just for me

Recently a girlfriend complained to me about how she’s contemplating giving her 9-year-old a relaxer. I couldn’t help but to look at her like she was crazy. Typically I don’t care what grown women do to their hair, but I do have an issue to harsh chemicals being applied to a child’s head.

When I was a kid, my mother had 3 heads of hair to deal with, and with all various grades of hair. There was my long, curly and fine hair.  By long, I mean almost waist length. My sister had extra thick wavy hair, which was almost waist length as well. And my younger sister had coarser hair, somewhat a mixture of both textures, and also long.  Every night my mother would do our hair for the following morning.  It was a long and arduous task, but she did it. Chemical free.

I didn’t receive my first relaxer and hair cut, until the 11th grade. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed by the results of my first relaxer.  After that first experience, it took about 2 years to grow it out and I never went back.

Although I don’t have any daughters of my own, I will say that if I did, a relaxer would be the last thing I would think about applying to my child’s hair.  Not only are there possible health implications, but it’s not just a one and done deal, which can end up being costly.  People should realize there are other options besides relaxing a child’s hair.

Just this week, my friend posted a photo of her daughter’s new hair style. I noticed she opted out of putting in a relaxer and went with a two strand twist hairstyle. The little girl loves them.

At what age did you receive your first relaxer? 

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  • Not My Fault lol

    I was 8. I barely remembered what happened. But I do remember my hair breaking, (slowly, but surely) over the years afterward. Now I’m considering transitioning.

  • Mari

    I was young, maybe about 6 or so. I wanted hair like white girls, I remember thinking that specifically. I knew my hair was different since it didn’t lay flat or bounce when i ran, therefore I thought it was ugly. I remember crying like a nut and trying to yank out a chunk of hair in my bathroom because it wouldn’t act right lol. So extra. My grandmother didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me.

    Now my fro just flops over my face and she still can’t understand what’s wrong with me.

  • Stace

    I was 9. I remember my mom asking my sister and I one day if we wanted our hair pressed or relaxed. I said pressed my sister said relaxed, I was the younger sister so I lost.. I never really wanted my hair relaxed my hair was already long and thats all I cared about. The texture of it didn’t matter to me. After it was relaxed I still didn’t get to wear it out so what was the point I thought. Even with it being braided up I still experienced breakage, because back then people thought washing your hair only every 2 or 3 weeks was acceptable for healthy hair. Also the relaxer was always applied over previously relaxed hair and kept in till it started to burn.

  • 5 and I went natural at 17. It was not horrifying at all. My hair was really healthy and long. I always kept it in a pony.