By Ngozi Bolin, Founder, Shinkafa Inc.
Anything, Anything! Just to Manage My Hair Painlessly
I have very thick kinky hair that’s coarse, with densely packed coils (aka type-4 hair) Because my hair is so tightly coiled, it’s really hard to comb without doing “something” to it. And when washed, it might as well be hermetically sealed! No comb, brush or pick can penetrate.
I look around and I know, I’m not alone. This is a problem encountered by women of all races, who have tightly wound and frizzy curls, in varying degrees. Some are simply more severe than others. The problems is the same, pain and agony in managing our hair.
My type-4 hair may seem dense and robust, but because this type of hair has the fewest cuticle layers, it’s actually the most fragile of hair types. Type-4 hair is very delicate, prone to dryness, shrinkage, and breakage.
There aren’t enough words to describe how much I love the natural hair movement. But, if I can’t comb through my natural hair, what good is the movement to me or people with hair problems like mine? I love my curls, want to keep my curls, but also want to be able to manage my hair without too much hassle, harmful chemicals and pain.
Managing Tightly Curl Frizzy Hair with Chemicals & the Dealing with Harmful Effects
For decades, I straightened my hair with alkali relaxers. And by alkali, I mean sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate and caustic potash or their variations, whether called lye or “no lye.” And yes, I had my fair share of burns on my scalp, neck, and ears.
There is only so much that applying petroleum jelly can shield one from the corrosive power of alkali, the active ingredient in relaxers or severe burns and injuries from the thioglycolic acid in perms and waves. Some of the relaxers are also made with ammonium thioglycolate, especially for permanent waves.
The pain from the burning caused by alkali and acid relaxers will drive you mad. Think, literally: Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in the chemical burn scene in Fight Club. And it doesn’t get better once you wash it off. Open sores develop and end up matting hair for days until healed.
Remember Jheri curls thioglycolate permanent straighteners with the curl activators, the greasy collars, and all? Yup, be there. Before “texlaxing” or “texlax” became a fad, I was there too. I also texturized my hair. Both texlaxing and texturizing use alkali as the active ingredient. With texlaxing, I made sure that I did not “overcook” my hair or leave the relaxer on for a very short period. Some salons have become adept at getting it right, however, it still burned my scalp, ears and neck as did texturizing creams.
I’ve used every product out there.
Some made me wake up with clumps of hair on my pillow, others made my hair rock hard. Some made my hair as dry as tumbleweed, and some worked, but only for a short time. Nothing was consistent except that my coiled, dry, dehydrated, tangled and delicate hair was a constant worry.
I tried weaving, hair fusion, micro-braiding, and nightly braiding. As I tried texturizers, but they were simply alkali relaxers in a different packaging and clever marketing. You can’t put the stuff you find in a drain cleaner in your hair and not face the music. I know, I did.
The serious health hazards of these chemicals used by women, especially by young girls and black women, must be foremost in our public discourse of the cost of health costs associated with these beauty products. This health hazard is not limited to Blacks but affects women of all ethnic group who use these types of relaxers. In 2015, the Los Angeles nonprofit Black Women for Wellness (BWW), published its report on the health impacts of hair products marketed to black women and concluded that these products often contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which mimic or interfere with the normal signaling of hormones like estrogen.
A study conducted by Silent Spring Institute in April 2018 measured endocrine disrupting and asthma-associated chemicals in hair products used by black women. Researchers tested 18 hair products in 6 categories used by Black women the hair products tested contained 45 endocrine disrupting or asthma-associated chemicals, including every targeted chemical class.” They also found those chemicals in relaxers marketed to children. 18 of the chemicals found are regulated under California’s Proposition 65.
Dr. Michael Quartuccio, an endocrinologist at Rochester Regional Health, says these chemicals could raise health concerns. “There’s a host of different things it could do from problems conceiving to some issues that might arise in a developing fetus to issues with a male fetus and their reproductive organs,” Quartuccio said. “Honestly, there is some concern linked to increased risk of certain types of cancer.”
It’s important that we all do what we can to call out these health hazards, and encourage change and innovation on the road to achieving lasting healthier society.
The Shinkafa Solution
I’ve never been particularly interested with having straight hair, I love my curly hair, I just wanted to comb and manage my hair without excruciating pain, chemical burns and all those hours! I needed something that would simply expand my coils so I could manage my natural, curly and frizzy hair, consistently. Really, anything to help me comb my hair.
My ultimate goal was to create a product that would would expand my coils and curls, making my hair soft and hydrated, giving me a clean hydrated scalp, managing my hair for any style, and most importantly, allowing me to comb through my hair. An essential part of that goal was that the product cannot burn or cause injuries as acid and alkali do. It was also a preferred goal that this product not be used every month, if possible. Finally, the product must be used at home.
After over a decade of trial and error, using my hair (which I chopped off more times than I can count) and hairs from family members of different ethnic groups, because, I needed to make sure this products works on all hair types. I tried every possible combo of ingredients out there with no animal testing. After trying many active ingredients, it became clear that the key and active ingredient must be keratin. It made perfect sense that to elongate my coils without harm to the hair or scalp, it has to be with the hair’s main natural component and essential building block – keratin.
Alas, the Shinkafa’s 4-step Keratin Hair Relaxer Kit was born! It met every goal I set for it and then some. I used the word “relaxer” loosely because it is what we’ve all associated with processing the hair. But however, it’s not your usual relaxer.
“This treatment does not burn the scalp or skin, it contains active ingredients that expand and smooth curly, kinky and frizzy hair while promoting growth, strength, shine and health to the hair. You do not have to cut off the previously relaxed ends of your hair as you transition to this amazing smoothing system, which is recommended every 8-9 weeks for kinky hair and once every 3 months for wavy or just frizzy hair.” – Tribu-te in its review of Shinkafa’s Hair Relaxer Kit.
This new process works on all curly hair types, irrespective of ethnic origin, only takes me about 45 minutes and you only need to touch up every 3 months!
See how below:
Shinkafa 4-Step Hair Relaxer Kit Directions
- Step 1 CLEANSE: Wash and dry your hair
- Step 2 SMOOTH: Apply the smoothing keratin cream (To seal it into the hair and get the curl elongation, you must use a blow dryer first to dry the cream to the hair to about 80% dry, then use a flat iron to seal it in. Use a in well ventilated room)
- Step 3 SHAMPOO: Wash out keratin cream, then shampoo
- Step 4 CONDITION: Rinse, then condition
With Shinkafa’s do-no-harm keratin kit, I experience no burning, no pain, and no hair loss. Most importantly, I can comb through and manage my hair easily and painlessly. I figured if it can deliver the wonderful results for me, it should be a breeze for others; and it is. It is the key to alternating between curly natural hair to sleek straight or wavy hair as we explained in this Shinkafa original publication aptly captioned “Can You Bounce Between Straight and Curly Hair Without Damage?”
Everyone Should Love Their Hair
It was and is of utmost importance that all of the Shinkafa products are safe for everyone to use. For me, it remains all about using the best and safest ingredients to deliver superior and effective luxury products at affordable prices to the women of the world. I wanted to make sure that my hair products were not only effective, but easy to use, pain-free and without harmful chemicals.
Shinkafa changed my life and allowed me to comb, brush, manage and love my hair. I hope it helps many more women around the world manage and love their hair too.