My Thoughts On Chemical Straightening/Relaxers…

So, what do I think of chemically straightening your hair, better known as a Relaxer? Well, I will be honest, it isn’t a service that I provide nor is it one I encourage. We all know how damaging relaxers can be. Here’s an interesting fact for you in case you didn’t know—relaxers can melt or dissolve your hair if used incorrectly! Many years ago, I had a bad relaxer wherein my shoulder length hair broke off on one side and I was forced to cut it into a bob length cut to even it out. The new cut looked great, but that was not the plan for the day. I have also had experiences where I have felt my scalp burn and experienced my scalp peel days after a service.

 I come from a place, where I view curly/kinky hair as being extremely versatile. Once you have developed a routine for your hair care, found the right products for your texture/density, and have a few styling basics nailed, it is no longer as tricky as some would imagine. An interesting topic that surfaces within the Natural Hair Community is wearing your hair straight, as there are some folks who have an issue with curly/kinky haired women wearing their hair straight. Personally, I have no issue with this, as I blowout my hair and flat-iron my hair a few times yearly. I think the heart of that particular issue is if you see a woman who has curly/kinky hair, but you would never know it, as the hair is always bone straight 24/7. At that point, they would really have to ask themselves why it was necessary to maintain a straighter look all of the time.

If you do plan on doing blowouts and flat-ironing, I wouldn’t recommend doing it all the time, as it could lead to wear and tear on the hair. In addition, the right products should be used to keep the hair in a healthy state, while protecting it from the heat, while straightening. Most importantly, please be mindful of the heat settings on your blow dryer and flat-iron. If you don’t want to risk heat damage, please do see a professional.

 Our hair is a huge part of who we are, which is why I am writing to you here and why there are so many people writing on the subject, it is part of our identity. I think people should rock with what they have and feel free to switch it up every once in a while, not the other way around. I think where people get their knickers in a knot is when they see Black women with their hair straight all of the time or if they are wearing long straight weave down their back every single day of the year. Everyone definitely can wear their hair however they see fit, but the question at the very least that should be asked to those women is why they are more committed to or identify with wearing their hair straight all of the time. I mean…what’s wrong with wearing your hair the way it naturally grows? Why permanently straighten your hair, when you can maintain the versatility that our curly/kinky hair possesses?

Hair By Glenna

4 thoughts on “My Thoughts On Chemical Straightening/Relaxers…

  1. agreed!!! a close family member of mine has damage in the actual roots of the hair and it will no longer grow back. the dr indicated she had previous nerve damage due to relaxers. it’s so sad that we are JUST now learning about the benefits of natural hair.

  2. I am on a mission to education African-american women on alternative options to relaxers. Our natural hair is so beautiful! Everyone wants healthy hair but we don’t want to put in the work or effort to get to that point. Patience is so important.

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