The Creamy Crack…..




Okay… people… As you know I have lived in China for almost three years now.. .and people always ask me… what do I miss about America the most….?   I can say.. many things.. like .. Taco Bell, chocolate covered cherries…. girl scout cookies…. and cheese.. but …. being a Black woman living in China… the one true thing I miss is the Creamy crack… yes… for you non-ethnic people…. Hair relaxer… or straightening perm….

I read articles all the time.. about people in America that want to step away from the perms and stop using the relaxers.. and letting your hair go back natural…. well I say…. STOP THIS MADNESS….

Try going three years without a relaxer and see what your hair looks like…. I look in the mirror.. and  think.. this is going to be a two comb day… because.. honey.. the first one breaks and I have to break out the second one to finish the job.

I try to braid it.. but after a while.. your fingers just hurt thinking about dealing with it.    I know.. your thinking… Jo.. it can’t be that bad… well… it is.   There is no hair grease, no hair cream, no oil sheen, no detangler, no pressing comb… and some pitiful looking flat-iron… (no offense my skin-color impaired friends.. but that doesn’t work on our hair) …. I attempted to do the natural thing.. and get some real olive oil to try to loosing some stuff up… yeah.. it just made me drip oil when it got hot outside… People.. it is crazy ….I feel the pain of my ancestors before the creamy crack was invented.    I sometimes sit in the corner and dream about it… thinking… remember when my hair was soft and silky…. I could run my fingers thru it.   Now .. I could clean my bathtub with it… that is if I had a bathtub in this place.

Ohhh… the horror… of trying to wear a nap-fro ..(that is nappy fro) … the pain of trying to look cute for your husband.. when he is squeezing your head like it is a sponge…. saying “Why does it do that?”

It does not help.. that I am walking around a country where the weaves and wigs are made from their hair.  They just throw it around and complain about how unmanageable it is.  The Bitches…

So… one day.. as I was sporting a cute.. Asian wig.. yes.. I said it.. wig… and I was looking like Beyonce..(at least in my eyes) … I saw one of my African friends and …. her hair was … dare I say it… straight… Now.. I know that some Africans have some good easy to take care of hair.. but this chick wasn’t one of them…I have seen her with was messed up fros in the past….  so I didn’t even say hello… I just said… Where did you get it?

She didn’t even flinch… she said… Guandong Province…she said .. they have everything there… relaxers, weaves, braid hair.. pressing comb… I said to her… with tears in my eyes.. where is this place that you speak of ….this land of dreams? She who was obviously amused by my cantor and told me that she had a friend of a friend….. that could hook me up.    That was it…the answer.  Like a golden light that came from the sky.

I quickly got the message out to her and ordered several boxes of the creamy crack.  I was not running out just in case.. she got deported or something.   I was told it would take three days to get here.. so I was jittery and kind of out of it for a few days.

Then I got the call that my package had arrived… I ran quickly down the stairs to receive it.    Then back to my office desk to open it and take a look.    Now mind you, this caused a little bit of flutter in the office… they were not sure what I was excited about… but they just wanted to see.  (they are quite nosy in China).   I opened the package… and there it was …”Dark and Lovely”   I saw the silky haired woman on the front.  Tears came to my eyes.

My co-workers were confused … what is it?  what does it do?  why are you crying?   ….. I told them.. that it was a Black woman’s secret weapon to beauty…. they were still confused.. but I didn’t care….

So, now… as I sit here typing this blog.  I am smiling and looking at my relaxer box…. my hands are shaking and I am afraid to open it.   I just want to look at it for a few more days.. before I actually do my hair.  Yes, my husband is still thinking I have lost my mind and my co-workers are still confused; but … that little African girl just made my stay in China… 100 times more bearable.

“My Name is Jo Gan…. and I am addicted to .. the Creamy Crack”


until next time…..




56 thoughts on “The Creamy Crack…..

  1. Heather Holly

    Do your thing girl- do what makes you happy I agree!! I have been wanting to take a hair supplement and after researching a bunch of different ones ( and reading comments and reviews) I decided on keratin vitamins from a company called Nourage. They are working pretty quickly- they are the ones Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives uses. I use those so when I damage the hell out of my hair, they help me to be proactive=)

  2. Venessa

    Lol Loved this! Do what makes you happy. Natural or relaxed. It’s all good! P.S. I’m part of the creamy crack crew!

  3. Talia

    Wow you sound quite foolish. Having natural hair is beautiful. Seems like the white man has done it again another sister with self hatred. Love WHO YOU ARE!

    1. Tsm

      Oh shut up!!!! I went 3 years without one for other reasons so had to buy wigs, finally began putting them in again, and not per the white man!!!! Everyone cannot go natural , kudos to the ones who can, I would love to, but some ppl need a perm/relaxer because we refuse to look like pickannies! If we could look nice without them
      We would but some can’t , so nothing to
      Do with white ppl, it’s a choice, like the white man probably cause u to carry coach purses, etc! Get over it!

  4. Natural hair is only “difficult” and “unmanageable” when you try to work against the hair not with it. In other words, when you try to treat it like it’s straight hair. Black hair is the most fragile and weak hair which means our hair is the most sensitive to combing, brushing, heat, and chemicals. You have to teat it like it’s gentle,by combing correctly (combs can go through your hair if you are combing correctly and is not knotted) and protective styling. Traditional Africans as well as our black American ancestors just used some form of braiding and twisting for styling our hair.

    Well I know you’re relaxing your hair, but for anyone else who wants to know how to treat their natural hair while living aboard I can give advice and resources. Tere’s a young lady called “velvet halo” ( she lives aboard in Denmark where there is little availability of black hair products she gives advice on how to keep black natural hair healthy and growing with using natural or homemade ingredients.
    There’s plenty of informative natural hair vbloggers on youtube, most popular is kimmaytube There’s copious amount of forums, books, articles, blogs dedicated to natural hair. Just email me or comment below if you want additional resources.

    (All hair is good hair)

    1. Our hair is not weak and fragile when we take care of it. Other than that you’re right on. I’m extremely tendered headed so I need a perm to make my hair manageable, but I may have found a substitute for the Creamy Crack.

  5. Mon

    I noticed that you kept mentioning about the lack of available products where you are, have you heard of They have a WIDE range of natural beauty products, oils, vitamins,food pretty much everything you could ever need besides clothes ect ahah (the search toolbar is your powerr!!), anyway, they ship to china and shipping is only $6 (i think, well it was last time i checked lol), I live in the uk and i use them all the time because the uk doesn’t have the products that i want either ahha. Their products are also very reasonably priced. I’m not just mentioning this site in a bid to keep you natural btw, a lot of relaxed ladies also use the hair products from this site because they are a healthier alternative to the mineral oil, laden black hair care products such as pink oil and the likes 🙂

    Another thing, have you ever heard of tsubaki oil(camelia oil)? this is japan’s secret hair/skin product and pretty much most of their beauty produtcs contain this. I’m 99% certain you can find it in china because most asian countries have it. Anyway, whether you decide to relax or not, get a leave in conditioner, if you can’t get one you could simply spritz some water to your hair, and then seal with this oil trust me, your hair will thank you, might i add, it’s quite expensive though, (well it is over here, maybe it might be cheap in china) but a little goes a long waay so it all evens out. if you can’t find that oil, a great alternative is jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil, they can be found on the site i posted earlier 🙂 A simple healthy hair regi, happy hair growing ! btw, if you havent already, look up benefits to hair on the oils i listed, so you can decide if you wanna try them or not 🙂

      1. mon

        That’s ok! I can understand how frustrating it must be when people keeping raving about a particular product and you have no access to it (has been in said situation several times lol)
        oh another thing the site also has $5 off for first time customers, if you do decide to ever shop from there use this code at checkout: NOM275 🙂

  6. bwoutofthebox

    I want to applaud you for holding out so long for the creamy crack. I would have cut all of my hair off like I’ve done many times during transitioning. Some of my mistakes were letting hair sylist mess with my locks. I had it growing so well and doing my own touch ups. Now that my scalp and hair has had enough punishment, I quit. Now I’m not saying keeping hair natural is a breeze because it isn’t as easy as some people think. So, keep on doing what you have to do to keep your sanity. At least you found your fix to your addiction.

  7. yuri

    hey jo, if u make a trip down to guangzhou, i’m sure you’ll be able to get your hands on many black hair products because from what i hear, there is a large affrican expat community there. anyway, love u’r stories. girl, you’re super entertaining and hilarious. keep them coming!

  8. Anniegirl

    I could not stop laughing!! I wear my hair naturally now but I could soo relate. It’s all about choices. Maybe you need a care package of products from the US :^)

      1. pearls

        I just pictured you standing beside a person dressed in an oversize trench coat, wearing a big hat and sunglasses! Both of you are looking around…scoping the people before the person…opens his/her coat slightly, letting you know they’ve got the stuff! hehehe

  9. Lorraine

    I’m on a break from the relaxers, but I have the luxury of just calling and making an appointment. I didn’t know you couldn’t import it. Maybe you can do something about that huh? Oh well girl, your story woke my sleepy behind up laughing so hard. I had to share on my FB page. Take care love and keep those delightful stories coming!!!!

  10. I am natural and loving it, but if the damn ‘fro ain’t for you, I say…fuck it! Get the creamy crack if it makes you happy, girl! 😀

    We expats need our luxuries and if you are tired of the fight, you do your Dark & Lovely and get your fix.

    This post warmed my heart on this chilly Dutch night. 😉

  11. Hi!
    I love your blog!
    I’m currently living in Guangzhou and though I don’t suffer quite the challenge that you are having with your hair (since I’m white), I can certainly relate to the struggle of finding the things you need.

    The area I live in has a mazillion foreigners and so import stores do pretty well here and help make life easier. Apple cider vinegar? Hahaha! Yes they sell it as a healthy drink at Chinese supermarkets and it always has a bunch of junk added to it, including sugar. Not what you want to rinse hair with! Import stores sometimes have Heinz ACV in small bottles for high prices, again – no way.

    I had fairly straight to mildly wavy hair before moving here, but the humidity of South China has given me hair that makes random, unattractive, frizzy ringlets, and the water seems to make my hair brittle. I have a “daily hair oil”, which is actually just a really, really thick conditioner that helps prevent the brittleness, but still – it’s just not the same. I completely understand your attachment to “crack cream” and wish you continued luck in finding a steady supplier. And now I know better what to ask for when I go back to the U.S. and want this crazy hair of mine to go back the way it used to be! Last time I tried to get someone to straighten it, it was an abysmal failure. I put my hair through all that and in the end it was even curlier than before. Moan!

    1. Yes.. my fellow expat.. you understand the pain and hardships we go thru.. hehehe… even just simple basic things.. are very difficult to find…. at least your in Guangzhou… you have a little bit of an advantage.. i will have to take a trip down there and see what is available. Thanks for reading…

  12. Hmm I’ve been natural for 5 years now, and yes I’m mixed race but I think my hair is softer now then when i was using relaxer. Instead of risking going bald using a home relaxer (which is not meant for virgin hair) maybe you can start with some new hair care routines.

    For me I wash and braid my hair with leave in conditioner at night, in then i comb it out with a wide tooth comb and I have soft waves.

    Really the secret to manageable hair is keeping your hair healthy.

      1. Tsm

        You do what you need to do, it’s a choice, like the reply I left for the person commenting that the white man got you, and saying you sound foolish. I’ll never again go 3 years without perm and wearing wigs , I’m
        Sick of blame it on the white ppl! Whites manufacture purses, cars, food, fake nails but that doesn’t stop us. I’m glad you were able to get your relaxer!!!! You
        Do not sound foolish , you know your hair !!!!!

  13. lmao, I probably would be in the same as you if I was there…I have been natural for 7 years but I get my hair braided all the time…maybe in the future I might actually have it out and all that.

    I like reading you’re blog…It’s interesting.

  14. Ami

    ROFLLLLL! You are a nut, you must know this 😀 Ive been natural in the past (for 7 years) and am transitioning back to natural now… about 1 year and 4 months in. I just wanted to give up the creamy crack for good to save money, get rid of the dependency and hubby putting the pressure on for me to go natural. So he and I agreed on a long transition to natural, and I realize that going natural is only right for those of us who want to go natural… it’s not for everyone and I can understand your situation, where you are pretty much forced to go natural because of lack of resources. That is the dependency issue that I dont’ like and it’s a horrible feeling, I know!

    Well I hope that you’ll be able to get a hold of what you need every few months, but if not there are other ways to care for your natural hair using all natural ingredients like aloe, jojoba oil, avocado butter, coconut oil, castor oil, glycerin. You can make your own concoctions and I think practice makes perfect, along side of creativity.

    1. I know your hair is beautiful and really long.. and if I had your hair.. i would be in heaven… (I am drinking… haterade over here) … but…your advice…”your natural hair using all natural ingredients like aloe, jojoba oil, avocado butter, coconut oil, castor oil, glycerin. You can make your own concoctions and I think practice makes perfect, along side of creativity.”

      Ami .. this seems like a lot of work… and a lot of searching… I can tell you right now.. the only thing i can probably find here in china is the aloe…everything else.. no… they dont have avocados.. they didnt know what they were when I asked… coconuts they have.. but how the hell do i squeeze the oil out of them… castor oil… and glycerin… I feel they would think i was a terrorist .. trying to make a bomb….. this is just toooo much work… I am think the 4 step process…. cream, activator, shampoo, conditioner… yep… I got a problem… hehehe…

    2. Elaine

      @ Ami I too am looking to go to South Korea (hopefully within the next year), and I saw that there’s a “natural” beauty product shop called the Face Shop. You may already know about this shop if you live in LA or NYC. I’m not sure what is you hair type, but I checked out some of their shampoos and conditioners, and they seem promising.

      @ lifebehindthewall
      Man, that’s rough about the products that are not available there. I guess if I end up teaching in China I need to learn how to make an aloe hair potion lol

      So, through this friend of a friend, can someone get other hair products like conditioners, etc? Perhaps like the ones we use here in the US? Also, what are the common types of oils (including cooking ones) used over there?

      1. Well.. it seems my African connection only has relaxers… no other hair products…and they were snuck into the country.. on the black market…(smile)… the only oils i see here… baby oil, olive oil, fish oil, corn oil, skin whitening oil, and some crazy snake oil.. (that still as the snake in it) … the chinese do not put a lot of things on their hair… they are a very lucky bunch.. Pantene, and ..ohhh… oil of olay…..that is about it…

  15. Avastacia

    i’ve been using the “creamy crack” (the kind w/ no lye, of course) for about three years now, and my hair has grown from shoulder length to lower mid-back length. permed hair can be very healthy if you know how to treat it *^_^*

    … this is my biggest fear about going to south korea. do they even sell this stuff over there? i know there are a lot of blacks that live in korea, but still… can’t help but wonder, ya’ know?

    1. Thank you .. fellow crack head…(LMAO).. and I mean that with all the love in the world.. see.. we can do it … bless you…

      I have found that any country that has a Military base.. you are okay… but if you are like me.. in the forbidden Country.. nay.. nothing…

  16. Trina

    I had the problem in the beginning, too. I wasn’t able to shop at the local PX and I didn’t have a hook-up yet, so… My mom sent me hair care C.A.R.E. packages for me to do my hair myself. (Aside to self: Neither your German ex-husband, nor your American girlfriend – even tho she’s from the South – know anything about black folks’ hair and/or relaxers) Then, when more Africans began opening their hair salons in the Frankfurt area, I spent more than a week’s wages a visit letting them make my hair look like a Dark & Lovely ad.

    The epiphany came for me in Wiesbaden. A German guy had a salon that also catered to “ethnic” hair. We “ethnic folks” were secluded in a section at the rear of the shop to have are scalps “fried ‘n dyed”. A couple of times in the summer I came in to just have my hair shaped up and conditioned and he recommended I get another relaxer, because “you know your hair just looks better that way”.


    In some ways that was it for me. My “aha” moment. Why was I spending so much of my disposable income – and therefore neglecting other (more important) investments in my future/my family to make my hair do something it wasn’t meant to do in the first place?

    I rolled with the “S-Curl” for awhile after that to give myself time to mentally transition. But there was still the phenomenal cost for stylist and product (as well as the investment in new pillow cases/hair wraps, because that gunk was h*ll to get out of the bedding!).

    Now? I’m a Happy Nappy – and proud of it. Have been for more than 15 years. Although I got lots of curiosity from Europeans, almost all the the truly negative remarks/reactions came from black folks… But that’s a comment for another day.

    Taking care of your (natural) hair isn’t really a big thing, if you learn about your hair and what it needs to be/stay healthy and easy to manage. As someone mentioned, you don’t even have to depend on manufactured products to do that. It’s just a shame we don’t learn that and pass it on from generation to generation anymore.

    Now – in the age of and the blogosphere – there is a wealth of information out there on how to care for and style your hair attractively while keeping it healthy, too.

    1. Trina honey. .. you know I love you… but… you havent seen the curse my parents put upon my head…. darn those genetics…. lucky my children are part Asian so they can have a easier go at it…. but.. I am just going to creamy crack my head until all my hair falls out…. and then wear a wig…hehehehe….

  17. pearls

    “Now .. I could clean my bathtub with it… that is if I had a bathtub in this place.” Girl…whew…I’m rolling over here! You are so funny! By the way, I’ve never heard the term creamy crack used for before.

    Re STOP THE MADNESS, noooo…I can’t and won’t! I’ve been au natural for about 8.5 years! My hair doesn’t like perms anymore, so I’m on the opposite end of your spectrum. If the industry hadn’t changed the best non-greasy pressing comb grease on the market some years ago, I’d be blowing on that hot comb today! Prior to perms, I could never relate to what ‘tender-headed’ people went through. Though I was far from being a wash and go kind of girl…I didn’t have kitchens! Well, soon after ceasing my use of perms, even with the best conditioners and leave-ins, I not only had kitchens, but livingrooms, dining rooms and foyers! Maybe even throw in a few dens! My hair went from a coarse, somewhat straight pattern before being blow dried…to a coarse, kaint you comb it, don’t you try, tear jerking wonder! I now understand and empathize with the ‘T-H’ folks out there!

    Tip: An easy to use hair detangler is apple cider vinegar; it’s a natural ph balancer. You can chase it with a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water as a rinse after shampooing the hair. The hair will become much straighter the more it’s used as a rinse. FYI, don’t use the apple cider vinegar on relaxed hair, it will strip the relaxer out of it!

    About olive oil. Hah! Girl you need to stop! Your experience with it reminds me of the Jeri Curl with the dripping!

    1. Now.. i learned two things from your comment.. one … I never knew there was non-greasy pressing comb grease… (i think my grandma .. use to just slap the royal crown.. in the red and gold can on my head in globs) and .. that apple cider vinegar made your hair straighter….. humm… they dont have that kind of vinegar here… but they have some other kind of dark vinegar.. will that work… ?

      I am happy you can go with out the creamy crack… but i have to have it… and .. on top of that.. the English girl here.. that is half Egyptian… she has that mixed girl .. bad hair… anyway…. she saw what I did.. and now .. she too is hooked on the crack….. spreading the joy over here…. hehehehe

      1. pearls

        Yes girl…the non-greasy pressing comb grease was used sparingly by my beautician. When she pressed-curled my hair, it stayed for 2 weeks. For years, everyone thought I had a perm and it wasn’t greasy either! Plus, being very athletic, my hair never went back either…couldn’t even brush those curls out…sigh! But, after the industry changed…I could press my own hair, run my hands through it and grease my elbow and knees…and that with a sparing usage!

        About vinegar. If it’s made from apples…as most are, yes. Over there, since they aren’t big on chemical usage, you’ll get even better results! I, personally, prefer organic acv. Here’s how it works. Shampoo the hair, rinse well, apply acv/water rinse to hair, leave in for 10 to 30 minutes…then slighty rinse out of hair with warm, not hot water. Condition hair, use wide-tooth comb to gently distribute conditioner throughout by combing hair…rinse out as usual. Follow with cool to cold water to close pores and seal hair shafts.

        Tip for AA long hair. Clip ends, only @ 2 wks (once is week is best). You can do this yourself by sectioning off your hair and taking your time. Next, apply…very, very sparingly…olive oil to the scalp and ends of hair (massage scalp). A little glycerine/olive oil mix applied sparingly to the end would be even better.

        Lastly. I know you don’t want to here this, but processed (chemical laden) foods messes with the hair and body. The less chemical intake, the more vegetables and raw fruit you eat…the better hair quality and health will result. Those chemicals are actually no joke! That’s what really ages people.

        1. Pearls… thanks for all the wonderful advice.. and I am sure some of you lady … will take it and run with it… but… for myself… ahem… when the creamy crack runs out… its back to just braiding this mess.. and wearing a wig. Although, it all sounds good.. healthy living, healthy hair, healthy body… you would be surprised how hard it is to find anything… that you mentioned. Oh, and lets not forget to mention .. how busy Ms. Jo is… hehehe… the advice is wonderful.. and i will consider it… when I am wandering around town….i will try to look for some of the stuff.. but… it is like a needle in a haystack over here….

      2. pearls

        P.S. Check with your ‘people’ to see if they can get the shea butter or glycerine. My rule is…all they can say is no…then my second move is next! I’ll continue to ask/knock until someone opens that door!

        About coconuts. If they have coconut milk (non-sweeten) or water (w/o carbonation) use as a final rinse…or pure coconut soap as a cleanser, instead. It will soften and restore lustre to the hair. If only the meat of the coconut is available…and you don’t want to invest in a juice extractor…go to a juice bar and buy extracted coconut juice or buy the meat and see if they can extract it right there for you. Inquire first to find out which is the less pricey of the two!

        Raw coconut oil does not come in liquid form. It is also used to cook with and comes in an easy to melt solid. It can be used very sparingly on the scalp and as a moisturizer on the body. Look it up…its great for the skin!

        Do they have bentonite clay over there?

  18. LOL! I haven’t used a relaxer in nearly 8 years, but I can remember when I loved my hair straight. I had no idea that it’s that difficult to get certain products while in a foreign country. That definitely sucks 😦

    I’m glad you found somewhere that can get you the products you need. Natural hair isn’t an option for everyone. Figuring it out ain’t easy, either-it took me years to figure out what my natural hair likes, and I can get just about everything I need from the local Walmart LOL! Please let us know how the new ‘do turns out 🙂

    1. unfortunately… they do have a walmart in the next city.. but it doesnt carry any… ethnic products.. at all.. and he has live animals… I say .. ditched the live animals.. and get me some oil sheen…. damn.

  19. Elaine

    Reading your blog for the first time, and loving it!

    “I read articles all the time.. about people in America that want to step away from the perms and stop using the relaxers.. and letting your hair go back natural…. well I say…. STOP THIS MADNESS….”

    This cracked me up! But I do understand. Although I would love my family members and friends to go natural, I do understand that for some a relaxer is necessary to make hair styling easier for them. For me personally, I only relaxed my hair for a year and a half while in college (with pressure from my mom) and after that I was running away from the creamy crack. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much money I would have to spend on caring for natural hair (all the butters, oils, moisturizers, deep conditioners, etc). So now that my funds are quite low, I’ve been getting creative with caring for my hair. Currently I am on a Suave Naturals condish and canola oil regimen lol. I don’t know what I will do if and when I start ESL teaching in Asia. This blog post reminds me I need to do a little planning/researching on what hair products will be available there.

    1. Honey.. your not getting any of those products here…. please keep in mind when you get here.. that China has been closed for a longgggg time… and they are just seeing black people in person.. so they have no idea .. what to do with our hair.. or that it is different…. I had one co-worker ask me… what is wrong with your hair . it looks good? girl.. I had on a wig… LMAO

  20. Lauren

    LOL! I love your stories Jo! I know exactly how you feel. I cannot go without a relaxer. Some friends & family members tell me I should go natural, but I can’t handle it. My hair is soooo thick & unmanageable! I went w/o a relaxer for a year and kept it in braids, whenever the braids came out I too had the napfro. When I got it relaxed again it took 2 1/2 jars just to get it smooth & straight! I love my weaves & will be sticking to them! 😉

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