Woman Who Posted Video of Her Relaxing Long Natural Hair Draws Both Criticism and Praise Online

by Xara Aziz
TikTok @brendamang

A popular natural hair influencer has her fans up in arms after she posted a TikTok video of her perming her long natural hair.

In the video, Brenda (@brendamang) is seen running her fingers through her natural hair before greasing her hairline then applying the relaxer. She then walks viewers through the process of mixing the relaxer with the activator then applies it throughout her tresses before washing, blow drying and showing off her new relaxed do.

“Been thinking about it for a year and I finally went back to a relaxer!” she wrote in the caption to the video.

Hundreds of users began commenting on the video, with some not taking a liking to her decision to perm her own hair. The comments have since been deleted and turned off.

“We lost another soldier,” one user wrote.

“My heart is bleeding…. WHY,” another commented.

Some, though, applauded her decision and mentioned they may possibly do the same.

“Once my hair gets this long I’m also jumping ship,” one commented.

“I went back to relaxed in January after 7 years I couldn’t do it anymore this is easier for me especially dealing wit a toddler,” another wrote.

“Man I been natural since 09…this has me wanting to make the switch.”

“Girrllll I’m about to do this same thing next week.”

“Beautiful and I’m here thinking of chopping my relaxed hair to go natural.. Anyways different goals for everyone.”

One person wrote that she believed the TikTok-er probably felt free after relaxing her hair, to which Brenda responded, “Trust me, I do! And it took such a short time to wash and dry it etc, I am so excited to spend less time on my hair.”

In a November Shine My Crown report, it was found that the relaxer and chemical hair straighteners market suffered tremendously due to the natural hair movement. According to Kline & Co., sales of hair relaxers plunged from $71 million in 2011 to $30 million in 2021. In 2020, sales dropped 25%.

“Clients prefer more natural hair styles and turn to styling products or styling appliances as alternatives,” said Kline’s director Agnieszka Saintemarie.

More and more stylists have decided to do away with giving relaxers to clients, thus adding to declining sales in the relaxer market. Such is the case for Laquita Burnett, who told Forbes she no longer offers the service. She said most women working in while collar roles would go to her every six to eight weeks to hide their new growth by applying relaxer to their hair.

 “That’s why they called it the creamy crack,” Burnett said. “It’s addictive, you can’t stop doing it and you have to keep doing it so that your hair can stay straight.”

In a study released by the National Institutes of Health last month, it was found that Black women are at an increased risk of uterine cancer from chemical hair relaxers since they are more likely to use the products. Of the 33,000 women who were studied, those who used chemical straighteners at least four times a year were twice as likely to develop uterine cancer.

“Sixty percent of the participants who reported using straighteners were Black women. The bottom line is that the exposure burden appears to be higher among Black women,” Chandra Jackson, a participant in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Earl Stadtman Investigators programtold NBC News.

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