The SOURCE for hair care and beauty information for Women of Color
Click for More Information

 
Random Article


 
Don't Miss
 

Natural vs Relaxed Hair

 


53
Posted January 31, 2012 by

A

s more and more Black women discover the beauty of their naturally kinky hair, the feud between relaxed and natural women of Color is growing at an alarming rate.  While some natural ladies feel as if women who choose to relax their hair are betraying their African roots, relaxed ladies feel that they are constantly under attack by the naturals over their choice to process their hair.   It is a silly debate as well as an unfortunate one especially that over the decades African-Americans have had an on-going riot among themselves over such insignificant issues.   Why should it make a difference how my sister decides to wear her hair?   Would the way she decides make her more or less Black?   When you think of it that way, it does sound ridiculous.

Relaxed Women

Black women who choose to relax their hair have the right to do so without being persecuted by their race.   Women of Color choose to relax for many reasons not always conceivable to natural women.  Most commonly, women who relax their hair chooses to do so because they find caring for their hair in the natural state to be a hassle.   This can be because she may not be very well educated on how to care for natural hair or perhaps she may feel the processes involved are too time consuming.   Most of us as little girls grew up having the luxury of a hot comb in our homes and loved the way our hair looked and felt after being pressed.   As adults, some still enjoy having straight hair rather than kinky hair and find heat-straightening methods more tedious.   Relaxers permanently reconstruct the texture of hair making strands straight.   This works for many women because it is a convenient way to maintain the straight texture they prefer easily, without having to compromise styling due to humidity or weather conditions.   Relaxing hair may make it more manageable but it also has its setbacks.   When the bond is broken allowing kinky hair to become straight, it also weakens the hair follicle.   Because of this, relaxed hair is more susceptible to breakage.   By nature straighter hair is less dry and if this is the deciding factor between relaxed and natural, then relaxed wins easily.

While some natural ladies feel as if women who choose to relax their hair are betraying their African roots, relaxed ladies feel that they are constantly under attack by the naturals over their choice to process their hair.

Natural Women

Natural women, on the other hand prefer the versatility of styling, being able to revert between curly and straight styles.   In some instances, women who prefer natural styling are at times frowned upon by relaxed women who sometimes jeer at their hair texture referring to it as nappy or rough.   Not all women who choose not to relax their hair are “for the cause,” so to speak.   She may simply desire to rid her hair of chemical processing and avoid the risk of damage that may follow.   She might also find processed hair to be somewhat of a nuisance and more difficult to attain fullness in her styling.   She might find that she can grow and maintain longer lengths with natural hair.  She may have conducted research on sodium hydroxide and its chemical counterparts and decided that relaxing was not for her.  Having natural hair opens doors for endless styling opportunities and overall is a much healthier choice for your hair. However, with curly hair dryness and split ends are imminent.  Rule of thumb, the curlier the follicle, the drier it is.   Naturals find themselves working overtime to maintain the moisture and shine to their naturally dry hair.   Humidity and weather condition like rain and snow, do very little to change the styling composition of natural.   This is yet another plus in choosing to remain natural.

At the end of the day, to think that our sisters are at war with each other over the way she chooses to style her hair is almost inconceivable.   Both natural and relaxed women have preferences, likes and dislikes with their own hair.   Stereotyping within your own race is yet another vice in oppressing the Black race.   We should not allow petty and frankly ignorant issues to divide us further, for we are all related through our African roots.


Kendra Turnquest

 
I am a freelance writer, photographer and graphic artist hailing from the fabulous islands of The Bahamas. I love all things beauty and mostly I love having the opportunity to share my wealth of knowledge and convey it to my readers in a fun way that they enjoy reading while being informed. I am also a makeup artist and I do plan to share a few of my video tutorials on Black Hair Media as well. I do thank you for reading and please do come back soon.


53 Comments


  1.  
    Blake

    So if I use heating products on my hair , but don’t get relaxers do I have relaxed or natural hair ?




  2.  

    1.Chemical treatments might not be the best solution- I agree that relaxers can do tremendous damage to the hair line, hair follicles, new growth, and older hair (due to overlapping of the relaxer and thus over processing). Texturizing is a method of straightening the hair somewhat with a mild relaxer..but it is difficult for even the most experienced hairstylists to “get it right”. I am mixed. I am african american (black and irish), native american, and cape verdean (portuguese, british, and african). My hair has different curl patterns, and my hair is twice as thick and coarse as my sisters’ hair, and I would guess three times thicker and coarser than my african american mom’s hair (she is black, irish, and native american and her hair is thin/fine and 3a, waist length). Stylists have texturized my hair..the result..some parts are too bone straight (my hair there was 3a and 3b)..some parts are semi straight (my hair there was 4a) and other parts are not straight at all (it is still 4a/4b)…so i still have to spend hours detangling, blow drying, and flat ironing my hair. The practically bone straight parts take no time to straighten..but the different patterns of straightness makes my hair look messy..and my hair is weaker now..and damages more easily..and i still have to use multiple methods to straighten it (hair smells like smoke or burned sulfur and straightening only lasts 3 days but takes 4 hours to do). My hair is too thick!!

    2. Humidity and african american hair – I live in a city where it is hot and humid 4 months a year…I braid my own hair extensions in the summer..check out youtube videos on how to braid extensions or on any other way to style hair..In this humid city I see black women sewing or clipping in extensions, wearing wigs, wearing braid extensions, wearing short fade cuts (if they have the face shape for it), or wearing their hair in a bone straight relaxed state. My facial features and bone structure makes me look totally caucasian, but my bronze skin and hair texture makes me look part black or hispanic. When my hair is straightened I look exactly like the white female actresses who wore bronze makeup to look like native americans/pocahontas in black and white/older films, or I look hispanic, like a woman from the middle east, cape verdean, brazilian, etc. I think it is awesome to assimilate and in the work place it is sometimes necessary ” to take hair out of the equation” and wear hair straight in the workplace…but my hair and especially my thinning hair line has been punished or taken a terrible toll from the harsh treatment i have given it. relaxers and heat have caused irreparable damage and shortened the length of my hair and who knows what kind of damage they have done to my hair follicles/hair cycle. even excessive heat can damage hair follicles. also, going natural is not necessarily easier..i tried it for 1.5 years only..and it was too hard to manage…but it’s harder to fight against my hair’s natural state in a humid climate like this city where i just moved to recently…so I plan to go natural for once and for good like i was before age eleven and for that year and a half…braids and full, 3/4, or 1/2 wigs is what to wear..and roller setting in the winter or air drying and flat ironing on minimum heat in the winter for only special occasions is wise. Note: I might wear human hair wigs to job interviews.

    What other people say: Most people like the braid or twist out style when I wear it since my hair is so thick. Some people say that my hair would probably look nicer straight since it is a “simpler” looking style. My boyfriend who is Persian does not care about what my hair looks like, but instead my intelligence and soul/personality are what he cares about. He says natural hair styles, or human hair wigs are fine to wear (easy, low maintenance, not time consuming, cost effective). I agree. My mom hates the natural look.she favors the relaxed or flat ironed style because she thinks it looks neater/ more professional/ more sophisticated…but she does not understand why I have to go natural because her hair is 2c/3a.and easier to straighten and keep straight.mine is 2c/3a/3b/4a/4b/and 4c and way too thick! it’s totally wild!

    3. Hormone changes = hair texture changes. My hair was bone straight until I was 2 years old and as I got older it got curlier every couple of years or so. My hair texture changed the most due to hormonal changes when I was 11. It became twice as coarse and thick and I asked my mom to hot comb it..which damaged my hair also and so what was once below waist length super thick hair before age eleven, became an inch below shoulder length hair which has never grown past that and I am in my thirties now. Before the age of eleven..my mom only used a johnson and johnson no more tangles spray, a regular comb and soft brush, water, and petroleum on the ends and on the scalp sometimes but not often. I think the petroleum helped to seal moisture into my already wet hair. I would wear my hair in a ponytail or ponytails for a week and before bed the hair elastic that bound my hair was unbound but the braid stayed in tact, and in the morning my hair around the crown was brushed back, and the elastic was rebound. My hair was washed every week, and it always took my mom 1.5 to 2 hours to detangle my hair (ouch!)

    4. Products/solutions in a bottle – keratin treatments and alternatives have formaldehyde and other aldehydes..do your homework. don’t try them. Also..everyone will tell you about products that work for them or their kids…but everyone’s hair is different. Experiment to find products that work..return products that don’t. Sally’s, walmart, and target allow returns. Some companies give away free samples…like biosilk (I believe).

    suggestions: use protective styles like braids that are not done too tightly, experiment to find the right products, don’t chemically treat her hair (including texturizers/”mild” relaxers).(some safe* conditioners can loosen curls temporarily). She will almost never have a bad hair day if she wears her hair braided or twisted. some of my relatives who are native american/white and native american white and black (like my mom) always wore their hair in one or two braids and their hair was healthy, shiny, and waist length. my mom flat irons her hair on a low heat setting (takes 30 minutes) so although her hair is waist length, her hair’s ends are a bit damaged/uneven. She only applies a few products to her hair. One of my sister’s hair is healthier than mine and waist length too..her hair is thin, 3c/4a and natural. She wears her hair in braids or does “braid outs” ; and she only applies water and olive oil to her hair.




  3.  
    ann

    I have had my hair relaxed since I was very young. I remember getting my hair hot combed and permed all the time. I really didn’t care to much for my hair when I was younger, because I didn’t see what the big deal was, I was picked on most of my young life for having short and nappy hair. its really pricey both natural and relaxed hair, but as I got older I seen that my hair would break off more when it was natural then when it was relaxed, if you relax your hair you should make sure your using the proper daily treatment and hair care methods to take care of your hair and it wont break off. I noticed that when my hair is relaxed and my natural hair starts to grow in It starts to break off if I comb it a lot and use a lot of heat. I remember when I would go to the salon to let them take care of the relaxing and trimming and washing and conditioning, my hair grew longer, its never been past my shoulders, but if I would of kept up my visits to the hair salon, I know It would have made it to a longer length. at the moment I’m trying to decide weather or not to go back natural or stay relaxed and honestly I think I’m just going to stay relaxed and use proper treatment. relaxing your hair is damaging if not cared for or done right and same goes for natural. I think I’m just going to relax my hair and keep it trimmed and conditioned, and maybe ill wear it braided sometimes to keep it from breaking off. but as far as the natural vs. relaxed WAR goes I think its ridiculous, you shouldn’t make someone else’s life choices your problem. you only live once.




  4.  
    Laura

    My mother decided to relax my hair for the first time when I was 11 years old. I am now 21 and I have never gone back to being natural ever since. I remember my natural hair being so difficult to manage that combs would break and Afro hair dressers refused to do my hair. For me, I prefer relaxed hair because I believe it looks better on me and it’s more convenient to manage. You can still have relaxed and HEALTHY hair, you just have to choose your hair products wisely and I always go organic/no lye.

    I didn’t even know there was some “war” going on about this and it’s just stupid in my opinion. How women wear their hair is a personal choice so let then be! All because mine is relaxed, doesn’t mean I’ve betrayed the black sisterhood..c’mon now!




  5.  

    Hello, I’m 14 years old and I really need to decide how to wear my hair for school. I tried the natural hair this summer, but it was a little difficult. Having to twist it every night and detangle it all the time. Plus, worrying if you aren’t doing it correctly and your messing up your hair. I have never had a relaxer before, but I do get press n curls ( hot comb and flat iron) since I was 10. Before that my mother just gave me twists and I had afro puffs. I would love to wear my hair natural for high school and then maybe straighten it on special occasions or even for prom which is a lot of years from now. I like my hair pressed, but I’m tired of getting burned by the hot comb and sweating it out at P.E. So all those natural hair experts please help me, how do you maintain natural hair? Do you have to style it every night? Do you still need to go to a hair stylist or do it all by yourself? Any styles that are easy to do in a small amount of time like if I forgot to do my hair the night before and had school the next morning? How do you keep it healthy and moisturized? How to keep it from getting tangled and matted? Please answer my questions if you have the time. I would deeply appreciate it. Thank you very much, have a beautiful day :) !




    •  

      Also, my hair pressed goes a 3 inches past my collar bone. When it’s natural, my hair is almost at my shoulders, if I stretch it, it does hit my shoulders.




  6.  
    Elle

    I’ve spent most of my life natural — I have relaxed twice: Once in 6th grade due to peer pressure, and just recently at 22.

    I love my natural hair, don’t get me wrong…but there are a number of reasons I decided to relax, and none of them have to do with hating my natural hair or not knowing how to take care of it etc. The number 1 reason I did it is because I was bored and wanted a change. I thought about it for months, and I did many different styles in that time trying to find one that I consistently liked. I love my relaxed hair. It is much easier to deal with and there are more styles that I can do in less time than with my natural hair. I love that you can see the length and how sleek and shiny it looks.

    I may only be relaxed for a short period of time, I’m not sure. I may one day miss my natural hair and decide to go back.

    But I don’t like all the judgement there is about relaxed vs. natural. Everyone should be able to choose what is best for them without getting flamed for their choice. There are so many reasons to be natural, and just as many to be relaxed. So what’s best is completely dependent on the individual.




    •  
      Francasca

      I understand what your saying but from a different point of view. I’ve been relaxed almost all my life. My first relaxer was at age 10. My mom simply could not deal with my all of my hair (trust me it was a lot!) so she decided it was best for me. At age 15 i decided i wanted my natural hair back. It was so beautiful to me where as in my friends eyesite they called a natural girl “nappy headed.
      Wanting to be different i went natural. Only because i wanted dreads(in which i have and in the process of removing to have my natural hair without them). When i first went natural i didn’t even know what to do with it so i wore my afro big and bold not really caring. I was then to my friends “Nappy Headed Francasca” which was fine because where they were having to style and try and look cute I felt beautiful because i had the feeling of this is me not trying to conform to your expectations.

      As you said there are plenty of reason to go natural as well as plenty of reasons to relax. Beauty is in the HEART of the beholder.




  7.  
    Lisa1230

    I was natural for 3 and a half years before returning back to a relaxer, and I tell you the truth. I would never go natural again, lol….I love my relaxed hair. I treat my relaxed hair like I did my natural hair and its working for me. I co wash, I don’t use heat, and I don’t use shampoo, (except at touch up time to neutrilize). I leave conditioner in my hair, along with EVCO, and twist my hair and let it air dry. NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER. As a matter of fact, my relaxed hair is doing better than my natural hair was, and again, I’m treating my relaxed hair just like i treated my natural hair. Natural is not for everyone, therefore, no one has a right to judge..I was recently diagnoised with Rhematoid Arthritis, so twisting natual hair and doing whatever else I had to do to my hair was not an option. I choose to stay with my relaxer




  8.  
    Nancy Mbugua

    Hi, my name is Nancy Mbugua. I am currently 19 years old in college and I’ve been natural for about two years now, my hair is medium length toughing my neck now (when straightened) and contemplating relaxing my hair again I decided to go natural due to hair breakage and damaged hair. I’ve been reading many comments about the difference between the two. I know that from experience it is still possible to grow out your hair to long lengths with permed hair since when I was young it was down my back, but relaxed hair is VERY susceptible to breakage and damage. My hair became damaged when I started relaxing my hair to frequently and due to too much heat damage. I am very active and work out a lot and natural hair is very hard to maintain and am not able to enjoy it since I always braid my hair and find easier ways to maintain it. My hair does not have a defined hair pattern either and does not look as good as other women who have natural hair. I also figured out that natural hair is more expensive to manage. I wanted to know how to go back to relaxed hair and how the transition goes because natural hair is not for me, but do encourage women that have natural hair




  9.  

    i transitioned from relaxed to natural 3.5 yrs ago. it has been difficult, rewarding, and interesting. i did not do the “big chop” and don’t understand why people are suggesting such a drastic measure to begin the natural hair journey. i used the same shampoo, condition, blow dry, flat iron, and wrap technique during my transition and haVe used it eVer since. i wash my hair twice a month, flat iron it twice a month, and wrap it every night. the most difficult thing about transitioning is the amount of time it takes to straighten my hair and the humidity during spring and summer are a bonafide killer! honestly, the humidity and effects it has on my natural tresses is what has nearly pushed me towards relaxing my hair again. man, if you want to do the erykah badu or old school jill scott then natural hair isn’t for you. if you want to have the faVorite straightened hair look of nia long or keri washington then relaxed hair isn’t for you. nothing is for you until you can decide what you want for yourself without comparing yourself to others. if you are willing to take the time to understand your hair, then your hair will have received the time and understanding it needs to be treated in a manner best suited to your tastes! just trying to encourage you to see the beauty beyond your hair. relax it if you want. straighten it if you want. just do what you are compelled to do and please yourself. your hair will show you how you feel about yourself. i promise;)V
    *note: relaxed hair length: medium
    natural hair length: compliment worthy and awe inspiring*
    yea, man, i’m digging myself. you should dig yourself, too;)V




  10.  
    BrwBeauti

    Hey this article was great in helping me decide if I wanted to go back to relax hair. I’ve been transitioning for about 8 mos now and my hair is very dry. I’ve been wasting money on all kinds of hair products that people have recommended. My hair also does not have a defined curl pattern. Although I love my African-american roots, the kinky afro look just isn’t my style. As a woman with a career in the military, there’s very few ways i can wear my hair that’s within regs and something that I feel comfortable and professional wearing. My mother has recommended that I keep it natural but straighten it with a hot comb. This would work if I didn’t constantly work out 5 times a week…sweat :( .Let me know if you have any advice.




    •  

      i transitioned from relaxed to natural 3.5 yrs ago. it has been difficult, rewarding, and interesting. i did not do the “big chop” and don’t understand why people are suggesting such a drastic measure to begin the natural hair journey. i used the same shampoo, condition, blow dry, flat iron, and wrap technique during my transition and haVe used it eVer since. i wash my hair twice a month, flat iron it twice a month, and wrap it every night. the most difficult thing about transitioning is the amount of time it takes to straighten my hair and the humidity during spring and summer are a bonafide killer! honestly, the humidity and effects it has on my natural tresses is what has nearly pushed me towards relaxing my hair again. man, if you want to do the erykah badu or old school jill scott then natural hair isn’t for you. if you want to have the faVorite straightened hair look of nia long or keri washington then relaxed hair isn’t for you. nothing is for you until you can decide what you want for yourself without comparing yourself to others. if you are willing to take the time to understand your hair, then your hair will have received the time and understanding it needs to be treated in a manner best suited to your tastes! just trying to encourage you to see the beauty beyond your hair. relax it if you want. straighten it if you want. just do what you are compelled to do and please yourself. your hair will show you how you feel about yourself. i promise;)V
      *note: relaxed hair length: medium
      natural hair length: compliment worthy and awe inspiring*
      yea, man, i’m digging myself. you should dig yourself, too;)V




  11.  
    lebra

    Greetings, I’m in transition as well from relaxed to perm. When I was about seven years of age, I disliked the hot comb. However, as I got in middle school, I received my first perm. It was good and all, unfortunately, I started experiencing a tremendous amount of hair breakage and burnt scalps. I’m 34 years old and I’m transitioning into my natural hair again to retain length and having more of a healthy approach to it. I use the mayo, egg, and olive oil treatment and love the
    Results. So far, I use main and tail detangeler and extra virgin olive oli, and braids for a protective hair style. I have two ?’s. What are the best hair care for natural hair whether you want to wear it straight or curly, and how can you find out what type of natural hair you have. Be blessed.




  12.  
    S

    I there, I’ve tried the relaxed to natural transition twice and both times got frustrated. With a small child I have a hard time with my hair and styling due to lack of time. I’m now growing out natural hair again (because I don’t like relaxing while pregnant) and am going to have another opportunity to keep it going.

    I have read a lot of helpful tips and found extra virgin coconut oil and aloe vera are the best for my natural hair but how do you manage it on a daily basis? Do you wet and detangle it every day and apply moisturizers? Do you wrap it over night and only deal with it once a week?

    My hair is now halfway down my back and my stylist leaves a lot of curl in it-not completely straightening it which makes transition easier- so I don’t want to cut it off and start from scratch.

    To add to the difficulty I have a lot of hair and three different types of curl on one head. Tight kinky curls, tight spirals and loose spirals. I also lose a lot of hair so it tangles easily. Any suggestions would be very helpful. I’d like to eventually go natural because I have an auto immune disorder and am trying to eliminate a lot of the chemicals from my life to see if it will help.




  13.  
    Julie

    After reading your article I am impressed. I would like to one day try again to go natural. The first time I did it my hair went into withdrawal. They were falling out in clumps from not straighting it for “several” months. My friend said to cut it ALL off and go from scratch. Well that was not happening. II’ve since put the relaxer back in. Years later my hairline is slowly thinning. I’ve read about the Castor Oil and have started using it. The other day I tried doing an egg n Olive Oil treatment and it left my hair with a built up residue and I couldn’t blow dry it with the added comb on the tip of it (coarse and tangled). In two weeks I’ll be relaxing it. I plan to follow many of your advice in your articles. Thanks.




  14.  
    K Harris

    I fell in love with my hair when I decided to go natural in Jan 2011. After my BC, I washed and conditioned my hair and let it air dry. When I touched my little flow, it was softer than cotton.

    In my opinion, natural hair is harder to maintain. A considerable amount of time is spent keeping it moist and in the beginning, it’s difficult to find the right style. It’s not for everyone, but I love it. Find something that works for you and take good care of your hair.




  15.  
    kinky-straight-debate

    Good article. As a seasoned Afro-American sister. I think it is refreshing now to have the choice. Gone are the days of burning the heck out of your scalp to pass in an unaccepting society. Now variety is the spice of life and the majority of people around us embrace their roots, (pun intended);the beauty is in having the choice, whereas, there was a day it was ABSOLUTELY taboo to go out without at least a press ‘n curl. Now I just love the choice and for a healthy scalp I have chosen to go grey and natural circa – Angela Davis style. LOVE IT! Now I am considering braiding in grey extensions sit down if you can stand to think about that.LOL. I can proudly say that I have lived long enough to continue to have a love-hate relationship with my hair like most women of any color. However, at least there is now freedom to express yourself without the ridicule from everyone not just some. I say hair health is way more important and just like anything in life as you grow older you learn how to be true to yourself as you honor your health. You learn how to rock the look with comfort, style, and ease and resist the peer pressure to please those who like to tease.




  16.  
    Kristi Cullinane

    I’ve been debating about going natural since I had my triplets two years ago. Ideally, I’d like to transition with press and curls until there is some substantial new growth. The challenge I face is that I work out five days a week with a ton of sweating I’m not sure how long the pnc will last. I know I’m not ready for the BC. Ay thoughts would be greatly appreciated.




    •  
      lebra

      Hello, I love your question. I read somewhere on the internet that you do not necessary have to do ”the big chop”. Just continue to cut your ends for a quicker procedure without doing the big chop. I’m in transition myself and my protective hairstyle is braids. I do the egg, mayo, and olive oil treatments every two weeks. Enjoy your natural chemical free hair girlfriend.




  17.  
    Danika

    I am 11 years old and I want my hair relaxed. I want it relaxed cuz I love the way it flutters add bounces. I also like the way you can style it.




    •  
      Nzuri Mizizi

      Straight hair is nice, its more manageable and a lot of black people have it; but relaxers are strong chemicals and are not only damaging to your hair, but hair follicles(the root of your hair) ,and scalp. When your follicles or roots are damaged your hair can’t grow, and becomes dry and brittle which will cause it to break off. Google the ingredients. They contain things that cause dryness, blindness, and cancer. I’m 20 I got my 1st perm at around 8, I had really thick beautiful hair about shoulder length.. As I got older around 11 or 12 my hair began getting thinner, breaking off, and soon the damage was so bad I had to get it cut to above my neck. It was really embarrassing to go to school and get called bald headed, and not be able to get my hair into a ponytail…I’m not sayin your hair will completely fall out if you get a perm, but why take that chance? If you know how to take care of your natural hair it can be the most beautiful thing in the world. Lushes curls down your back and you don’t have to sit under a dryer, only twist or braid your hair. And if you want it straight you can get a blow out and it will give you the same effect as a perm, actually better because you won’t be forced to stay with it. Check out some people on YouTube with natural hair and all the styles they do with it.




  18.  
    shamarah

    I’m in my mid forties….and I can remember my mom, dad having the most beautiful afros in the late 60s and 70s, but as trends passed and assimulation grew….natural hair became less acceptable.It is ironic now that my own parents are begging me to relax my hair. I don’t think it is a trend but an individual choice. I went thru a natural phase several times in my life…..but the third time has been the charm. Now is the right time for me spiritually,economically and socially so all the pieces have come together.
    To all those on a natuaral hair journey for a trend or otherwise, happy growing




  19.  
    ty

    I think that many black women and girls are more than likely scared to go natural because of what others might think them. I am still trying to get over that myself, but I would like one day to go natural and be free from the relaxer. The relaxer does more harm than good and I’ve come to realize that (I’m only 17), natural hair is beautiful and we need to embrace it.




  20.  

    I am a teenager and yes I believe that Black women think their own curly, kinky and coily hair type is un attractive. All of our lives, we were taught that straight, wavy hair and loosely curled hair equals good hair while kinky to coily hair equals bad hair.
    I even know a Black girl who wears weaves say that she wants hair like a White girl. It didn’t shock me when she said she relaxed her hair.
    We, as Black people, need to learn to love everything about ourselves including our hair.I think it is sad that we were taught that our natural hair needs to get ”fixed” in order for it to ”look good’ aka straight hair.
    Hair is hair. There is no such thing as bad hair.




  21.  
    Marissa J

    Hi Kendra! I did the big chop on May 2nd 2012..My last relaxer was in February 2012, and my hair as of now is about 1.75 inches(at the longest)& 1.50 (at the shortest). Doing research I see that my hair is growing at the expected length. My concern is, my hair seems to be to dry and stiff like a rug after my hair has sucked up all the moisturizers/oils/conditioners etc. Is this just my hair texture? or am I doing something wrong because I cant tell if my hair is “healthy”

    P.S: I take biotin pills, I use %100 shea butter, African Royale Hot 6 oil, peppermint&coconut oil and sulfate free shampoo..




    •  
      Kendra

      Hi Marissa,

      From what I have read you seem to be doing everything right. But let me ask you this; in addition to your oils and conditioners, do you use styling gels as well? There are often a whole lot of hidden ingredients in shampoos and even some moisturizers that contain alcohol which dries your hair just as much.

      Another thing, do you apply oils to your wet hair or after it dries? Oils are great for softening and shining the hair but they alone don’t moisturize. When using your oils make sure your hair is still wet or damp at the least. Remember, oils don’t hydrate, moisture and water hydrates. So the next time you wash your hair apply your oils to lock in the moisture while your hair is still damn.

      What are you sleeping on? If you are sleeping on a cotton pillow case, change it to a satin one or wear a satin scarf to bed at night. Our hair no doubt does some crazy things but its really not that hard to keep it happy.

      I have just recently started the “curly girl method” and i’m less than a week into it and I already see an improvement in my hair’s manageability. In fact, I think you should do this as well. There are really no cons to consider. Your hair will begin to retain its own moisture and natural oils made from your scalp. Google it and see if its something you can live it.

      Aside from all of this, Black hair just doesn’t like to be bothered much. Just give your hair minimal styling and products for now and allow it to regain its health and natural moisture.

      Thanks for reading Marissa, let me know how it turns out. ;-)




      •  
        Marissa J

        I put oils in my hair before AND after, still dry as a bone lol and Yes I have been experimenting with different products that can dry my hair out without me even reading the ingredients!…i am going to google to curly girl method but thanks for your help!! :-)




    •  
      Marie

      Stop using the shea butter, it has it good side but it is not good for natural hair because it leaves the hair very dry. Use any products with Glycerin and you should see some moisture. Try using some 100 Vegetable Glycerin( you can get it at a whole foods market). Also try Smooth and Shine curl activator get (clear gel in a jar, Walmart) Good Luck!




  22.  
    Reese

    I’ve been debating with myself on whether or not to go natural, I finally made up my mind to make the transition. I look back at my pictures when I was younger and see how long and full my hair use to be and I want that back. I want to be able to get the real experience of my natural hair. So I’m making the transition! I am so excited!




  23.  
    Queen Sha'

    I recently made the choice to transition from my relaxed hair to my natural hair. The choice was made because of economic reasons – not being able to keep up the relaxed process and being afraid that I’d have to cut it all of due to breakage. My hair was first relaxed my 10th grade year in school and I started my transition 2 years ago (currently 38). I loved my hair in it’s relaxed state and I love my hair in it’s natural state. It is more to deal with in it’s natural state and I’ve found that it can be more expensive – what I was trying to avoid in the first place. But I’ve found that my hair is indeed healthier. I have very thick, curly hair (I’m a 3c). My struggle now is learning what products to use and how to maintain my natural hair. The humidity in Louisiana and Mississippi is taxing at best and the frizz is sometimes unbearable. However, I doubt if I ever go back to the creamy crack so I am diligently looking for help




    •  
      Kendra

      Hi Sha’,

      Firstly, thanks for reading! Natural hair does seem more expensive to maintain because the cash that you would spend on relaxers is now replaced with moisturizers and “curly puddings” that can cost a pretty penny (depending on whether you make them yourself or purchase ready made concoctions). So I am in total agreement with you on that one. But I do from time make my own concoctions that work just as well or even better than the top shelf brands.

      I too live in a very humid climate here in The Bahamas, and summer begins at spring time. LOL! I love my natural hair and I have been for two years until recently I started locking. It’s not a way to get away from puffiness due to humidity but I did so because I am very busy as a wife and mom of 2 firstly and secondly a professional photographer, graphic designer and makeup artist. When you really look at it I have very little to no time for styling.

      Like I always say, no matter what it is you have to pay more for health, whether its food, skin or hair, its lateral across the board.

      Try making your own hair treatments and puddings to cut the costs dramatically. ;-)




      •  
        Queen Sha'

        Can you give me some suggestions on the “making my own hair products”. I haven’t the slightest idea where to start. I am a newbie to this natural hair thing and I would love to continue wearing my natural hair, only straightening it every once in a while. My hair is mid-back length when straightened and it’s very thick. I get major shrinkage when curly. It swells outward instead of downward after it air dries completely. I don’t mind the shrinkage so much as the frizziness. I too experience summer weather in the spring time where 85-90 degree weather is the low with an equally high heat index.




  24.  
    Kas2Mule

    accepting differences is spreading love.Imagine how boring it would be if we were all the same!

    I love to watch different hairstyles, different textures, and different women looking gorgeous!




    •  
      Kendra

      <3 Thanks for reading, and I totally agree. Black hair is amazing and there is never a dull moment with it!




  25.  
    Millicent

    why is it hair doesn’t hold a style or curl when you need a relaxer? I would like something in between that slightly relaxes the new growth so the hair isn’t “stick straight”. Any suggestions?




    •  
      sarah

      Texturizer.




    •  
      Kendra

      Hi Millicent, thanks for reading! If you have soft thin hair like I do, I wouldn’t recommend chemicals because your hair is already delicate it can’t take much and can cause you to end up with straight patches permanently. However, if you have thicker, coarser hair then you can try a keratin treatment. I am assuming that you currently relax your hair and are not worried about permanent straightening. I don’t see much logic in texturizing your new growth if you relax your hair. To get you through to your next relaxer I would suggest straightening serum and a flat iron, just to be safe.




  26.  
    Kimmi

    Im currently relaxed, texlaxed is a better way to describe my hair,but I learned on my healthy hair journey that in order to know what your hair needs you have to learn what your natural state of you’re hair is and understand how to maintain it.

    I don’t think relaxed woman hate their hair in its natural state, just think they don’t know how to take care of it or Some just like there hair straight.At the end of the day this controversy relaxed and natural shouldn’t be even happening , we should just respe decisions decisions on what we want to do top our




  27.  
    Kimmi

    Im currently relaxed, texlaxed is a better way to describe my hair,but I learned on my healthy hair journey that in order to know what your hair needs you have to learn what your natural state of you’re hair is and understand how to maintain it.

    I don’t think relaxed woman hate their hair in its natural state, just think they don’t know how to take care




  28.  
    Kenda

    Interesting piece. I wear my hair natural because I am allergic to most relaxers and I don’t even think once to persecute anyone who doesn’t do like me




  29.  
    Catherine Oji

    We move forward to live but we look back to understand. Understanding is what brings knowledge into wisedom. Open your inner eyes. Much revelation in words: lye = to decieve; relax(er) = to weaken, to disempower. Spiritually speaking, to disempower a people you must first remove their hair (top most part) out of it’s natural (God’s) order (read the story of how Sampson was disempowered in the book of judges). Black women spend $9 billion a year (economic disempowerment)altering our hair with poisonous chemicals and exulting another man’s image above who we are created to be. Whatever image we exult above ourselves will govern our existence. The world is waiting on the black mother to raise her crown and establish her nation.Black is that which was before the begining and always will be. The coil geometric design made by our hair is the first principle of all creation. That which brings into manifestation. The wigs, weaves and chemicals represent the domination and enslavement by the light race. It is time for us to look beyond the deception that this hair thing is just a beauty choice and see what’s really going on. Hair is the crown (that which governs) and the glory ( that which dignifies). Why is it that majority of black women are wearing look alikes of white women’s hair over our heads. Is it beauty or humiliation?




    •  
      Bonita Kirk

      The truth is most black women think their hair is ugly or unattractive in its natural state. Getting honest about that is critical to the healing of our self image. How do we raise children with a sense of self, when they are taught very young, that in their natural state they are ugly or unattractive? How can you truly love yourself, when you are constantly trying to run from it? Our positive self image has to more than being “just as good as the white man or woman.”A sense of self comes from more than trying to become something, it’s about being something, period! We are something as black people, just because, period!




    •  
      mylaylique

      Wow, you said a mouthful!




    •  
      ann

      why do you have to say we are copying white women if we want our hair straight? my sister is black and her hair is straight she was born with long straight hair, so to tell someone that just because they wear a wig, relax, or straighten there hair that they are copying the lighter people or think that they are unattractive with natural hair is very ignorant, and to scream god on such a topic, and then preach hate is wrong, above all I’m sure god wants us to respect and care for our hair, no matter which way we do it. some things don’t work for everyone. the church I went to I met a lot of spirit filled and very strong women of god who went natural and some who wore weaves and some who wore wigs, some even shaved they’re heads bald, but what works for others may not work for you. so just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean you should bash what works for them. I think natural hair is beautiful, just as I think relaxed hair is beautiful, I support both, but I do not support the hate between them. women should do to they’re hair what suits they’re hair, not what others say to do. a lot of women said I should go natural others said I should cut it off bald, and others said extensions and braids REGARDLESS WHAT OTHERS SAY, I’m going to do what’s best and what suits me and what helps my hair grow more. I love the advice but chopping my hair off would not only be drastic, but also very depressing for me, since I love my hair nappy or straight, because even though its short, I love it. its not what makes me, me. but it is apart of me. THIS DOESNT JUST GO FOR BLACK WOMEN, THERE ARE PLENTY OF WOMEN OF EVERY RACE WITH VERY CURLY HAIR, WHO straighten and relax and dye and put extensions in their hair, I have a friend at the church I used to attend she was a ginger and her hair was very curly, but sometime she would wear it straight, I also have seen a lot of white women who wear wigs and extensions same goes with Asians, Mexicans, Cubans. etc. so to say that black women who do things to their hair to straighten it are wrong is VERY ignorant.




  30.  
    Nayia

    I recently discovered the idea of texlaxing and I’m in love. My hair had been permed since before kindergarten. So I haven’t known my curly hair very much. Until having my own child I didn’t know anything about my hair. My hair had always been short but that didn’t bother me alot since I’m great at doing my own weaves and braids. After being pregnant my hair grew longer than it ever was but when it broke off I was disappointed. That is when I decided to learn about my hair. And I tried going natural a few times but after 4 or 5 months I’m sick of braids but never dealt with hair as curly as my natural hair. It’s hard when you have never known anything about your natural hair. Now I’m texlaxing and I’m learning more about curly hair without so much pressure or fear. Is like to be able to natural one day but out is a big learning process and some of us aren’t brave enough to jump into unknown waters.





Leave a Response

(required)


*