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:

  1. The hair is easier to manage.
  2. I want to let out my hair sometimes.
  3. I am tired of combing my natural hair.
  4. All my friends have one.
  5. I can’t wait to just catch up my hair in a sleek ponytail and go about my business.
  6. It looks better than my natural hair.
  7. I want to look more grown up.
  8. My hair is too hard to manage.
  9. I want my hair to look like ‘a favorite movie star or artiste.’
  10. 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.


  • Hajara said:

    Hi what can i use to stop d falln of my hair

  • Rose said:

    im 17 years old and i am mixed race, half white half african so i have very tight curly hair. i have had natural hair all my life and i am started to get bored of it, so for the last few months have been deciding whether to get it relaxed or not. im still unsure as all my black cousins tell me i shouldnt do it! what would you suggest i do? how well would the relaxer take to my hair type? and is it difficult to grow out?

    thank you x

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Rose, I am on the side of your black cousins-don’t do it, just kidding. I think you should do loads of research before you relax your hair. The truth is, it will permanently change your hair. You will have to wait a while (hair grows an average of 6 inches per year) for it to grow out and get back your curls. So if you just want a temporary solution to straighten your curls maybe you should look for other solutions to straighten your hair (check out this article I would not suggest relaxing your hair out of boredom, it will take some commitment on your part to maintain it or you will find that your hair will break. I hope I helped a little in making your decision, all the best.

  • Rainy said:

    Hey. I want to grow long hair now. But I heard from a lot of people that relaxed hair damages your hair and I have relaxed hair because my mom won’t let me go natural. So how can I grow my hair fast with it being relaxed.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Rainy,
      You can have damaged hair whether it is relaxed or not, if you do not take care of it. Hair grows at a pace of quarter to half inch per month, unless there is some underlying problem. That gives you 4 to 6 inches of new growth per year. What you can do to retain your new growth is to take care of your hair in general. Relaxed hair is especially fragile because the protein bonds in the hair are broken down. Please browse around this site and see the articles, you can start with this one What is the Secret to Having Long Thick Relaxed Hair? Part One
      When you read it, you’ll find that there is no secret at all just practical ways to retain your hair length.

  • aleth said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I have locks, what are your suggestion for have it not looking dull..I wash every week and use coconut oil after shampooing…need your advise on how to take care of natural locks.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Aleth,
      I am really not experienced with lock care. I will be doing some in depth research on lock care and will post some articles soon.

      • aleth said:

        Thanks Brenda, I will keep checking to see your post on lock care.


  • susan said:

    hi am susan i hav thick brown curly hair and its had to manage i want to relax it when school reopens, to have different fashion styles i wonder some times i might regret or not should i do it

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Susan,

      After reading the article what did you think? I would give it some more thought if you are just going to relax for the fashion. Mull it over some more before you take the plunge.

  • Desiree said:

    Hello Brenda, I am Puerto Rican and African American.I have been wanting to relax my hair for a while…. I am ready to take the plunge and make the commitment, I have curly hair I take care of it and it is very soft not course at all but can be extremely frizzy… Would you recommend for my hair type? I have been looking at Dr. Miracles no lye regular strength relaxer…. Thank you

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Desiree,
      I am torn, I want to be objective but I just love Affirm. I tried other no-lye relaxers the other day, I reasoned that once I stick to no-lye I would be fine but the truth is there is just something about Affirm, maybe its the fact that conditioners are used every step of the way. Conditioners in the relaxer, conditioners in the middle of the process and conditioners at the end. It makes the hair feel really special. I would totally recommend it, I know several persons with hair type like yours who use it and love it too. On the other hand, if you have researched Dr. Miracles and you have heard great reviews on it, I would not discourage you to go ahead.

  • Lauren said:

    Hi, I’m 13 and mixed race. I’m trying to decide whether to relax my hair. I straighten my hair a lot but obviously when it rains or it’s windy my hair goes back to its normal frizzy self. I hardly ever have my hair curly because it just frizzy. Should I get my hair relaxed? Thankyou

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Lauren,
      I think you should learn how to care for your natural hair first before you even think of relaxing. I went searching on the net for resources about caring for biracial frizzy hair and I found this Read it through and get your frizz under control, remember relaxing the hair is a major step and if you don’t care for it properly you’ll lose your gorgeous mane. Sift through the information and give your natural hair a chance. Let me know if you are still unsure.

    • Rawann said:

      Hi, im 13 and mixed race too. I decided to get my hair relaxed. It’s horrible. Stick to flat ironing. Trust me. I loose a lot of hair each wash. My hairline is also thinning

  • May said:

    Hi, I’m 17 years old and have a naturally (and VIRGIN) straight hair. But I always get fly-away ends 🙁 I don’t have the time to blow dry or flat iron my hair anymore to get rid of the fly aways because I go to school very early. Now I’m considering my hair to be relaxed. Should I go for it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi May,
      I would suggest that you find some way to tame those fly away ends. Relaxing the hair is not an easy way out, it will actually require more care if you want it to stay healthy.

  • Savannah said:

    Hey I really want to relax my hair because my hair is so hard to cope with I have wanted to do this for quiet a few months now but my mum says I shouldn’t buy I really want to; what would you do in my situation
    (I am mixed race half white half black with frizzy Afro which I cant wear down or straighten or style really).

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Savannah,
      There are loads of natural styles you can try out. Pls. do some more research online before you relax your hair. Relaxed hair is far harder to manage than natural hair because essentially the protein bonds (which gives the hair strength are broken during the chemical process) This means that your hair has to be maintained properly for it to grow and not break or shed. Only relax when you can dedicate the time and energy to maintain your hair.

  • Renee said:

    I used to relax my hair. I have worn my hair either in a weave or a press and curl for about six years now.
    Unfortunately I get tired of the weave and when I work out the press is back natural.
    I have really been thinking about a perm lately but I do know the damage it can cause.
    What would be a great regimen to take care of a perm.

  • Jasmine said:

    Well, im seventeen and I really think I want to go natural. When I was younger I had really wavy hair but my mom permed it to make it straight, but its boring. I really don’t want to put anymore perms I have went without one for a year but I keep my hair up using my flat iron. What should I do?

  • Patricia said:

    Hey I’m frm south africa!I relax my hair 1nce my hair gets to thick but if could stop relaxin it I would is there any other things or stuff I can use other than relaxer I don’t advise relaxing cause with me 1nce I started using I had to do it again because otherwise my hair grows thick I absolutely hate it!! What can I do or use instead of relaxer?

  • LaTisha said:

    hello i am 17 years old and i have relaxed(perm) hair nd it is kinda thining my hair out i have familt tht go natural nd it is very helpful to there hair so idk what i should do .. i heard as u get older nd u still ge perms your hair will break all the way off .. is that true?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi LaTisha,
      It is very true, that not caring for relaxed hair properly will eventually lead to breakage because relaxed hair is weaker hair, relaxers break the protein bonds in the hair. The protein bonds are like a wall, your hair’s defense against everything that you throw at it, when these walls are broken down you have to work very hard to get the hair to be strong again, that’s why you will find that some people will have lovely thick relaxed hair for years because they work at it staying that way. If you are willing to work at getting your hair to stop thinning out you can start here: What Is The Secret To Having Longer, Thicker Relaxed Hair?

      • LaTisha said:

        ok thank you that realy helped me alot but i mean ok your opinion.. do you think its better to go natural or stay relaxed? or is it ok to chaange from one to the other ?

  • chynna said:

    Should I relax my hair if I have leave in conditioner in it…that was put in two days ago…I have transitioned to natural hair seven months ago n I want my relaxed hair back..I did the big chop when I trasitioned..

  • chynna said:

    O yea n the leave in conditioner is cantou shea butter cream..what should I do?

  • osa said:

    Hi I’m Osa my family says that I have good hair and I don’t need to relax it but I want something easier and I think that I don’t think if I do it once that I will ruin my hair………. will I?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Osa,
      Relaxing the hair is a chemical process that involves breaking the protein bonds in the hair, once it is done your hair cannot revert, it will have to grow out. Your hair will require more attention and care when relaxed or it will break. Persons who have seemingly healthy relaxed hair, take care of it. So you have to make up your mind if you want to take those extra steps in maintaining your relaxed hair. If you are willing to and you understand the whole process go for it.

  • Rebecca said:

    Hi my name is becka and im not sure what i should do,
    from when i was born to abaout three years ago I had naturally afro hair (im mixedrace Jamacian and English) and it was so so hard to handle and so thick so i had to have it in little plaits. I had this up until about two years ago when i had it relaxed, after about a year my mum said i had to go natural again because it kinda ruined my hair. but instead i got braids, ive had braids for abaout two years now and im getting very very bored of having them, do you have any suggestions on what else i could do exept from relaxing and braids again?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Becka,
      You could start by learning to take care of your natural hair. There are several styles you can put your hair in and there are several ways to tame it. If you are interested in other ways to straighten your hair or define your curls. Check this link Alternatives To Relaxers.

  • Kay said:

    Hi 🙂 I will be 17 in 7 days and I’m ready for a change! I am currently relaxed which I have been since I was young. I wanted to transition back to natural since I was 15 but my mother didn’t think it was a good idea because I was still learning how to take care of my hair. Now that I am a bit older I am still considering whether to stay relaxed or transition to my natural hair. I’ve done my research online and I just cannot decide. I’m scared that if I go natural that it might not be as healthy as I think it will be and cause a lot of breakage; yet if I stay relaxed that my hair will eventually continue to stay dry and uneven. Can you give me any advice on what I should do?

  • Brianna said:

    Hi I have really curly hair. I am Half white and Half Black. I have done some Keratin treatments for smoothing my hair in the past but I want to relax my hair now. Everyone says how bad it is to relax your hair but my curly hair is not working for me. I usually just flat iron it but I’m tired of doing that a lot. Do you think that is a good idea for me to relax my hair or try a different straightening treatment? Which straightening treatment do you recommend?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Brianna,
      Relaxing the hair is permanent and it takes a little care to maintain it to avoid breakage. Between relaxers and another straightening treatment I would recommend a relaxer.

  • sarah said:

    Hi, my name is Sarah. I am going to university and I was wondering if I should relax my hair because it is very thick and hard to manage. I thought relaxing it will shorten the time it takes to do my hair in the morning. What should I do? I am an African american with kinky hair.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Sarah,
      If you are prepared to take care of it. It is my personal opinion that relaxed hair is not easier to manage.

  • Liner said:

    Thank you for the advice it was very helpful. I have a few questions though; my mother has been relaxing my hair since I was 10 until now the age of 19, so I have no idea how my natural hair even looks. I am tired of having people complain about how difficult and how unmanageable my hair is, even with the relaxer. I am fed up of other people always telling me its time to perm my hair,so not for them but for me I would like to see what would happen if I stopped relaxing my hair completely. I am thinking of seeking out a professional hair stylist but I wouldn’t know where to start. Would you recommend I stop relaxing my hair? Also, I have always wanted the curls I never had and I’ve heard about those curling perms, but I know nothing about them. I don’t know whether to stop relaxing my hair, wait out to see the natural, and then perm it curly or if It even makes any sense to apply a curling perm? Any advice would help, thank you!

  • Natalie said:

    Hi. I ahve had my braids for nearly 2 months and oon it’ll be time to take them people say that I need to relax my hair because my hair is can break but I don’t want to and it would be helpful if you could tell me other ways of taking care of my hair when ive taken out my braids.

  • Jordan said:

    Hi there,

    I wonder if you could help me out here: bascially I’m 16 in September and I’ve been a natural all my life. When I was 14 I debated wheter I should get a relaxer because my hair was was just too much to handle but I decided let me try something different so I started getting extensions. Half of my family have relaxed hair and their hair is beautiful and they look after it, my mums hair went past bra strap length before she cut it. The other half of my family are strong naturalists and have demanded that I never relax my hair, I decided to keep my natural hair but now I’m fed up with it! I don’t know what to do it anymore and I’ve tried so many things, I even get a bit emotional sometimes. My mum has offered many times that she will send me to the hairdressers to get it done properly and I’m so tempted to take up her offer now. Personally I think that I look after my natural hair very well but its tough! What do you think? X

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Jordan,

      My opinion is to keep it natural. Maybe you can try some braided styles or twists where you won’t have to comb it every day but let me tell you, relaxed hair is way harder to manage if you want to keep it beautiful. If you want to experiment with a straighter look, maybe you can get it straightened (blow dried) by a professional.

  • tatyana said:

    Hi my name is Tatyana and I’m 16 I’ve been natural practically my whole life and when I was younger my hair was super long curly and healthy..people thought I was mixed..(I’m just African American) anyways now that I’m hair is getting shorter and its aunt says its because I flat iron it too much but there’s not really much else I can do with it..I really miss my beautiful long hair and I don’t have the patience to cope with what I have now..should I perm? I always loved the fact that with perm I could just easily comb style and go..will the perm break my hair even more?

    • Brenda Barrett said:


      Your aunt is right and yes the perm will break your hair even more, especially if you continue to use direct heat on it.

  • Jaz said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I colored my hair blonde about four months ago and I wanted to know if I could get a just for me perm without it breaking my hair off

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Four months ago is a long time. It shouldnt be a problem. of course you know that having a color treatment means extra care for your hair. All the best.

  • Anjelica said:

    Hey Brenda, I also have very curly hair. I really would like to wear hair strai want to wear my hair straight for the winter but the weather always seems to affect my hair and cause it to curl back up. I bought a no lye relaxer but haven’t done it in years .do you think it is a good idea if im willing to maintain it or should I look into another solution? And if so what do u suggest alot of stuff doesnt help that well….I need help I want to feel beautiful!

  • Linda said:

    Hi Brenda
    I am mixed half Black half white I have really healthy kinky curly hair and it’s about and half an inch lower than my shoulders when my hair is strait , but when it curls it is a little lower than my ears, i dream of long hair, anyways i have been thinking about relaxing for a while and i am torn what to do .a If i got a relaxer can you give me any tips on keeping it healthy or growing long healthy hair. Thanks alot

  • Justice said:

    Hello, I have thickish dark brown hair I’m mixed race and I want to relax my hair but u want my ringlets to lossen abit i don’t want my hair dead straight is there a relaxer that does that and is dr Miracle thermalceutical intensive no-lye relaxer good for my hair or will it damage it am really confused and I’m still choosing whether to do it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Justice,
      I keep promising to write an article on texlaxing but I will very soon. I think that may be an option for you.

  • Brittany said:

    I’m 21 years old and I’ve been getting perms for as lng as I can remember up untill 5 years ago. I went natural and I have a head of brand new head of healthy hair. Only thing is, its hard to manage. I love in Ohio so its usually pretty humis all the time so my hair never stays straight. I have thin hair, but its very full and curly. If I flat iron my hair it’ll be straight for about an hour or so, then the frizz will kick in. I’ve tried brazilian tech keratin, carrot oil, coconut oil, and good ‘ol plain grease. Absolutly nothing will keep my hair straight. Do you know of anything to keep my hair at least a little straight? Because I’m seriously concidering going back to perming my hair.

    Thanks, Brittany.

  • Shana said:

    I was natural during my pregnancy, I went ahead and got a perm 16 weeks ago because it was hard for me to manage, and I hated that I would flat iron it and once I sweated it would poof right back up. One thing I have noticed is that my hair when it is wet is really thick and curly and when people see it like that, they do not think I have a perm. So I didn’t know if the perm “took” intially since my hair is still thick and curly. Now my second question is my 14 yr old daughter is natural, and she had a perm about 6 years ago and it really broke her hair off bad, and it finially has grown back. Now she wants a perm again because all she can do is wear it in a ponytail. I thought about the keratin treatment but it is a little to expensive for me, and she plays basketball so she is sweating everyday. I just wanted to know if you had any suggestions?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shana,
      It doesn’t sound as if the relaxer changed your hair structure much. Maybe you have unintentionally texlaxed your hair. That is not a really a bad thing if you want a lighter feeling hair with some of your texture still intact. For your daughter, I would recommend not relaxing her hair now unless of course she can take care of it properly. Taking care of relaxed hair if you are a frequent exerciser is a whole other level of hair care. I will put up some articles on that soon.

  • maria said:

    Hello, I like my hair natural (afro) and I would like to keep it that way but i cant do much with it natural and I do a lot of sports and so I keep it tied back every day letting it out sometimes. If you relax your hair that is basically using chemicals to permanently straighten your hair right? if so I dont want that.I dont want chemicals in my hair, and It ruins my hair and i do a lot of swimming. My hairdresser said there was this thing you could do to make your curls bigger and easier to comb and take care of. What is this called? do you recomend this?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Maybe she is talking about wave nouveau. It is still a chemical treatment. Even more complex than a relaxer. If that is the suggestion, I would recommend that you do not do it. Keep your natural hair, there are several hair sites completely dedicated to natural hair care that can be of help to you. CurlyNikki comes to mind and there are a whole slew of other sites you can check them out.

  • Annie Lucille said:

    I am seventeen years old and white, but I have very textured and curly hair. I want to relax my hair, and I’ve been researching the pros and cons. I really want to know if getting my hair relaxed will be permanent, but I’ve read that you have to keep getting it relaxed and others say it lasts. I’m also a swimmer, and chlorine already has damaging effects on hair. I would really appreciate a few tips before I make any decisions! Thanks!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Annie,
      Relaxing is a permanent thing, it will not make your hair revert. The chemical literally ‘relaxes’ your hair bonds. Your regular curly hair will grow back over time and if you want to maintain the straight look, you will have to relax your hair again, just the curly part, not your whole hair. We call that a ‘touch up’. As for chlorine and relaxed hair, that is a big- NO. The chlorine will damage your hair. You will have to take precautions to keep it away from the water. It sounds like you need to do so now.

  • neaa said:

    Hi Brenda I’m fully black my hair is short and curly and puffy I want to relaxed my hair bit my mom says it will damage it and fall off and my hair is 4c hard to manage and yea should I relaxed it

  • Emily said:

    My hair is naturally very thick and wavy, I have ginger/brown hair quite like auburn. I’m 14 years old and have recently seen a programme on TV of relaxed hair compared to natural. As my hair is very hard to work with unless straightened, I was wondering whether it would be something to consider in the future? All my friends have a lovely thickness to their hair and can put it into any style – but I struggle to put it into a ponytail without it looking bushy and wavy. I’ve tried cutting my hair into thinner styles to see if that helps – it does but not as much as I want. I have long hair too so it’s long but very bushy! What could you recommend to a girl of my age? Thankyou xxx

  • Nichelle said:

    Hi my name is Nichelle and I haven’t had a perm for 4 months and I washe my hair natural hair so hard to take car of my ends were more curly then the new growth but right I have a protective style braids but my hair very thick and it was very nappy it’s kind I stressful lol I want to try too something different I can’t wait till my transtion is over

  • tanique said:

    Hi brenda i cut my hair all off last year on December 15 and it grew back i just got a sew in weave a few weeks ago and i glue some tracks in and my hair fell out i also have split ends i wanna perm my hair so bad and then go to the hair salon to have then trim my ends should i wait for my hair to grow back where it fell out at or should i just do the perm ???? Please i need your help

  • Pretty said:

    Hi Brenda!
    I have been natural for about two years and my hair doesn’t seem to grow. When I was permed I always had a nice legnth of hair. I even cut my hair into a Mohawk and had it grow past my shoulder in a year. But now as a natural my hair isn’t even to my shoulders in two years. The main reason I started to go natural was because the relaxers weren’t taking well and it is too expensive for it not to take. Lol. Now I’m just contemplating, is there anything I can do to my hair to increase its health or should I go back to relaxers? I can’t find anything on having healthier hair while relaxed. Maybe it’s just my hair. Lol. Thank you in advance.

  • ummi said:

    Hi, I have soft black african hair and i want to start relaxing, don’t know. What type of relaxer my hair needs.

  • Jeannie said:

    Hi – I have a mixed race daughter (1/4 black, 1/4 Navajo and 1/2 Hispanic) who has very long, thick curly hair. We live in a region where there are not a lot of stylists who are used to caring for her type of hair, so I’ve had to learn to take care of her hair myself. We have started straightening her hair every two or three weeks (I use the Mizani products) because, due to school and activities, it is easier to care for than her naturally curly hair. She has no desire right now (she’s 12) to wear it curly (though I think her curls are amazing….)and her natural hair is too thick to wear down for any amount of time.

    I’ve taken good care of her hair and it is to the middle of her back when straight, after having just recently cut off about 3 inches. She has 6 to 12 inches of “bounce back.”

    I’m considering getting it professionally relaxed and have had a lot of people dissuade me, telling me it is even harder to care for. We oil her hair and scalp routinely, and wrap it nightly (she sleeps in a silk wrap). Will relaxing require more care? I am willing to pay for professional care, and am okay with nightly care.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Rockie said:

    Hi Brenda,
    Thanks for your article! It is very helpful! I really need your advice. The last time I got a perm was dec 12, 2013. I am way due for a perm. Since then, I’ve been getting wash and sets. My roots and my edges are blown out. I also rinse my hair black and curled my hair a few times with clip ins. For vacation I decided to get a full head closure believing that it would protect my hair and would be a lot easier to deal with. Girl was I wrong. My edges broke and were weak. My hair is also way thinner. It’s been a week and a half since I took out give weave and washed my hair. Now it don’t know if I should perm my hair or wait it out a few more weeks. I was planning to wash my hair tomorrow (wed) with a clarifying shampoo, protein treatment and then a moisturizing conditioner. Then on sat or Sunday get a perm. I hesitant to get the perm because of my edges and my scalp was a little damaged as well. My edges are growing back and my scalp isn’t that sore any more. Please help!!

  • Aryanah Scales said:

    relaxed is more easy to maintain for me

  • Ria said:

    Hi! Is it okay to have your hair relaxed after being rebonded?

  • Nicole said:

    Hey! Im 17 years old and im white. I have brown curly untameable hair. It always knots up and gets super frizzy plus under by neck i have strands of hair that look and freel like a brillo pad. I wanted to get my hair treated by relaxing and my mom’s friend who has similar hair to me recommended it, my friends who are black got it and have regretted it ever since. What should i do. It doesnt sound as bad but its unbareable. Lmk.

  • Mary said:

    Should I relax? No more. Not again. Not anymore. I am happy being natural. 🙂

  • Alicia said:

    Hey, my name is Alicia & I am almost 14 years old. I’m African American with Indian in me )
    I am really struggling here because my mother wants me to get a perm for school. I believe it has been at least 2 years since I’ve had a perm. I’m thinking that the perm will damage my hair for some reason. My aunt and sister tells me I shouldn’t get a perm, that I have a good grade of hair.
    Not only that, I am a cheerleader so i’m sure my hair will sweat out quickly. Do you have any advice??

  • Neha said:

    Hello, I’m thirteen years old and have really thick, and frizzy hair. I’ve tried all sorts of shampoos, conditioners, oils and nothing seems to work on my hair. I play a lot of sports, so the Texas sun easily dries out my hair and I rarely have time to spend on my hair.
    When I straighten it, it looks ten times better, and is MUCH easier to manage.
    I was thinking of getting it relaxed, but my parents are concerned about it. I’ve read the cons and pros of doing it, and I want to go ahead with it.

    What should I do? And, is there another way to have straight hair without getting it relaxed?

  • Taylor said:

    Hi im taylor and 12yrs old. I permed my at age 8 and my hair has gone a little longer but it stopped at one point and stayed there, should I go back to natural hair dor about a year then go start perming again. I dont know what to do.

  • Adam said:

    Hi, im 14 and mixed race (black and white) i have a big curly afro and its healthy, I want my hair straight but people at school might make fun of it. I need some opinions

  • Winny said:

    Am from kenya and i want to relax my hair, What type of relaxer should i use?? am staying at jordan, kindly assist!!!

  • Ester said:

    I just got done getting my braids out and I really want to relax my hair because I can’t figure out what to do with it for school. Its way to frizzy! Would it be a good idea to relax it the same day? If not can you tell me what i could do with my hair until then?

  • anita said:

    im 20 years black girl. iv been relaxing my hair since i was young but it only stays silk for two weeks.people say i should go natural help

  • Karla said:

    hi, im 13 and i am white. My hair is really frizzy and wavy, but not thick. I want more sleeker hair and found serums and all of the other stuff to not work, this is my last option. My hair isnt damaged, i use a cenditioning treatment 2 times a week, sometimes more, if i do relax my hair, is it best to get one with no lye? Will it make a difference? Thanks.

  • joan said:

    hi, im an east african girl, my hair is really curl and it takes way to long to get ready, im tired of streighting it because it damaging.

  • Rita said:

    hai my hair is so embarasing…its natural i cant go in publc with it its cut in alll the sides as in big tym cut my friends laugh at me.. i cant plait extentions or braids coz the linining is so weak…wat can i do

  • Mats said:

    hy. I have natural hair and I want to relax it for the holidays. I wanted to know if you think it will go back to being natural after a few months or do I have to keep relaxing it?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Mats,
      Relaxed hair cannot revert. Once the hair is relaxed you will have to continue relaxing it if you want that particular style otherwise you will have to wait for your natural hair to grow out.

  • Maris said:

    Hi Im 14, young Filipina. Hey I wanna ask for some help. I rebonded my hair 2 years ago, I was 12 yo that time, and it turned out pretty well until the treatment weared off a couple of months later. My hair got all damaged and dry so I didn’t do anything to it for 2 years, I just cut it gradually when it gets too long. My hair got thick, so many split ends, hard to comb and very damaged. Now, it’s returning to it’s natural state, very thick amd wavy but manageable. It seems damaged but not that quite. I use shampoo everyday and some hair care stuffs. I wanted to straighten it permanently but treatments and its chemicals damage your hair. Ive learned from my past experience. I wanted to try the hair relax treatment but Im scared it might result to the same damage. What should I do? Thanks lovelots xoxo Hey I wanna ask for help. I rebonded my hair 2 years ago, I was 12 yo that time and it turned out pretty well until the treatment le weared off a coupths later. My hair got all’r damaged and dry so I di

  • Mahalia said:

    Hi there
    I am black so I have very curly hair. I find my hair can be hard to manage sometimes. So I straighten it but through out the week it starts to go curly again. I want to relax my hair but I am scared of my hair getting damaged as my cousins have done it and there hair is not in a good condition. But will my hair get damaged if it is done professionally?

  • Ashley said:

    Hi im 22 years old and I was currently wearing weave Ijust took it out.iIrrecently thought it would go to a afrobut only my lower back had,and my front side is question is how do Iget my top half of mmy hair to go afro like my back half.?my hair is short length but I do not want to perm ,relax ,or get a haircut. What do Ido?

  • Joy said:

    Hi. Im 13 and I recently relaxed my hair because my natural hair is too hard to cope with. It was short and curly and I liked it but I was always dry as much as I oiled it. Will my hair go back to its curls in few months. Do u have tips for it to grow healthy and long? And can you tell me why it was so dry? Thank you

  • Amber said:

    Hi I’m thirteen years old and I had my hair relaxed. Do I still need to treat my hair as if it’s still curly and do I need to use special treatment method? Also do you know how long it takes for it to become curly again? Thank you.

  • Rahmat said:

    Hi, brenda
    We have long hair naturally in my family, so I had long in healthy hair. I Dont braid my hair or weave it. but 2months ago I noticed I bought d fake product of the relaxer after using it, I went for Dis program which was stressful, came back to school for exams…………..broke (financially) in all Dis period. my hair is turning brown (dou my mum has……….should I call it red hair?) my hair is now reducing in length

  • Laura said:

    Hello Brenda!

    My daughter really wants to relax her hair. It is super curly and difficult to manage. She does pretty well caring for it, but has a hard time brushing all the way through it. Her hair is also the perfect environment for lice. I worry about permanent damage, upkeep, and if it will grow back as curly as it was before if she decides to return to natural. She is only 11 years old and is all white. What do you think?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Laura,
      It will grow back as curly as before if you have her hair relaxed but as you mentioned relaxing it will require upkeep or it will break off. I would suggest finding some products that have good slip especially when she conditions her hair so that it is easy to comb out and maybe braiding or flat twisting her hair for a couple of days so that you don’t have to comb it all the time.

  • Christianna said:

    Hi Brenda,
    I started transitioning from September 2014. I had really short hair. Then on February 2015 I teali I had become about 95% natural. So I started wearing puffs and also started styling my hair with cantu Shea butter products. It is now April 2015 and sometimes I feel as if I should perm my hair , but I’m scared it will drop. What should I do? And also can u suggest a method for me to use because I’m the morning wen I do my hair it is really puffy but then by 2 hrs later it’s just flat and dull . What can I do to prevent that ?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Christianna,

      Have you tried a wash and go? When your hair is wet you apply a curl defining cream and then apply it to your hair. If done right the style should last for about four days. You can also try flat twists, braid outs etc. Don’t give up. You will have to find the products that are good for natural hair that will keep it moisturized.

  • vera said:

    hi brenda; am a Nigerian,i have weak kinky hair and its still natural.i have trained for two years always falls thinking of using a relaxer cus it isnt growing long.

  • tameria said:

    Hi I’ve recently thought about getting a short pixie cut with long front bangs with a slight Mohawk kinda way but I’m not sure if I should relax my hair because at the moment I have really thick hair and I’d have to straighten it nearly every day and won’t have time.

    What so you think and what are your opinions on having short hair

    ( my hair is just past my shoulder at the moment)

  • Faith said:

    Hi, Im 14 going on 15 this month. Ive had my hair relaxed for a big majority of my life, and it began to break off when I was in gr. 8. I grew out my hair for a year and a few weeks with box braids, but my hair is extremely thick, hard, and curly. My mom says I should relax it to make it more manageable, but Im afraid of having my hair break off like it did before (I went from collar-bone length to about my chin, maybe a bit shorter). And since hs is so busy for me, I might not have a whole lot of time to manage it. What should I do?

  • Frances said:

    Hey there,
    I relaxed my hair above two years ago now and I regret it SO much! I’m trying to go natural now, I had my last relaxer in February and its growing back ok but my hair is nasty. The relaxer was really good at the start, my hair was frizz-less basically and was so easy to comb and wash. However, after a few months it was like straw. My hair is constantly breaking, the ends of my hair are so thin and the roots are so thick. I can’t just wash my hair and wear it out because its not straight but its not curly, its like a fuzzy straight hair with a bit on a wave at the end that you barely notice. I want my natural hair back so bad but I don’t want to do the big chop. Does anyone have any tips, or has tried to grow out their relaxer?

  • kika said:

    Hi there,
    I’ve been on low cut for over ten years. Two years ago, I relaxed it and noticed later a lot of cutting and breaking. Then I began using henna conditioner and an African gold hair cream and I’m also about to get some castor oil. Since I began using henna I think the breaking reduced and my hair is now really due and I’m so confused between relaxing or cutting it. I’m so scared relaxing it will completely damage it and cutting it might be bad cos it might not grow. What do I do?

  • Destiny Gina said:

    I haven’t had edges for as long as I can remember. It’s been embarrassing. I have to cover them with headbands as the bald spots are on both sides of my head right above my ears. I even went to see the doctor to see if there was an imbalance in my body. Anything you could suggest to rid me of my lifelong horror?

  • Mia said:

    Hey Brenda,
    I have really soft curly hair until it dries up then it gets harder to manage. I tried keratin treatment twice but I guess it made my hair worse. I am thinking of relaxing it to get easier curls or have it completely straight, I don’t mind because blow drying and straightening it with a flat iron is causing a lot of damage and hair loss. My mom is telling me not to but i think it will help my hair maintain itself, what should i do?

  • Rochelle said:

    Hello. I am 17 years old and i grew up with texturizers in my hair from the age of 6 until the age of 12. There was an incident where my hair just fell right off. It took me 5 years to grow my hair out natural and it looks as if it has stopped growing. I have 4C hair and i can’t manage it, it makes me feel extremely self-conscious when i got to school. I have attempted twist outs and braid outs but they do not fit me. My sister in Jamaica is a hairstylist and is always telling me that for my hair type and age it would be best if i relaxed it. But I’m nervous for it to fall out again. What do you suppose i do?

  • Brenda said:

    Hi Brenda
    I am not sure if my kinky hair is strong enough to relax, what should I do to make sure I don’t pick the wrong dissision

  • Nejika katembo said:

    Hi my name is Nejika and im 15 yrs am full black ,and I have been relaxing my hair all my life. but I want to have natural hair so I’m starting the natural hair look so please help me with my hair will it break…?

  • Skylark said:

    My natural hair is 3b/3c and its thin. I’m considering a relaxer because I straighten my hair all the time and I like the relaxed hair look more than I look the natural hair. This would be my first time relaxing my hair. Do you think it would be a great idea for me to get a relaxer?

  • Tae said:

    Hey, my hair is damaged and I don’t know what to do at first I was taking ” Hair Infinity ” pills to help grow but then I stopped taking it because I didn’t see no effort, and I am debating if I should relax my hair before I get a sew in, it seems like the back of my hair and middle is long and think but as you come to the front it’s gotten shorter like really short, and I was wondering if relaxing it would be a good idea or no? I really need help I also was thinking about starting to go to a hair dresser to trim my hair and take care of it monthly ?

  • amari said:

    i am having a hard time deciding wether or not i should get another perm. around 1 and a half year ago i got a perm, i didn’t really like it. my hair was really thin whenever i got it wet or put oils in it. in 2014 i decided to go natural to i cut off my perm ends. my natural hair is a afro type. if i put anything in there it’ll just suck it all in and act like it needs more oil lol! its been great so far. but i want a straight look, and everytime i straighten my hair its really stiff and just ugly to me. i want my hair to be bouncy and flowy and maintainable. what should i do?

  • Latoyia said:

    My hair is very thick. Takes a while to blow dry because it seems to hold water. I prefer to wear my own hair but I began a daily workout and my hair swells in certain areas. I have not had a perm in a several years. I’ve been wearing sew-in’s for the past year. In between sew-ins, I deep condition and wear my hair straightened but as soon as I workout its ruined. For years I’ve gotten a press every 2-3 weeks but now it just won’t last. Is there anything you could recommend? Do you think a perm would allow my press to maintain longer with workout? Someone told me to try a spot perm but that doesn’t sound good to me. Will the perm break my hair and how long should I wait to perm after removing a sew-in?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Latoyia,

      Don’t relax your hair because you think its easier! Relaxed hair is actually harder to maintain. You will still sweat and you’ll have to wash it out just the same. My advice is to find a water or curl friendly style for your hair (like a wash and go) if you are going to exercise.

  • Enyinna said:

    Hey Brenda,

    I’m 16 and my mom has relaxed my hair since I was 10 or so, and I’ve never liked it . I’ve read a lot about relaxed hair but I’ve been braiding my hair, so whenever I would pull them off my mom would relax my hair and there could be a 6 months gap or so before I have to pull them off again and apply the relaxer. I just feel that relaxing my hair isn’t the type of treatment my hair can handle for various of reasons (one of them being that after I’ve washed the relaxer off, a part of my scalp is burned and it hurts when I try to scratch it off and that my hair is completely dry afterwards which I find uncomfortable) and I really just want to go natural. But I don’t know what I need to look at in products and if it’s too late to go natural.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Enyinna,

      It’s never too late to go natural. If you hate getting your hair relaxed, just don’t do it anymore. Check out the transitioning articles for some suggestions.

  • Ellirose said:

    I have thick curly hair and very hard to manage, my hair is very long but I hate my shrinkage and I was thinking of getting my hair relaxed therefore it will be more manageable to handle and I will have a different texture because I don’t like my texture. But from what I have heard some people say if you look after it, it will be fine. Then other people say it will destroy your hair also I have watched videos from people that have had their hair relaxed and it didn’t look that good when their curls started coming back. Should I get my hair relaxed or not ?

  • Ellirose said:

    I have thick curly hair and very hard to manage, my hair is very long but I hate my shrinkage and I was thinking of getting my hair relaxed therefore it will be more manageable to handle and I will have a different texture because I don’t like my texture. But from what I have heard some people say if you look after it, it will be fine. Then other people say it will destroy your hair also I have watched videos from people that have had their hair relaxed and it didn’t look that good when their curls started coming back. Should I get my hair relaxed or not ?

  • Amyah said:

    Im natural and love my hair I use kertain treatments which dont damage your hair.I want to ask you if I should perm my hair because my friends keep telling me to.

  • Catherine Aondona said:

    hi, am Catherine i cut my relaxed hair and i want to go on natural hair but i dont know how to take care of it for it not to damage so what can i do?

  • Rashida said:

    I have relaxed hair and sometimes I want it curly. What’s the best way to curl relaxed hair?

  • Hope said:

    I all ready relaxed my hair how do I keep it from falling out? and no offense but reading this article has really scared me now.

  • Vanessa said:

    Hey Brenda,

    I am going to relax my hair tomorrow evening. My hair is currently natural and flat ironed it this morning for work. I did not touch my scalp, only my hair with a wide tooth comb. Will flat ironing my hair the day before a virgin relaxer cause damage?

  • Vanessa said:

    Hello Brenda
    I’m Vanessa and I am 18 and an African.I had my hair cut down and now it’s kind of growing. I have never relaxed because I want to make a natural hair but my hair is so hard that when I comb or when I’m braiding my hair the haidressers complain that I should add a little relaxer just for few minutes to soften my hair. I don’t really know if it’s a good idea since I believe Natural hair is a no relaxer deal. I don’t know what to do whether it is a good Idea or not.What do you suggest I do or is there any products that will help me.Thank you

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Your hair needs a good moisturizing conditioning to soften it up, not a relaxer. If you put a little in there, it is basically processing your hair and since you want to stay natural, it is not a good idea. To soften the toughest hair I suggest a simple water and glycerin combo. It works pretty well. After that seal with a light oil. And you can spritz some of this moisturizer on your hair everyday. You will find that the more you do it. The softer your hair will get.

  • Anastasia said:

    Hey can I relax my hair forever though? Like I don’t ever hear that someone’s relaxed their hair for 30 years. Every story I hear of, people eventually go natural again. Do I have to?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Anastasia,
      You are right! 🙂 People always seem to want to change. You can relax your hair forever once you have hair on your head. It is your decision.

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