I want you to first notice that I have chosen to use the words relaxer free to describe natural hair. The reasoning behind this is because you are only completely natural if you do not have any chemicals in your hair and that includes hair color. So I wanted to be specific in this blog in the fact that I am speaking on having a relaxer vs not having a relaxer. There has been a long going debate on whether one should relax their hair or not. There are some that say that having a relaxer is not healthy for your hair or being relaxer free means that you don't have to do anything to your hair and because it is relaxer free it is automatically healthy. Both of these statements are false and if someone especially a stylist is telling you this then you should refer back to my firs blog "Is Your Stylist Educated. I am going to break down these myths for you.
Myth: Relaxers are unhealthy and damaging to the hair
Buster: Anything that you put on your hair can be potentially damaging without the proper application and care. It is in fact the person applying and taking care of the hair is harmful. A relaxer should always be applied my a licensed cosmetologist (who is educated) and the relaxer of choice should always be a professional brand. Your stylist should be able to determine what strength and brand of relaxer that should be used on you based on your hair texture, lifestyle, and health of your hair. Proper pre -treatments and application should be used to avoid overlapping. Once your hair has become chemically relaxed then it is your responsibility to ensure that you are taking care of that relaxer by visiting a professional stylist on a regular basis and if you are taking care of it yourself at home, you should have consulted with a stylist to ensure that you have the proper maintenance products and instructions for home care.
Myth: My hair is automatically healthy because it is relaxer free.
Buster: Hair is only healthy with the proper care. Chemically free hair actually requires a little more work. You have to make sure that you are keeping it moisturized and receiving treatments on a regular basis. Relaxer free hair in its natural form requires more moisture. People with relaxer free hair tend to be more lazier when it comes to the care of their hair. Not shampooing and cleansing the hair and scalp on a weekly basis, not keeping their ends trimmed, or wearing their hair in ponytails, or keeping it pulled back with a band. The latter two can potentially lead to greater problems such as traction alopecia and the first can lead to dry and brittle hair which can produce uncontrollable shedding, tangling, and split-ends. If you are relaxer free, you should still be visiting your stylist on a regular basis.
The Choice: So should you relax your hair or should you stay relaxer free? It is really a personal and lifestyle choice. Everyone's lifestyle is not tailored to allow them to be natural or relaxed. Before deciding what you want to do ask your self this question... Why do I want to be chemically free? Chemically free hair is not something you just wake up and say your going to do, you have to be committed and dedicated to it. The same applies to being relaxed. There are also some great products out there where you can have the best of both worlds. I personally like and use the Naked Assuage Thermal Smoothing system. This smoothing treatment is chemical free and allows you to be straight when you want and back to natural state when you want. The great thing about this product is that it helps to control the frizz of hair in its natural state because it is supercharged with keratin molecules. This is also the how the product helps to keep your hair straight as well. The Assuage is a great compromise for those of you who have little girls and want the ability to be able to control their frizz, help to manage their hair, or just want them to be able to go from straight back to curly. It last for about 12-18 shampoos before the process has to be done again. Below is a short video on the process.
In the end do what is easy for you. Do not feel pressured to go either way. Collect your information, evaluate your lifestyle, make the decision, and stay committed.