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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Relaxers are Evil!

This is a woman who has suffered alopecia due to relaxers.


Awhile back, I received an e-mail regarding my statement "Relaxers are Evil." Particularly, a woman who was contemplating Sisterlocks as an alternative to perm because to quote her "Sisterlocks look more relaxed looking than other natural hair", asked me about the medical implications of having a relaxer.

Here is the data I found:
This is an article from the Boston Globe specifying relaxer not related to breast cancer. I would like to note that Black Women are at a higher risk for many other cancers not just breast cancer. And also, researchers say hair relaxers can enter the body through cuts or lesions in the scalp (this is why perm burns and your stylist tells you not scratch); but these products are not fully monitored by the FDA. Since manufacturers are not required to list all ingredients (some are considered to be trade secrets), they say there is the potential for harmful ingredients.

I would like to expose you to this wonderful website http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/
that ranks beauty products by level of hazardous materials along with in-depth ingredient lists detailing their hazards. For example, Dark & Lovely No-Mistake No-Lye Childern's Relaxer has a hazard rating of 10 out 10 with 10 being the most hazardous. The other relaxers in this category appear to be children's relaxers or "kiddie perms". Here are some stats on this product alone:

TITANIUM DIOXIDE - possible human carcinogen

CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, D&C ORANGE 4, DISODIUM EDTA, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SUCCINIC ACID - One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results (YES, you are a mammal!)

D&C RED 33, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, PHENOLSULFONPHTHALEIN, PHENOXYETHANOL -One or more in vitro tests on non-mammalian cells show positive mutation results


LAURAMIDE DEA -One or more animal studies show tumor formation at high doses

D&C ORANGE 4 -One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at low doses
Virgin Strand of Hair- No Chemicals Added

I admit that many other products like some shampoos, make-up, and toiletries are carcinogenic and unhealthy too. My argument is for total health and well-being. We have the tools to make the right decisions in regard to choosing products and also in what we ingest in our body. In my honest opinion, using carcinogens to change the texture of your hair is unnatural.

In addition, we should make the healthy, natural decision in regard to the products we choose as much as we can afford too. Many women have argued with me about my firm anti-relaxer stance, saying that I really should accept my sisters. And to them I say, I do accept them and love my sisters which is why I want them to make good, health decisions. Follicle of Hair with Chemical Damage

Another argument I hear often is about the cost of buying natural/organic beauty products. My question is "Are healthy products cheaper than medical bills?". Yes, of course. For example, a gym membership may be high but not higher than having hypertension and diabetes due to being overweight. Furthermore, I invested in Sisterlocks, which is a several hundred dollar investment, when I could have kept my loose natural hair for free. With that logic, why would I not invest an extra $10 in a shampoo that does not have hazardous materials?

I am officially off the soapbox. LOL! If you have any thoughts (good, bad, or ugly), I'd love to hear them.

What do you think?

26 comments:

muslimahlocs said...

relaxers are evil. maybe if it's said enough times, in enough places and maybe in some other languages more of us will listen, naturally.

Brown ButtahFly said...

I thought my edges were bad, lol. No really I feel sorry for the sister, hopefully her edges will return.
Anyhow thanks for sharing this info it was an eye opener and hopefully someone can take this info and share with ther unnatural friends or family.
I feel you on the last statment about spending the extra money to be healthy, It is way much cheaper than taking care of any illness. Great post, take care.

Muze said...

omg that is scary. whew.

thank god for the natural.

my hair is so much happier and so much healthier without a perm.

don't know why i got one in the first place, really.

CarmenNC said...

I'll have to remember this link - eww. I haven't been visiting and probably telling on myself when I say - I like your background.

N'Drea said...

Jeez, those pictures are scary. I'm so thankful that I made the decision to return to my natural roots. I have NO regrets!

Meikmeika said...

I promise my hair would have looked like that if I didn't stop perming. Perms weaken and thin the hair. For those of us who have thin or medium hair, it takes less to time to wreak havoc on our edges.

My edges still aren't the best and even after being Sisterlocked for 2 years they're still taking their time to grow back...

Great Post!!!!!!

anthia-ofo said...

Preach it sis. Everyone should know the truth about relaxers.

Aquarian Thoughts said...

Thank god for self-accpetance, thank god for self-accpetance, thank god for self-accpetance . . .

S'LiF said...

Greeting! I had just got through watching a you-tuber do a piece on natural hair vs. relaxed hair and honestly you are the first site that I found with the truth. I wouldn't doubt that these big companies pay google not to display that info. Fortunately for me, I do not need a thousand literary works or documents to tell me that the perm is no good and that us natural sisters not only look fierce, bold, and divine with what the creator gave us, but are the shizniddlevansnipsnap. but we really gotta help our perm-head sisters wake up. I know someone who knows a guy that has seen the brain post mortum. I heard that the brain is very colorful and sick looking and at times i can tell that live folk are suffering the same. Even according to him looking decomposed. I really want to see change, because while it is natural too us, it is too hard for others to stop living the media, and america's idea of beauty. om tat sat

Debra said...

Interestingly, many women develop alopecia, like the woman in the picture, from natural styles like braids.

I've been relaxing for many year and my hair is not damaged. Every woman in my family has relaxed hair and we have had only one incidence of cancer in 4 generations.

To each her own.

Naturally Sophia said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by Debra. Relaxers have carcinogens in them. It is a scientific fact. It does not mean that if you have a relaxer that you will develop cancer. Correlation is not causation.

I have chosen to dye my hair with carcinogens. If I develop a cancer, I would (should) come to terms with the fact that I have to hold myself accountable for the carcinogens I knowingly accepted/ingested into my body. There are hereditary factors and environmental ones too. But Black women, in particalur, should be conscious when deciding what goes on and in the body.

This blog is not about accusation but awareness. I celebrate the concept "to each his/her own". Most of the time, women don't get relaxers to be their own I have found.

Be well in the New Year!

Raine said...

November of 2008 I stopped using relaxers. I had a thick healthy head of hair one year later. November of 2009 My hair was so thick and long and healthy. I though I could go back to a relaxer because to be honest, thick natural long hair is hard to take care of. I decided to take it slow, to use a no lye relaxer. I used Dr. Phillips no lye relaxer,from Nov.09 to Dec 31, my hair went from being healthy and long, to very, very thin, extremely short and in patches. No matter how long I've gone without using a relaxer in the past my hair has never done this.My diet didn't change, I'm not under stress, nothing has changed, nothing except the relaxer I used. I will never use Dr.Phillips again. I've been washing my hair twice a week now and conditioning it, and using a leave in conditioner. I also mix peppermint and cinnamon oil and use it on my scalp. My hair has stopped falling out. DON'T USE DR Phillips no lye relaxer.

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