I have… fuzzy hair. Fuzzy hair that often forms the shape of a triangle. Mostly isosceles, but sometimes equilateral, and thank gawd – never obtuse.
Some background: my father is black, straight outta Kingston; and mum is a short white woman with stunning blue eyes, a ridiculously large vocabulary, and has taught me the fine art of sarcasm. I love her very much. Combine the hair types of these two people… and I’ve lived life with certain a type of puffiness and fuzziness, that few understand.
Which is why I “relax” my hair. You do what now? I RELAX it. I put my curls on vacation, I buy them a one-way ticket to Hawaii, I stretch them out in a hammock. I use a no lye treatment formulated to loosen or “relax” the tight coils that spring from my melon. There are several reasons why I relax my hair, but all you need to know is that it makes my life easier.
I relax my hair once or twice a year. It all depends on how much new growth I can handle. I’ll just add the hashtag right now: #blackpeopleproblems. So I’m at a point where I can’t blow out my hair without a ring of curly new growth framing my face and even if I air dry it, it looks like the first two or three inches of hair around my crown are trying to escape my face. And nobody wants anything escaping their face.
Tonight, I attempted to purchase a box of relaxer. You may think this isn’t an issue; you think wrong. First stop was London Drugs (not in London, and not known for drugs, but rather good deals on toilet paper.) LD always has my back. Except for tonight. LD didn’t have it, man. LD is temporarily out of stock. I looked online to see if other LD stores had a box and nothin’.
I decided to take a chance on Shoppers Drug Mart. Back in the day, I always hit up Shoppers for my relaxer needs. They were my go-to. But about three years ago, relaxer seemed to disappear from the stores where I shop. Not even an “ethnic” section so I stopped shopping at Shoppers. Not only for relaxer, but for just about everything because they are the most overpriced retailer on the planet… but that is another post.
Anyholla, I popped into a downtown Vancouver Shoppers. I was met with a DJ spinning old school R&B and hip-hop music. So fun! I mouthed the words and headed upstairs to purchase relaxer. I walked up and down the hair and beauty aisles and didn’t see the creamy crack. An employee asked if she could help me with anything.
This is what went down:
Employee: Can I help you find anything?
Me: I’m looking for relaxer.
Me: Hair relaxer. Or an ethnic section. You know for black folk.
Employee: [Gritting teeth emoji] All of our hair products are here and beauty products in the other aisle.
Me: Hmmmm. Okay. That sucks. [walks out of store]
Even though I wasn’t truly expecting Shoppers to have the relaxer, it’s still disappointing. It’s 2016 y’all. Why can’t you carry relaxer on the regular? That shit does not expire. And not everyone has hair that needs treatment from the bazillion different products you carry that all essentially do the same thing, and that are in every “drug store.” How about merchandising product for people like me and my triangle? You are missing out on a massive market.
I need my hair product so bad, I’m going to drive over 30 minutes, to another city, just to buy it. Get your head out of the clouds, retailers. Triangles are people too.