Monday, May 14, 2012

Transitioning: Reason #6

REASON #6: Relaxer burns

I haven't had a bad relaxer burn since I started my hair journey, but every now and then I still get the "tingling" feeling and some sensitivity or redness after a relaxer.  Even though there probably isn't too much damage done to my scalp from the tingling, I still hate it.  I'm uncomfortable, and I worry about getting sores/scabs.

Relaxers really should not burn your scalp, but sometimes they do.  For a whole week before getting a relaxer I can't scratch my scalp.  Or go swimming.  Or work out.  Or wear a tight hat. Or do anything that might open my pores .  That sucks.  I think I'm the most sensitive in one place- the back on my right side.  When I burn, I always burn in that spot.  I wonder why that is?? When I was a teenager just starting to get a relaxer, I didn't know you weren't supposed to go swimming before a relaxer.  My stylist knew I went swimming - she should have just sent me home and told me to come back in a few days, but she didn't.  I still remember how miserable that salon visit was.  It still amazes me how many stylists will not rinse out the relaxer if their client's head is on fire.  Oil sheen only works for about 10 seconds.

I don't even scratch my scalp anymore, but it's a psychological thing for me.  The week before I get a relaxer is usually when my scalp is at it's itchiest!  My dad and my cousins used to always tease and mock me for patting my head!

When I was in college, I went home with a friend and had her stylist relax my hair.  Before she even started, she told me that the relaxer would burn because she didn't use a base and wanted to get my hair as straight as possible.  You can guess that my head was like one big scab for a week after.  I didn't even have a nice hair style, because my hair was matted to the sores.

I started my healthy hair journey four years ago after getting a terrible burn.  I think it was actually an allergic reaction, because the relaxer didn't burn as the stylist put it in.  She applied a semi-permanent color right after (I don't know the name, but I now know that all semi-permanent colors and I do not get along).  I was fine when I left the shop, but the next day, I had oozing sores all over my scalp.  To top it off, when I called the stylist, she told me not to wash my hair, but to just grease my scalp!  What horrible advice.  I could have probably saved some of the hair breakage and scalp damage if I had just shampooed and conditioned my hair the next day...thank goodness I did some research online and found the great hair care blogs and forums I still refer to today.

Please don't think I am all of a sudden against relaxers.  I'm not.  I just want to try something different.  I'm sure in a few weeks, I will be literally fiending like an addict for a relaxer and want my straight hair back.  This is just one of the reasons I am trying to stop getting relaxers.  For me, it's a mental transition just as much as it is a physical one.

1 comment:

MeliMel said...

Wow! I totally understand. I have never in all my 36 years had a beautician tell me about protein treatments, moisturizing & sealing, or proper neutralzing after a relaxer etc so I can relate to the bad advice thing or lack of it! I look forward to more reasons and I love the pic!! Lol!