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Curly Nikki

The Infamous Relaxer Dream

By January 27th, 202154 Comments

The Infamous Relaxer Dream
LV Burns writes:

I decide to visit a beauty salon for the first time in two years. I can’t even remember what made me decide to do it. I don’t really give the cosmetologist much instruction on what I want done to my hair, I just sit in the chair and trust her instincts. As I’m sitting there, she brushes my hair out and begins to part it. Soon I smell a familiar smell that I have not smelled in over two years. This pungent smell fills the room as the stylist smooths a cool cream all over my head. Could it be a new type of hair gel?. Before long, I am sitting in a chair wondering why my head is burning like crazy. I try to think back on the last time I felt this burning sensation all over my head, but my mind goes blank.

The stylist washes my hair and styles it. At this point I reach up to feel what she has done. To my astonishment, I do not feel any naps. I run to the nearest mirror and see that my hair is bone straight hanging well past my shoulders. I burst into tears. “What the heck have you done?!” I yell at the stylist.

“What do you mean? Isn’t that what you wanted?” She replies in an irritating nonchalant manner.


“I never told you to relax my hair!” I am devastated. “How can I go around and promote natural hair, when mine is straight?”

All the other ladies in the shop are confused at my anger and tears, because in their eyes my thick past the shoulder straight locks are beautiful. I stare in the mirror at two years of natural hair gone in one instant. Fresh tears fill my eyes as I try to calculate how long I’d have to wait to have this straight mess chopped out of my hair once again.

Don’t worry ladies, I have not reverted back to a relaxer. I just wanted to take a moment and share a dream, or should I say nightmare, that I had last night. Believe me when I say, I have never been more relieved to wake up from a dream in my life. I could not help but smile when I woke up and felt my beloved naps.

After two years of being natural, this is the first time that I’ve had the famous “relaxed hair” dream. Although the dream was pretty scary to me at the time, I now welcome it because it helped me affirm how much I love my natural hair. Would I ever go back to a relaxer? Based on the emotions that I felt during that dream, I can answer with happy confidence – Never!

Have you had The Dream?

This post originally appeared on Natural-Ness. Republished with permission.

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54 Comments

  • naturally appealing says:

    I had a nightmare like that not to long ago and when I shared my dream w/my family and friends they all laughed and said that I got it bad (I'm like obsessed w/ my natural hair, I absolutely love it!) Anyways, I had a dream that I had my hair sectioned in fours and was smoothing conditioner in one of the top sections when I realized that my hair was straighting as I smoothed. I was horrified, but I said that I was just gonna rock it like that b/c I refused to cut it or apply the whole relaxer to my head….thank God it was only a dream.

  • elishacummings says:

    I had that dream about a month ago! my aunt never liked my natural hair (I live with her). i dreamed that she came in my room late at night and permed my hair! i was in tears as huge clumps of my hair came out as i washed it! thank goodnees it was only a dream.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never had this dream. Maybe, it's because I haven't been in the salon much in recent years. It would be scary:o Delta007

  • Koily K says:

    I have had a similar dream! But it was my Mum who put the relaxer on my hair without my consent! I was so angry and was trying to hold myself back from screaming at her beacuase I love and respect her but could not beleive that she would do such a thing to me.
    Then I woke up! My heart was racing but I was grateful it was just a dream. I'm still gonna watch her carefully when she comes to visit me next month, just in case………….

  • Kitty says:

    Never had that dream in my life. Weird…

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow…is all I can say at the moment. Give me a moment to say… I had the same dream and reaction…WOW! If you could see my facial expression you'd know how I'm feeling right now because it seems as we were in the same dream…shoot, you probably left the salon before I got there. I was practically leaning on my laptop screen. I, too had reached my two year mark but of transitioning. It seemed so real.

    ~SweetC

    http://public.fotki.com/sweetcarnation

  • Kuba says:

    I had NO idea this dream was so common!

    I had it the other day, but instead I had woken up to style my hair, reached for conditioning cream, put it all over my head and realised with horror a couple of seconds later, that I had accidentally relaxed my own hair again. At the realisation of what I'd done, I rushed around the house crying and trying to blame my Mum for not throwing out the old relaxer in the first place. So then I washed it out, ran my fingers through my "ruined" hair and woke up. It was horrible!

  • Channing says:

    LOL @ B's comment

    I can't believe you actually punched the pillow, I coul only imagine what would happen if that were real! But I wouldn't blame you, I'm very composed even in tough situations but someone would have to physically hold me back if a stylist tried some mess like this on me!

    I've never had the dream but I've had some variations and the hair cutting one…ugh they're horrible

  • Stacy says:

    Wow!! I had this dream a couple weeks ago. Woke up and immediately felt my hair to check. Lol!

  • Margaret says:

    OMG, I was on the edge of my seat when I read this. I thought this had actually happened to you. Whew!!! I am so glad this was only a dream/nightmare. So far I have not had this experience, and hope not to. Dream or not…lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, I have had that dream. I have also had that dream about anything I vowed to let go of or vowed not to do…I have had the eating meat dream (I have been a veggie for 6 years), I have had the cut hair dream, I have had the relaxed dream (I have been natural for 2 years), and this may be TMI, but I have also had the unprotected sex dream…that damn subconscious loves to mess with me…

  • Perkisha says:

    I've been natural going on 3 years in December, and I didn't have "the dream" until a few months ago. In my dream, I was outside in the rain with no umbrella (cause I'm natural right? I don't care if my hair gets wet, lol). The rain comes down harder and harder, until I finally get in the house. I look in the mirror and see that my hair is flat against my head…unusually flat. I try to give it time to dry, but my hair doesn't poof, coil or kink as it dries…it just lays flat on my head. I'm trying to figure out wth hell is going on with my hair when suddenly I realize that the only time my hair ever got that flat to my head, even while wet, was with a relaxer! When I made the realization in my dream, I immeadiately woke up in a panic and ran to the mirror to check my hair. Fortuntely my kinky coils were still there, and I realized that I had had "the dream"!

  • Unknown says:

    I'm glad it was just a dream… whew!

  • tisiag says:

    OMG reading this "dream" made me scared, if that happen to me I would cry my hardest, glad its just a dream!!!

  • b. says:

    I've been natural since '99 and I had the dream once — a few months ago. In the dream, after I realized what the stylist did I reached out to punch her — hard! Then I opened my eyes and my hand was stretched out and my fist was in my husband's pillow. I panicked and hoped I didn't really hit him until he called my name. Thank GOD the pillow absorbed most of the impact!

  • Unknown says:

    I've had a recurring dream when I had my locs; I would sit in the chair, the stylist would comb my hair or just wash it, turn the chair around and I'd have straight brown hair, just like my permed hair I had for so many years.

    Now that I've got my curls, I haven't had a dream where I'd have straight hair, but maybe I don't see it as being as much of a commitment as I did the locs.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a similiar dream a bunch of times after I BC'd. Scary!!! Thankfully 4 years later they've stopped. (I bet that now that I say that I'll have the dream tonight! lol) ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a dream similar to this once and the worst part was that after the perm was rinsed out, my hair started sliding off my scalp and I was bald!

  • SweetThang says:

    I never had this kind of dream. I hope I never do.

  • Anonymous says:

    I had "the" dream over the weekend, OMG!

    CrissyQ

  • Anonymous says:

    I always used to hear my natural friends talking about that dream. I've had it once since I've been natural. I've heard of real cases where natural ladies have gone to the salon and been told that they were receiving a "deep conditioner" that was really a relaxer. Grounds for a lawsuit, but that's a different story. Anyway, if that were to happen, after you finish crying, you can still wear your natural. You don't have to flat iron or wrap it. Just wear it fuzzy and wavy and do twist outs/braid outs until your hair is back to normal. Twist outs and braid outs are just not the same with relaxed hair, but if your hair is already a nice length, it can still be very pretty.

  • latasha says:

    that's so freaky. i had a dream similar to this a week ago. i had to wake up and touch my head because it felt SO real.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never had such dreams and doubt that I would allow this to happen to me because at this age (43 yrs), I am far more vocal than I used to be. So if I went to a salon, I'm sure I would tell her exactly why I'm there and what NOT to put on my hair. But for those of you who have these dreams and have actually gone through the nightmare in person, my heart goes out to you. I'm so sorry.
    Allnatural1 (Michelle in TX)

  • ms G says:

    This dream is the reason why i haven't been to a hairdresser since 2002, In 2002 I had my natural hair in a short 'Kelis' asymmetric style haircut then the shaved back started growing. went to the stylist an he decided to put relaxer on the back of my head!! I screamed and ran to the sink.
    Anyways, this dream is more of a fear of short hair.
    Think about it.
    If you have a mini mini afro and get a relaxer by accident, you'd just cut it off and start over. BUT if a stylist were to relax my natural hair afro that I've been re-growing for over 7 yrs!!! I'd be in jail! lol

    I've always been natural and this is the longest i've went without cutting, so my dreams now always involves scissor happy stylist…

  • pb™ says:

    omg i thought i was crazy! i have some variation of this dream at least once a month. in my dreams i'll end up getting a relaxer for some reason that is unclear and i usually get up screaming in the middle of it trying to rinse it out or crying in the mirror when its done. then i wake up all stressed out and then feel silly when i realize why.

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL I can't believe it. I dreamed this last night.

  • Anonymous says:

    omgosh i woke up in tears from mine. It was a nightmare. I dreamed that some random lady was running after me with a big bucket or relaxer when i first BC'd. When i woke up my scalp was burning. It was that bad. silly me. don't know how i never went to drama camp

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL! I haven't had this particular dream since going natural 2 years ago. But when I was relaxed I had dreams my hair would fall out from relaxing my hair. I was paranoid every time I got a touchup that I would wake up with no hair.

  • Natural-ness (LV) says:

    LOL – thanks for sharing ladies! I've been natural over five years now and I still have the dreams every blue moon or so, but none as intense as this one. I could not imagine having my hair relaxed accidentally or otherwise 🙂

  • MeSoCoillee says:

    I have dreamed of getting a relaxer I know at least twice since I’ve become natural six months ago!! Each time I was beyond devastated! I remember in each dream saying to myself with tears in my eyes “what have I done!!!” Thank God I was dreaming! I shared my dream with my girlfriend who is also natural and she has never had the “relaxer dream”. Good to know I’m not the only one LOL.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes!!!!! I have had this dream. .I am so happy to learn that I am not the only one…And I remember when I initially woke up I was sooo angry and talking about suing the salon. . .Then I realized it was all a dream. .. LOL
    Nicole

  • Anonymous says:

    I HAD THE DREAM TOO! i had mine within a month of my big chop. It was awful!

  • Anonymous says:

    I used to have the relaxer nightmare all during my year long transition and after my BC I have still had it a few times. It was so terrifying that I'd wake up in a cold sweat and would immediately rub my head to make sure we were fine and still kinky and curly!

  • puff says:

    omg i thought i was the only one who'd had the relaxer dream!! when i told my sister (who's also natural), she gave me the biggest side-eye ever. glad to know i'm not along =)

  • Anonymous says:

    wow! I have never had that dream and I wore my hair relaxed for twenty something years. WITH SO MANY PEOPLE HAVING THIS DREAM WHAT IS IT SAYING?

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't had that dream but I would have to hurt a stylist who did that to me … somekindaway!

  • CurlyQueso says:

    That sounds so horrible! Two years flushed down the toilet in a matter of minutes; that is a nightmare!

    That's why I am sooooo scared to go to a salon. Especially now they have "nicknames" for chemical processes like texturizers, "silkener",and things like that.

  • batttlekat says:

    I thought it was a real story also. I missed the word Dream in the title. I was upset trying figure out why she set thru the whole process and didn't jump up out of the chair before the end. lol

  • Madeaj says:

    I have had this nightmare and I always wake up with my heart racing and a bunch of emotions. Anger, disgust and I want to punch something. Just at first, though, then I feel my hair and I start laughing at myself. My sister laughs at me when I tell her about them.

    She's natural too, but she hot combs and flat irons sometimes. I usually have the dreams when I hear horror stories, like the one Taykesha told, that's why I haven't been back to a hair stylist.

  • MsFoxxy says:

    OMG… I thought that I was just crazy! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who's had this dream. I woke up nearly in tears because the dream felt so real!

  • Chocolate Mom aka Blupoetres says:

    Oooooh, that's scary!! I would have to fight somebody for that, especially as I'm still transitioning! Whoo! Had my fists all balled up ready to go to blows for you LOL!!

  • Dr. Heather says:

    Wow…I've had this dream several times…none lately, though. The dreams are quite disturbing and when I wake up, I am soooo glad my hair is in its natural state!

  • JazzyNikole says:

    I dreamt that I was going to relax my friend's hair, and accidently scratch my head with relaxer on my hands. YIKES!

  • GlamaDiva says:

    This is sooo ironic! lol. I had a dream like this a few days or so ago…it was like an outer body experience.. i was in the salon chair and I swiveled around and i had straight here…I almost cried and woke up from the dream…wow…i never knew others have had these dreams before.

  • Unknown says:

    When I first went natural, I used to have this dream whenever I was about to go visit my parents. Crazy!

  • MelMelBee says:

    OMG!!! I had this dream like last week following a conversation with my best friend about giving up the creamy crack. In my dream, after realizing that the stylist gave me a relaxer, I stormed out of the salon without washing it out. I then went home and could not find any neutralizing shampoo. It was too late to buy some because all the stores were closed. I found some "neutralizing oil", which I'm sure does not exist in reality, and washed out my hair………IT FELL OUT!!!!!!!!! I woke up with my heart racing!!!

    It was the worst dream ever…I told my best friend about it and she laughed and said " are you serious, getting a relaxer is not that bad"……She just doesn't understand 🙂

  • erika says:

    I read his statement as if it were real. I was tight with heart every sentence. So in the end I realized that was not real. Girl, you scared me!
    never had such a dream. That's crazy!

  • apaine says:

    omgsh! i've been natural for going on 7yrs and recently have started having the dreams again! i had them all the time when i first went natural but in the last couple of months i've had two and i remember being horrified,enraged, distraught… ugh. it's more than the feeling of having a bad hairstyle. it's like someone took all my years of personal growth and self esteem in my natural beauty and flushed it down the toilet. i hate that dream…

  • LBell says:

    The fact that so many new naturals have this dream demonstrates the kind of mental hold relaxers/straightened hair has on our psyches. It's really sad, actually.

    I haven't had a relaxer nightmare in a long time but I have had occasional dreams of having straight hair. I've been able to enjoy them as a lucid dream because I'm so committed to natural nappy hair that if I feel straight hair on my face, I MUST be dreaming…

  • Marybeth says:

    I, too, have had this dream. I was highly upset, but then woke up, raced to the mirror, and realized it was only a dream. crazy what our mind will do!

  • Doc says:

    oh yes….i've had that nightmare a couple of times
    i always wake up scared and grabbing for my hair

  • Jo-Ann says:

    OMG!! I had a very similar dream but I looked in the mirror right after the relaxer was applied and ran to the sink to rinse it out . . . needless to say I went through the devastation of a year and half of growth ruined in less than 5 minutes . . . Imagine the relief when I woke up and realized it was a nightmare. I'm just relieved that I'm not the only one who had this experience. The only good thing about it is that my conviction to stay natural is stronger than ever.

  • Unknown says:

    I almost started crying for you..since i actually know how that feels…i went to my friend's salon to get my hair done because i had missed my appt with my regular stylist..went in with a natural fro and came out with straight hair…she swore she never put anything in my hair..and i KNOW that i didnt sit there while she permed since i know exactly what perm looks, feels, and smells like…whatever she did alter my texture..she swore it was hair new flat iron..but my reg stylist said hair smelled like chemicals..im thinkin maybe it was relaxer in the conditoner..whatever it was it took two years to grow out…i was beyond MAD but determined not to loose a friendship over it…ever since then…i am the ONLY one to touches this hair

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! Then i first read it i thorught that it was happen because i was to quick with reading the headline, and i was like wauww how could the hairdresser do that, i would be so angry.
    Then i got really relaxed then i saw it was only a dream you had dreamed. 🙂
    I dont think that i ever had dreamed the "relaxer dream!.

    //IAmHFJ

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