I tell ya, I’m so OVER this crazy myth that EVERYONE SHOULD GO NATURAL! Let me just put that out there. I’m not ANTI-Natural nor am I PRO-Relaxed. I’m for whatever your lifestyle will allow.
Far too often I get women that sit in my chair with Natural hair and they are just down right MISERABLE! They hate their hair. They don’t like the way it frizzes with humidity, they don’t like the limitations they have with styling, they don’t know what products their hair likes or dislikes….I mean, these sisters are FLAT OUT MISERABLE! My question to them is and always has been and will be….WHAT’S YOUR REASON FOR GOING NATURAL? Let’s stick a pin in this question and unwrap it.
What’s your Natural Reason?
When making the decision to go relaxer free, I think this is a question that needs to be asked and evaluated. What’s your reason? Knowing your overall reason will help you withstand the difficult times of this process. Whether you decide to grow your relaxer out or do the “Big Chop,” this process can be life altering. Your overall appearance changes and your hair will go through various stages. There are stages that you will love, and there are bound to be stages that you will hate. The decision to go relaxer free can be more mentally challenging than most women anticipate. Knowing your why will help you stay in the fight and go through those uncomfortable, and difficult transition periods. However, if your why is because “everyone else is doing it” or “relaxers are bad for you,” In my experience, these reasons won’t keep you relaxer free very long.
It’s so sad and disheartening to hear my sisters feel like they are letting “the natural community” down if they relax their hair. I hear it all the time. They literally sit in my chair and “hype themselves up” to relax their own hair! They say to me, “I don’t have anything to prove to anyone, it’s my hair.” They literally have to take their power back and regain control of their own crown. Now I know by reading this you think, “she’s totally against relaxer free hair.” Actually, I’m not. As a Stylist, I realize not everyone needs a relaxer, but I’m also confident in saying that not everyone needs to be Relaxer free.
Debunking Relaxer/Natural Hair Myths
Relaxers take your hair out!
How many times have we heard this one? It’s almost like saying, eating chicken will give you Salmonella. Uhhhh no. Eating uncooked or improperly handled chicken can put you at risk for Salmonella. It’s the same thing with a relaxer. Relaxers are indeed chemicals, and we know this from Chemistry class, there are certain things we need to know before handling chemicals. This is why it is super important to allow a professional to apply your Relaxers. As professionals, we know how to assess the needs of your hair to better determine which type of relaxer will better suit your hair based upon the condition of your hair, the density and texture. A professional also understands processing times and proper removal of the relaxer from your hair. All of these factors, if mishandled, can cause hair damage. Therefore, it’s not the relaxer that causes the damage, but perhaps the misuse of the relaxer instead.
If I go Relaxer free, my hair will be healthier.
Well I hate to break this news to you, but relaxer free hair doesn’t automatically give you the Golden ticket to healthy hair. Just like with our bodies, if we want them healthy, it requires WORK! We have to monitor what we put into our bodies and we have to learn to listen to our bodies. Your hair is no different. We must drink adequate water, watch the foods that we eat and listen to our hair when it’s trying to tell us something. Adequate water intake allows the body to be hydrated, (including the skin). Healthy, hydrated skin allows for healthy, hydrated hair to grow from our scalps. When our hair is stressed, dry, damaged, or in need, it will let us know. Its our job to listen and to provide those needs. This is why routine visits to your stylist are still very important, even if you are Relaxer free.
Style vs. Lifestyle
In the end, it all boils down to what you can manage based upon your lifestyle. If you workout often, perspire heavily, and need humidity resistance, you may want to consider a Smoothing System for your natural hair or going into a Relaxer. If you like versatility and change and most of your “Hair Crush” photos that you save in your phone (we all do it) are Relaxed….you should probably go relaxed. If you enjoy twist outs and afros, fun top knot buns and creative protective styles, the Relaxer free route may suit you better.
Bottom Line….it’s your choice
It bothers me to see some women make other women feel bad about using a relaxer. Using the terms, “Creamy Crack” in a condescending way to someone who is Relaxed is not cool. Every woman has a choice and that choice should be individualized and not based upon what “society” sees fit. If you are Relaxer free, don’t worry about how your co workers will perceive you. Leave the insecurities of wearing your Natural hair behind. You will get that promotion because you are qualified, smart, and confident. So many women are breaking barriers in Corporate America with their Natural Hair. You too can do the same.
I hope this post helped someone free themselves! Don’t torture yourself based upon what someone may think of you. Do what works for you and your lifestyle. But most of all, be sure to see a Professional Stylist to help you execute the desired look.
Be Beautiful, Be You, Be Blessed