Theodore Vernell

Natural Hair

Team Natural vs Team Relaxer

Theodore VernellComment

I love those women on social media who absolutely love their natural coils. They have blogs, vlogs, words of encouragement, and are very knowledgeable about all that is "natural hair". But I'm not there, don't think I'll ever get there, or that I really want to be there. The reason? Sometimes I still want to go back to a relaxer!!

 

Let's be honest, this natural hair journey is no walk in the park. There are valleys and mountain peaks, but those valley days will have you contemplating your commitment to #TeamNatural. From trying to find products that work for your hair types (I still don't understand the 4a/4c debate) to trying to balance your style and professionalism, the idea of returning to a relaxer is always around. 

 

My biggest issues are wanting a change and not being able to do it because it requires a relaxer, the struggle is beyond real. I'll see a cute hair cut and think "You know what I want that!", and then the reality of being natural hits. The pixie cut is one of my favorites right now, but I would have to cut all my hair off (I've been natural for 5 years and have made major strides in growth) and would have to get a relaxer to keep my hair looking fresh and maintained. I'm good!

 

Someone asked, "So why haven't you gone back to relaxers?" The truth is I love being natural! Yes, I know it may not seem that way based on what proceeds this sentence, but it's true. After years of dealing with seborrheic dermatitis, I definitely see the difference in my hair and scalp health.

 

Now please don't think I'm saying that you can't have healthy hair with a relaxer because you can, but I appreciate and value my hair more now. When you see my mane you're looking at an investment of time and energy that I dedicated to myself. I struggled with my TWA and confidence, I remember the first silk press after my big chop, and I've witnessed how many styles can come from one good twist out. 

 

So whether you're #TeamNatural or #TeamCreamyCrack at the end of the day we are all #TeamHealthyHair.

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She Did What?

Theodore VernellComment

One of the scariest things for any woman, who's natural, is finding the courage to try a new stylist. With today's technology it's easy to scout a stylist before actually sitting in their chair. You look at their Facebook page to see how they present themselves (I can't stand a stylist who curses the ENTIRE time I'm in the chair), browse through their Instagram to see their work, and if needed see if they have a snapchat to "get to know them better". The true fate of your new relationship may depend on the reviews of their current and former clients. How long is the usual wait? What is their level of professionalism? How do they work with natural hair?

After weeks of research you make the first step. You call and schedule an appointment and you get excited. You look through a variety of styles and find the perfect one. You show up to the salon a few minutes early, you know to scope things out, and you feel comfortable. You let your stylist know what you're looking for and she takes you to the bowl. I don't know about you, but there's nothing better than having someone else shampoo my hair! It relaxes me in ways that words simply can't describe. You ask what is being used in your hair and they tell you freely, and it all seems okay. You get that style you wanted and walk out feeling fabulous. 

After a while it's time to shampoo your hair and you decide to do it on your own. You shampoo and deep condition but realize something, your curl pattern has changed DRASTICALLY! You try shampooing again but your hair won't curl back. You think it's due to heat damage and go to Google searching for something to help you, but find nothing. You call the stylist and tell her your concern when you hear the words that makes your heart skip a beat "I use relaxer during the conditioning process to help make the hair more manageable. You're left speechless and are confused as to what to do.

Sounds like a horror story huh? But it's happening across the nation daily!! Stylist are using relaxer in both shampoo and conditioner to try to help "tame" the hair, instead of admitting their limitations. What do you do? What can be done? What's the next step? Many have had to start over or allow the damage to grow out, but how do you hold the stylist accountable?

When looking for a stylist interview them!! If you find a stylist that doesn't want to answer questions or who gets frustrated easily...RUN! You are investing in their services and have the right to ask questions for both understanding and clarity. Don't be afraid of offending them, be bold and ensure that the services they provide are what you're looking for. 

What would you do if this happened to you? Here are some stories of the horror:

http://fusion.net/story/304482/relaxer-sneak-attack/

http://www.strawberricurls.com/it-happened-to-me-a-stylist-added-relaxer-to-my-conditioning-treatment/

http://www.curlynikki.com/2010/06/relaxer-conditioner-cocktail-beware.html