I would like to start writing every Wednesday on something that is near and VERY dear to my heart.
Black History. Black history as it pertains to hair care.
I firmly believe knowing everything about our past sets us up to be better people in the future. With that being said, I would like to share some information with you that was shared at our first installment of texture talk called Corks and Coils.
I would like to introduce to you Garrett A Morgan. Besides inventing the traffic light and gas mask. Morgan, in 1909, opened a tailoring shop where he sold suits, dresses and coats. While working there he noticed the needle of a sewing machine now standing straight up!
He theorized that this fluid was the reason the fibers had been straightened. In order to confirm that, he decided to apply some of that same fluid to the hair of his neighbors dog, an Airedale. The fluid straightened the dog's hair so much the neighbor didn't recognize his own pet and chased him away! Mr Morgan then decided to try this fluid on himself. Of course it worked and this was the beginning of the FIRST human hair straightener. Yes, this is what we know today as a RELAXER.
Sodium Hydroxide (relaxer) also known as Lye or Caustic Soda which is a corrosive substance. This form of relaxer is also known as a BASE relaxer as it requires the coating of the scalp with petroleum jelly to protect the scalp from being irritated or burned during its application.The ingredient Sodium Hydroxide is at the extreme end of alkalinity on the pH level of 13 and 14.
PH stands for Potential Hydrogen.
This system is used to compare our body chemistry to the chemistry of our environment. The PH level means how acidic or alkaline something is. The lower the PH level the more acidic it is. The higher the PH level the more alkaline it is. This scale is based on a scale of 0-14.
Healthy hair and skin has a pH factor of around 4.5 to 5.5.
Manufactures of chemical relaxers vary the sodium hydroxide content of their solution from 5-10% and the PH of level between 10-14. The more percentage of sodium hydroxide used, the higher the PH level and the quicker the chemical reaction will take place on the hair. This as we know could lead to a greater danger of damage to the hair.
When you know your products and the history behind them, you've already started your healthy hair care journey off on the right foot!
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Hope to see you in the salon!!
*I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE PHOTOS ABOVE*