Creamy Crack: Going Natural Is More Than Just a Hairstyle

creamy crackWhen people are addicted to control substances, they often seek professional help. They join a drug treatment program designed to rid the body of toxins and increase the chances of long-term sobriety.

Within this program, they discuss how confident they feel when they take the drug. This confidence is often because the drug alters the mind, giving you more confidence to cope with the problems of everyday life.

On the other hand, the addict also acknowledges the devastating impact that the control substance has had in their life – including the impact on family and friends. Without these treatment programs, it would be much more difficult for some people to stop using these controlled substances.

So, how do you cope when there is no professional help and no true diagnoses for your substance abuse?

You may be thinking that there is professional help for all types of substance abuse. Let’s explore whether that’s entirely true.

What Happens When You Are Addicted to Creamy Crack?

creamy crackThe term creamy crack, which defines a relaxer as crack, is a term of endearment for some and used negatively by others. Hence, the correlation to having a drug addiction.

When the problem begins to show its ugly head, you may feel the need to communicate with someone. The person that people often talk to initially is their hair stylist. Be careful during this conversation, because this person is actually your pusher (drug supplier).

This is analogous to having a discussion with a pusher, explaining to them that you no longer want their product or services. Usually, that conversation doesn’t go very well.

Rarely will the stylist actually give you their blessings. You’re a client that has decided to leave them, and they often will say whatever it takes to make you stay – including ridiculous saying like your hair is too nappy and needs creamy crack because it would be totally unmanageable without a relaxer.

These types of conversations are really just a form of peer pressure. Women are being pressured by certain social groups and media outlets to strive for a specific level of beauty in hair and body type, and if you don’t fit within those parameters then you are not beautiful according to their standards.

If women know that relaxers are bad for them, then why do they continue to relax their hair?

Maybe they relax their hair out of habit and fear of the unknown, but most keep doing it for one simple reason: they are addicted to relaxers and the effect that relaxers have on their hair.

After your hair has been relaxed you are on a high. You have achieved the desired straightness that you wanted and you feel complete. This euphoria comes from having the relaxer and it provides you with a new level of confidence. The painfully burning, scabs and balding spots – which are warning signs of a much bigger problem – are ignored.

A common thread that I’ve noticed is that women who were around women that had relaxed hair, especially at an early age, have a higher propensity to relax their hair and their daughter’s hair – if applicable.

It’s really amazing that some women have been relaxing their hair for decades through the chemical burns, balding spots and other mishaps, yet are still dead set against giving the relaxer up.

So where would one go for rehab?

Curl Centric provides rehab for naturals who want to stop the relaxer high. The rehab really begins with you making the decision not to relax anymore. Next, you must surround yourself with people who are able to look pass your hair, encourage you and celebrate your real hair and the real you.

These are the first steps to your mental transition and to begin your natural hair journey.

Will it work the very first time?

It may not.

It took two rounds of going natural for me within 10 years, before I stuck with it. Now, I’m not looking back.


  • For me relaxing was an addiction- a viscious cycle that i found hard to escape. I also now realize how deepy entertwined my happiness and the condition of my hair were. If it was done – oh you couldnt tell me nothing chile. Freshly touched up with curls bouncing and blowing in the wind! ummph! ok! But a few days later when the style began to falter or when my roots began to crinkle up? – Oh i was mad. I cant count the morinings i woke up fighting with my hair-beating it into submission. When i stop relaxing and got off that crazy rollercoaster I discovered true happiness. I discover a natural me. And i love her more than ever!

    • My stylist was like ‘don’t go natural, your hair is too thick and dry and its going to end up shorter’ and when I was transitioning, she was still doing my braids and she was always intentionally pulling painfully hard on my hair to make me change my mind. I’d always hated relaxers from the beginning, I just didn’t know how to take care of my hair if it was natural

  • Great post. I’ve been natural for 2 yrs now and I got my 1st relaxer on my 6th birthday (I’m 27). I used to get relaxers every 4-6 wks b/c as soon as I saw new growth I wanted it gone! I’m very proud if myself for giving up the creamy crack and embracing my natural hair; besides, technology is so advanced that if I want to straighten it, the flat iron and blow dryer do just fine.

    • thanks Step_ai! I am glad that you enjoyed and that you related. I am proud of you too. Giving it up is hard to do and getting over the initial humps are the hardest. But look at you- 2 years into your journey- congrats!

  • Honestly guys I think the addiction was my stylists…After going for 6 or more weeks with no relaxer they would look at my hair and say, GIRL…WHAT were you thinking waiting this long….MY RESPONSE WAS: “um, i was thinking I would let the relaxer grow out and just wear my hair natural…I like that it is huge with or without the relaxer…and of course i got “the side eye”..And the “CHILD PLEASE”. Then the talks about how my hair would all fall out..I say whatever to that…It took me years( about ten literally) to find someone that would actually touch my thick hair without chemical straighteners in it…But now that I know what I am doing…SORT OF…lol…IT’S a struggle…I am done for GOOD…

    • I understand completely where you are coming from. It’s like the walk of shame or something because you waited. After you have had your touch-up and they style your hair, they say something like, “don’t that look better?” And we nod in agreement, knowing full well it is going against your initial intentions…
      Continue to learn more about your hair- your break through is coming sooner than you think :)

  • First let me say that I DID enjoy the article and this point of view; however, I have a few comments/questions what have you.

    I am transitioning to natural, and unlike many people who take this road rather than diving into the unknown of the BC, I haven’t found the transition awfully difficult but freeing. I’m learning a lot more things to do with my hair that aren’t as damaging, I find myself more conscious of what I’m using on my hair for its health and that experience is exciting. Nonetheless, why must such negative scrutiny be put against those who chose to use relaxers. I definitely understand the risks, damage, etc. associated with using relaxers; however, for some women maybe their reasoning is as simple as the ease of a relaxer fits their lifestyle. For me, the transition from relaxed to natural had nothing to with my beauty, getting closer to my roots, or any of that; it was simply its healthier for my hair based on my lifestyle. Why must we “look down” on women who continue to use relaxers, making it sound so negative. I feel like this just adds a greater divide within the black female community as much as the light skin vs. dark skin fiasco. Just my thoughts…I love that I’m going natural and I’m very excited about the journey…but I would hate for my decision and excitement make anyone feel less or inferior just because they are doing what works for them.

    Peace, love and blessings.

    • Hi Allysa!

      I am happy that you enjoyed the article. Just for clarification, I am guessing you are referring to the term creamy crack. If this is not correct, please specify. To answer your question, “why must we “look down” on women who continue to use relaxers, making it sound so negative?” I know that it is common for sites about natural hair to speak negatively towards relaxers, however, we don’t.

      Our information is for anyone that is thinking about going, those who have started transitioning or who are natural. It’s also for those who want to be informed and entertained. We have members who are relaxed and we welcome them just the same.

      The article is creatively written with the correlation to a controlled substance based on the dependency some women have on relaxers. The article is for women who can relate to the dependency on relaxers or in @tiffanytolar case, the stylist. Often times, the dependency is never recognized because we as humans are often creatures of habit.

      Please don’t take away from the article that we are looking down on anyone for we all have a choice, rather, take away that if women have this dependency and need support from a like-minded community or need a platform to tell their story, that is the reason Natural Hair Community was created.

      Be confident in your decision because you are an inspiration to someone else.

  • Thanks for this article. The more I read about these ‘addictions’, the more I am thankful for my family. I’ve had an aunt who has been natural since, at least, the early 80’s – and no one in our family has thought much of it. Hair was never a focal point for us.

    I started relaxing my hair at 15 (which seams to be late, compared to many of the people who have commented on this – and other sites); and that was only because we weren’t really good with taking care of my hair after I joined the track and cross-country teams in high school. Even when I was relaxed, I could go 8-10 weeks between touch-ups. No one (not even my stylists) ever pressured me about shortening the time in-between relaxers; so I was also blessed in that area as well. I was able to maintain a rather nice length while my hair was relaxed.

    I transitioned to natural hair. There was no ‘a-ha’ moment – or decision to buck the trends of the time. In early 2006, I decided to go with a short pixie hair cut; and transition to natural (cutting it down every few months until the relaxed ends were gone). I received some response at the time – but not much. To be perfectly honest with you – the natural hair discussion has seemed to take off over the past 18 months for me. 95% of the time – it’s people asking me questions. Lately I have even experienced people asking me about my hair – and then explaining to me why they can’t let go of the relaxer. The funny thing about that is… I don’t try to talk people into going natural. I just wish that we would ‘take care’ of our temples.

    I never realized how many people had issues with hair; at the end of it all, this experience has helped me to realize how blessed I am.

    Again – thanks for this post…and site.

    • Kylana,
      Yes, hair is an issue for many people but I think it actually goes deeper for more people than it is realized.
      Having a supportive family or group is so important and this is what Kenneth and I strive to provide for the community.
      I think we are all influenced by our surrounding directly or indirectly. It’s great that you had an aunt that was natural for so many years :) I am sure that there are some women have probably never seen their mother’s or any female family member natural hair before. I think can discouraging to some women, especially when they are newly natural and want to have a base reference for what their hair MIGHT look like. The first reaction most often is to turn to the mother.

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Hey Ladies,

    I totally understand the “tone” and purpose of this article and was understanding until the “Hair Stylist” bashing. I am a licensed Master Cosmetologist and I’ve never frowned upon a client who was deciding to “Go Natural”! For many reason, the first, I have been natural since 2008 and I’ve been loc’d since 2009! I have a varying array of clientele. I tend to all with the same amount of pride and preservation! All of the stylist at the salon where I work are natural or either transitioning. Are we a “Natural Salon”?? By no means. We service all hair types. The women who frequent our salon are encouraged to be what they want. I have a circle of stylist friends who are being pursued to transition because of their clients interest in this new “Awakening” of Black Women. I take offense to the “rare” statement. I don’t believe it’s as rare as many would like to think! I just ask that women personalize and not generalize when it comes to stylist! And if you have a negative stylist it’s your own foolishness that will cause you to continue to patronize an abusive stylist.

    Lastly, being “Natural” isn’t something everyone is interested in… But it’s not our job as a women of “Naturals” to degrade or belittle any woman for choosing what’s right for her. Not only is Sodium Hydroxide the active ingredient in Relaxers toxic but so is smoking, drinking, fast food, sugary sweets, unprotected sex so on and so forth! If you’re not “protecting your temple” 100%, drop the stones! Everyone starts somewhere. What good is it to rock your natural fro in a coffin? Your hair shouldn’t be the only place you rid yourself of “Addictions”!

    Keep Writting, Sis!!
    Much Love.

    • Hi Sharie,
      The women who are natural in your surrounding area are very fortunate to have a salon that welcomes and supports their decision. Based on my experience, most naturals do not have an establishment that supports their decision to go natural. So do not take offense in my “rare” statement.

      This article isn’t against women who relax; it is for women who want to go natural but find the ritual of relaxing hard to shake. Everything you mentioned about fast food, drinking, smoking, etc… are all things most people choose. If they choose to stop any of the aforementioned activities, they have a place to go for support. Heck, they even have a name for them; over eating, alcoholics anonymous, smoking cessation – what is the saying that is used when a woman decide to give up relaxing her hair and find it hard to stop – she is addicted to the creamy crack. This is a common term that has been used for years and it obviously wasn’t created by me. However, I do understand the correlation.


  • I know this article was written a while back…but i’ve only just seen this. Personally, I don’t think its fair to say that all black women that get relaxers are addicted… I think that we have so much versatility with our hair, that it would be ashame to only experiment with one hairstyle (natural hair). having chemically relaxed hair does not mean your conforming to european stereotypes. Quite often I have seen white women wearing perms (a curly version of our relaxers) and I am pretty sure this does not mean they are trying to conform to black stereotypes.

    Anyways, as long as your hair is healthy then that’s all that matters.


    • Nat – Thanks for your comments. I think you are correct. It’s not fair to say that all black women that get relaxers are addicted and this article doesn’t say that. The article asks, “What happens when you’re addicted to creamy crack?” It does not say that everyone who uses a relaxer is addicted to creamy crack and the article is not written about women with relaxers. This article is more or less a play on commonly used terms within the community discussed in a creative way. Ultimately, I think your comments are inline with the comments that @Jael makes in this article. It’s also important to note that as you read many of our articles, you will notice that we tend to write creatively in many cases. Sometimes our creative pieces are misunderstood, especially if you’re not readily familiar with our style. Were not into creating controversy, but we do try to make our articles interesting and fun to read.

  • Well written. I got the point, and so will anyone that was or is addicted to the “creamy crack “. Lol
    I was for well over 30 years. Went natural 2009, have not look back. I must say my stylist did support me.. I just saw her a week ago, 2012. Lol she thought my hair look great and was surprise how long it was and how full it was. She just had to touch it. How soft!!!! Lol.

    I have not went back to my dope dealer for anything. Lol you must go cold turkey. Have no association with your dealer until you are healthy enough. For some never.

    Don’t stop writing it took me over 30 years, maybe you can save some.

    PS: that stylist speaking above is a season “dealer” smooth talker. Very cunning, trying to side track the inexperienced ones. Lol

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