Thursday, June 9, 2011

To Relax ? or Not to Relax ?

 To Relax? or Not to Relax? That is the question... If  only I had a quarter for every time someone has asked me that question.... well, let's just say I would be writing this blog on a beach sipping on an extra large Margarita with a shot of Grand Marnier on the side as I lay in a hammock while being fanned by a man with Dwight Howard's arms , Usher Raymond's smile, Reggie Bush's.... , look you can't blame a girl for dreaming ! Ok back to the Blog...... Relaxer, Chemical Hair Straightener , Perm (in the hood) and "The Creamy Crack".  They all mean one thing and that is to take hair that you cannot manage from its natural state (the texture you were born with)  and make it silky straight where you can now get a comb through it. For some of our mothers' the invention of the relaxer was like the cure for the common cold,... forever. Until the birth of the relaxer came along our saturday ritual (every 2wks.) was washing our hair, making 4-6 plaits letting it dry until it felt like a brillo pad, and then getting it pressed out 6 hours later with a straightening comb and dax hair grease. Grease popping everywhere like it was the 4th of July in the Kitchen. This was usually traumatizing  to the child and  hard labor for the Mother who only in the end had sweated out her own tresses. For some that story was a little exaggerated but no more exaggerated then the Chris Rock documentary "Good Hair ". I tried not to be judgemental, to keep an open mind but when they showed 3 cans of Pepsi immersed in Sodium Hydroxide at different intervals 1hr , 3hrs and the 4th hour the only thing left was the lid and tab of the can...ok, I wanna know who keeps a relaxer in their head for 4 hours? At that point I was disappointed, as a Hairstylist who has taken an ethical pledge to service and protect my clients.Then I was offended as a woman, You (Chris Rock) are painting this picture that black woman are willing to use such a caustic ingredient to the degree of endangerment to themselves for the sake of beauty. So that's enough time on Chris Rock he got $10.50 from me and....$7.00 for a Nacho's combo snack, well ....I got extra cheese and ain't nothing free! We have come along way from the days of the straightening comb and dax grease. Because we are such a beauty driven society, products and tools can't be made fast enough.We live in such an innovative world, where the beauty industry is a billion dollar business entity.There are so many pre and post shampoo styling aid hair products out on the market that are developed with the everyday consumer in mind, you have emollients designed  to give your hair moisture, detanglers to make the comb-thru easier, and for naturally curly hair there's stretch cream or balm if you want to define your curls. In the millennium we now have blow dryers with a comb attachment. If you're up at night like I am usually...... uuuugh, you have seen the hour long nightly infomercials selling most of these products. Generally, people first experience with a relaxer usually happens between the ages of 11-14 and it's not until they are somewhere around 30ish they start to question why they have a relaxer and play with the idea of returning to their natural roots.Yes, I know dreadlocks are a form of "Natural' hair but that's for another blog at another time. I never decide or make the decision for a client, I merely give the pro's and con's for both, processed hair and natural hair. Now, along this journey the relaxer has spoiled most people and they forget the time & attention that is required for natural hair. They sit in my chair and say, in their 7 yr old voice " I don't remember my hair like this, it's________!"everyone's experience is different so you can fill in the blank. Then I say something like"______ "!(smile)..So, as I closeout this blog, know this whether hair is natural or relaxed the most important thing is that it is healthy. While some of you maybe playing with the idea of going back to being natural or relaxed think about your lifestyle, which  is an important factor. Work... what type of job you have? Will you have time to invest in daily styling ? if so, how much time? Do you go to the gym? Do you work corporate America, let's face it some natural hairstyles are frown upon, we're not there yet....I still have clients that bring that up to me in 2011. Then we have age....yep! Just as with most things in life nothing remains the same, we will  ALL have some changes, like my momma always said "you just keep on living". She was tryna put a hex on me yall......anyway you will need to keep a hair journal especially if you have some concerns, periodically take pictures of your hair and date the photo so you can monitor your hair and track any signifcant changes. Most important you can contact me, Jeannie for a consultation. Well ok, til next time........ deuces!

Peace & Blessings
Jeannie Cherry