Girl, Don't Let Him Love You to Death!!!
In 2008, I had my first experience with my natural journey. My hair was in a pixie cut, and would curl up even with a relaxer. Therefore, I decided that I would take the hike up the natural mountain. After the big chop, which wasn’t so big, I began to wear wash-n-go styles, T.W.A. (Teeny Weeny Afro) and comb coils. I was embracing the natural journey, but was a little frustrated with my lack of versatility. It didn’t help that after posting a throwback picture on MySpace (remember MySpace?), I was told by a male counterpart that he liked my hair better with the bonded weave that I was wearing in the picture. Unknowing that it affected my psyche, I turned again to the creamy crack. UGH!!!
Being in the hair industry, I often come across women whom have embraced their natural journey but often run into resistance from their husbands and/or partners. They often speak of how their male partners prefer their hair chemically relaxed, straightened or sporting an extension installation. These women sit in my chair conflicted because they want to be natural and free of all chemicals and extensions, but they are afraid of the dismay and opinions of their husbands and/or partners. I often witness women wear their hair in a natural style one week, then come back the next week and demand a blowout because their husband and/or male partner disliked their natural style. These women are eager to live a natural healthy lifestyle, but they are afraid that their significant others will abandon their relationship if they choose to do so. Is this a valid fear? Should we as women risk our health and lives for the visual pleasure of our male counterparts?
Remember that instructor that made my blood boil a couple of months ago? Well she has unintentionally been working her way back into my good graces. I awake Sunday to a video she’d posted in our class group text that help to remind me of the reason I am in this industry.
Then after watching that video, I remembered of videos that I had previously viewed.
It has been researched and proven that relaxers have been specifically tied to the cause of fibroid tumors and other health issues in African American women, however, no public health announcement has been made to alert us of the dangers of hair relaxers. Just like the recall of Tylenol in the 1980's, why weren’t we notified? I speculate that is a part of white supremacy’s master plan, but that is a topic for another blog. What difference would it have made if the information from the studies would have been made known to the public at the time of its findings? At this point I am not sure that it would have made a difference, because of the brainwashing of society and the stigma that comes with natural hair. However, we were not given the opportunity at that time to make a conscious decision to discontinue the use of relaxers solely based on this known fact. Fast forward to recent years, now we find out that the danger for black women and their hair goes beyond just the chemical relaxers. We have been spending years and thousands of dollars caring for and maintaining our tresses, only to be poisoned via the hair care products. Continuous use of a simple moisturizing product can endanger your life, and cause diseases as harmful as cancer.
Remember in my May 20, 2019 blog What Qualifies Your Beauty!? I asked the question, “Is it worth risking your overall health and hair just to conform to a standard that no longer needs to be up-kept? This question was posed when speaking of the hatred we tend to have for our hair, and the lengths we go to just to fit into society’s standard of beauty. Today the same question is posed just slightly differently. Is it worth risking your overall health and hair just to conform to your significant other’s standard of beauty? Ladies I know that we love our men and want to make them happy in every way possible, but at what point is the line drawn in the sand? Should we continue to use certain products and/or relaxers to keep our hair aesthetically appealing to our male counterparts, or should we be more considerate of our hair and health? As mentioned in May 20th’s blog, we must embrace our kinks, coils and curls to maintain life and longevity, as well as protecting generations to come by changing our ways and educating them. Let’s also educate our men on the hazards of the use of these products, as well as the beauty, history and care of our natural tresses. Inform them that in order for you to lose yourself in love for them, you have to first lose yourself in love for yourself…natural hair and all. Don't forget to read all labels before purchasing any product. Vanity can be the death of us!!! Girl, Don’t Let Him Love You to Death!!!