Some women with natural hair across the country have been the victims of a secret hair cocktail, a damaging mix of conditioner and perm relaxer.

An anonymous junior stylist on longhaircareforum shares hair horror stories about salons taking the easy route to get their clients hair straight.

The details from CurlyNikki:

First story: A client used to get Dominican blowouts. She was short on time and just stuck with a rollerset. She’s a solid 4b. When I saw her she had broken pieces at her scalp and her hair was straightish/curlyish and not quite 4 anymore. She said the minute they rinsed the deep treatment out, her hair was no longer it’s texture. After the rollerset she said her hair just went downhill.

Second story: A client’s hair was originally shoulder length. When I met her I assumed she had recently BC’d and still had relaxed ends. She informed me that she’s been natural for years and that she’s only been getting it pressed. But on the last press her hair was sleeker and shinier than usual. She said her stylist mixed something but she wasn’t paying attention and since she didn’t smell anything, she didn’t think anything was up. She did say that she got a 15 minute deep condition with whatever was mixed. After it was all said and done, her hair gradually broke off and she now has only 2 inches of hair.

This stylist warns if you’re using a new stylist and she starts complaining about the thickness or texture of your hair, check her secret hair mix, it could be the disguised conditioner/perm cocktail.

These stories might come off like urban hair legends or perhaps, you’ve heard of this before, but those of us in love with our strands can never be too careful.

To prevent your hair from becoming the next victim of this disguised cocktail, DO NOT be afraid to ask a new stylist or salon the right questions:

1. Check references: Before making an appointment, ask about her experience. How many years has she been styling?

2. Investigate while you wait: While you’re waiting to get in the chair, ask other clients about the stylist you’re using. Are they happy with the stylist’s services?

3. No secret bottles or bowls: Ask the salon manager and wash girl what products they’re using. Double check them yourself. Remember, no secret mixes. Question all contents!

4. Peep the digs: You don’t have to attend an upscale salon. Every shop of beauty should be clean and presentable. If you notice piles of dirty towels, unswept floors, nasty sinks or finally, a stinky bathroom, find the exit!

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