Dark & Lovely, Just For Me, and Kid’s Organics — these are just a few of the popular hair relaxer brands you may remember from childhood. Whether it was for picture day at school or Easter Sunday at church, a perm worked almost as a rite of passage for little Black girls. You could wrap your hair up or put it in rollers, but one way or another, maintaining the style was a must; having one hair out of place was just not an option.
To help cut salon costs, at-home chemical straightening kits became a staple for those wanting to achieve loose coils without breaking the bank. The application process was an experience you could never forget: the foul, chemical odor, the vaseline placed gently around your ears and edges, hearing the phrase, “the burning means it’s working,” as the relaxer pierced through your scalp and tears poured from your cheeks.
Aside from the (literally) painful memories, you probably also remember the vibrant at-home relaxer boxes featuring photos of young, Black models, often with hairstyles like a blunt bob or cascading curls that we could never emulate no matter how much we tried.
After a tweet inquiring about updates on the “Hair Box Girls” went viral, some of the former hair models have re-emerged to offer updates on where they’ve been and let people revel in the nostalgia of it all. One of them was rapper Baby Tate, who confirmed that she’s the model who used to appear on the Kids Originals box.