Relaxed versus Natural hair (pros and cons)

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INTRO

I have a friend who attained a huge milestone with her relaxed hair from an advice I gave her at the time. Back then, she was oblivious to the role of leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners would play in her healthy hair care regimen. However, after tapping into this golden knowledge, she made exponential progress with both the length and health of her hair.

Fam, you should see how long and healthy her hair currently looks, it is absolutely gorgeous. Now at the time, I had also made tremendous progress with my then relaxed hair and was pretty much independent with caring for my strands, but for the relaxation part.

Of course, like many out there, it was almost impossible for me to properly relax my hair by myself. Worse still, not too many people where I am from have the skill of properly stretching out their coils either. Most times they end up causing more harm than good and unknowingly, hurt/burn their scalp.

I spoke to my said friend about my impending decision to go natural and beckoned on her to tap into the natural hair journey with me. To my shock, she burst out laughing and wished me luck with my endeavor.

She just could not imagine giving up her length after many years of hard work. I could absolutely relate. It was a tug of internal war for me as well to start my natural hair journey from scratch, so I decided to transition instead.

I have been happy about my transitioning and natural hair journey, but my friend is also quite satisfied and happy with her relaxed journey. She absolutely digs her straight relaxed hair, and according to her there is no way she would ever go natural or subject herself to the trials that accompany natural hair.

I would like you to know that whatever decision you have made pertaining the texture and state of your crown, your decision and reasons are valid. This is a no judgement zone. Many queens find joy in their relaxed hair, while others obtain their joy from being natural. Either way, they both have their pros and cons which we would be delving into in this post.

Relaxed versus natural hair

Definitions

Relaxed hair is hair that has been subjected to a chemical agent that breaks down protein bonds in a bid to straighten natural curl/coils. It is also referred to as hair perming and is an activity with permanent results. The only way to get the natural coils back, is by cutting the hair and starting from scratch, this is known as the big chop. Another alternative is transitioning.
(that is waiting to outgrow the relaxed ends before cutting)

Natural hair on the other hand, is hair that has sort of remained Virgin. What I mean is that it has not been subjected to any form of perming.

Relaxed hair

Pros


1. With straight/ relaxed hair, your strands are definitely easier to manage. There would be less tangling and no kinks/knots to deal with
2. Laying your edges become a breeze! All you need is your edge control and you are good to go.
3. Hairstyles would usually last longer and stay neat with relaxed hair.
4. Your true hair length would always be in full display for all to see as shrinkage has been eliminated.
5. Relaxed hair remains straight regardless of weather elements such as the wind, rain or humidity.

Cons


1. Relaxers could cause irreversible damage to your hair and scalp if not properly done and if done by an amateur.
2. It is a permanent decision, ain’t no going back unless you are ready to do the big chop or better still, transition.
3. It is much harder to maintain healthy hair when relaxed as opposed to natural hair.
4. Working up pretty styles with your relaxed hair alone won’t give the versatility that comes with natural hair living.
5. Relaxers could cause your hair to go from vibrant to limp
6. Relaxed hair is very prone to breakage and there is a high risk of over processing.

Natural Hair

Trust me, I know you might think of my natural hair pros and cons as biased coz I am currently natural but I promise that I am being very sincere. I have had the best of both worlds and I am here to truthfully spill.

Pros

1. Natural hair comes with hair style versatility that relaxed hair might not necessarily give you. For instance it’s impossible to rock the gorgeous flat twists with relaxed hair
2. Most times a full fro would give you that stare of admiration from strangers, trust me I experience it on a daily. This is due to its uniqueness and most times volume. Relaxed hair won’t give this out look
3. Natural hair grows faster and healthier in most cases.
4. You can have the best of both worlds every once in a while, with schedules silk press (which shouldn’t be done too often please) With a silk press, your hair has the straight look but can still revert back to its natural coily state.
5. Natural hair is chemical free. We all know that relaxers are chemicals that could have harmful effects in the long run. This is one less thing for the naturals to worry about.

Cons

1. Natural hair could be difficult and frustrating to manage and maintain.
2. Hair is prone to tangling and knots if not properly cared for with the right products, inadvertently leading to hair breakage
3. Natural hair products could be somewhat expensive
4. There is a certain perception about natural hair not looking professional enough. A good number of black women have spoken up on the hair discrimination they go through daily.

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With all that has been mentioned, ill like to add a final note. Regardless of what state or texture you prefer your hair in (straight/coily) your hair would blossom exponentially if you are intentional about it and smoother it with some tender, loving care.

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