Should You Relax Your Hair or Not?
I get this question a lot mostly from persons who have a very beautiful head of natural hair. I generally ask a question to follow up, why do you want to relax your hair?
The thing is, if you are considering getting a chemical process done to your hair you should have some reason for doing so and you should be prepared for the process in order to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Many persons have different reasons for getting their hair relaxed, here are a few I’ve heard:
- The hair is easier to manage.
- I want to let out my hair sometimes.
- I am tired of combing my natural hair.
- All my friends have one.
- I can’t wait to just catch up my hair in a sleek ponytail and go about my business.
- It looks better than my natural hair.
- I want to look more grown up.
- My hair is too hard to manage.
- I want my hair to look like ‘a favorite movie star or artiste.’
- My hair is too thick.
I listen to all the reasons and I see shades of my own reasoning in some of the responses when I wanted to relax my hair a couple years ago. The good thing about my particular situation is at the time my mother did not allow me to get my hair relaxed until I could take care of it properly.
That’s right, you have to be able to care for your hair before getting your hair relaxed, because lack of care will eventually result in ugly damaged hair and pretty soon you will wish that your hair was natural. Enough of my own opinion, here are some pros and cons for relaxing your hair, the reasons were given by friends of mine who were either zealously natural or relaxed.
- A relaxed head of hair takes less time to comb and to groom.
- You can wear your hair in more versatile styles.
- It takes less effort getting your hair curly when relaxed than to get your hair straight when natural.
- Relaxed/processed hair allows you to see your hairs length easier than natural kinky hair.
- Relaxed hair is easier to comb through and thus appears easier to manage.
- Relaxers contain chemicals that can damage your hair and scalp if not applied properly. Relaxed hair is weaker than natural hair, no matter how strong it may appear, so if you can’t handle your real, stronger hair you may suffer from the same hair problems with relaxed hair or worst.
- Relaxing your hair leads to dryness. Extra care has to be taken to keep the hair moisturized or it will break. Additionally, a combination of protein treatments along with moisture has to be observed so that the relaxed hair can be stronger.
- To have healthy, relaxed hair takes more effort than it seems to have your hair looking healthy.
- Relaxing your hair means a whole new way of treating your hair, it cannot be business as usual.
- Relaxing your hair can be expensive to maintain.
I am sure that there are many more pros and cons but these ten points should get you moving toward making up your mind. Whatever you do, just remember that relaxing your hair is a permanent option, make sure that you are prepared with knowledge before taking this step.