Essays

50 Shades of “Nappy”

“Okay now when your head starts to burn, let me know.”

That statement brought to mind only the scariest character my five-year-old eyes had ever seen: a blue, fire-haired Hades in Hercules. It was my first relaxer, and I was petrified.

For those oblivious to African-American aesthetic, the thought of someone’s head burning may come off as peculiar, if not chilling. And I get it. But don’t worry. It’s perfectly legal to apply a corrosive chemical to the scalp and through the tresses of someone’s hair. All you’d need is a neutralizer to keep the hair from burning through the skull. The safety of lanthionization, however, is questionable. But I digress.

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