Black History Month & Relaxer

This is Black History Month!!! I would like to give honor and tribute to my mentor Mr. Joe Dudley Sr. Mr. Dudley is one of the founders of Dudley Cosmetology University, which teaches in five languages.

Cosmetologists and hair stylists come from all over the world to our university to learn haircutting, styling, and makeup application. He opened two schools in Zimbabwe, and he does business in Japan, Korea, and Brazil.

Mr. Joe Dudley Sr. received the Horatio Alger Award; others who received that award are Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral and Dave Thomas of Wendy's. He was the only black person in the Hall of Fame for Direct Sales. So I consider him primarily an entrepreneur. That said, He happens to be black. So you can see for many reason why his is a man of great knowledge and character, who I love and adore.

As a professional stylist for over 30 years, I can say that people who got an unprofessional relaxing service are now hesitant on getting another one.

I want to explain the benefits of a professional relaxer line that makes the hair manageable and doesn’t dry the hair or create breakage.

What Is Hair Relaxer? A relaxer is a lotion or cream that’s used to chemically straighten curly, or kinky hair. By straighten, we mean that the natural curl pattern of the hair is loosened to the point that it is relaxed, or made straight. Bear in mind though,that relaxed hair does not have to be completely straightened. This part is a matter of choice, often depending on the result that you want, and more importantly, the current condition of your hair. The longer you leave the lotion/cream in, the more straight your hair becomes.

What is the chemical used in a relaxer? The active ingredient in a relaxer (lye), will often be a strong alkali, though this does not apply to all relaxers. There are other relaxer formulations that are no-lye, and are based on ammonium thioglycolate.

Don’t confuse a relaxer with a perm.

Sometimes people use the two terms synonymously. Yet, they are different because while a perm also chemically alters your natural hair when the formula is applied to it, the results are curls or waves. This is not the case with relaxer. The aim of relaxing hair is to obtain straight, not curly hair.

Garrett A. Morgan

Although there are different types, the relaxer as we know it today was developed by an African American named Garrett Augustus Morgan. He discovered that when certain chemicals penetrated the cortical layer, they had the ability to change the structure of the hair. He stumbled upon this discovery while he was trying to solve a totally unrelated problem. This accidental experiment was a wild success because for many women it represented a quick solution to achieving that much sought after straightened effect, while by-passing the massive amounts of greasy oils, not to mention the amount of time spent using a straightening comb, in order to achieve the same (temporary) result.

Why Women Relax Their Hair? Everyday women choose to relax their hair for different reasons. Here are a just few:

Manageability – women (and men) choose to relax their hair in a quest for a new look. Going from natural hair to straightened hair that’s easier to handle and manage, will be a major achievement.

Easy Styling – Natural hair though it can be, is not always hard to manage. But when it comes to relaxed hair, the possibilities for styling and creating new looks are absolutely endless on short, medium, or long relaxed hair.

To Avoid Workplace Issues – The truth is that braids and other ways of wearing natural hair, are still controversial in many workplaces.

Hair Is Too Thick and Truly Wild (no exaggeration) – Sometimes the decision to relax is purely practical. Those who don’t have this kind of hair may not be able to relate. But if you have to fight with your hair everyday, sometimes it makes sense to just give in gracefully, especially if there are other options that bring peace to you and your hair.

Appearance – Many have become unwilling converts to relaxed hair because they had to admit that it looked great on their friends, even better than when they had natural hair. So, they decided to try it. What to expect when you relax your hair? When a decision needs to be made, having good information helps. I specialize in pre-treating the hair before a chemical service. And the best option is a mild relaxer to loosen the curl pattern. So, if you’re a visual sort of person, here are some before and after pictures. this will help paint a clearer picture of what to expect when you relax your natural hair for the first time.


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