Photo: Roadside Attractions
Another staple of the industry is relaxers—also called "creamy crack" by some. While women of other races use perms to add curl, black women use them to straighten their hair. "You name a black woman, any black woman," Chris says. "They've either had their hair relaxed, or they're having their hair relaxed right now."
The active ingredient in relaxer is a substance called sodium hydroxide. The chemical is so strong it can burn a woman's hair off—which is why Chris is urging parents to stop the relaxing addiction now. "This kiddie perm has to stop, okay? They shouldn't have to worry about that till they're in their teens," he says. "Putting those chemicals in that child's hair is just not cool."
Chris says he tells his own daughters they're beautiful every moment he can—and has only one answer when it comes to questions of having good hair. "Whatever makes you happy is good hair," he says. "Do your hair for you, and you will be happy."
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