Why Are Women Transitioning From Relaxed to Natural Hair
It’s no secret that many women are transitioning from relaxed to natural hair these days. Zina Saro-Wiwa, wrote an excellent article in the New York Times on the subject. I think my professional base would benefit from a quick read.
According to the Mintel report, 48% of Black women associate natural and curly hair styles with confidence. They consider them trendy and daring.
I’ve been in the beauty industry for over thirty years and I never expected to see such a huge decline in chemical services. I believe I can also comfortably say, because I service the professional salon industry, that the vast majority of my salons didn’t expect it either.
Only a Few Salons Recognized the Natural Hair Trend
Although a few salons, that were well established and very forward thinking, managed to catch this rising trend, most salons did not, and are now suffering the consequences.
Ten years ago, when I launched the New Options Hair Care line, I did it, not because I anticipated the mood of black women; I did it because I anticipated the need for healthy hair care alternatives.
I didn’t know that natural hair was (finally) going to be associated with confidence; that it was going to be trendy or daring. I just thought it would be necessary.
As I observed products labeled professional use only, liberally sold in beauty supply stores without any professional oversight at all, I knew there would be problems.
First of all, if you’re going to use any type of chemical relaxer, you should let a professional apply it. When I say professional, I mean someone who honestly knows what they’re doing. If you ever see someone cover a head with relaxer in the same places that were previously processed; run, run for your hair!
Chemical relaxers sport pH balances of 13 or higher. They can dissolve hair at the rate of 1% PER MINUTE. This means that, if you process your hair for 20 minutes, you can diminish the size of your hair strand by 20%. If you put relaxer on the same hair that you’ve previously relaxed, it can easily be totally destroyed; and this is exactly what happened.
Chemical relaxers react on hair, the same way cotton candy does when you put it in your mouth.
My guess was that, women would eventually transition from relaxed to natural hair care because of all the damage they suffered.
I thought this phenomenon would occur, not because of confidence or daring, but, because of the misuse of chemical relaxers and other professional products.
I know now that it’s more powerful than that.