Stylists Adding Relaxers to Conditioners on Natural Hair Clients??

I was totally shocked by this story on about a readers’ experience getting a wash, blow-dry and flat iron at a salon. Here’s an excerpt;

Once washed, the shampoo girl and my stylist for the day went away from me and started whispering. I suppose I should’ve worried but I’m not the paranoid type. After the whisper session, the stylist came over and asked what I wanted done… just a wash and blow dry is what I told her. This should involve them washing my hair, conditioning it, blow drying it and then flat ironing it. I had it done hundred of times before without an issue. She said okay and offered to do a deep condition treatment for me as it would help protect my hair.. her words.

I agreed as long as it didn’t take too long and she promised it wouldn’t. To the back of the salon she goes to mix up a deep condition treatment. I didn’t find this abnormal. I often mix things together to use as a DT myself. She started to apply to my hair and it smelled weird, I asked her about it and she said it’s one of the ingredients for Ph balance.

Ummm.. okay.

About ten minutes in it started to burn which I found weird but she assured me it was just “tingling” and it was good for my scalp… another 3 minutes and I told her to rinse me because I was having some sort of allergic reaction or something (I have pretty sensitive skin so this was possible). She rinsed me out and moved me to the chair. My hair was noticeably straighter as my hair wet without product is very curly and big and poofy, lol. This time my curls hung straight-ish which wasn’t normal. She assured me that it was temporary from the heavy conditioner.

“Okay…” I said

She did my hair as normal and 2 days later the breakage started. Panicked, I went to wash my hair and again the curls just weren’t there… I had major heat damage. After several deep treatments, co-washes, etc. my hair never returned to its normal state and continued to break off. I returned to Michigan (where I was staying) and had my hair braided, hoping that would help.

When I finally moved to Illinois (about 3 weeks later) I was ready to take my braids out, upon doing so my hair was just coming out in huge chunks even though I was being gentle. I went back to the salon and pitched a fit demanding to talk to someone in charge. (Yeah, it may seem a bit crazy for hair.. but we know how important hair is to us, right?) When I finally spoke to the manager, she also feigned ignorance. I threatened police action, threatened to sue and eventually someone gave up the information I needed.

She told me that with “nappy” hair, they sometimes add a bit of relaxer to a deep conditioner and apply it. It’s the “kiddie perm” she tells me and most people don’t experience negative results. She said it works well because people are happy that their hair is straighter so they continue to come back.

Click here for the rest of the story. This is so ridiculous!! What are your thoughts ladies? Has this ever happened to you?!

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast.

  • Anthro Pop

    That’s just awful if it actually happened. What exactly does adding relaxer to conditioner do besides maybe give you some almost kinda straight hair. How does work in favor of the stylist? Also, wouldn’t she or he still need to neutralize the hair after the relaxer is rinsed out? Which would be hard since they’re doing it on the “sneak tip”… It’s hard to believe she thought the client wouldn’t notice anything.
    Not to mention the fallout from chemically altering someone’s hair without their knowledge. Who would open themselves up to that? It’s not like the client wouldn’t notice. The entire claim sounds a little dubious to me.

  • Julie-Ann Jules

    Still can’t believe this

  • tasha

    I do everything myself. I am done with trying to find people who know how to care for natural hair.

  • tiggalisa

    See I that’s why I do my own hair…… You will be surprises at how many black women are very jealous of other black women going natural or is already natural. A word from the wise….. Do your own hair or find a salonthat caters to natural hair care oonly……

    • dulanee

      You are so right…. this happened to me when i was relaxe

  • MissNovember Tyler

    Agreed with the doings of the own hair. I trust ONE stylist, and when she is not available I log on the good youtube and figure something out for my self. Last time I experimented with a new stylist she hacked off 6 inches of my hair talking about it was damaged, bc she was trying to blow dry it NAKED (no moisture, conditioner or heat protectant) . Not ALL stylists know what they are talking about. STILL mad I let that heiffer “trim the damage”.

  • heather

    This isn’t an accident though. They didn’t cut too much off. They were fully aware of why they were doing it and why. And the 9nly reason is to make their own job easier. I’m only in cosmetology school, but i wild never dream of intentionally putting a chemical in someone’s hair for MY benefit. I would have sued.

  • Jasmine Applewhite

    I missed the part when she sued the stylist

  • Kels AllSmiles

    I had this happen to me this past December 2014. I have grown my natural hair out for the past 6 years and I loved my hair. It takes a lot for us to fall in love with our natural hair texture, find styles, keep it healthy etc. Well it visited a Dominican hair salon and a deep conditioner was applied just like the young lady in the story but i didn’t rejected it since i would have never imagined something like this would happen to me. Hair was gorgeous when I left but two weeks later started getting a very thick new growth. I washed my hair a few times and my curls were completely gone except this think new growth. A girl friend of mine told me about the sneaky perm tactic so I confronted the salon owner…she all of a sudden couldn’t understand English but understood POLICIA! She still denies using anything other than a deep conditioner but my mom has experienced the same thing from the same stylist and she visited her a week before I did. I have reported her to the GA state cosmetology board but they are 2 weeks out on investigations. I am also seeking legal counsel because I am soo depressed and broken hearted. I mean in literally cry every day because in have to wear a wig until I take her to court so they can see the effects of the chemical on my hair. I just shared pictures in a natural hair group on fb so other people can be aware. Tears…..

    • Celina

      6 years?! I’d be depressed too… I’m only 1 year post big chop and I can’t imagine having to start all over again. I’m sorry that this happened to you.

    • Benetta Boyd

      I visited a salon in Mauldin SC named Corte Tropical dominican salon#2. After being shampooed the lady started to apply a product while I was in the bowl I glanced over to see a relaxer container the shampoo lady said it was conditioner I advised that I did not want any chemicals she confirmed conditioner no chemicals and quickly rinsed it out. I had no say so and their was a language barrier. I have been natural 5 years today I washed did a protien treatment and deep conditioned my hair is straight in some areas. I’m so upset I don’t really know how to fight this going back has not helped others in stopping this madness.

  • Jazz

    This just happened to my daughter in Atlanta, Ga and she is getting a lawyer!

    • Nunyabiz Sherrie

      Happened to me at a salon off Flat Shoals Pkwy!

      • Shontae Williams

        Oh wow!

    • CCope

      That is crazy. Where in Atlanta so I will be sure not to go to them- I have been looking for a new stylist in/near Atl!

    • Shontae Williams

      Where? Please inform the public!

  • cordelearts

    Can you say lawsuit on (1) battery (2) Intentional infliction of emotional distress (3) negligence (4) punitive damages.
    File criminal Battery charges?

    I hope they sue for all it’s worth.

    • Meta

      Hell yeah! WTH!

  • tiffyb

    I stick only with my hairdresser for this reason as well. My friend was told it was a texturizer they were putting in her hair…turned out to be a full blown relaxer and her hair fell out completely smh she had to sue them and report them, thankfully that stylist is now fired, but the damage to her hair is ever lasting. To grow it out, she just keeps it braided like in micros and kinky twists and other styles. Just sad

  • Melissa Hunt-LeGrand

    My perfect stylist combo has been finding a good black stylist that works in white salons, no chemicals but hair dye in the building. All they do is blow outs, haven’t had a problem in 8 years

  • Di Di Payne Hmua

    That’s terrible and as I stylist and member of the natural hair community this is beyond disturbing. I spent my whole time in Cosmetology school and out perfecting my blow out with either no smoothing iron or minimal use of it. You do not EVER add chemicals to ones hair without their knowledge. And if they did not sign a waiver then they can and should be sued . I have no sympathy for a lazy stylist. Do the work, keep the client. I do not play about my nautral hair and I would not play with someon else’s. Childish unprofessional behavior!

  • spdkween

    WTF?!?!?!?!?!?! i am a stylist and I would NEVER sneak chemicals into a non chemical service!! First of all, without a proper consultation, you have no idea what the hair history is… previous color, relaxers, bleach, heat damage… And I am pretty sure if that client with the “nappy” hair wanted to have her hair relaxed, she would have let you know! I have had clients in my chair who I thought could benefit from smoothing treatment (Brazilian Blowout, etc…) and I have brought up in consultation as a possible service for now or possibly the future. If so, I also explain benefits and mainenance and any drawback that may occur.

    I have clients of all ethnicities and hair textures in my chair. It is about using the right products, and skill. If I say you are getting a deep conditioning service, then that is what I am going to give you! UGH.
    AND to top it off, that means that you are just giving services away??!

    That is just gross negligence.

  • Arliney

    It was like I was reading my own story. It was Feb 2012 and I had been natural since 2009 and I went to a Dominican stylist here in the Bronx. I didn’t want to make the trip to my hairdresser in Washington Heights so I opted for the neighborhood stylist and she was very nice and I always bring my own products but she convincted me I needed a deep conditioners which was $5 more. she said she would give it to me for free so that I could try it. She put me under the dryer to “activate” it for 5 min. Everything was the usual but my hair was a little limper but she said it was the conditioer. The blowout was fine but 2 weeks later the breakage began!!!! Chunks of hair were snapping and when I washed my hair??!!!!!! I now had flat waves randomly around my mane. I was devistated thinking my hair suffered heat damage but when I went back to my Auntie who is 20+ years of professional hairdresser she said “what happened to your hair” I told her it was heat damaged from the lady but she knew “Nope this is a relaxer. and she suggested to cut the stringy damaged hair and leave the healthy. Well I went in for a consultation to get my hair back to its glory and I walked out of there with a layered bob. Beware Au naturals

    • laAdamas

      I’ve heard of this before in Dominican salons. I worked in a salon that focuses on naturally curly hair for a few years until my accident. But while I was there we had a client come in for a consultation and tell us about her experience at her neighborhood Dominican salon. She was Dominican herself but the stylist didn’t know that and proceeded to speak spanish asking another fellow stylist to put extra relaxer in her conditioner for the deep conditioner because her hair was “too nappy” to work with . Thank God she understood because not only was this not ethical but she was highly allergic to relaxers and it had taken her a very long time to recover from the first one she had experienced. She left immediately but It scared me to know what people will do for a dollar, not even considering the damage and harm they could cause. Nothing but greed.

  • Andrea Crawford-casillas

    Wow, now I think I know what happened to my daughter. She was dressed as Pocahontas and wanted to have authentic looking straight hair. I took her to a Dominican salon and the owner gave her a blow out and trimmed her ends. Her hair looked really glossy and straight. After washing her hair nearly 2 weeks later, her hair felt different.The curls were limp, and her hair felt mushy. I suspected major heat damage and vowed never to take her back there. I gave her protein treatments to stop the the damage.
    Five months later her hair has improved, but it is not as dense as it used to be. I am horrified!!! I will only bring my products if I ever take her to a salon again.

  • JenJamesBeauty

    Your stylist is supposed to be someone you COMPLETELY TRUST! What has eroded
    this sacred relationship to this level? NO INTEGRITY WHATSOEVER!

    For those of you who take YOUR OWN PRODUCTS??? Really??? How can you go
    there if you do not trust their expertise, judgment, and the staff in

    I have not been to a salon in decades, but when I did go – I HAD COMPLETE
    TRUST IN MY STYLIST and their staff. As a beauty pro myself, garnering
    trust is so important to me. I cannot imagine what brings people to
    these places of deceit. If someone can enlighten me – I am open.

    I am saddened – and outraged!

    • Jontel

      The only thing I can gather is GREED. So many black stylist have been servicing relaxers and relaxed hair for SOOOOO LONG that most do not know how to care for naturally kinky hair…..and even more just don’t want to spend the time learning how because they don’t want to spend the time working with it. What IS wrong here is that instead of communicating in a professional manner that she doesn’t wish to work with kinky hair, she tricks the young lady into permanently changing the clients hair a service the client did not ask for and CHARGED HER FOR THE TREATMENT AS WELL. WHY DO I CALL THIS GREEDY because stylists who only want to work with relaxed hair are loosing money. But they should realize not to rest on the clientele they have or had…..always promote yourself to gain new clients. But if more women go “natural” then what?

  • Jontel


  • This happened to me at a Dominican Salon in Lancaster PA. BEWARE. I spent 6 months growing out my natural hair and it was beautiful. The first time I went to the salon my hair was blown out and flat ironed. Looked beautiful but the owner said I needed a Keratin treatment. I refused.

    The next time that I came back, they washed, conditioned, blew out and then flat ironed. I smelled something funny when she was blowing out my hair and asked about it. The stylist said that she didn’t smell anything.

    I went home and the breakage began in a few days. About 60 percent of my hair broke off I knew she put a relaxer in it because when I wash my 4B hair it is limp. I have very thick hair, even when washing it’s a heavy afro.

    I was so upset that I went back to the salon, ready to confront the owner and she put on a very good act. So good in fact, that I believed her and thought no one but an evil person would ever put a chemical in someone’s hair without their permission. But I still had that nagging feeling.

    I haven’t gone back to that salon since and I am now VERY wary of any Dominican salons . If I had a way to prove it, I would have brought in the police and sued her.


  • Any hair stylist put relaxer in shampoo or conditioner without letting the clients know is a PURE EVIL!!!!!!! No excuse!!!! SHAME ON YOU LAZY STYLISTS!!!! If you can’t do natural hair then simply tell the clients that you couldn’t do it. If I ever find out that happens to me, I will SUE!!!!!!!! You will pay for all the products I paid to grow my hair for years and I will get you fired and close down your business. I will make sure everyone will know how dirty your business is. I will not be silenced! I dont play! My mother works with lawyers! This is the reason why I don’t go to salons! My hair is natural. Ladies, if any stylists suggest you to get relaxer or complain how thick your hair is after you come in the salon for the first time…RUN!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t ask…just RUN!!!! Your hair is in danger! And look at stylists hair and you will definitely know… their hair look healthy or damage because their hair represent their business. And look at clients hair too. If their hair is short, relaxed, or installed with weaves or braids and nobody has a natural hair…RUN!!!!! Your eyes see the message.