This is where I got addicted to weaves…
It seemed like every girl, (yes both black and white), was wearing a weave and it appeared to be the best available option other than braiding my hair. I installed weave styles every few weeks after getting my hair permed and it became a habit. In my final year of university, I saw a documentary by Chris Rock called, ‘Good Hair’. This documentary opened my eyes to the contents of relaxers that I put off relaxing my hair after seeing it.
Also at the time, I had my hair in a braided style called ‘touch and leave’ and when it finally came to take it out my hair was in a mess. You have no idea. My hair had started loc-ing itself and it had sustained significant breakage. So I decided that yanking the knots out with a comb and washing it will help make all the knots and tangles disappear (I don’t need to tell you that this was absolutely the worst idea ever!).
I got out of the shower obviously defeated with wet knots piled on my head. I remember I even got my brother and a male friend of mine to help me take out the knots and by the time we were all through, I had a headache. A few days later, I was still trying to stick to abstaining from relaxers so I decided to re-wash my hair (I’m not sure I used a conditioner, haha! Ignorance is the Devil!). Once I was done, I used a blow dryer on high heat to cook my hair dry. I vividly remember wincing in pain in front of the mirror as I combed my hair from root to tip and it was at the moment that I spontaneously decided to revert back to relaxers.
“I can’t take this anymore” I told myself and then I hopped on a bus to the nearest Black Salon.
Salon attendant: You’re Welcome.
Me: I need a perm but I washed my hair this morning, I heard it’s not good to relax ones hair on a clean scalp.
Salon attendant: That’s alright, we’ll just put some talc powder in your hair to make it dirty.
Salon attendant: What relaxer do you use?
Me: Beautiful Beginners by Dark & Lovely
Salon attendant: Okay, sit in that chair.
As I sat in the chair, I silently watched her as she mixed the ingredients and parted my hair in four sections. What I did not expect was the ridiculously painful burning sensation that occurred before she had gotten to the middle of my head. I cried. Yes, I actually had tears in my eyes in the salon because the pain was quite unbearable. I recall pleading with the salon attendant to stop because I couldn’t take it anymore. I was prepared to walk around with my hair half permed but she insisted she’ll be quick to put the relaxer on the undone parts of my hair and we’d rush off with a quick rinse.
It was while she was rinsing my hair that we found an open wound on the right side of my scalp(this was where she first applied the relaxer). I also lost most of the hair on my nape (but that was majorly due to lack of moisture, wearing tight weaves and using wool scarves). In addition, the perm had eaten away the skin on my scalp and would have gone a lot deeper had I not rinsed it at the time I did.
Needless to say, that was the moment I decided never to use a relaxer again…
My very first weave at University. Other random occasions.
The ‘touch and leave hairstyle’. After I finally managed to take out all the knots.
After the relaxer, you can see the scalp wound if you look closely.0