Hair Debate: Weaves and Relaxers

I have recently been feeling inspired to write but as busy or lazy (lol) as i get i haven't been able to. But just recently a male frie...

I have recently been feeling inspired to write but as busy or lazy (lol) as i get i haven't been able to. But just recently a male friend of mine on facebook, Foli, brought up a topic which caused me to respond by writing a whole thesis lol! He had watched Chris Rock's documentary on good hair and came up with some points and questions as to why women should spend unnecessarily on indian hair and the fact that blacks who are huge consumers of these products as well as relaxers do not even own a fraction of the market. Both male and female commentators came on board which was interesting indeed. Anyways i was pleased about the way in which i approached the issue because prior to embarking on this natural hair journey, i would have just gone ahead to bash Foli and ask him to leave women alone. It is important that we understand the history of black hair so that we can understand why there are relaxers and why we wear weaves. Anyways, i managed to copy the conversation below. Pls read it and let me know what you think.

Saturday at 17:22 via Mobile · 
  • Watched å documentary by Chris Rock called 'Good Hair'. Now itz sad that black women want all other kinds of hair but their own.
    They want european or asian hair. They use relaxers to make their hairs look straight n bouncy...
    Now this relaxer is actually 'Lye or Sodium Hydroxide' which is considered lethal.
    Anyway, this multibillion dollar hair product industry has only about 4 Black owned manufacturing companies...the majority have been sold out or bought out by european companies or asian(dark n lovely, etc) racism implied...but blacks cant even own wat they use other race uses or needs these hairs...hmmm.
    Well, wigs n weave-ons r the in thing...the hair is glued or sewn unto the scalp.
    In the U.S, women pay at LEAST 1,000 dollars to get one of these fixed( dont b surprised if ur gal or woman or friend doesnt like u touchn their hair).
    Now the human hair is apparently møre favoured for these weave-ons...
    The human hair is India's no 1 export...hmmm
    Just found it extremely interesting...all that money going into hair...
    Like Ice-T said in the documentary...women spend all that money on their make them...attractive...but guys actually score them on their boobs, butt, n other things least of which may b the hair (common guys).
    Any way...tot i'd get some interesting views...
     ·  · 

    • You and 3 others like this.

      • Me: 
        hmmm this topic is quite sensitive but u sort of missed a point and so do we all.. the History of Black Hair, we need to know that part of history in order to understand y black women do what we do to our hair. There are 4 facts we need to remember: 1.when we were in slavery we were made to believe that black hair (both male and female) was ugly and undesirable, hence we were (both male and female) brainwashed into disliking our own hair. 2. The use of the afro comb was lost during slavery hence made the black hair quite unmanageable as the white ppls combs could not help. 3. Blacks became obsessed with attaining white ppls charateristics such as colour and hair as anything black was ugly. 4. Black women started sleeping with their slave masters in the hopes that by having children with their masters they might be freed. These mixed children were much desired as their skin and hair almost mimicked their white masters. As time went on with the opening of saloons and barber shops to cater for grooming of black hair came the straightening combs which gave the women the desired straight hair but it came with its consequences, ie the burns and also the fact that it wasn't permanent a drop of water wld cause the straight hair to become poofy again. The black woman started to look for jobs and often needed to groom her hair ie straighten it or make it presentable. If she didnt straigten it she had to spend hours and hours trying to make her kinky hair manageable plus go to work n then look after her family. Very time consuming. Thats where the relaxers were invented as this was permanent and it also had its consequences. So relaxers were seen to be the miracle solution in order to conform to society and be acceptable.

      • Me: 
        For the most part black women have come to accept relaxers as just how we do and we know nothing else, nothing about our natural texture which is the kinky coily hair, yes there are consequences to having relaxers, the burns and even the linkage to fibroid (tho not proven yet). because of our lack of knowledge about managing our natural texture we opt to relax and make it very manageable, i'd say thats the reason for abt 95% of women who relax their hair. However there are that 5% that are still having the minds of the slaves and abhor absolutely black, wld do anything to change their hair type and their skin colour. These are the women who go to certain extents to wear certain kinds of weaves and would not even allow their natural relaxed hair to be seen. trust me there are women who strongly do this. that is sickening and unfortunate. i agree but it must be understood its just 5% so its not like we r ashamed of our natural hair texture we just dont know how to deal with it.

      • Me: 
        now unto the chris rock documentary, i believe that he has exaggerated this "human hair" saga so that his point would be strong if he didnt do this no one wld pay attention to the documentary cuz its not all true. i dont blame him tho, he needed to sell his point. take for example the population of indian women to the number of black women else wer who wear weaves, i'm not certain the ability to supply the whole world of this so-called "indian hair". these hindu women who shave off their hair do it abt once in their life time and also consider the no of years it'll take them attain such lengths. All this human hair isnt real hair its simply fibre that has been made to resist certain temps. yes it is true that pple do get real human hair from india no doubt but that hair is made available to celebrities who pay huge sums of money for it. the so called brazillian, mongolian, cambodian, indian, thai hair is just a marketing strategy employed by chinese to sell this "human hair". it is of better quality when compared to the normal "human hair" that was being sold intially. honestly i dont think its bad to do weaves or wigs, there are advatages like switiching up your looks and protecting ur natural hair as well. but it becomes bad when the motive behind it is to hide

      • Male: i have seen this doc and i am sure it said it all

      • Me: 
        Yes it is unfortunate that all this money making businesses that cater to black hair are mostly owned by asians, for eg the "human hair" is mostly sold by chinese vendors. It is our faults not to recognize markets and take advantage of them. Also although its true guys do not really pay attention to what kind of weave we r wearing etc BUT guys are to blame as they wld readily choose a dolled up lady with her brazillain wavy hair rather than a lady with her kinky afro hair.

      • Me: I feel i must state that Chris Rocks documentary is half true and quite misleading there are so many questions to be asked and that documentary cant answer them... whew!!!! i have written an entire essay or blog post lol! i rest my case here Foli

      • Male: hmmmmm i dont despise what you saying @Annette but the truth be told its a warning to the masses n generations out there to know wats best for them and to decide the way forward

      • Me: the truth is that women have been using relaxers for quite sometime like i said there are consequences but nothing has been scientifically proven yet, what we shd be concentrating on is to educate ourselves abt our natural hair texture so we can deal with them

      • Male: hmmmm and from wat i knw n see now that education is far from reach cuz its not sinkn in the heads of our beloved individuals out there

      • Me: i beg to differ n say that the natural hair revolution has began, slow it is yes but pple r begining to understand n accept the texture of our hair, even the fashion industry has embraced it so very soon it wld
        Saturday at 22:43 ·  · 1

      • Male: I pray n hope so too. Cuz I only am judging from wat I see alot around our system.
        Saturday at 22:47 via Mobile · 

      • Me: lol u need to see some moree then

      • Male: Lol hahah it's all in the making. I guess if it's working I won't stress looking out for this.
        Saturday at 22:52 via Mobile · 

      • Female: please spare us this one
        Sunday at 01:12 · 

      • Foli ‎@Annette, wow, that is extensive...å PhD piece, lol. But yes like King Hassan said, the docu mentioned most of the things u raised, i didnt just to save time n space.
        But the point is well made: for how long will blacks continue to believe the lies n stereotypes? The media has been used to skew global tinkn for ages.
        The slavery thing has kinda workd very well cos even wat we use exclusively (the relaxers) we dont control...that is economic slavery.
        I dont think Chris exagerated to make his point, it is å fåct.
        U say the dangers of relaxers havent been prøven...who dø u want to dø that?
        The Europeans n Asians who are making all the money from these chemicals? Then u will wait 4ever...remember the hype n denial about the beauty n dangers of cigarrettes...finally what happened?
        I know u r now using natural hair which is cool.
        U av å point in saying it doesnt all come from india, but remember, their pooulation, the monks n all those of them who exchange their hair for blessings, those who will be killed, kidnapped for their hair...whew
        I agree the docu may not be perferct but i have the professional eye n can tell u it was not doctored...the questions, etc were balanced...u cud still let me know...the ones that shud be asked..(we always learning).
        N for the money women spend to (look good) thatz another topic altogether. I know n av sewn gals who would hussle for money just to FIX their hair even when they havnt eaten, or paid fees or settle the rent...LETZ NOT GO THERE.
        But u conclude on the perfect note...
        LETZ PORTRAY WHAT WE R N HAVE IN THE POSITIVE LIGHT N LETZ FIND WAYS of handling our hair...n please a woman's hair is NEVER the first criteria by which å man chooses his woman...check.
        I loved the contributiins @Annette n @Male...keep em coming...

        Sunday at 06:12 via Mobile ·  · 1

      • Female: 
        interesting discussion here. yet in order for me to really bring something to the table i will have to watch the Chris Rock piece. That said i must say Foli your vision for posing questions about the ridiculously huge sums some women spend on their hair is in the right direction. yet concerning the issue of "blacks" owning such companies, well i believe its a discussion on a whole new level. could be discussed in person. @ Annette- wow! love your constructive approach to the post. If more people could be like you a lot of unnecessary behaviour will change in society. i must confess i was about to go on a bashing spree. then i read your angle and approach.... and i got to thinking. there is indeed more to the saga of artificial hair and i appreciate the lesson. kudos

        Sunday at 07:08 ·  · 2

      • Male: 
        Wow! Indeed wat a discussion, Elom. Bt b4 I jumped on this topic, mi did mi a lil. stalking on none other bt who?? - annette(ma bad) by ur profile plus ur fotos, onli 2 c if u prolly got smethg 2 do(wrk) wif 'em hair p'pl(companies) or u used 2 'em hairstylez, (bt funi enof ur hair even natural). Lol, cos wif that kinda thesis u put up on here(eloquence), jux lyk Foli, ur PhD cud victor u in2 1 of 'em big companies as their p.r. Trust mi Hehe! Bt then again on a more serious note, y bother spend much on smethg that is least noticed by one whom u intend doing 4, cos in the end he's gonna mess it up whn u get 'under the sheets' - oOPS! Mntym tis bn a gud conversation here. Ya'll splendid!

        Sunday at 10:47 via Mobile ·  · 2

      • Foli ‎Elom , yeah Annette's piece is very balanced n like u said, if møre of the so called EDUCATED pple will argue this way, Ghana n Africa will be better off.
        @ Eyram, yh Annette is tight, i think she got å lot in store for the cosmetics, n fashion industry. Watch out for her.

        Sunday at 13:54 via Mobile ·  · 4

      • Foli ‎@ y'all...thanks. møre of those
        Sunday at 13:55 via Mobile ·  · 1

      • Female: 
        Hi Foli, glad to know u r better. Interesting piece. I also saw another documentary 2 years ago about Indian human hair, how devotees grow it and have it shaved off to fulfill vows and just seeing the lice alone put me off. Luckily, as you know, i am blessed with long hair so i don't really wear weaves that much. On the other hand, i had no idea relaxers were that dangerous to health even though somebody blamed them for arthritis in women. I just put it down to hearsay. I guess some of us will have to go back to our roots literally!

        21 hours ago via Mobile ·  · 2

      • Foli ‎@Aba, glad u joined us...we need minds like u doing?
        18 hours ago via Mobile · 

      • Me: 
        lol its interesting this topic, lol @Elorm thnx i was thinking no one wld bother to read my PhD thesis lol but i felt like most of us needed to be enlightened abt the history of black hair to understand the weaves n relaxers wahala lol!, @Eyram lol i dont work for them hair compaines lol but like Foli said am just passionate abt anything beauty related and do a lot of reading to educate myself rather than sticking to hearsay, lol and yes i have recently gone natural cuz i nowi have enuff knowledge on how to properly care for my natural hair, lol! i didnt cut off my 14 inches hair for nothing oh! @Foli to be honest u made a very good point abt the research on relaxers, come to think of it, its these same asians who are top gurus in research and am sure they wld not want to loose this multi million dollar relaxer business, hell no! they wont do it for us so they loose money!!! we have to do the research ourselves to prove anything else it wld always remain a hypothesis and if it really does hve an effect it wld be 100 yrs or so later b4 we see the repercussions fully blown out..... hmmmmmm i hope one day i can hve the platform to encourage all to turn away from relaxers... Amen

        12 hours ago ·  · 2

      • Female: Hi, Annette. I have read ur Phd thesis and it makes interesting reading. How do u handle ur hair? My hair is quite long, also about 14 inches and i want to look as professional as possible when i get to cut it.
        12 hours ago via Mobile · 

      • Female: Hi, Dzitorsi. Anytime. A pleasure. Have a great week.
        12 hours ago via Mobile · 

      • Foli ‎@Annette, u r tight...:)
        11 hours ago via Mobile · 

Loving the natural you,

P.S. I only changed the names to show only gender so as to protect the privacy and identity of these individuals. 

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I would love to hear from you, pls feel free to comment, contribute or ask questions xoxo Annette