Tag Archive | no

Can You Achieve Healthy, Relaxed Hair?

Girls who relax their hair will occasionally get the dreaded question: “Have you ever thought about going natural?”  Why is there a push or lean for women who relax to go natural?  The most common answer to that is that relaxers are damaging… or are they?

Opinion
The idea that relaxers aren’t good for your hair honestly depends on what your version of “good” means.  To say that a chemical relaxer “damages” hair is an opinion.  Do not forget that hair is dead – that’s why it doesn’t hurt when you cut it.  The only thing that you can do to your hair is … preserve the dead state.  It’s almost like taking a junk car (hair) and smashing it (applying a relaxer) and saying that it’s damaging to the car.  The car already doesn’t work.  So if your hair is already dead when a relaxer is applied… is it really damaging the hair?  Preserving dead hair is all what being natural means.  After all, a single strand of hair only has a life of about 7 years before it sheds.

Relaxed hair doesn’t grow long
Yes and no.  Again this depends.  When girls relax their hair, it is usually also blow dried and straightened.  It might even be bleached for color.  Those three processes alone can “damage” the hair even on natural/preserved hair.

You’re trying to meet European standards of beauty
No no and nope.  Do not believe for a second that anyone relaxes their hair and thinks “boy, I sure do hope I look whiter today!” People do not understand and underestimate the difficulty and time spent on natural hair.  It is not in everyone’s desire to spend hours detangling, washing, twisting, or deep conditioning every week.  The texture of natural hair can also be extremely difficult to manage especially if we haven’t been used to it.  Hair is hair.  It is there to be manipulated.

So with that being said, is it possible?
It all depends on what you think is healthy.  Hair is dead.  Whatever changes happens to your hair just depends on how much you value hair being preserved.  Why do you think our common hair products have those weird, periodic table ingredients in them?  They’re essentially… preservatives.  So why the push for natural ingredients?  Natural ingredients cause less “damage” to the hair as they don’t create buildup or further, slight chemical changes.  So it’s all an opinion.  If you choose to relax, let people know that all hair is dead.

 

Pretoria Girls High Says No to Natural Hair

 

As some may have seen on the news or social media, Pretoria High School is an all girls school in South Africa that has been in the hot seat for not allowing fros or natural hair.  Look at this statement copied and pasted verbatim from their website:

The school was founded in the earnest hope that here girls of different races and different denominations might meet in that commonwealth of letters which gave Erasmus and Shakespeare to the world. – Edith Aitken.

Interesting isn’t it?  So as you can imagine, we now have protesters made of high school girls wanting to wear their natural hair without having to straighten or conform to their standard of “acceptable” hair.

Here’s also a screenshot from their code of conduct where it talks about their general appearance:
code of conduct

Although natural afros or natural hair textures isn’t exactly mentioned, there is definitely a strict policy on hair.  One interesting thing I noticed about the code of conduct is that the first paragraph seems to address the white students and the third paragraph seems to address the black students.  Black girls seem to be limited to boring braids/cornrows, skinny dreads, or straight hair since hair must be brushed, kept in a TIGHT bun, or ponytail not visible from the front.

Several students have been told to straighten their hair, that they look like monkeys, or that their hair looks like nests.  This is strictly racism and ignorance.  Pretoria Girls High was and is predominately a white institution.

It truly saddens me as a person who is natural and wears their hair around the workplace and school proudly, that there are young girls out there who are being ridiculed for doing the same thing.

Also, if you feel that you are being attacked about your appearance, please protest and raise awareness!  Get people to know about the issue and you’d be surprised at how quickly things can get resolved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ACTION, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION DOWN BELOW TO STOP THE RACISM:

Stop Racism at Pretoria Girls High

Never Again

This is a list of hair-related things I have tried and stopped using.

Mousse
The mousse I tried was TRESemme’s Flawless Curls Mousse and it did nothing but dry my hair out.  I tried it because I wanted something with good hold while I was on a trip to Minnesota.  My hair did hold but when I washed it out, my hair felt stripped!  I was actually scared the mousse did something permanent to my hair (it didn’t).

The Cantu Brand
There is really nothing wrong with Cantu except that it is white-owned.  Why should I give my money to them when there’s other black-owned brands like Shea Moisture or Miss Jessie’s?  The reason why I am picky about them is because the line is tailored specifically to natural hair and not just “curls” or “waves”.  I feel as though they are just joining the bandwagon to make money off of us.

Flat Iron
There’s no point.  The heat-damage risk is high.  You don’t want to put the temperature too high to damage your hair but put it too low and your hair will frizz back up in 5 minutes.  I actually do not even own a flat iron.

Texturizers
My hair was easier to manage for a while and then all hell broke loose.  My hair was thirsty and my curls were so uneven.  The way hair reacts to texturizers is unpredictable.  If it uniformly loosened my curls, I wouldn’t have much of an issue with it.  However, the burden that I have officially left the “natural world” was heavy and I felt as though I betrayed myself as a black woman.  Side Note: Even if they did make a texturizer that uniformly loosened curls – I wouldn’t use it.  I would never use another chemical on my hair.

Hair Dye/Bleach
I am a very low-maintenance person.  Root touch-ups and extra deep conditioning was not a top priority on my “to do” list.  Also, the bleach damaged my hair a lot.  It made it dry and frizzy.  The damage was much more noticeable when I started to let my hair grow out.  The difference in health between my non-bleach and bleach hair was insane.

Shaved Sides
Yes, I used to shave the sides of my head back in the hipster years of 2011-2013.  Shaving my hair gave my hair less volume and it also limited my hairstyles.  Back to the low-maintenance thing, it became tiring when I had to reshave my hair every 3 weeks or so.

Protective Styling
I know right?!  Protective styling?!  Well for me it takes way too much time and money.  I am not going to sit down for 3 hours and put twists in my hair or pay someone to do it for me.  I also like having my hair out too much for me to put it away.  I feel like my hair is healthy enough to where it doesn’t need to be kept away (I may regret this later).

Hair Salons
Nah fam.  Just nah.  Too many horror stories.  Too much money.

No Poo Shampoo
This is specifically speaking about the DevaCurl line.  It was such an odd experience trying to “cleanse” my hair with no suds or bubbles.  It felt like I needed to use so much of the product that was already expensive.  My hair felt clean but at the same time it didn’t.