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African hair and the White lye!

This group wants you to know!

Once you know read and pass on this information to as many Africans,and or people of African descent!
There are already existing resources with information for further discussions visit www.nappturality.com, If you are a facebooker join the group Natural hair.

All I want you to do is to Read Know and Pass this on! HOW invite as many friends to join the African hair group

....Spreading the word about the lye the white lye.

THE TRUTH ABOUT RELAXERS
A couple of years ago, I had to compose a "persuasive" speech for my public speaking class. I had to pick a subject and write a speech to persuade people to change their actions or their way of thinking about that subject. I chose chemical relaxers as my subject. I posted it on my web site, and many napptural friends have commented on how informative and helpful it was, so I thought it would be a good idea to submit it here so more people can learn the truth.
The information was compiled from Tulani Kinard's book "No Lye" and Pamela Ferrell's book "Let's Talk Hair". Both books can be ordered through my Book Nook. If you're thinking of giving up the creamy crack, I highly recommend these books. There's a wealth of helpful information in them. They have become my hair bibles and helped me a lot once I made the decision to....
STOP LIVING THE LYE!
This is a phrase that I read in a book when I was researching what I could do with my hair other than use chemicals to straighten it. So many women today suffer from all types of hair loss. Alopecia, aging, heredity, and stress are some of the most common causes. The cause that is found in almost epidemic proportions in black women, however, is chemical damage from relaxers -- or chemical hair straighteners.
The Process
Most of us have no idea what these relaxers really do to our hair... how they actually go about the process of straightening. There are two types of relaxers. They are SODIUM HYDROXIDE (lye-based) and GUANIDINE HYDROXIDE (no-lye). Although the no-lye products are thought to be less damaging, both types are harmful to the hair because in order to straighten it, they must first strip it of its natural moisture and then break down the structure of the hair.
Let me briefly explain. The hair has two bonds, a physical bond and a chemical bond, referred to as the S and H bonds. These bonds create the S-shaped kink or curl in African-American hair. Chemically processing the hair changes the molecular structure by breaking down these bonds... thereby damaging the hair. Once the bonds are broken, the hair loses its natural shape and elasticity, and can then be manually formed into straight hair. The changed S-shape bond can never be returned to its original healthy form. It has undergone a permanent change caused by chemical damage.
Hair Damage
Sodium hydroxide and guanidine hydroxide both have a very high pH factor, meaning they are highly alkaline products. When applied to the hair, they immediately strip it of all moisture, because any retention of moisture would reduce the effectiveness of the straightener. This is why a deep-conditioning treatment is always applied to the hair after the chemical process. These treatments are designed to drive moisture back into the hair shaft and to coat the hair strand to make it look shiny and appear healthy, or in other words -- to camouflage the damage. But no hair that has undergone a chemical relaxer is healthy. It�s been purposely and permanently damaged by the chemicals... and hair can�t be damaged and healthy at the same time.
Relaxed hair is always dry. This is why we�re constantly putting something on it.. oiling our hair and scalp two or three times a week. There are several reasons for this: 1) Start with the moisture-stripping process of the chemical relaxer that I spoke about in the above paragraph; 2) Add the steady regimen of hot-comb touch-ups, curling irons & flat irons (all work with heat which is drying to the hair) and hair sprays and styling/holding gels, (these contain alcohol which is drying to the hair). The natural oils our scalps produce can�t serve our hair�s needs. The scalp can�t manufacturer enough natural moisture to replenish the moisture we�re stripping from our hair on a daily basis; and 3) The products we usually use in an attempt to fight dryness (usually petroleum-based products, or "grease") don�t really add moisture to the hair at all. They simply coat the hair with petroleum to provide shine. At the same time, they clog the pores of the scalp so that the scalp can�t secrete its own natural moisture.
I always thought black hair either doesn�t grow as fast as Caucasian hair � or doesn�t grow at all. WRONG! All hair grows at the same rate � on average � inch per month. But the reason that most black women have shorter hair is because of breakage. Why does the hair break? Because of the harsh treatment we give it. We strip it of its moisture in every way we possibly can! So after a period of time (short for some, a little longer for others) the need for a cut to camouflage the damage done to your hair will become evident. When your stylist suggests a �designer cut� (like the fade), that's your cue that your hair has had enough.
Skin Absorption
In addition to the damage done to the hair by these chemicals, we should remember that the process involves more than simply straightening or texturizing the hair above the scalp. Chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the tissue, cells, and blood stream. We rub creams and lotions on our skin -- knowing that the skin will absorb them and be moisturized by them. The medical industry administers drugs through skin absorption -- like the patches for smoking, sea-sickness, and birth control. The skin absorbs everything; and as strong as these chemicals are � causing sores and abrasions on the scalp � why wouldn�t some of it be absorbed through the skull and possibly into the brain?
Causticity
The instructions on the relaxer boxes always say to wear gloves -- because the chemicals are caustic, however it is applied directly to the hair and scalp and left there for a period of time. Women experience burns and scabs from the toxic chemicals, and yet they continue to go back every few weeks for their regular dose of this creamy crack. The FDA banned the manufacture of household liquid drain cleaners that have a higher than 10 percent solution of Sodium Hydroxide because it corrodes drain pipes. Because it is so strong, it may cause dermatitis of the scalp. If left on the hair more than 10 minutes, it will dissolve the hair, causing it to tear easily and become fragile and limp. Would anyone put this cream on their face, or on their arm, and leave it there for 10 or 15 minutes? Then why put it on your head?
Inhalation
And then there are the fumes. A study done by the Cancer Surveillance program at the University California School of Medicine found the number of cases of blood cancer to be excessive for females in the occupations �cosmetologist, hairdressers, and manicurist.� Dyes, shampoos, conditioners, relaxers, permanent wave solutions, nail antiseptics, fungi, and bacteria are the suspect causes of this. Although the study does not specifically look for race in the findings, it is known that blacks in these beauty occupations typically have higher rates of blood cancer. Also, frequent inhalation of this chemical can lead to lung damage.
Love Yourself
In order to stop these damaging practices, we must first learn to love ourselves as we are. Why should we continue the practice of chemically damaging our hair so that we can wear it in styles created for other hair textures when African-American hair can be styled beautifully just as it is? It�s not hard to work with, and there are lots of varieties of styles to choose from.. From locks to twists to coils to afros... from dressy up-dos to the no-care-hair of free-styling. Our hair is not unmanageable, as many people think. My aunt once told me that our hair is easy to manage as long as we stop trying to force it to do things it wasn�t designed to do.
Hair doesn�t have to be straight to be beautiful. It simply has to be well-groomed. There are books by natural hair care specialists that take you through every step of transitioning from chemically-straightened hair to healthy natural stylish hair. There are also support groups all over the country to help people cross over and maintain their natural hair. If you�re interested in attending some of these gatherings in your area, visit A Nappy Hair Affair.
Our skin is brown because it�s supposed to be. Our hair is kinky because it�s supposed to be. It�s not something that needs to be fixed or hidden. It�s not something to be ashamed of. It�s just hair. It�s not bad hair or good hair. Just hair. The idea that it must be fixed (or straightened) is left-over baggage from the days of slavery... an idea that we�ve held for so long that we don't even realize why we do it, and we no longer have a clue how to manage and maintain our hair in its natural state. We shun our own natural hair texture because we have been told for generations that nappy hair is bad. We�ve been made to feel that the only way to attain �good� hair is to straighten it. We�ve turned perfectly neutral descriptive words into negatives. Straight isn�t a negative word. Wavy isn�t a negative word. When we can hear the words kinky and nappy as being purely descriptive and carrying no negative connotation, and when we can all �stop living the lye�, we will have made it to true acceptance of ourselves.
Source: www.nappturality.com

Comments

ENIE NDOH CECILE's picture

Thanks

Hi Nzasu,

Thanks for inviting me to join this group, i will equally love you join the Social Dialogue Group.

Your information is interesting but there are some few points i somewhat disagree on.
For instance, stating that black hair does grow as fast as Caucasian hair.
First by nature every one is not thesame in size, colour, height etc and different races have features that distinguish them.
The way we look has alot to do with our hereditary as they say - a snake cannot bring forth a dog.

I understand and i am in the know that relaxers are not good for the hair, the reason why unlike other people who want their hair really smooth all the time as such apply it on monthly basis, i relax mine after every three or four months and tackle just the undergrowth. I also strongly do not encourage relaxers for kids.

Even men who do not use these chemicals as you say equally experience hair lost and other hair defects. Mix offsprings too with a black and white parent also have a different hair texture and the tendency of having real long hair.
India's too by nature have longer hair growth than people from the Western world.

If you observe nature keenly apart from the fact that our skin and hair colours can attribute where we are really from, you will notice that even the animals in temperate regions differ from those in the tropics.
Animals in cold areas or continent are more hairy than those in the warm areas and i belief God created them so to keep them warm from the hash winter climate and i hold this applies to people too.

That equally goes with plants. If thesame plant is planted in different areas with different soil, they are bound to taste different and also their nutritional content will equally vary.

To sum up, i wish to state i have friends who are Africans with extremly long hair even though they apply relaxers and once you see their other family members they equally have long hair.
Personally in our family we are hairy on our skin and our hair grow long, i use to love my paternal grandmoms' hair, but from my maternal side the back is always shorter than the front so the hair is never even and this we inherited and i have experience thesame with my children. Beside the Caucasian equally use relaxers and living in the US i discover they use it more than we do.

Kind Regards

Nzasu's picture

Enie

Thank you for your response Enie.

Whether whites or blacks are doing it the bottom line is that these things are not good for you.Whether you do u hair once twice 5 times once a year these chemicals are not good for u.Its like a druggie saying I only take heroine 1 a month off course he is better than hes druggie friends who do it every weekend, but that doesn't mean that he is not doing harm to his body.

I did not write this article, I found it on a website called www.nappturality.com I would suggest you air your'e questions and concerns regarding the facts on such websites, as there are people there who would be in a better position to answer your concerns.But I agree genes like in everything else has a role.I think what this point was trying to bring out is its not a race thing that black people cannot naturally have long hair.Look at the locs the Mau Mau fighters in Kenya had, their hair was longer than even the Indians why because locs are one of the things our natural hair can do without altering the natural state of u hair.

Our hair african hair was never meant to be straight.God/nature did not make a mistake to give u afro kinkiy nappy hair.If you relax your hair chemically you are no better than those people who get boob jobs or nose jobs.Just like u they are changing the natural state of their nose,boobs and in u case hair. So next time u want to make a comment about Michael Jackson nose have a better look at yourself!

The reason I posted this article is to create awareness among African women, and to force people to investigate.I suggest take u hair relaxer read the chemicals found in them, do a google read the side effects of using such chemicals then choose to do as you wish.But at least u know!

Black hair is managebale and can be made soft naturally, but bec we do not understand and try to make it do things that it was never supposed to do for example making it straight we suffer.Kindly share this with other sistas.

My grandparents and ancestors lived for many years probably longer than we ever will.They were beautiful, got married,bore children and lived healthily without these relaxers.Why is that in my time more and more women are unable to give birth,give birth to children with deformities,give birth to children with various terminal illnesses.It is these chemicals that we use in our everyday for our skins,hair etc.

At the end of the day we all know these things are not good for us.

I am aware that you did not write the article but you posting it means you agree with what it says.

It is not a sin to have a boob job, relax your hair or have rhinoplasty. It is not natural to have a Caesarian is it? Sometimes people like to speak on the behalf of God. What does your hair, your nose shape or boob size got to do with your heart and your goodness. If changing those things affect the way you are with humanity then sure it is a problem. I personally do not agree with having surgery for the sake of vanity. But I know some people face trauma because of how they look, and the do it to fit in. It is not okay but then again, until you have walked into that person's shoes you will never know how it is for them.

An interesting documentary on British television called Beauty and the Beast sees two people: one obsessed with beauty and the other with facial disfigurement - living together for a week and trying to make the beauty obsessed person to see that life is not all about putting on a face, but shockingly some of the people with facial disfigurements also learn a thing or two about surface beauty.

Last year I did a Big Chop after chemically treating my hair for years but it's been hell. I do not have the patience to sit there tending to my hair because it takes too long, so I just braid it. It hurts like hell when I put a comb through it, and that is why I gave in to a relaxer in the first place. So even though they make some interesting points, they need to avoid generalising: we use all sorts of chemicals on our bodies everyday, but we do not stop to think about it because they don't so much make the whole black trying to be white view obvious. I am sure that if long straight hair belonging Europeans did not exist using relaxer creams would not have been an issue.

Angélique

'I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself'
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