Is Relaxed Hair Off Trend?

Many ladies on healthy hair journeys (myself included) defend our use of wigs, ponytails, and weaves by stating they are accessories!  When some people see my real hair, especially when I remove a long-term protective style like a sew in weave or braids, they compliment it and ask incredulously why on earth I wear fake hair when I have hair often described with words such as long, healthy and/or thick.

It is usually a waste of time to attempt to explain the theory of protective styling, so instead I decide to explain my use of fake hair as an accessory.  I patiently discuss that asymmetric cuts, choppy layers, blunt bangs and different textures are wildly popular right now but that hair trends change constantly.  I don’t feel comfortable committing to drastic changes to my real hair but I like to update my look as the trends come and go.  I took part in this conversation recently (while I was wearing a very stylish bob wig by Freetress) which led me to think about my real hair.  Is relaxed hair “out”?

Allow me to take you down hairstyle memory lane and please remember I am from New Jersey so you may have called these styles different things in your region.  Do you remember fingerwaves?  Horizontal French rolls with scrunchies in the front?  Teased bangs, side ponytails with cloth holders, and the mushroom haircut? How about waterfalls?  Box braids with wooden beads on the ends?  Oooooh, and what about the fan?!  While I didn’t rock all of these hairstyles, I certainly wore my fair share and remember every one.  As the different hairstyles have come and gone – I’ve changed my look accordingly because I like to change up my look and I truly do believe hair is the ultimate accessory.


That being said an increasingly large number of black women are transitioning to natural.  Big, curly, textured, kinky hair seems to be so “in” right now and I envy every healthy head of natural hair I see.  Even wigs and weaves are mimicking natural hair more and more.  10 years ago Senegalese and kinky twists were worn by very few while now they are one of the most popular and sought after hairstyles.  Big curly and even frizzy wigs are bestsellers and new kinky textured extensions are available for sew in weaves.  I absolutely love these styles, yet I remain happily relaxed.  Is my style outdated?  Am I completely off-trend?  Do my chemically straightened locs lack edginess?

My answer is no!  All of the reasons with which I defend my use of fake hair are the exact reasons I do not consider my relaxed hair to be outdated.  I absolutely LOVE natural hair but I do not want to commit to transitioning.  To get my “natural look” fix I do twist and braid outs and my favorite wigs are big textured looks.  Straw sets require a large amount of time to complete but the results are gorgeous and mimic natural hair marvelously. Kinky twists are awesome protective styles, convenient and allow me to rock my favorite natural hairstyle (two strand twists).  If you love your relaxed hair, but are dying to participate in the natural hair look – take advantage of all of the styling options at your disposal and you can achieve the look without commitment!

Originally posted 2011-10-22 00:42:04.

About EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a self proclaimed hair care enthusiast who began her quest for long healthy hair in 2009. Her hair is relaxed and type 4b (kinky, very tightly coiled). You can find more information about Ebony and her journey on her personal blog, or her YouTube channel

About EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a self proclaimed hair care enthusiast who began her quest for long healthy hair in 2009. Her hair is relaxed and type 4b (kinky, very tightly coiled). You can find more information about Ebony and her journey on her personal blog, or her YouTube channel


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  1. Vercal Jones
    Vercal Jones

    I still relax but only every 4 months learned how to make it stretch longer my hair is healthier tried the natural state it just wasn’t for me. To each his own. Not judging anyone so don’t judge me.

  2. Rivian Jones
    Rivian Jones

    This is nothing new I been relaxing and before all these women jumped on this natural fad these were just considered hair styles. ..I was rocking the Kelis straw twist with my sew in. So yes she is absolutely right you don’t have to sacrifice your perm to rock some of these styles. Heck I was going to natural pages getting hairstyles and I wasn’t even natural. Also technically they are just hairstyles at the end of the day your hair can do whatever you want it to well mines does lol.

    1. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      No but let’s be real ALOT OF women or going natural eith unrealistic expectations just because everybody else is doing it. So natural hair and perms or not a fad we all have been doing it forever. Although now all of sudden we are all on separating sides because more ppl jump on the bandwagon.

    2. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      I believe relaxed hair is the norm now. Though natural hair is not a fad!
      I’m not sure what unrealistic expectations Rivian Jones is referring to. The “bandwagon” is simply a choice. The way relaxing was when it first started. We’re on separate sides because ppl keep referring to wearing your unprocessed hair as a fad or that ppl only make that choice because it’s what everyone else seem to be doing.

    3. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      @Tina wether you like it or not it’s what’s hot right now. Yes some women go natural because they have over processed or never took good care of the relaxed hair they have. I literally see women that go to YouTube look at a woman like Mahoganycurls and assume that’s what there natural hair is going to look like UNREALISTIC. They don’t even consider her texture has a big part to do with it. Heck I have a family member right now that has been looking at my hair I’m in transition due to my perm not taking because I am pregnant,trust I will be going to my stylist after my daughter is born to perm again. Well let me continue my hair is wavy and curly she looks at my natural texture and will ask me to do her hair. She assumes her hair will behave like mines but what she has forgotten is I have a manageable texture she has coarse and kinky hair so no I won’t be combing that. My point is majority of these women are treating natural hair like it is a fad. The 60’s Black women were proud and natural towards the 80’s and 90’s it was perms, finger waves, s curls you name it. So some od you can black power the movement you want to but it is what it is. Also I’m sure women had better things to do then bash other women for there hair choices so why women with natural hair constantly jump on post about permed hair baffles me but whatever. Heck even my own mother who is natural that has always permed my hair for me since I was a preteen is on her natural journey and refused to put a perm on my hair then got mad when my Aunt did it instead. Like I asked her why did she care so much? See stuff like that needs to stop I had to tell my own mother I’m not going natural and leave me alone with that mess.

    4. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      I understand your experiences. Bad or mismanaged perms are not the reason ppl choose to be natural. True some ppl who are new to natural hair may not understand what their personal hair options are but most ppl know their own hair type. They find styles that are suitable for them or use products that will give the look they want.
      The same experience you had with your mom is what most natural hair ppl experience at home with relatives, in the work place and from total strangers. Ppl really aren’t too accepting of nappy hair.

    5. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      @Tina Really? Because down here in Houston I’m seeing a lot of natural hair. I went natural for a year with my mom then decided it just wasn’t me plus spending all that time in my head was too much. So I went back to my safe place. Honestly I don’t care ppl need to do what works for them to each is own. I look at natural women and I compliment and vice versa the only time I see bashing is on these hair pages.

  3. Sakina Pecchillo
    Sakina Pecchillo

    I stopped relaxing my hair because it irritated my scalp constantly and my hair stopped growing. Now my scalp and hair is healthier and my hair has grown considerably. I will never knock someone for the choices they make regarding their own hair. That’s just silly.

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      Same for me. No matter what I used it burned my scalp so bad I’d have scabs for weeks. It just didn’t work but I would deal with it because I thought I had too. When I decided to stop perming it wasn’t as acceptable so got a lot of grief for it.

    2. Sakina Pecchillo
      Sakina Pecchillo

      When I told people I was going natural I received so many unnecessary comments. I kept doing what was good for me. Now those same people come to me for hair and skin advice

    3. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      A lot of ppl don’t realize but when you stop relaxing it heals your scalp and your skin. It can take years off your face.

  4. Tiffany James Steen
    Tiffany James Steen

    I think women are beautiful with what ever they choose for their hair. Just keep it health and so you…no judgements. .

  5. Jamila Kelly
    Jamila Kelly

    I relax my haIr. It’s healthy and nice plus I hate my natural texture, too much a hassle

    1. Asia Hall
      Asia Hall

      Incorrect. Relaxers are NOT healthy there are chemicals in it idk who told you that perms were healthy. Keratin treatments are healthy

  6. Debra Manora
    Debra Manora

    People don’t like relaxed hair but they still wear straight weaves and straighten their hair temporarily lol.

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      That’s very true. Some ppl just can’t commit to natural hair. They will brag that they’re natural but you never see it because they sew in weave over it so as not to deal with it and keep that permed look.

    2. Shinita Payton
      Shinita Payton

      A lot of people don’t have anything against relaxed hair. Having straightened hair was never the problem. It’s the relaxer itself that’s the problem. They are so dangerous.

    3. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      Hair color can be toxic, shampoos can be toxic, other chemicals in sprays and gels can be toxic. Weaves can be damaging. So, to me there’s not much difference in those and relaxers.

  7. Theresa Marie Bryant
    Theresa Marie Bryant

    Honestly from my experience with going back and forth between natural and relaxed hair at least 5 times I find my natural hair to be much more fascinating and interesting and I always miss it whenever I try relaxed again. My goal now is healthy long natural hair and I’m enjoying watching it grow and learning how to take care of it.

  8. Phoenix McGee
    Phoenix McGee

    I’m sick of this natural fad. One thing that works for one person is not guaranteed to work for another. A woman should be able to wear her hair one way or another without someone sticking her nose in the air. Unnecessary tension and a whole lot of noise about nothing.

    1. Phoenix McGee
      Phoenix McGee

      Mmm..yeah I can see that, its just annoying because of the major popularity boost has caused some people to treat it so, hence unnecessary attitudes and strife.

    2. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      I just don’t understand why some natural women care so much that your not natural are if you say it doesn’t work for everybody. My gosh is it hurting you lol. I agree with you. Phoenix McGee

    3. Phoenix McGee
      Phoenix McGee

      Lol I can’t fathom it; I’ve been “natural” all my life and I wished a perm could end my struggles as a girl. I certainly don’t make a lot of noise about being natural.

    4. Fefe Fanta Fonzerelli
      Fefe Fanta Fonzerelli

      How can something that NATURAL takes its shape from the beginning of time…be qualified as a “fad”. Long before perm was even INVENTED females were growing their unadulterated curls. WOOW she said FAD though…

    5. Tamara Perkins
      Tamara Perkins

      I think people need to focus on having healthy hair, period..folks take stuff to the extreme and cause YET ANOTHER division for black this and team that..Natural hair nazi’s attacking relaxed ladies and thinking because now that they’re natural they know everything and wanna condemn relaxed ladies…when everybody should be TEAM-> “do whatever you want to your hair but lets keep it healthy”…for some ppl it is a FAD, they’re jumping on a bandwagon because they see ppl with certain curl patterns and think their hair is gonna look the same…then when the novelty of natural hair wears off they slap in that straight textured weave/wig real quick…lets agree to educate black women on healthy hair no matter if your natural or relaxed and call it a day.

    6. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      I think ppl who choose to be natural are very defensive. Usually when they make that choice they get a lot of negative feed back. Like “why are you doing that”, “you need to comb your hair” or “why you walking round with nappy hair”. So they tend to reverse the negativity. Comments like it’s just a fad can be seen as negative also. Yes since relaxed was invented most black women have chosen to use it and that won’t change. However I’ve been natural the better half of my life so i don’t see it as a fad. Just because someone is just making that choice doesn’t mean it’s a fad. Someone most likely said the same about relaxer when it started.

    1. Blaque Chyna
      Blaque Chyna

      It’s where they use a blow dryer with the diffuser and a round brush to get your hair practically bone straight. When they do it on mine my hair feels so light. It’s best to get it deep conditioned first. YouTube has videos.

  9. Shonda Blount
    Shonda Blount

    I can’t hate on anyone for doing what works for her. Natural works for ME. Forget trends. Do what works for you. Case closed.

  10. Ashanti Get Elevated Humphrey
    Ashanti Get Elevated Humphrey

    Trend? Smh. That implies that natural hair is On trend. Which its not. It’s a powerful statement and Personal choice for any time or season. Do what speaks to You. Live above the fray.

  11. Norita Linda
    Norita Linda

    Yes, a lot of us have been rehabbed off of the creamy crack… When we feel we are in the mood for straight hair, we just get a good blow dry and it looks just as straight.

  12. Felicia Hamilton
    Felicia Hamilton

    I feel like if you can’t take care of your natural hair… how are you going to take care of processed hair. Once you add chemical it now takes double the effort to keep it healthy, which is why many peoples hair end up damaged. They think because its easily managable it takes less maintenance.

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      It actually does take less maintenance than natural hair. Because it’s processed doesn’t mean its automatically unhealthy. There are many naturals with unhealthy hair. Sometimes it’s because they can’t commit and wear weaves which damages their hair and edges.

    2. Marie Itaintovatilitsova Townsend
      Marie Itaintovatilitsova Townsend

      Tina, My natural hair doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. You Can’t defend something based off of your personal experience. A relaxer may have been easier for u to maintain, but I relaxed my hair once and the maintenance of trying to keep it up was awful for me. So I guess, depending on the hair type, to each their own

    3. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      Hair type is irrelevant. Marie Itaintovatilitsova Townsend. Your lack of knowledge about relaxers is not. Ppl have been using relaxers for generations because they’ve made their hair more manageable. Idk how much natural hair you’ve actually styled but most ppl I’ve seen with natural hair have difficulty with maintenance. Some ppl have to redo their hair everyday as opposed to just unwrapping it. Washing also presents a problem because the more you have the longer it takes to air dry. Detangling is also a long process when you have a lot of hair.
      My experience with relaxers are no different than most….Ppl get them for the convenience and style choices.

    4. Shāy Ponts
      Shāy Ponts

      Thank you, Tina!! I’m tired of this never-ending debate that seems to occur between ladies who are relaxed and ladies who are natural. Willie Lynch is laughing in his grave at us because his tactics are still working, although he has been deceased for ages. Smh at this sadness because one lady’s personal choice should not affect others so much, unless there are deeper issues not being addressed.

  13. Taleatha Scott
    Taleatha Scott

    Women going natural is a trend ? I didn’t know the hair that grew out of your scalp could be so lol… guess women getting a relaxers was once some type of trend too lol anyways gosh ladies just do what is best for you. Simple

  14. Angela Fowler
    Angela Fowler

    I wear my natural kinky hair. Although I love it, I don’t look down upon anybody else’s choice of hairstyles. Nor am I mad at them for wearing theirs relaxed. I don’t understand the hate of natural hair? I also take offense that wearing natural hair is a fad. How can anything growing naturally from your scalp be a “trendy” thing???

  15. Chauncey Wilson-Hall
    Chauncey Wilson-Hall

    If I would like to straight heb my hair I would get a Dominican blow out before a perm. Anything that can chew up a coke can will not be on my scalp.

    1. Rivian Jones
      Rivian Jones

      If you drink coke honey you are doing just as bad it eats through erosion on a battery. There a lot of unhealthy things ppl do.

    2. Chauncey Wilson-Hall
      Chauncey Wilson-Hall

      Only drink water, and herbal tea. I never was a big fan of soda because my mother never allowed us to drink it until we were nearly teenage.

  16. Cydney Tarkington
    Cydney Tarkington

    How is natural hair a trend? Everyone is born natural either we or our parents decide to change that with chemicals

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      It’s a trend because most ppl choose to relax the natural hair that grows from their scalp. Since perms were introduced to black ppl it’s what we have preferred for whatever the reason.
      Not perming your hair has only become a choice for ppl in the past decade or even less for a lot of ppl. So in that sense it is a trend.

  17. Tamura D Alston
    Tamura D Alston

    As a stylist ….people still relax their hair …..natural aint for everybody …..their are alot of naturals that are natural because it is a trend.

  18. Shay Joseph
    Shay Joseph

    No it isn’t because there is still a great amount of people relaxing their hair…as it works better for them

  19. Raquel Jacquelyn Prescott
    Raquel Jacquelyn Prescott

    I personally believe relaxed hair still is considered “black hair care”. I consider it another way we can do our hair. Is it for everyone? No. Is bleaching or dying for everyone? No but people seem to have less of a judgmental opinion on it.

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      Yeah I do too. I’ve been natural for over 15 years but I still fight the urge to perm. Permed hair looks really nice sometimes. Probably why so many naturals wear weaves. They like it too.

    2. Tana Hickman
      Tana Hickman

      Yes! Imma relax my hair and others til the end of time. I’m all for freedom of choice. Being a licensed cosmetologist I see all kinds of hair and some need them chemicals lol

  20. Teresa Page
    Teresa Page

    In a natural state right now but I have nothing against perms I just needed a break.

  21. Nette Young
    Nette Young

    Oh, people are still relaxing. Some of your favorite naturals on YouTube have texturizes.

  22. Holli Griggs
    Holli Griggs

    I dont what kind of perm ppl are using that “damages” their hair. My hair is healthy, full, bouncy & relax every 2 months. AND I use a cheap box perm from Dollar General. I just dont get it. But anywho, to each his own 🙂

  23. Holli Griggs
    Holli Griggs

    I dont know what kind of perm ppl are using that “damages” their hair. My hair is healthy, full, bouncy & I relax every 2 months & trim each time I relax, it grows quickly too. AND I use a cheap box perm from Dollar General. I just dont get it. But anywho, to each his own 🙂

    1. Tina Waters
      Tina Waters

      Relaxed isn’t damaging to most ppls hair. I’ve seen just as much damaged natural hair as permed hair. I think ppl can choose either without bashing the other. I think natural hair ppl get too defensive about their choice. Especially those who’ve only been natural for 5 years or less.

  24. Denita Cobb
    Denita Cobb

    I’m trying the Natural way but I’m not going talk bad about relaxers because I used it. I’m even using all natural hair products.

  25. Monica Thornton-Anderson
    Monica Thornton-Anderson

    yes…being proud of who you are and what God gave you, having enough pride and self confidence to ROCK your own nappy hair….#Priceless

  26. Danielle Jeter
    Danielle Jeter

    I went back to relaxing. Going natural is true dedication & I didn’t have the patience to transition.

  27. Tina Waters
    Tina Waters

    No relaxed hair isn’t “off trend”. Ppl have been relaxing their hair for generations and many will continue to do so for generations. I don’t see natural hair as a trend though. My aunt is 60ish and hasn’t ever had a relaxer she like a lot of women just straighten their natatural hair.
    Some ppl can’t style their natural hair but some ppl can’t style their relaxed hair either. I’ve seen plenty of healthy relaxed hair and just as much unhealthy natural hair and vice versa.
    Relaxed hair isn’t going anywhere. I don’t however see a weave as being a “protective” style but ppl use that term loosely. It’s harsh on both natural and permed hair.

  28. Theresa Thomas
    Theresa Thomas

    I received my first relaxer at the age of 16. I have continued this process unit my current age of mid 40’s. My hair was healthy and long. I decided to go natural since July 2014. My reason was even though my hair was beautiful it never dawned on me that I was experiencing an allergic reaction due to the fact that my scalp would constantly burn whenever I get one. It didn’t matter if I didn’t manipulate my hair or scalp or even if I pre treated it with salve it burn. Lye no lye it still burned. This decision to go natural was a painful one to say the least because I continued to endure just because I didn’t think I could really manage a different hair texture. I am currently free from pain and I am learning that it is truly your choice to make no one else can choose for you. My hair is still healthy and long and I feel great about decision I made. No judgement please this is my own personal hair story.

  29. Sivon Lockhart
    Sivon Lockhart

    Nope! I just relaxed my hair this morning. I think relaxed styles compliment me better, I’m far from insecure about my natural texture.

  30. Whitney J Alao

    I think so, 10 yrs ago natural hair was an exception to the rule. now women are natural af, straight hair is a style choice instead of a default

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