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  • Would You?

     

    (if this is posted in the wrong area, sorry)

    Hey yall

    I was visiting with my mom a few weeks back and she asked me who did my twists. I told her I did them myself and then we went on to talk about hair. She ended the conversation by telling me "you need to come over and do my hair sometime" (she wears a relaxer).

    When we were both relaxed, I would put the relaxer in her hair all the time. Neither of us ever really went to a salon. (She would only go for cuts) Either I or she would wash her hair, trim it, blow dry it, and curl it. I did my own as well. Now that I don't live with her, I have not done her hair in a while.

    So I found myself thinking...I really do not think I could even bring myself to put a relaxer in her hair. I know I couldn't because I don't support that. She hasn't called me about doing her hair and hasn't asked me to give her a touch-up, but I was just wondering what if she did and how would I react?

    So I guess my question is, what would you do if your relaxed friend or family member asked you to relax their hair?

    I guess I could take it even further and ask the natural hairstylists who do both natural and relaxed hair how they feel about that? Even the naturals who do hair at home too...

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    I wouldn't be able to do it. Honestly, I don't think my friends or family would ask me to relax their hair. They KNOW that I wouldn't do it! :-)

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    Good question. Now, with the relaxed friend/family, I would not because I don't want to be responsible for a alergic reaction, or burning (because she scratched) etc. With the natural friend/family, I would not have a problem, because we're doing the same thing (basically) with our hair.

    I think it would be easier and probably safer for me to do some twists for someone than to chemically straighten someone's hair, too many risks involved even if they don't realize it.

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    I would have to say no to my mother or any other family member or friend that asked me to put a relaxer in their hair or do any other potentially damaging things to their hair. I won't even curl my mother's hair, much less help her put a chemical in it. If she wants it done, she will have to pay someone else to do it, and hopefully prices will get higher and she will go natural anyway......lol. But I agree with you Mel; because I don't agree with chemically altered hair, or the mindset that it has put her in, I wouldn't help her to damage her hair...

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    Personally I've never put a relaxer in someone's hair before, but I do have a personal rule that I don't style or do a person's hair if they have a relaxer in it. My reasoning is because natural hair is the type that no one wants to deals with. Like if a guy grows his hair out to start braiding it, many people are quick to tell him to put a relaxer in it so it would be easier to braid. So I choose to do the "undesirable" hair. I choose to do the hair that most are scare to touch. I choose to help those who help themselves. You should definitely talk to your mother and let her know how you feel and that you don't agree with perming anymore.

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    Nope, wouldn't do it. I'm not doing it to my own so I'm not doing it to anybody else's either.

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    Since being natural, I've relaxed my mom's hair and will do so if she asks me again. Natural is my choice as far as the way I wear MY hair - my mom chooses to relax and I respect that.

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    Since being natural, I've relaxed my mom's hair and...

    My question to you and people who feel like you is: Just because you respect her decision, does that mean you have to be apart of it?

    Personally, I feel that relaxers are damaging. After reading the disgusting history of relaxers, I will never look at a relaxer in the same way. I respect my mother's choice to relax her hair, but I can't be apart of it. What would I be saying about MYSELF if I chose to put a relaxer in her hair? I feel that if I did that, I'd be saying that relaxing is OKAY...and I don't feel that way.

    Does that make sense?

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    Your question/dilemma seems to be two-fold, so I suppose I need to give a two-fold reply.

    In response to whether or not you should relax your mom's hair since you've gone natural would depend on (1) if you have issues about whether anyone at all should have relaxed hair or (2) whether you're just concerned about applying chemicals to someone else's hair without being a licensed professional. (I hope it's safe to assume that you're not licensed.)

    I personally wouldn't want to apply chemicals to anyone's head, not because I'm against other people having relaxed or chemically-processed hair, but rather because I am not trained in that area and do not want to be responsible for any types of hair/scalp damage. I'll just leave that to the professionals. So, in short, my answer would be no.

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    Quote:
    In response to whether or not you should relax your mom's hair since you've gone natural would depend on (1) if you have issues about whether anyone at all should have relaxed hair or (2) whether you're just concerned about applying chemicals to someone else's hair without being a licensed professional.* (I hope it's safe to assume that you're not licensed.)
    My only concern would be a conflict of interest...I don't agree with relaxing so why would I relax someone's hair? I respect other people's right to do what they want to their hair, but I don't agree with it. As I said before I used to relax her hair all the time with no problems so I wouldn't be worried about application. (and no I'm not licensed )

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    This is a very interesting question. If I used to put relaxer in my mom's hair all the time, she may feel very comfortable with my doing so and maybe she loves the time that we spend together. If I said no, it might hurt her feelings, alienate and anger her a bit. In the process of doing her hair, I would tell her how beautiful her new growth is and that the texture felt wonderful in my fingers and how much I would love to see her in a TWA. It might get her thinking. Sometimes, IMO, I think that if we take too firm a stand on our principles, we injure the people we love and would love to help the most. I think people need educating not alienating. I would also tell her I would love to continue doing her hair as mother and daughter "naturals". Knowing the way my mother was, that would probably get her. She might at least give it a try.

    If, on the other hand, she continued to perm, I would still do it if she asked. I would never volunteer. But I would have to respect her decision as I would want her to respect mine.

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    i think if she wants a relaxer and she feels comfortable with you doing it then go ahead unless u simply cannot do it. just because ur natural doesn't mean she needs to be or that everyone else in the world needs to be for that matter. it's sorta like a religion...just because someone is x religion doesn't mean they should go around trying to turn everyone to that religion. as far as relaxers go alot of people just like how their hair looks and their hair is healthy and they are happy with it so why not let them do them ya know.

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    just because ur natural doesn't mean she needs to...

    It's not about that...and I don't want people to think that is what I am saying.

    I respect anyone's right to wear their hair the way they want. I don't feel because I am natural that everyone should be.

    As I told Carefree, for me personally, my feelings about relaxer would NOT allow me to put a relaxer on someone else's head. You can relate that to anything...take this for example: if I don't agree with drinking alcohol, why would I buy someone a beer? It doesn't make sense. It is a reflection of ME, not them...and I would have to question MYSELFand my own motivations.

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    This is a very interesting question.* If I used...

    Interesting perspective ...but I think you are thinking my goal is to get her to go natural and that's not it. If she asked me to relax it I would tell her no and why. If she feels alienated and mad, then that's her issue that she would have to deal with. Just like I respect her right to relax, she would have to respect my right to not want to participate in that.

    I don't feel she or anyone else needs to go natural just because I am natural. It's her hair and her choice. I am not trying to convert her...so going over there and relaxing her hair while slipping her subliminals about how nice a TWA would look is not an option for me. Me wearing my hair naturally is the only method I need to get people thinking...I'm leading by example.

    I'm simply saying that if I don't agree with relaxing my own hair, would putting a relaxer in someone else's hair be a contradiction? I can respect her right to relax without participating in it and compromising my beliefs.

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    So I guess my question is, what would you...

    First thing...do nothing, and stare at them like they had lost their mind! After that explain in my best Prima-esque rendition the evils of perming.

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    I'm simply saying that if I don't agree with...

    Your darn tootin'

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    I'm simply saying that if I don't agree with...

    Your darn tootin'

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    Thanks for reading Mel and listening to my perspective. My mother died a few years ago and that may be coloring my thinking. At this point in my life, I think I would find it hard, if she were living, to deny her this. My mom was from the old school. Press 'n curl. Back in the day, when I thought perming was the way to go, I talked to her about getting one, once. She kinda looked at me and that was the end of that. But just as I had to learn, I feel she would too. Not by subliminals but by talking together and education, which we did a lot. I learned from her, she learned from me. Being my mother, now I wouldn't have wanted her to go anywhere to get her hair pressed OR permed. But that would be up to her.

    Now, having said that, I can agree with your point of view. And I can truly see where you're coming from. I, like you, believe in standing up for what I believe and, until about 5 years ago, it was usually at the top of my lungs. Just ask my husband. For me, would it be a contradiction? Maybe. Would I do it for her? Probably. Would I help her step into traffic? No. Would I press her hair if I knew how and she asked? Yeah. And we'd talk. But I can certainly understand how you feel it would compromise your beliefs.

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    You're welcome Botanica and I'm sorry about your mother. I can definitely see how that changes how you feel about it. I never considered it from that point of view.

    I totally agree that it's about education and I'm willing to educate my mother if she asks me about natural hair. I'd love to talk to her and have talked to her about my experiences. I just didn't want anyone to get the idea that this post is about conversion...because it's not. I firmly believe hair choices - or any choices in life - are up to the individual and I don't condemn or judge anyone for deciding to do what they want with their hair. This post is just about our actions matching up with our words/beliefs.

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    This may be fftopic, but you know Mel? I love your passion and committment and not wanting to compromise your beliefs. And it is that passion that I believe has helped so many people (including myself) on this site see the nonsense we have done and have allowed to be done to our hair and our minds. Keep on going girl. I am coming up on my one-year nappiversary in October :d) and, trust me, I will hurt somebody over my hair.

    This post is just about our actions matching up with our words/beliefs.

    I would ONLY do this for my mother.

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    Very interesting question Mel.

    I have been thinking of opening my own salon and this question came into my head today: Would I offer relaxing services to customers?

    Hmmm...

    I, like you, believe that relaxers are not good - no matter how you look at it. Since I went natural I have not "helped" anyone relax their hair. I will braid, twist, cornrow etc but relax, no.

    So if my mama were to ask me to relax her hair, it will be a tough thing for me. I just praise the good Lord that all she asks is for me to comb and brush her hair. Thanks Mama!

    Thanks Mel!

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    my teenaged niece asked me to perm my hair since my sis n law was "slowing" around. i just gave a blank . it wasnt intentional..but i was stunned at the way that i felt the moment she asked.."auntie...can u perm my hair since my momma ......"

    i NEVER thought that i would even go that route. i too was one in the past that permed my own hair and others. so now that i was natural, whats the big deal? however, my thoughts and feelings have changed over time as for as me helping someone else add potential danger to their hair.

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    Nope, wouldn't do it. I'm not doing it to...

    Ditto. But I respect the right of other people to use cream crack if they want to. Just don't make me your pusher.

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    Since being natural, I've relaxed my mom's hair and...

    My question to you and people who feel like you is: Just because you respect her decision, does that mean you have to be apart of it?

    Personally, I feel that relaxers are damaging. After reading the disgusting history of relaxers, I will never look at a relaxer in the same way. I respect my mother's choice to relax her hair, but I can't be apart of it. What would I be saying about MYSELF if I chose to put a relaxer in her hair? I feel that if I did that, I'd be saying that relaxing is OKAY...and I don't feel that way.

    Does that make sense?
    I understand and respect your position Mel. It's just that I'm not anti-relaxer and that's why I wouldn't have a problem relaxing someone's hair. Of course I wish everyone, especially my family members, would go the natural route - but I can't fault them for exercising other styling options either. I have one sister who's natural and another who's relaxed. If they both call me and needed help with their hair - whether the natural one wanted twists or the relaxed one wanted a touch-up - I would do it.

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    I understand and respect your position Mel. It's just...

    I can respect that Carefree

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    I, Myself, could not do it. i used to do my mothers all the time too but things have changed over the past few years. I just could not bring myself to put a relaxer in her hair knowing she does not take care of it. I have braided it a few times but that is about it. but other chemicals... i could not do it

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    Since it was a part of your relationship prior to you stopping the relaxer, I say continue to do it. I'd value the relationship more.

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    Since it was a part of your relationship prior...

    Hmm...I value the relationship...but I also value my beliefs and my mother's hair and scalp. Like I said before I'm not trying to convert her, but at the same time, I'm not trying to pour gas on a fire either. I'd like to think me saying no to relaxing her hair wouldn't cause a major dent in our relationship anyway. I know first hand what relaxer has the potential to do to someones hair and scalp. Knowing that I had a hand in that, when I don't even choose a relaxer for myself, would make me feel far worse than her getting upset with me for saying no.

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    melanism,

    after reading your many responses, it doesn't sound like you have a dilemma at all; it sounds like you already know what you will tell your mother if she asks you to relax her hair.

    if my mother asked me, i'd offer to straighten it and curl it for her first. if she insisted that she'd prefer it to be relaxed, i'd probably go ahead and relax it for her.

    i'm pro-choice.

    on the same token, if one of my natural friends wanted me to shampoo her hair with a SLS shampoo and style it with a petroleum-based product, just because i choose not to use these products anymore doesn't mean i wouldn't use them on her hair to create the style she wants.

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    Matter of fact Mel, I had the same situation happen to me about two weeks ago. I went home to visit my mom and she asked me to do her hair. I did it and it didn't bother me. Why? Simple. Everyone makes their choice to do what they want. I have told my mother the misconceptions of relaxing. If she continues to want the relaxer in her hair, so be it. I am not a guru or a activist to try to convert everyone to become natural. It would be a very lovely thing, but if my mother wants to continue to damager her scalp and hair, then at least she can't say that I didn't tell her. I am happy to have my healthy hair, and I would love for my mother and more of my family to be natural. But that's their choice. I just talked a bunch of junk to her (of course laughing) about how her hair is thinning. She said that maybe she shouldn't let me do her hair because I might try to make it fall out. I told her that she is doing a fine job on her own. And that is my mother. Even though I don't agree with her, I love her. I am not going to let hair come in between us like that. Many people may not agree, but that just my Opinion.

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