Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Son Learns Not to Lye

Sometime last year my son asked me about using a sporting wave product in his hair so he could get waves. I told him no. He only needed to take care of his hair by making sure it was clean, moisturized and brushed. I also showed him which oil he could use on his hair. He said ok, so I thought the conversation was over.

Today, I found a box of Luster's S-Curl Extra Strength Texturizer in my son's room promising "Natural looking waves and curl styles in minutes."

Quite ironic how it promised "natural looking waves" when there is absolutely nothing natural about it. My son was enticed by the picture of the attractive man on the cover showing off a head full of loose curls. Although the box was open, none of the containers on the inside were open. When I talked to my son, he said he thought that the product was a grease he could put on his hair to get waves. He had no idea it was a relaxer until he opened the box and read the directions. When he saw you needed to wear gloves to apply the product, he realized that this wasn't what he thought it was.

I'm so glad he realized in a short period of time what has taken many of us YEARS to learn. Not only do you need to wear gloves when apply this product but the warning label is pretty intense: "This product contains Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)...Improper use may result in skin and scalp burns, loss of hair and eye injury" What they don't tell you is PROPER use may still result in those things.

For me, this was an eye opener. I didn't think I really needed to discuss the dangers of relaxers with my son because I improperly viewed our issues with our hair as more of a black female issue and less of a cultural issue that would also affect how men viewed their hair. Also, it made me think back to my first relaxer, which was also a Luster's product - Luster's Press and Comb in a Jar (PCJ).

Back then, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now, I'm happy that I no longer depend on relaxers to be happy with me and I'm extremely happy that my son realized that if you need to protect your hands to put this stuff on your hair, then maybe it doesn't belong on your hair. Now, I need to work with him so that he is happy with what he has naturally.

Maybe it's time for him to start his own natural journey . . .