Toxins and Perms


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A movie called Good Hair inspired me to write this blog. If you have never heard of it it's a really good movie so I recommend that you watch it. Anyways, I used to perm my hair, something that I would dread. The phrase beauty does not come without pain (correct me if you will) comes to mind every time I would have to get a perm. I always, well maybe not always, but 95 percent of the time get burns and I hated it and still do to this day. As a result, I wanted to know what is in the solution that is used to perm hair that causes such pain.

I'll jump right in. The toxins present in hair relaxers include: sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate, guanidine hydroxide, thioglycolic acid, lithium hydroxide. Just hearing these names get me scared, they sound dangerous and that they are. The primary ingredient in relaxers is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye "which is used in products like Draino to dissolve hair in drains." In other words this chemical is slowly dissolving the hair on our scalp. The health effects that can occur as a result of using relaxers are: scalp irritation, skin burns, permanent scarring, deep ulcerations, skin drying and cracking, dermatitis, irreversible baldness, eye damage including blindness and weak, dry, broken and damaged hair. Basically, relaxers, something that we thought was harmless and slightly painful is doing a lot more damage than we think.

Since you know what relaxers do let's find out how they do it. Natural hair is very strong but in order for the hair to be straight, the bonds that give hair its strength is broken, causing the hair to breakdown. Sebum, "the oil that the scalp secretes" is depleted which can result in skin burns, among other things, when heat is factored in. although there have been "no-lye" relaxers it does not mean that relaxing your hair will be safer since it works in the same way as relaxers that has lye in it.

So my question to you all is after learning this information, will you still continue perming your hair (for those that do of course and those thinking of doing so)? If so why?

Toxins in Cosmetics

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