The invention of hair relaxers, like many other major discoveries occurred as an accident in the early nineteenth century when inventor Garret A. Morgan rubbed his hands, covered with his latest experimental lubricating liquid for his sewing machine onto a fur cloth. The next day, the fur was straight. Morgan went on to develop a commercially successful product sold to African-Americans. And while we applaud Morgan’s entrepreneurial spirit, so began a long history of creating toxic products in pursuit of beauty. Going forward, sodium hydroxide would continue to be the primary ingredient found in hair relaxers. This is the same solution found in commercial drain cleaners.
Regardless of your ethnicity or culture, natural hair is all the rage, it is even, dare I say – mainstream? Case in point, awhile back the skin, hair and beauty company Dove came out with a heart wrenching commercial about little girls and curls. It was sappy and cute all in the name of advertising their new line of curl-friendly products, but the trend to embrace natural hair has moved out of the shadows and into the spotlight.