A burst of tweets from women who modeled for relaxer brands as children is one of the latest examples of the Black Twitter community finding an unexpected connection and reminiscing about a shared experience.
The discussion started after @prettiestluxury tweeted a collage of models posing on a box of relaxer with no lye and saying, “I remember wanting to be the face of a hair relaxer so bad.” That was followed by a quote tweet asking these women to “show themselves,” which became the focus of a wider trend.
Jaelyn Evanswho was a model on ORS’ Olive Oil Girls No-Lye Relaxer box, said she’s gone natural ever since. Nomsa Sasa Madidaa makeup artist, also posted a photo update on Twitter featuring prominent braids she now wears long after posing for a relaxer brand.
One connection people quickly made with the posts is that almost all relaxer models seem to have decided to stop using those products and now have natural hairstyles instead. As I went through the tweets, I mainly thought about how much I would have liked to achieve the same styles shown in the photos.
The conversations caught my attention because so many women reminisced about the days when they used relaxing products. Although it’s been five years since I’ve used a relaxer on my hair, the first thing that came to mind was the memory of going to the beauty salon and seeing the boxes with the models on the front.
Tarkor Zehn, an audio producer here at Vox Media, recalled what she felt when she came across the tweet thread:
I thought it was cute! It was the best “where are they now” that I never knew I needed. It was super interesting to see how the vast majority of them had moved on to naturalness or if a few of them had always been natural in the first place. Truly a direct representation of the evolution of black hair and the impact of natural hair movement.
BuzzFeed spoke to some models who shared some of their experiences and some details about where they are now. While some of the women in the discussions said they hadn’t used the products they posed for, all of the models who passed by BuzzFeed said that was not the case for them.
A tweet from @chigirlmakeup reading, “I heard you were all looking for the hair box girls…here I go I was the ORS original perm box girl,” had the box model pose with her natural hair in a photo collage next to a box of ORS olive oil relaxer. She followed on her tweet says she has been natural for over 10 years and modeled when she was in her early twenties.
The journey from pursuing those looks to presenting the world with braids, curls and other styles based on how our hair looks natural has been a common thread among the models and the people who were happy to see them appear on their timeline.