For naturals excessive heat can cause your hair to break without the proper precautions like using a heat protectants. You also ought to be getting regular protein treatments and adding moisture back into the strands often. But even with heat protectants, flat ironing and blow drying too often will lead to damaged hair. So nope, no reprieve for you ladies who think it’s ok to ‘touch up’ your hair with heat multiple times per week.
In the same way using a relaxer excessively or incorrectly can lead to dull thin breaking hair, not to mention scalp damage. We’ve all seen those disturbing pictures of women with chemical burns from relaxer right? It is important to use relaxers with the utmost of care stretching for 12+ weeks to ensure that there is plenty of new growth and so little chance of overlapping with previously processed hair. Deep treating your hair alternately with protein and moisture is also the gold standard for length retention.
So which is better, relaxer or regular heat use?
The answer is: It’s your choice but err on the side of natural hair. Bear in mind the limitations of your hair texture. If you have fine hair may not be able to handle either relaxer or regular heat without breakage in which case remaining ‘unaltered natural’ may be the only option open to you.
Why this conclusion?
If you enjoy wearing curly hair as well as straightened hair then clearly, remaining natural is the best way to go, let’s face it curly dos like braid outs look helluva better on natural hair anyway!
If on the other hand you never wear your natural hair curly, from a purely tensile strength point of view, it probably makes little difference if you decide to flat iron* periodically or go for a texlax. The problem with chemicals however is that there is a much narrower margin of error and once hair has crossed into the over-processed side, there is little you can do to prevent breakage.
I distinctly remember a thread on a forum a few years ago of a woman who had been texlaxing for years. One time, after following her usual routine to touch up, her roots got bone straight! As expected, a setback and a major haircut soon followed. You see now why I say that you should err on the side of natural hair?
Further to that, from an observational point of view, you only have to browse through youtube or blogs to see scores of women who have grown long and clearly healthy hair both via relaxers and natural with heat use. Yet the number of naturals heavily outweigh the relaxed. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying!
There you have it folks do you agree or disagree?
Originally posted 2013-02-11 15:00:34.