever u want, fact is that i do not have the time and dont want to spend that much time combing my hair everyday. And I don ‘t find your view on hair offensive, the way you judge other people and turn this ish into a race thing is what I find offensive ????.

  5. Arlene LookingGlass

    get it done right and you wont suffer those type of mishaps, and 4 the one saying ppl trying to be white think again whether you relax your hair ya still black, so no misunderstanding there.

    1. Jennifer Cook

      There’s no correct way to put in a substance that does long term damage to your hair. This chemical literally burns your hair into submission. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself, get it in a salon, or have your third cousin put it in. Most hair specialists reccomend that you do not get this type of treatment because you are chemically altering and damaging your natural crown. It has nothing to do with color and everything to do with loving your body and not applying dangerous chemicals to it…

  6. Carese Cage

    You not basing ur scalp…I use Sensitive Scalp base it get cool when burning starts…and don’t scratch b4 perms ur opening up pores to be irritated

  7. Mary L. Hart

    No matter how much my scalp was based I still burned and yes my hair dresser did the basing even some hair dye causes my scalp to burn so I will remain natural ☺☺☺

  8. Kesha Matthews

    I love when I relax my hair..haven’t had a problem yet…can’t wait for the next one..Im more concerned with the chemicals that we are eating in our food all day everyday

    1. Cherona Cheri

      Also the foods you eat have chemicals. So unless you grow it yourself you don’t really know what your putting in your body…

  9. Shonek Weaver

    Relaxer is applied to hair roots/ new growth and not the scalp. Forehead, hairline, ears and neck are to be protected with base or petroleum jelly. Prior to relaxing the hair one should not manipulate it too much or let it get wet(not even sweat) or you may burn especially if those areas aren’t protected. I have been natural for the last five years and this year I fine myself straightening my hair more and was considering getting a relaxer again. Plastic, smart phones, cleaning supplies and some of our water supplies are thought to cause cancer. To each their own ‍♀️‍♀️

  10. Ram Reives

    I’m natural, but when I had a perm my hair came out as normal. Shedding is normal. Why do you think white people have hair all over themselves half the time? But like most things, not everything is for everyone ‍♀️

  11. Michelle Gause

    here we go. Lawd let people do what they want to do with their own hair. Everybody that gets a relaxer know the risks. There are risks to everything in life. ALL hair will damage if you don’t take care of it. #BeYouDoYou

  12. Sheila Taylor

    Thats y i dont mess around with no relaxers its going on 7 yrs since i relaxed my hair i got fine hair dont need it

  13. Roslyn Truesdale

    I believe I was allergic to the chemicals in the relaxers. I don’t care how much oil was on my scalp, I always burned, BAD. I had a terrible headache every time. Different relaxers, stylist, same result.

    1. Maya Dennies

      Yes me too. I had bad headaches all while I was relaxed. I noticed since I have been natural I do not have those headaches anymore. I think no i know that relaxes were a major key in why I was getting those bad headaches. Been natural 4 years and no more headaches.

  14. Ke Jones

    Go natural… any hair type looks bomb af with a blow out & flat iron.. same effect.. you’d think u had a relaxer

  15. Norica Oya

    Team natural, anything that has the capabilities of burning through my skin does not belong on my head.

  16. Jennifer Cook

    There’s no correct way to put in a substance that does long term damage to your hair. This chemical literally burns your hair into submission. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself, get it in a salon, or have your third cousin put it in. Most hair specialists reccomend that you do not get this type of treatment because you are chemically altering and damaging your natural crown. It has nothing to do with color and everything to do with loving your body and not applying dangerous chemicals to it…

  17. Jennifer Cook

    Perming is like smoking, we all know it’s dangerous but some people still choose to do it. Why do you think people call it creamy crack? It’s a bit of an exaggeration but to some people it’s just as addicting a feeling as the cigarette is to a smoker….

  18. Vanessa White

    Relaxer bashing again! That would only happen if care wasn’t taken before, during and after application.

  19. Tanya Weise

    Yep. That’s a known world fact.
    Irritated scalp, relaxed on skin or left in too long can cause this.
    How come you just knowing that?

  20. Aysia Holmes

    Each to their own.
    There is risk with everything. Limit the risks by going to a professional to have it done. I’m team natural now. I was relaxed for years!!! but like I said each to their own

  21. Queen Ib

    Natural is the best relax is just full of chemicals never tried that on my hair thou

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