Relaxers. Good ole “creamy crack” is what it is often referred to. That chemical cream mixture that has the power to take your roots from puffy to bone straight in a matter of minutes.
As someone who had their first relaxer when she was 5 years old, it quickly became the norm in my household, and up until college, my mother was the one performing the treatment on my hair.
Now that I’ve been natural for a little over 2 years, I first cringe at what all I went through to get my hair perfectly, permanently straightened, and then I laugh to myself at the thoughts. Here are 6 things that make me shake my head in remembrance:
1. Relaxer days were rougher than natural hair wash days
A lot of naturals complain about wash days but do you remember relaxer days? Do you?! I don’t know about you but for me they were brutal.
The scalp and edge prep with that balm so you don’t get physical burns, the long process of applying the not so pleasantly smelling cream, and then the wash out that took foreverrrr. And there was no such thing as a wash n go with relaxed hair so you had to style after all of that.
2. Enduring the burn because you want your edges laid for the gawds.
Whew when I think about that tingly sensation that started to creep up when you still had another section to get through I cringe. That only turned into a full on burn that you had to force a smile through because you wanted your edges to be laid.
3. The endless washes until the color coded pink shampoo turned white indicating the chemicals were out.
How many of you used the color coded shampoo? It gave off a vibrant pink color and after each wash, it would get lighter and lighter until it finally got to white, showing that all of the relaxer had been removed. It was a tedious process but I liked it because the last thing you want is remnant chemicals left in your hair.
4. Getting cramped laying on the counter while my mother washed my hair.
For my people who got their hair done at home, I know I wasn’t the only one who laid on the counter when I was younger to get my hair washed. It was much easier than leaning over the sink while they wash and wash and wash.
The only thing is as I got older and my legs grew that counter kept getting smaller!
5. Hair laid flat to your head with no volume for the first week – fine hair probs.
I have really fine hair, so whenever I got my hair relaxed, for the first week I would have no volume whatsoever. I wanted straight roots but it was at the expense of having absolutely no fullness at all. Luckily things would start to improve around the second week.
6. New growth. Hair just wouldn’t lay right with those thick roots.
Ahh, then the joys of new growth. That 6th week would hit and your hair would no longer lay right. Yes, you were happy about your growing hair, but you couldn’t get back to that chair fast enough to get another relaxer to start the cycle over again.
What are your “favorite” memories from getting relaxers?