3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Care If You Decide To Relax Your Hair After A Natural Hair Journey

Fotor1101172832I don’t plan to relax, why? For one I don’t need one extra thing to do every 6 weeks and my fine strands are better without the added chemicals. But what if you aren’t like me and you want to relax your hair? Nowadays we feel pressure in our heads to stay true to the journey, stick it out no matter what, sistahs with curls for life and all that jazz.

We don’t exist in a bubble, the reality is people will have something to say no matter what you choose to do. If you are natural but you straighten all the time that’s a problem, if you have 4C natural hair but you like 3C textured wigs, you don’t like yourself, or if you color your hair pastel blue then you are a rebel and cant ever get a job that makes more than 7.25 and hour.

These judgments and opinions can get a tad bit annoying so you have been secretly thinking about relaxing but you don’t dare voice your thoughts out loud. You look at your natural hair, you love it but you simply prefer your relaxed hair.

The natural journey is a good thing, you admit that but you want something else. Listen, I get it, we all do even the ones that pass judgement, we are women who change our minds often, and while some women might truly hate their natural hair you know you are not that girl. With that said here are 3 solid reasons you should not care if you decide to relax your natural hair again.

1. Your regimen and goals will not change much

If you really know your hair, and I mean really know about how it works, “the science behind the strand” you will know that the regimen you had for your natural hair should remain fully intact for your relaxed hair journey minus the relaxer application.

Your hair will still need moisture; it will still need protein, porosity still remains relevant in your life, co washing will always be your thing to do mid week, protective styling at winter time remains something you will do each year.

Going natural has forced us to face hair knowledge dead in the face, we don’t just put the fate of our hair in the hair dresser, we ask questions and we know what to do when we cant make it to our favorite salon spot.

If your goal is healthy hair, that doesn’t change now that you are relaxed. You know the state of your hair with a relaxer and you know how to keep retaining length each month.

Of course some things will be added to your regimen; you will have to actually relax your hair, and you will have to decide what schedule to maintain for relaxing so that you keep your hair safe.

  • THE ART OF GROWING BLACK HAIR LONG - NATURAL EDITION
  • THE ART OF GROWING BLACK HAIR LONG - RELAXED EDITION

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

About Petra


Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for BlackHairInformation.com . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.

MORE FROM BHI

  • I’m seriously thinking about going back to relaxed. I enjoyed my relaxed.

    • Melissa

      I tried natural and I’m just not pleased with my texture and the extra work, so I’m going back to my relaxer Friday. I have decided to opt for healthy hair and stretch my relaxers rather than every 6 weeks.

  • Lobbying for the perm industry owned by whites? Being natural for me is a joy. Sure I have my trying moments but wouldn’t trade the lushness, fullness and curls for anything! To each his own though.

    • MOST natural hair care products on the market right now that we buy OTC are manufactured through white companies. Everything is not a black or white issue.

    • I make my own from scratch. I realize that too. Just my opinion.

    • EVERYTHING is a black and white issue. The delusions

    • “Owned by whites” how classy of you Andrea!

    • Not the hair products I use….Black owned.

  • I absolutely love this article! So on point! Bottom line do what’s best for you and your hair.

  • 1 reason is because it’s your hair and your choice. Another reason is because it’s your hair and your choice. And the 3rd and final reason is because it’s your hair and your choice. Who cares?

  • Yeah its your choice to relax your hair but we should encourage being natural not encourage being relaxed. All other types of women are fine wearing their hair “natural” Relaxing your hair today is just a personal choice but there is no denying it’s steeped in eurocentric beauty standards and we need to get away from it.

    • Verrrrrrrry few white women perm their hair and all white women who perm their hair do it strictly on a preference.Their mothers didn’t perm their hair. They weren’t called ugly for having straight hair. They don’t get kicked out of school for straight hair. Black women are different because for so long kinky/curly hair was seen as a bad trait. There are still black women who detest their natural hair and it really needs to stop. Yes do what you want that makes you happy like I stated before but let’s not encourage perms anymore.I’m not saying that people can’t do what they want but let’s encourage black women to embrace their natural hair.

    • I’m not encouraging that I’m encouraging a black woman to do what works for her natural is not for everybody.

    • The problem with that is that natural is for everyone that’s how you were born so it’s got to work for everyone. it’s gonna be beautiful on everyone. I think it’s the most beautiful way you could be is just by being yourself. Now whether you like it or not and decide to perm it that’s none of anyone’s business.

    • I get what you mean @Jordan…when i see little girls with relaxers, it’s heart breaking. Let them make that decision when they’re old enough to make their own haircare decisions. But don’t bias them against natural hair by shielding them from something that’s innate within them. Grown women, do as you please. Paint your heads purple, i don’t care.

    • Jordann Alease
      If it’s not anyone’s business then I don’t need you to tell me that I was “born” natural(I already know that), that it will “work/got to” work for me. Will “work” in this context: easy to manage, does not interfere with your daily routine and/or if i want to look beautiful natural is the best way. What you are doing is telling me what to do as if you know what’s best for me as a black woman. My dear at 54 I think I know what’s best for me. I’ve heard this argument since I was a teenager this debate is nothing new. In the sixties as young girls our hair was straightened to make it more manageable for our mothers. During the seventies, however, is when this argument got intense because it Involved career choices and what women of color had to do to be “acceptable”. But my lovely dear those women did what they needed to do to get in then they paved the way for more women of color to break through that’s when you effect a change in the perception that only straight makes us beautiful or if you prefer natural does not. You show that natural is just as beautiful “NOT MORE” let me repeat this “NOT MORE” but “JUST AS” beautiful on women of color. As a matter of fact I wore my hair in an afro for most of the seventies. And when I had it straightened every now in then I had no clue on how to care or style it. So some of us had the opposite problem of today knowing how to care for straight hair instead of how to care for natural. And as time when by women of color found that straightened or relaxed hair was easier to care for. Mostly because, through no fault of their own, women grew up not seeing or knowing about natural and admittedly natural was still viewed by some as unacceptable occurring mostly in the corporate/business work place. And then having your hair in “french” braids were considered natural and acceptable. Hair has a history all of its own and that history is very woven into the history of the black women. And it was because of those histories and the struggles that have increased our knowledge and pride in “ourselves” as a whole woman not just our hair. It’s those histories and struggles that gave us choices and it’s those histories and struggles that make your statement offensive and wrong.
      First of all, you lumped all black women together as a whole. What about the woman of color who has straight hair “naturally” (and not o mixed race) are you saying that because their hair isnt kinky they are less beautiful. What about curly hair? As your statment reads you do because the worlds perception of natural is kinky or very tightly curled. It’s wrong and not fair but it is what it is. You have devalued not only a group of women but women of color. I have naturally curly hair that I had to tease into the afro I wore in the70’s as I carried my “cake cutter comb” in the back pocket of my jeans.
      Darling dear, I have always felt beautiful, looked beautiful and I am beautiful. Why? Because i had women in my life who had confidence and joy in themselves. I had a father who taught me how a man should treat me like thee queen I am. I had role models in the public eye who were articulate and comfortable in their skin and it showed.
      I prefer my hair no I love my hair straight, long and blonde. Been that way since I was 45. AND I AM BEAUTIFUL, I FEEL BEAUTIFUL I LOOK BEAUTIFUL( I know I’m gonna get an ear full for that bit of info. Do I give a rats fat a$$ nope. My hair my body my hair my choice my hair) Do my preferences make me any less black, nope. Do i like my hair this way cause I’m trying to look and be white, nope. Do I keep it this way for any man woman or child nope. I do it for me and only me. Cause I like it. Don’t get me wrong I know there are many women who struggle with their self-image, who didn’t have the same family and or role models or what ever the case may be. That’s why i give back.That why I teach the young girls and women in my life to be confident, how to comb and style their hai4 for all situations whether they have natural or straight, to view themselves as beautiful and confident, to speak properly, how to dress properly for different situations using what they have in their closet, how to properly set a table and eat at the table etc. By knowing these things believe it or not actually builds confidence, a sense of self pride self beauty, worth and drive to do better. To get that degree and to come back and pass the knowledge. To be able to move and advance and know how to blend in different circles so they can help open doors for other women of color who wear their hair natural or straight. When we stop tearing each other down and work toward building each other up as women of color we can achieve so much more.
      And lumping us together in one group and saying your only beautiful natural, knowing the perception is kinky you and so many other who have said kinky is the only way a woman of color can be beautiful are doing us a disservice.
      I said all that to say this. If something is just your opinion try opening your statement with: “In my opinion”

      • Anne

        In my opinion, you are right on point! Do you, because no one else can

      • -A

        Amen!

    • Uh, no it really dosent look good on everybody! If you don’t like the way you look with straight hair, that’s you. Maybe some people don’t like the way they look with kinky hair. Therefore, it’s not for them. No one is completely natural. Why all the make up then? Why the deodorant? Don’t you like your natural smell? The list goes on. I’m natural but I don’t try to tell people what’s for them. That’s their choice.

    • Thick, the word natural applies to hair. You are arguing semantics which proves nothing. Smelling bad and not wearing deodorant is not socially acceptable that’s why we change it. Curly/kinky/coily hair isn’t socially acceptable and is just starting to become this way that’s why it should be encouraged. How is your own healthy hair not going to look good on you? Have I seen people who look a mess with damaged natural hair? Yes but that’s not really natural hair it’s damaged. But I’ve never seen a woman who takes proper care of her natural hair look a mess. Whether you like it or change it or not doesn’t matter. Everyone’s own natural hair is beautiful.

    • @toni I never made the argument that having relaxed hair made you “less black” I don’t believe that women relax their hair to look white but historically they did. I believe there are still negative connotations to kinky/curly hair and there is no denying that the practice is rooted in eurocentric beauty standards. Nor did I make the argument that having natural hair is the only way you can be beautiful. I never made the argument that innate liberation is directly achieved with natural hair. Frankly I don’t believe in such arguments. That’s why I said in MY opinion that black women look the MOST beautiful with natural hair. I’ve straightened my hair and I look beautiful but I feel that I look the most beautiful with my natural hair.

    • Whatever. I’m just so tired of black folks finding was to separate themselves. Telling other people what’s right for them. Telling them what they should and should not be doing to THEIR hair! I don’t relax and haven’t since 1998 but I don’t tell anyone what I think is right and healthy for them. That’s their head! Not liking your hair kinky dosent mean you want to be white in most cases. It just means you can find better things to do with your time than spend hours on your hair. Some people don’t have the patience. I just worry about my nappy head! To each his own.

    • Ways I meant

    • I didn’t say what other people should do, I didn’t say that it means you “want to be white” you can take that up with someone else. I simply said that as a community natural hair should be encouraged. Never made a statement about an individual.

  • Its just hair it grows back. You can always change your mind.

  • Of course Andrea MoonPearl Banks, you can get perms here for the low! Lol I agree to each his own..but for me, I’m good..natural it is!

  • Its just not the same , even tho I struggle with my hair. I dread doing a relaxer two or three times a year. I also hate having to use flat irons. I really feel as it I’m burning my hair. It bring me to tears more than my natural hair.

  • There is nothing wrong with having relaxed hair period. There is nothing wrong with having natural hair. There is nothing wrong with wearing weave. Hair is hair! If someone wanted to wear a live cat on top of their head I would go for it.

  • I love my hairline. No crazy Crack for me thanks.

  • It’s your hair it grows on your head. Don’t let nobody tell you what to do with it. High time we stopped judging each other when everyone else does a great job at judging us.

  • Why do we need an article telling us what we choose to do with our own head of hair is ok? Does it matter? Smh

  • “Our” point. I’m tired of having to defend others. No one should be on trial for what she chooses to do with her OWN hair. Period. The whole “you are self hating blah blah blah….but I’m just sharing my opinion” is the most serious shade. An opinion unasked for is a judgment. But….that’s just MY opinion though.

  • I cut my hair in Sep its easier in my opinion to manage relaxed hair but im gonna try and stick with natural for at least a year and see if I get better with this

  • Relaxed is boring. Just straighten it and dont put chemicals in it

  • The thing I think some folks don’t realize is some of us relaxed folks DO wanna go natural – if for no other reason than curiosity. I deeply want to try it. But when you got relaxed hair past your shoulders and it’s working for you, it’s a lot to change your entire regimen TO SEE IF MAYBE you like being natural and can afford the time commitment of it. When your hair reaches a certain length, you got a lot to loose. It’s not always a self hatred issue.

    • And actually even if it WAS self hatred, you need to help folks up, not run them down. That doesn’t help at all.

    • Stay with what’s working for you.
      Some in natural hair community are hateful an hypocrites.
      Just because you are not natural has nothing to do with self-hate.
      I see some who have natural hair and I want to dunk it in some shampoo and oil-look a mess!
      So if your relaxed hair is working for you keep it.
      Have a good day!

    • Truthfully, I am used to bone straight relaxed hair. I am only three months into my transition and I don’t believe “Natural” is for me. I was curious but now I am just frustrated. All of your points are correct. I am not interested in cutting my MBL hair. I’m trying to stick it out but I purchased a relaxer.

      • Yolanda

        Some words of encouragement…stick with “going natural” as long as you can. It takes a while to get it right. Try to remember why you decided to transition in the first place. I have been using some natural products for a while (justnaturalskincare.com) and some I just recently found (nattynaturals.com, kjnaturals.com and alikaynaturals.com-the leave-in may change your life lol). I only use all natural hair products (my skin is very sensitive so I can’t really use chemicals and synthetic products). I transitioned for the fourth and final time in my life starting Dec 2012. The second time I transitioned for 1 year and 4 months. My hair was shoulder length when I started and ended up with bra strap before I went back to texturizer. I didn’t do too much differently than when I was texturizing. I still straightened my hair when I wanted to, I did bantu knot outs, and braid outs. I still wasn’t comfortable wearing a big blowout/afro or a wash n go. If I could go back in time I would have never texturized again. I may have hair done to my waist. I noticed this time around was not as easy as the other times. But many things were different mainly I stopped using products with silicones without realizing they were protecting my hair from heat ( I don’t use silicones anymore and I rarely heat style but when I do I use natural heat protectants) and I was going through a lot of physical and emotional stress (still am). I hated the two textures and I was transitioning from texturized hair. I cut my chemical treated ends 7 months in and I did not like my frizzy, dry hair. But I stuck it out. I almost 2 years post texturizer and 1 year 3 months since I cut my ends and I am truly loving my hair because well, it’s mine. I will never go back to any chemicals (relaxers, temporary straightening treatments, color/dyes-only did twice) I am trying to be more conscious of what I put on and in my body. Good luck what ever you chose to do!

    • Exactly

    • I feel you Jenelle Toliver. Because once you reach a certain length, a lot of the time you don’t want to big chop. And dealing with two radically different textures of hair on one head can be a nightmare – and potentially lead to breakage. If you don’t wanna wear braids and weaves for a couple years, you can easily feel stuck. And who wants to go through all that effort and still maybe decide they don’t like natural or don’t have time or convenience for it?

    • Word

  • I personally do not care what any one does with their one hair but just wondering why would they after being natural. I mean most claim they went natural due to damage from the perm. well do you think the second time around no damaged.

  • I think u should care! Relaxers are NOT healthy for your hair. Think about it…u have to wear gloves to apply something to your scalp. What sense does that make?!?! Embrace your natural hair and if I want to wear it straight there are ways of doing it without relaxing.

    • She ^^^ does make a very VALID point!!…. the use of gloves…. hmmmm…. more people need to seriously wake up….

    • I mean it’s a chemical period so yea gloves would be necessary. Skin is way more susceptible to any irritation than hair. A Relaxer once or twice a year isn’t killing anyone. Most if us here wore relaxers for years and were just fine. Even if it warned “immediate death if used” on the box, if that’s ones choice, let her die happy!

    • Chemical…on the scalp…nuff said…

  • No because you go natural
    Go through all that work and eventually adapt to it

    & then the perm damages / breaks off your hair
    Ruining all that hard work

    I’m done with perms

  • Absolutely tired of seeing comments from people concerning the hair of OTHERS. The way your hair is styled and handled does not add on or take away your heritage as a black woman. Just saying.

  • One little article about relaxed hair now everyone wants a relaxer, just be HAPPY with the texture hair GOD has given you….

  • Why is it that only black woman are embarrassed about their natural hair?????

    • I always wonder the same thing too .

    • They are embarrassed because society has scrutinized just about everything that a black person has or does. That, unfortunately, leaves a bad mark. I have overheard some, not all black men, say they don’t want to be with a nappy-headed woman. That’s what is the most hurtful. Or, I have also heard some, not all black women say,’so and so can’t wear their hair natural because they don’t have the”right” hair texture’, or they say it about themselves. We have to do better about how we treat each other within our own race!

    • No one is embarrassed. Maybe they just don’t want too. I hate when people think they can speak for all black women and this is coming from a natural for over 7 years.

    • wanting to wear your hair straight is self hate, guess I should throw away my flat irons too? Since it might encourage the hate

  • Bs

  • Lies they tell us. It’s less risky going natural. Chemicals used in the relaxers are harmful to your health. Maybe a little research into these things will open your eyes and embrace your natural hair.

  • If we could just accept each others differences…hear people out and keep it pushing. I am natural and have been for 3 years now. I love my hair! Its beautiful natural and relaxed. However, I have thought about going back to a relaxer because when I get stressed, I don’t have the energy, to give my hair the attention that it needs… I want to unwrap and go. Plus, im not so creative with hair styles. I really don’t care what others do with their either but once I do research about anything, I do like to share…with that being said the decision is yours boo! Its your thing, do what you wanna do lol…aye

  • thank you for this article, it truly spoke to those it needed to.

  • How about everyone do what’s right for them and not care what others think? It’s your hair. Whatever you do to it, you have to live with it. Live for yourselves and not others.

  • I’ve done the journey twice. It doesn’t fit my schedule…plus the way my lazy is set up, I had to go back or walk around looking like a natural don’t. I love the look of natural hair but the work ain’t for me.

  • If you want to go natural that’s your choice and that’s fine I like my hair being permed and straight and that’s my choice either way your putting chemicals in your hair straight or natural at the end of the day do what makes you happy…

  • I’ve been getting perms for years. Never had any problems. My hair has always been healthy it depends on how you take care of it. I’ve wore it long. I’ve had it cut super short. It’s based on how you feel you want to wear your hair not if you’re trying to be white or give in to what the world feels you should look like. So now everyone that wants to go natural claims it takes away my heritage as a black women because I have chemicals in my hair. … really? last time I woke up I was still black and still had to fight the stereotypes we all have to face being a black woman in America. . .

    • Agree, %100!

    • You are right on point…..I sometimes have been made to feel as if those that decided to go natural consider themselves more cultural than myself but they cater almost tear the skin off their knees when a white person enters the room….unbelievable

    • It’s crazy some of the comments I read on a daily basis. I explained to one of my friends that it doesn’t fit me. Her response was it the hair God gave you. Ok cool but he also gave me perm too. I ask her when did she go natural because some of these “naturalist” haven’t had hair their whole life and just recently got some and feel the need to tell me about mine.

    • God gave you the perm??? Smh

    • To me wear your hair the way you feel like. In my country we’re lucky we don’t need to show who’s cultural or not. No one cares. And no one needs to prove anything to white people or whoever. Not much cares of your attitude, lifestyle, color or hair. Lol just be yourself

    • God provided the means to make a perm! I.e the chemicals!

    • I love natural hair. My own preference. I’ve always worn perms. Nothing wrong there. But I notice something different about my hair being natural this time. Its growing like crazy. Over time the perm weakened my sides and now I don’t have that problem. The only problem with the natural hair is I’m much more tenderheaded. Still love natural.

  • I think every one can decide what they do with they hair. I transitioned twice and I just figure out that natural hair is nothing for me. I like my hair but I am just to lazy to do my hair and it is easier for me to manage it when it is relaxed. I am relaxed now and my hair still have body and I must say it is softer then before

  • I love my natural hair but would never be the type to condemn others for relaxing. Natural is not better. Relaxing is not better. It simply is what it is. It’s your head so do what right for you. Every person that I know personally who relaxes has some of the healthiest hair I’ve seen. They take great care of their hair. So relaxing isn’t bad. It’s simply a preference. Why do these threads even exist? They cause more harm than good.

    • Thank you sis. Very well put.

    • Natural is Better….who trying to Fool.

    • Honey your head is your head. Mine is mine. And theirs is theirs. The only fool are idiots attempting to put others down.

  • To each ‘her’ own. It’s called ‘choices’ ‘perogative’ Do you!

  • Im natural because im natural..

  • I will never get another perm, but if that’s your thing, do it

  • We have always had a choice.either way at sometime you need a professional trim and conditioner.Either one can be damaging to the hair if you don’t know what you’re doing

  • I despise the word creamy crack! Come on now, “crack!” Why do we create our own racial slurs?! Smh

  • One reason, it’s your hair.

  • 10 years ago I went from natural to relaxed and the transition wasn’t that easy. I experienced a lot of hair loss. Now I’m back to my natural state. I’m staying natural. I prefer it.

  • Love both styles… I just think I’d feel like a traitor or like I’m giving in to some wild notion of ‘beauty’.. I think natural hair is beautiful, so if I wanted it straight, I’d straighten my NATURAL hair.. Why perm? What’s the point? I thought this site was about more then to perm or not to perm…more about self actualization, loving the skin God put us in and a place to share our journey with other like minded people. But this ‘Why you shouldn’t Care’..? I think you should care. A lot.

  • Hair is hair and I agree with this article. You do what you want with your hair. There are always going to be relaxers who shame unprocessed hair and naturals who shame people who relax. Do you!

  • I love my natural hair, as well as, my relaxed hair! It’s just hair…it shouldn’t define who you are!

  • Hair is hair ! Do wat u want Lol , wat ever makes u happy !

  • I loved my relaxed hair and I loved my natural hair.. relaxed hair was so much easier especially when you can wrap it and go or throw it in a pony tail.. Natural hair takes a lot of time, patience and dedication. . I started transitioning about a year ago.. It was very challenging at first because it is so much work to try to style it and go.. I didn’t have to do a big chop because i was already wearing short styles any ways so I ended up getting braids so I wouldn’t have have to faced styling my natural all the time and so I can get some length to my hair as well but to make a long story short, I’m so glad that I went natural because my hair is growing so fast.. When I had a perm, my hair was so damaged and the nape of my hair would never grow but now it is so long.. I haven’t had this much length since I’ve went natural.. I love styling my natural but I can say this, being natural is not for everyone though.. it does take dedication and patience.. So if you don’t have the time and patience then going natural is not for you.. I’m not here to say perm is bad for you because again I loved my permed hair as well but right now natural is for me.. oh before I started transitioning about a year ago, I was relaxed all my years started at age 16 and now I’m 43 and yes it was a big step for me. I do keep a cute wig handy when I don’t feel like doing my natural sometimes (lol) but most of the time, my natural is styled.. Stay beautiful my African sistas

  • Toya

    I totally love this article I think hair is hair I personally have been relaxed all my life and I looooovvee my hair and I don’t think relaxing my hair makes me hate myself or wanna be white as the writer said it’s just choosing chocolate over red velvet love this post

  • It really doesn’t matter.

  • Everybody’s hair journey is different. Who am I to judge someone for what they choose to do with their hair. It’s growing from that persons head. If she decides to relax it then that’s her decision. I can’t make somebody stay natural if they don’t want to. Plus I’m not going to put down their decision because I don’t like it. I know plenty of women with relaxed healthy and long hair. They do everything I do plus and they add a relaxer every few months. I accept everyone’s chooses.

  • Never embarrassed and not submitting to anyone’s standards don’t have to fit in I’ve worn my hair both ways and still get the love cause I am flexible and not stuck in a cultural tradition my mind is free and clear, how I decide to wear my hair shows that…

  • People are making money from these toxins they call relaxer. It’s all about the money. Nobody cares so long as they get you hooked n get their money.

  • Shaquetta Baylock