Nappy Hair Ruined my Social Life

At least that’s what the model claims in this YouTube video.

It’s an Internet advertisement a new organic hair care system for some supposedly aunaturale, chemical-free temporary straightner that miraculously turns kinky hair into bouncing and behavin’ straight hair. Can you say RIO? Remember that fiasco. Women flocked by the thousands to buy that product from some California-based company in the 90s. It also made the claim that it was an herbal hair straightener with totally natural ingredients and the guy applying the relaxer even ate some it before he put it on the model’s hair. I remember wishing I could try it…but I’ll tell you my mind kept saying at the time it was too good to be true. So I put on my investigator hat and tried to call the company. I eventually got a Los Angeles phone number for them but no one ever answered the phone. That to me raised a big red flag. Low and behold, about a year later complaints started surfacing about this product ranging from turning hair unnatural colors to making it fall out. A class action lawsuit was eventually filed and the plaintiffs won.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized tens of thousands of bottles of “Rio” hair relaxer in 1995 after determining that the product turned users’ hair green and caused them to lose hair (Jet, Feb. 13, 1995).

Now I’m a firm believer in live and let live. If folks want to relax their hair then so be it. But what I have a problem with is the continuous notion that nappy hair is unattactive, unmanageable, unkept and unprofessional. And this video, tries to sell a product on that premise. It quite simply promotes “Fear of Naps.” And…to top it all off the models hair isn’t even nappy in the video…it looks like it’s probably thermally straightened and mussed up a little bit for her “performance.”

Sigh… One day, I’ma live long enough to see black folks all over the world embrace their God given hair and stop this foolishness of chasing an idea that you can only be beautiful if you have long, straight flowing hair. Until that day, I’ll just have to do what I can in my little corner of the world to speakout against images and message like those promoted in this video. After all, that’s why God created blogs.

2 Responses to “Nappy Hair Ruined my Social Life”
  1. KEWLKAT103 says:

    My mother adbn niece used that Rio stuff back in the day. They both had their hair fall out as well as a bunch of other side effects. I was so disgusted that they claimed it was all natural and had people fooled!
    Just another reason I decided to leave all that natural hair altering stuff alone a long time ago.

    Love your website BTW. It’s so fun and positive!!

  2. Stinky says:

    sometimes i think (watch out) that the relaxin’ stuff is mostly for the younger people(s). Now that I have a 4 in the beginning of my age, I have come to think that this is what God gave me, so I am too embrace it. and…. take a look at a lot of the “older” women out there. they dont put that stuff in their hair. they wash and go, so that makes me wonder if that 4 has something to do with it. and…..if you think about when you were younger, it is/was a part of the dating/attracting ritual. not the actual ritual, but part of it.
    that’s just a thought. which leads me back to, I have a 4 in my age.

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