- Women Are Going Back to Relaxers
- The Reasons
- The Straight Hair Natural
- Basic Regimen for a Straight Hair Natural
- Final Thoughts
Relaxers have taken a bad rap for the last eight years. Everyone and their grandma seemed to be transitioning from relaxed to natural back in 2013. Natural hair sites and influencers flourished, the growth of the natural hair community gave rise to the trend of brands changing how they market to the black community.
Now for the past couple of years it has been evident that many have been returning to relaxers. To be honest, based on how things are looking, it will probably get more prevalent this year.
YouTuber Hairlicious shared some of the reasons why this trend has been growing and why #teamrelaxer has been making a comeback.
She cited that the return to relaxer in droves, might be attributed to the fact that women missed the sleek look. Another crucial point made is that women have become frustrated with natural hair because of how time consuming it is and because they miss effortless styling, uncomplicated routines, and the extra time that would be saved from not having to spend so much time on caring for their natural hair.
We’ve always thought that it’s a bit disingenuous to tell newly natural ladies that it’s easy and does not take much time to style or maintain natural hair when we know that it definitely isn’t the case. We have all seen this very humorous yet relatable video which shows how time consuming natural hair maintenance can be:
Given the demands on our time in a fast paced society, we can see why the pull to relaxers is so enticing. Still with all the news on increased cancer risk from using permanent hair dyes and permanent hair straighteners, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Sis, you do not have to get a relaxer. In fact perhaps you can think about becoming a straight hair natural instead of relaxing. What is a straight haired natural? No one has demonstrated that as well as YouTuber Sistawithrealhair.
Basically, a straight hair natural is one who predominantly wears their unprocessed hair in a stretched state. This means that the hair is worn straight after having it flat ironed or silk pressed.
The benefit of this is that the hair is not exposed to chemicals which permanently alter the bonds, thus minimizing any risks associated with cancer causing components which might exist in relaxers while at the same time being able to enjoy the ease that styling straight hair can bring.
Here’s the thing, a regimen for a straight hair natural will differ substantially from other regimens, specifically in the wash day routine which can be once a month instead of the usual weekly routine.
Bearing in mind that wash day with natural hair, particularly type 4 natural hair, can be time consuming especially with detangling, a reduced detangling session will be a benefit as long as the straight hair is kept moisturized for the duration of the month while your hair is straight.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the more often you put heat on your hair, the more likely it is that you will sustain heat damage which will weaken your hair in the long term. This is of course mitigated by reducing heat styling to the once-per-month routine.
- Cleanse hair once per month
- Deep condition to prepare the hair for heat styling.
- Do a silk press with products that have anti-reversion properties.
- Use an water based moisturizer on your ends every other day to keep your ends healthy and supple.
- Wrap hair at night and secure with pins and satin scarf/bonnet.
- Style throughout the month as you wish.
- Feel free to use a dry shampoo when needed and add straight clip-ins if more volume or length is desired
- Use products like witch hazel on your scalp to keep it clean and free from oils*. This has the added benefit of preventing an itchy scalp.
We are not the hair police. We have always been committed to sharing information on maintaining healthy hair, be it natural or relaxed, so this ought not to be taken as backlash for returning to relaxers.
Personally, the versatility of afro-textured hair means I can have the best of both worlds by straightening when I want and rocking a twist-out or fro the next minute so I can’t see myself with straight relaxed hair for any length of time; but I’ve never known anything but natural hair so there’s that.
At the end of the day, everyone has the right to do what they determine to be best suited to their lifestyles. At least we know that the natural hair journey has left some nuggets of wisdom as many who have returned to relaxers have a better grasp on what constitutes healthy hair care.
Many who have returned to relaxers now stretch for 12 weeks instead of the 6-8 weeks and they also take care to maintain protein-moisture balance and use bond repairing treatments like Olaplex. The natural hair journey has also allowed many to feel that they know enough about their hair and how it functions.
All we are saying is that if you are on the fence, you do not have to get a relaxer. Yes we know keeping the kinky*, curly, coily hair routine tight can be overwhelming, so if you really want to be a natural but love the straight look, you don’t have to get a relaxer because being a straight hair natural is a thing.
We want to hear from you. Have you noticed many people returning to relaxers or is it just mainly influencers? Are you contemplating going back to relaxers yourself?
See Hairlicious on YouTube explain why she believes that women are going back to relaxers here: