Did you know that hair straighteners such as relaxers cause scalp burns, scarring, alopecia, other forms of hair loss and male-patterned baldness in more than 60% of African-American women who use them regularly? This is a very serious matter, one which must be addressed in a way that cannot be pushed under the carpet and ignored. I am taking my case to the US Supreme Court.
Did you know that hair straighteners such as relaxers cause scalp burns, scarring, alopecia, other forms of hair loss and male-patterned baldness in more than 60% of African-American women who use them regularly?1 This is a very serious matter, one which must be addressed in a way that cannot be pushed under the carpet and ignored. Perhaps we are ignorant to the ramifications of our actions when we introduce chemicals to our kinks. If you did not know the reality of the hair situation within the African-American community, this article will serve as your official charge and notice to educate yourself about what you are doing to your physical body as well as what psychological triggers regarding beauty continue to encourage us to subject ourselves, and our children, to such damaging bodily injury.
The purpose of Challenge 8: From Miss NP #6 (i.e. Christina Ghansiwiyie Dzenyuy) to the World is to draft a correspondence to a chosen elected official making a case for natural hair. As I began thinking about who would be the most receptive council person, state legislative official, congresswoman or White House representative, the more I realized that a simple letter would not make the kind of impact necessary to truly make a regulatory change as it relates to the chemicals used in the creation of hair straightening products like relaxers. Therefore, my write-up will be a little more authentic, a bit more literal and a foundation to effectuating some real change on behalf of African American women suffering from hair loss due to the use of lye and no-lye relaxers and various other chemical straighteners causing insurmountable damage to black women around the world, but specifically for black women in the United States of America. I will address my plea the…
The State of Black Hair and Well-Being, et al. vs. FDA Approved Chemical Relaxers, et al.
COMES NOW, The State of Black Hair and Well-Being, complaining of Defendants and who allege as follows:
- Plaintiffs are residents of the African American community, United States. Consumer Class Action Lawsuit.
- FDA Approved Chemical Relaxers is a fictitious name that has been provided in this fictitious lawsuit to belabor the point that chemical relaxers are really poisonous, carcinogenic products that continue to damage African American hair, health and well-being.
- STRICT LIABILITY
- DELIBERATE FALSE ADVERTISEMENT
- INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
In the early 1900s, the first hair relaxing products were marketed and sold in the United States to African Americans who wanted to “tame” their kinky hair into a more allegedly acceptable, manageable and Eurocentric-style of beauty. Since that time, many hair relaxers have been released on the market to the masses of African American consumers who want their hair to be straight. However, exposure to the harmful chemicals in these straighteners are causing severe and irreparable bodily injuries to users of these products. As a result of product usage, African Americans are suffering from skin burns, hair breakage, scalp damage, baldness, hair loss, various forms of cancer and emotional distress.
The previously mentioned side effects brought about by using chemical relaxers prompts my case for natural hair. I am proud to bring awareness to our citizens about the benefits of maintaining natural hair. The chemicals used in re-texurizing the hair incur physical changes to the hair shaft. The chemical that helps the hair change grade is usually a form of sodium hydroxide.2 Did you know that this is the same chemical used in drain cleaners? No wonder these hair products cause so much damage. Upon reading certain of the warnings on drain cleaners, one of the first caveats given is, “…do not let product come in contact with skin…”. This is a very interesting concern because relaxers are not just placed anywhere on the body, they are placed on one of the most critical body parts, the head, which protects the brain. Why would anyone want to put a cancer-causing substance on top of the one thing covering their brain?
- We pray for injunctive relief in the form of natural beauty. Throughout Going-natural.com’s America’s Next Natural Model Competition, contestants have displayed the versatile, unique, and chic natural hairstyles. The emotional distress of attempting to fit into an unnatural form of beauty stems from not loving ourselves the way we are naturally. If we loved ourselves first, we would not want to hurt ourselves, we would not want to change ourselves and we would not want to hide behind a chemical change to the texture of our hair;
- We pray for a celebration of our unique selves through pure and natural beauty. If we see more images of black, natural beauty around us, we would embrace ourselves more. Embrace who you are, the natural you and become empowered through your own crown, not the self-imposed standard;
- For attorney’s fees and costs in an amount to be determined at trial;
- For a restoration of self-esteem in the black community through more natural images of real people in their natural state being naturally beautiful;
- For a cease and desist of the false advertisement of lye-based hair products (i.e. no-lye relaxers and kiddie perms actually contain lye as a main ingredient under the name “sodium hydroxide”) and relaxers that use the word “natural” in the product title to disguise them as safe;
- For punitive damages for Defendants’ willful and malicious conduct;
- For encouragement towards a more healthy state of mind through afros, coils, braids, twist-outs and locs;
- For such other and further relief the Court may deem just and proper.
America’s Next Natural Model
Challenge 8: From Miss NP # 6 (i.e. Christina Ghansiwiyie Dzenyuy) to the World
By: Christina G. Dzenyuy
I am not an attorney and this is not a real lawsuit, but I am a real person who is disgusted by the standard of beauty in the United States of America and I have a voice, which I am using to make a valid point. I am a model and vocalist who wears locs and embraces my natural beauty everyday. I am no different from the legions of African American women out there who live in a society that does not necessarily embrace her standard of beauty, but I am here to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you must see a natural beauty in yourself first as it is not a model in this country. Be regal in your natural and wear it proudly, like a lion parades his mane. You must be the model. You must set the standard. You must be the prototype of natural beauty and everything else will follow.
1 Newman, Talibah. “Ten Reasons Not to Buy Lye or “No Lye” Relaxers for Children.” Rev 09/2006. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/55623/ten_reasons_not_to_buy_lye_or_no_lye.html?cat=69 (12/2009).
2McClain, Cassia. “The Truth About Hair Relaxers.” http://www.skinbiology.com/truthabouthairrelaxers.html (12/2009).
If Bob Marley and Chaka Khan had a love child and Erykah Badu was the godmother, the long-loc’ed princess would be named C.Dzen (pronounced “season”). With an island girl visage, tremendous range, vocal control and beautiful timbre, C.Dzen is the total package. Curry Flavored Neo Soul.