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?
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.