Natural vs. Relaxed Hair: Where Do YOU Stand?

Yep, we’re going there. It’s the master debate in black hair right now and must be addressed. I created this blog to address the needs of relaxed hair because our resources are severely limited. The media focuses so much on the pros of natural hair while neglecting the needs of those who don’t choose that route. I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel as though relaxed heads are starting to be perceived as negative or insecure just because we stuck with our choice. Read more after the jump…

Now, for the sake of addressing the controversial aspect of this, I want to make it superduper clear that relaxing your hair does not automatically necessitate assimilation. I understand the history of black women being pressured to have straight hair for social acceptance and I also understand how it would be convenient to assume that “we” are stuck in that mentality. But…psst…listen closely…some of us just like the convenience of having relaxed hair. I personally LOVE the look of natural hair, but have struggled with accepting the extra credit it requires to manage. Never have I criticized or judged anyone for their hair choice. Natural does not always equal black power and relaxed does not always scream Oreo. WE ARE NOT OUR HAIR! So many times have I witnessed tension between our sistas due to hair, especially now that we are beginning to segregrate based on something so superficial. Now I’m all about learning from each other, but whether you’re relaxed or natural, please don’t shove your choices down someone’s throat; why judge based on hair? I bet you’re thinking ‘where is all of this coming from?’ Well, society tends to judge women by our appearance. And ethnic women, we are most certainly judged by our hair. Let’s support each other and not encourage that trend. This is what I’ve learned from all of this madness:

*Relaxed hair is hard work. It takes just as much work as natural hair, if not more because it is chemically altered and has serious needs. Do it right, or don’t do it at all—that motto changed my mind about properly caring for my strands.

*I have been relaxed since I was about 8 yrs old. As soon as I saw a slither of new growth–call Obama, I need a touch-up!!! I did not give my new hair a chance and did not even try to figure out how to manage it since I was not familiar with it. With the right products and care, I have learned to love my natural hair and relaxed hair equally. And guess wat? It gets straight with a flat iron!! It’s not the end of the world =)

In summary, its a matter of convenience. My decision to try to go natural is based on a) annoyed with doing touch-ups every two seconds b) My hair is thicker and has more body when its in a natural state c) I rarely wear my hair straight, so why keep relaxing? Flat irons have come a loooong way d) can’t knock it til you try it! I’m trying because I don’t know how lazy I’ll get in the summer when the humidity TKOs my strands, but hopefully tips and advice will reduce that anxiety.

So I hope this article gets you thinking and hopefully helps you figure out where you stand…cuz right now I’m chillin in the middle and I don’t feel bad about my choice at all…n you shouldn’t either =)



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