Been There, Done That, Got the Scalp Burns

Recently, my sister, C and I were looking for a specific hair product from a local beauty supply store. While we were looking for the product, another customer helped us find it. We'll call her "Ms. Helpful." Ms. Helpful was friendly and had a lot of suggestions, but she was not an advocate for natural hair.

After helping us find the item, Ms. Helpful asked for the reason why C. wanted to use the particular product and told told us about various oils she used on her young daughter's hair.  Ms. Helpful said she had just cut her own hair. At the time of the conversation, the woman's hair looked like it might have been past shoulder length. Her straight hair was in a loose bun. Her ends were showing, and C mentioned to me later that they looked damaged. Ms. Helpful explained that her hair was as long as C's waist length wig. She told us that her hair was naturally straight, but she permed it every 4 months. C explained that she decided to go natural because perms thinned her hair. She could only keep the perm on her hair for a short time before it needed to be washed out. C said her hair was natural underneath the wig, but a lot of it fell out due to high manipulation after she stopped wearing wigs (as her protective style) a year ago.

Next, Ms. Helpful asked why didn't C just use a kiddie perm. She continued by saying that she knew a lot of other woman (besides herself) who grew long hair while using a perm. Then, she pointed to my hair (which was in a puff) and said that people with thick hair like mine had strong strands that could withstand a regular perm, but people with thin hair like C's needed to use a kiddie perm. I told her that is not the case. My hair fell out out from perms and that is why I went natural. Ms. Helpful persisted with the idea of kiddie perms a little while longer, but she could see that neither C nor I were trying to get a perm, so she went back to recommending her special oil regimen. Thanks, Ms. Helpful! I'm done with perms. I've been there, done that, got the scalp burns! I love my own hair (smile). Try going natural... You might love yours too!

What do you say to people who suggest that you should perm your natural hair?

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