Toward the end of 2019 we noticed several influencers and people in the natural hair community returning to relaxers. With the whole world plunged into a crisis the surge in return to relaxers has increased even further, sparking conversations about why this might be happening.
Well, we have a few theories about why there is such a resurgence of relaxers use among people in the natural hair community. Here are our top 3 reasons why this might be happening:
1. Natural Hair Is Time Consuming
With back-to-back conference calls and virtual meetings, monitoring the little ones in their virtual classes, and generally just trying to fulfill every other role we had prior to the great reset, many of us are just about ready to return to something that feels normal.
The memories of a time when relaxers made our lives easier call to us and we feel the urge to embrace that again.
Somehow with all that we must face in normal life, the rigours of keeping up with a robust natural hair care regimen are just too demanding and too time-consuming. This is especially true when you consider that many times we have several other heads of hair to deal with as moms and caregivers. More is constantly being added to our plates but never more time.
We have had to be teachers, tech ninjas and wear various other hats at home and even at work. It is tiring and something has to give. Haircare becomes the first to suffer yet we still want to look cute. Relaxers allow some of us to create and maintain an image that says we have it all together. Without all the time devoted to your own hair care, particularly detangling sessions, more time is freed up to be mom, wife, or employee and still have some me time.
2. It’s Deeper Than Hair
Many of us have been plunged into a situation where we are considering our mortality much more than we ever have before. Owing to the crisis, many have seen such loss worldwide and some of us may even have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Some still have long-term effects that we are not certain we will ever recover from. Having to make decisions concerning our uncertain future has also plunged some of us into chronic depression.
All things considered, it is deeper than hair for some of us at this point. In fact, hair is the last thing on our minds. Somehow it being natural for the sake of it just doesn’t seem that important anymore, not when we are trying to keep our sanity, fighting an invisible threat, and constantly on edge because we feel powerless to protect those we love.
At this rate, we have bigger fish to fry, and self-preservation is key so how we wear our hair just isn’t that important anymore. In fact, from where we sit getting a relaxer gives us one less thing to worry about.
3. Been There Done That
When the natural hair movement began some were just curious to see whether it was really possible for afro-textured hair to grow long. Some were also curious to see what their natural hair looked like and if they would enjoy wearing it.
Sure many of us had achieved neck length or shoulder-length relaxed hair back in the day which may have been considered long. Yet here came a bunch of people saying mid-back and even tailbone length is possible with natural hair.
Many thought that would only be possible if you had the right genes for it. Sure that mixed chick who lucked out in the gene pool lottery can have gorgeous waves flowing down her back but a real black girl could never; or could she?
For some, it was an act of rebellion. How dare they tell us that we can never hope to have long hair as though that is reserved for only some people? This would not rest until those who said we couldn’t are made to eat their words.
Needless to say, there was a certain intrigue about the whole concept, that many just wanted to see for themselves if there was any merit to the arguments that afro-textured hair has the capacity to grow just as long as the hair of persons from other ethnicities.
Basically for some, it started out as an experiment but now that every milestone has been reached, there really is nothing left to prove.
It has been proven that black hair can grow long even while relaxed. The truth is out there and it turns out that regimen and not the texture of the hair is the key to long hair and many are just over it now.
In a manner of speaking, we came, we saw, we conquered and now we are going back.
Regardless of the category one finds themselves in, at the end of the day how you wear your hair is your choice.
One thing we were gifted with at birth was free will. At the end of the day, each one must make the choice about what suits his or her own circumstances. If you still have the zeal to continue on the natural hair journey, more power to you.
If you find you are contemplating a return to relaxers because you are barely coping, respect is still due and there is no shame in that. Do what is best for you. The rest will fall into place.