Relaxed and Proud

There always seems to be a battle on relaxed hair versus natural hair. But it's not that serious. I relax my hair. My preference. My prerogative.

Relaxed Hair vs Natural Hair

I relax my hair. Yup, I said it. My preference. My prerogative. There always seems to be a battle on relaxed hair versus natural hair, but in my opinionΒ it’s just not that serious. For those who may not know, relaxing is the straightening of hair by chemical process where as natural hair is not using chemicals and wearing your hair with it’s natural texture.Β  People say that going natural is better since the chemicals in the relaxers aren’t good for your hair and can cause breakage and damage. This may be true, however going natural can be just as bad for your hair if you do not know what you are doing.

I tried going natural and transitioning was the worse. I tried to transition with a sew in weave and it was so hard dealing with the two different textures. No matter what I did my hair was breaking off badly at the demarcation line, the line where the two textures met. I tried to balance protein and moisture, minimize heat, stay out of my head. Nope, didn’t work for me. My other option was to do a big chop ( chop off all of my relaxed hair) and I was not ready for that. No way. So I quit.

They also say that if you relax your hair you are trying to be “fake”and not embrace your natural roots. Well let me tell you, trust this is far from my case. I relax my hair because it is easier for me to manage. My hair texture is like 4B to the 10th power lol. Ok ok I am probably exaggerating. But it is hell for me to deal with. I do not have the time nor energy to deal with it, and with my current cut it is definitely a no go. So I relax. So what. My preference. My prerogative.

This post is not to argue about what is better, relaxed hair or natural hair. But just to point out that I am relaxed and why. So please don’t bombard me with the “you should go natural because” comments. I will go down that road IF and WHEN I’m ready.

Update: I eventually went down that road.

Do you have relaxed hair, or natural. Why?

100 Responses

  1. I’m natural but ya know? It is just hair. Take care of it either way and it’ll grow back. Not even serious and your hair is always cute.

  2. I have done it all but natural… I am trying to go natural now.. I have very fine, baby soft hair and it actually looked pretty ok after I braided/twisted it and took it out..Coconut oil worked wonders. I loved not having to pull it back, I have a very sensitive always seems to hurt for whatever reason.. I loved being free and feeling funky with my tendrils out.. I say.. rock what works for you, I NEVER judge.

  3. At this time, natural is just not for me, so…relaxer all the way! Tried it before (when I had long hair extensions), but it did not work out.

    And for the record, that debate needs to end. Being fake? Really? Just let people do what they do, relaxer or not.

  4. Im with you I tried going natural few years ago and I couldnt take it.. My hair breaks off if I go to long w/o realxing it.. And I couldnt deal with the shedding and the sore head from relaxer withdrawals lol.. So do you have a particular regimen for relaxed hair that you follow? I just did my first sew in it came out alright however I dont like it so im taking it down to redo over. Im trying to grow my hair out to a certain length so im trying to do sew ins to help protect my hair from styling so trying to figure out best regimen to stick too.

    Thanks great post as always,


    1. I am going to post my hair regimen soon but my main thing is keeping my hair clean, deep conditioned and trimmed. I relax more often then when my hair was longer to maintain my style, the nape and edges like every two weeks and the entire head like every 5-6 weeks. I usually wash my hair once a week and deep condition it. I switch between moisture and protein deep conditioners as needed for balance. I also try not to apply too much product to avoid build up and once I wash and curl if necessary, I don’t apply much during the week except for some oil sheen every other day, hairspray when I need it and ElastaQP Glaze or ORS Olive Oil Edge Control to maintain my nape.

      When I wore sew ins I washed and deep conditioned every 2-3 weeks with the hair in and sat under the dryer to dry completely.

  5. My preference is wearing wigs and keeping my nappy (opps meant natural) hair braided underneath my wigs. On another note, how did you get so many followers, what’s the secret?

    1. lol at nappy

      Now about getting followers…
      1.Post good content and interact with and comment on other blogs that interest you. You build relationships and generate traffic to your own blog.
      2.Make your presence known on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
      3.Host a giveaway or contest here and there to show your readers your appreciation for the support but don’t do this just to gain followers as some people will follow you just to enter your giveaway and you will never see them interact unless you are hosting one.
      4. In some kind of way incorporate a survey to see what types of post interest your readers more, interesting topics of discussion will keep them coming back
      5. Be patient. It takes time. I’ve been in the game for two years already. When I moved from Blogger to WordPress, it threw me off a bit because I screwed up my feed. Even though I still had all of my followers visually, a lot of them still don’t receive my updates so it is like they are not even there. Although it sucks, it was only no more than about 200 or so and I’ve gained more followers since.

      These are just a few suggestions, maybe I should do a post on this πŸ™‚

  6. I sooo agree with this post. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal and I definitely don’t down my relaxed friends because they aren’t natural.

    I’m natural but it’s a choice. I have fine hair and relaxers always burned my scalp really bad. My hair was always curly, even after a fresh relaxer, so eventually I just stopped getting them. I did the big chop and have enjoyed the process of growing out my hair.

    I made a decision that was the best for me. Keyword: me. Going natural is definitely not for everybody and I tell people that all the time.

  7. Hey girl,

    I am natural. But I’m not one of those naturals who believes in pushing my beliefs and benefits of natural hair on other people. Its not for everyone. It takes commitment and dedication and sometimes I dream of the days when I used the creamy crack. LOL I never did the BC either because I didn’t want to lose the length in my hair and my hair is down my back now. The transition part is the worst. But like I said, I don’t think its for everyone and I hate the “naturals” who tried to force people into giving up relaxers. Unless a person’s hair is severely breaking off, its not that serious. To each his own.

    1. Yes, that is my thing. People who try to force their opinion on others. Can’t stand it. Key words, to each his own. Your hair is gorgeous girl. I love it and you always keep it so cute!

  8. So glad you said it. I use a relaxer and have no desire to go natural. I find that you have to put in just as much work to go natural just the same as if you had a perm. To me, you have to do what works for you. Relaxed is easier for me to manage and works for my lifestyle. I believe in conditioning and using all the proper styling and haircare products to keep my relaxed hair healthy.

    Great post.

    1. Thank you. That is so true, whether natural or relaxed it takes a lot of work to maintain, and you have to take good care of your hair to keep it healthy. If not you will end up bald bottom line!

  9. I love this post. I’m relaxed and I too stopped relaxing my hair for about a year a few years ago. That was before I heard all this hype about natural hair and how everyone thinks it’s the best thing to do. There’s nothing wrong with natural hair but it’s not for me. I’m low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I like to comb down my wrap and go. Natural hair takes too long to do and care for. Not only that I think I would be doing more damage to my hair in a natural state than relaxed because I like my hair straight and I would apply too much heat to my hair.

    1. Same here. I am a wrap and go girl as well. I don’t even curl my short cut as much now since the front has grown out, I take 5 minutes to comb it down and I am ready to go. My makeup takes way longer than my hair. If my hair was natural I would probably burn it out with the straightening comb and flat iron trying to wear it straight! lol

  10. I’m natural as well. & I’m tired of folks causing drama over the choices people make. It’s their hair, their life & not that serious! It’s sad that there are people out there trying to divide a group of people within a group. We don’t need a subgroup. We have a hard time coming together as it is. It’s so sad. But I agree! Going natural isn’t for everyone. I actually adore those who do relax their hair & have healthy hair from it. You have to take care of relax hair just as much as you need to take care of natural hair.

    1. Amen about the sub groups, especially with women of color. We are divided enough and don’t need to create another division because of hair preference. Some people treat hair texture like some sort of class system smh.

  11. I’m natural, and I went natural because I was tired of trying to keep up with putting relaxers on my head. Does it mean Im against relaxing the hair? No! It’s just not for me. I don’t bash anyone who has relaxed and/or straight hair, because its that persons hair. I say do you, and do what makes you happy!

    1. I can totally see this. I relax my own hair but when I used to go to the salon, at times it was hard to keep up. I didn’t have the time to sit at the Dominicans all day waiting and I would end up stretching because of this.

  12. OMG!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST!!!! Girl I wanna give you a hug. I’m so sick of this “natural hair” phenomenon. First of all there are more serious things to care about than hair. I am relaxed and proud as well. Some (not all) people who have or are in the process of transitioning look at you as if you’re injecting heroin into your veins because you have a relazer. I prefer my hair relaxed – PERIOD. I have very fine baby hair and when there is no perm in it, it’s too much to deal with and I prefer a manicured look to my hair. I just don’t understand why its such a big deal now. It is the way hair grows out of your scalp, its nothing new or that deep about it. Just my thoughts. To each his own.

    7eventh Letter

    1. lol at injecting heroin, but this is so true. I find those to be newly natural to be most judgemental, like they weren’t still on the creamy crack a few months ago. I tell them good for you that you are going natural but that has nothing to do with me. Clap for them and whip out my Mizani πŸ˜‰

  13. I am relaxed and loving it. It is easy for me and I love the look of straight hair. I am not sure who made the rule that the way you embrace ur roots is by being natural….but uhhhhh…well I guess I will be a nonembracing relaxed addict. Lol lol At the end of the day everyone has to do what suits their taste. Keep on relaxing girl. If you ever decide to go back to natural that would be, like you said, your choice and if not, it is still your choice.

  14. Im pressed and loving it. I have natural 3B hair which works when I miss my standing 2 week appointments but in reality it takes entirely too long to do in the mornings. Im a lazy beauty addict, aka I dont wrap my hair at night, I just sleep! I comb in the car and go. Natural for me takes an additional 25 minutes in the morning, time I prefer to donate to the snooze button lol.

  15. I am relaxed and proud!!! My hair is past shoulder length healthy and long thanks to weaves and low maintenance protective styles. I was natural all my life before college and let me tell you. Thick long hair + tenderhead + natural is NOT the bizness. Relaxers are the best thing that ever happened to me and I tell anyone with proper maintenance ANY hair can and WILL grow. I get SICK of people acting like natural hair is a freaking religion!!!! Get over it!!!

  16. i’m relaxed transitioning to natural… if i don’t like being natural i have no problems w/being relaxed… seriously of all the things blk women need to worry about being relaxed vs natural doesn’t even make the list… and even as a natural i will continue to wear my hair straight, so what… am i still not being real? And for those who say when you’re relaxed you’re trying to be or look white… well even when i was bone-straight relaxed my hair never, ever looked like a white persons’ hair.

    1. Two different “breeds” of hair, and totally different textures. All the relaxers and perms in the world will not make our hair look or feel the same as that of a caucasian woman. That goes for mixed woman as well.

  17. I’m natural, but I love to wear weaves and wigs and like you said its my business!! I love the fact that I can change up my hair on a whim and it drives me crazy when people question my hair choices!!

  18. Hey E! Wonderful post!
    I am currently natural. I wear my short hair braided underneath my wigs. I was BSL b4 I bigchopped for the 3rd x. I couldn’t deal w/ the different textures. It was a hassle. I feel liberated w/ just 1 texture. Either I was going to relax or chop. LOL So yeah. My relaxers really need to be touched up frequently for me to retain length & not have as much shedding. I wasn’t able to retain as much length as I wanted by stretching my relaxers. The ends were garbage. I am excited about locking my hair. I plan to do it soon, so look out for that post girlie! :O) I don’t like the hair battle. It drives me nuts. LOL I’ve been both relaxed & natural & love both styles on me. Laters.

  19. Girl do your THING ok! It’s YOUR hair…

    I dont understand the whole natural/relaxed thing. Its so divided. People shoul dbe able to rock their hair the way THEY want to because if at ANY point I decide to go get a relaxer again, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

    Judging from your other posts, your hair looks fabulous and healthy and that’s all that matters!

    p.s. I’ve been to your blog only a few times but this is my first time commenting! I really like your content! πŸ™‚

    1. Firstly, thank you so much for your support and feedback. I am glad that you like my content. Please don’t be a stranger πŸ™‚

      Now my hair is pretty healthy. It has it’s ups and downs but I learned that my hair responds best to me taking care of it myself, and I don’t really let anyone else put their hands in my head.

      This natural vs relaxed debate is definitely tired and worn out. Before it was weave vs “real” hair. What next, shaved heads vs long hair?!! Lol #Ican’t

  20. I’m currently transitioning from relaxed to natural because my hair hasn’t been responding well to relaxers for some time. To each their own and at the end of the day a healthy head of hair is whats important. I know plenty of girls with healthy relaxed hair. It’s just hair! I think people need to pick and choose their battles. And your hair is fierce!

  21. As you know of course I am natural but I never judge peopel who relax..hell I did it from the time I was 5 until I was 28. As long as your hair looks good an healthy then its all good!!! And you be killing that short hair cut. When I met you you had the weave and when you cut your hair I was like..OMG this is the look for her!!

    Do you hun!!! (facseplashmkp)

    1. lol thanks girl, that is definitely the “response” I was going for. I change my hair so much and was looking for the perfect hairstyle to match my personal sense of style, and the short cut hit it on the money. Anyway, you are totally right. As long as your hair is healthy that is all that matters! πŸ™‚

  22. as you know i’m locked… but i just got tired of fighting my hair, trying to make it something it wasn’t.. straight… and it was hard for me to keep it healthy. i always wanted to loc anyway so i just did it. i also locked because the loose natural was a rough life for me as well lol…i don’t care how others wear their hair.. but i’m not going to say i brush off all comments and sentiments regarding the natural vs relaxed issues. like you said it’s your prerogative and preference, but for someone like my little sister i want her to know she’s beautiful with the hair naturally given to her as well as some she might have bought and put in her head πŸ˜‰

    1. You are right. It is very important to teach the youngins to love the hair growing from their head, as well as let them know that it is ok to wear weaves, relaxers or whatever they choose. Freedom of choice. I actually believe that the younger generation of today is to a certain degree less influenced on what other people have to say about their hair and care more about what the like. My babysitter’s teen daughter wears a pink weave, yes completely pink because she loves Nicki Minaj. She could care less what other people thinks. I see colorful braids and weaves down to the bootie cheeks in random colors every day lol. My own little sis will throw some blonde and red weave in her hair in a hot minute. They are a bit more free spirited. However this is not to say that they are not influenced at all as I do see a lot of younger women/teens going natural, big chopping and locking it up as well. Only if a lot of the “grown” women could be as open minded.

      Anyway Kia girl, I love your locs and they frame your face perfectly! πŸ™‚

  23. I’m natural and have been for almost 15 years now, and let me tell you… I am NOT A NATURAL NAZI!! I get SOOO embarrassed when “Natural Nazi’s” go IN on people who relax their hair! Its damn near a form of racism! I feel that some naturals, not all… SOME… have an elitist attitude and act like they’re better than relaxed women. It pisses me off and I skeeve when I watch them pass their judgement.

    I went natural because one day a stylist said to me, “You know… you really don’t need a perm, let it grow out and see what your curls can do.” I was intrigued! I had a perm for as long as I could remember, but I loved to switch things up. So I went for it! And loved it! But I’m not gonna lie… its not easy to manage… its harder! But its not for everyone! In all honesty I can’t wait for winter to roll around – I wear it straight the whole time! lol

    In the end, its hair! So do you boo! Its perm… not heroin!

    1. I love this type of attitude and great story. I’m impressed that the stylist actually encouraged you to go natural. You know they push that creamy crack like heroin for the almighty dollar! Lol πŸ™‚

  24. LOL! You are so funny! You have a pic with the perm in your hair! It is just hair! Natural hair is too much work for me! Btw, my hair is natural underneath this wig, but a sista will be texlaxing in a couple of months when I’m ready to wear my hair. I don’t think it’s a big deal and I hate this better than attitude that a lot of natural sistas have. It’s not that serious.

  25. I love this! I hate when ppl judge me because of my choices. I was natural for 4 years..I hated it. Everyone has their preference.


    Just kidding…lol. I went natural and now I’m over my hair so I’m getting a weave soon…lol. I miss my straight hair but know I don’t want to relax it because then the second I do that, I’ll want to be natural again…lol. I can’t wait until my hair gets longer. I liked my hair straight, but I HATED how relaxers would make my hair so damn flat (and my head is big…lol) for like two weeks after a touch-up. I switched to PhytoRelaxer about a year before I went natural and loved it because it straightened my hair without the flatness, but I still was craving going natural.

    What I cannot wait for is when my hair is long enough to have the epic natural hair flat-iron/blow-out. Like June Ambrose’s hair. She doesn’t relax but goes to the salon for weekly blow-outs. That’s what I want…lol

    1. Girl you had me for a minute lol. I know what you mean about the flat hair after a fresh relaxer. I used to have that problem when my hair was longer, it would be flat and limp unless I got a roller set and not let them blow out the curls. Since I’ve switched to the Motions Butter Blends I don’t have that problem much, but I’ve heard great things about PhytoRelaxer.

      I loved your hair straight and love it as a natural as well. The curls look so cute on you and bring out your features, especially your eyes. I love when people switch it up with their hair so I can’t wait to see the weave. Oh and yes June Ambroise has lovely hair and she kills a turban. You should try the turban look and post it πŸ™‚

      1. Haha! Yes, flat hair suuuucks on a big head like mine…lol.

        That Motions Butter Blends sounds nice! Wish I knew about it before I was forking over $60 every 3-4 months for PhytoRelaxer (just for the kit and then paying to get my hair done)…lol.

        And I tried the turban look in the privacy of my home and got more “Aunt Jemima”-chic than stylish fashionista…lol.

        1. Yeah I pay about $20 for the smaller tub of motions and it lasts me forever and I relax my own hair so no paying the hairdresser.

          LOL @ Aunt Jemima. I am going to have to try the turban look although I will probably get the same results πŸ™‚

  27. I love you so much for this post! I don’t understand why certain people concern themselves so much with what other people want to do to their hair. As long as you feel happy, I believe that anybody should do whatever they want to do w/ their hair. Hair is dead material anyway so it’s really not that serious.

  28. Relaxed or natural. I don’t care as long as people use healthy practices, which is why I’m commenting, aren’t you only supposed to relax your new growth? It looks like you have your relaxer extended way past the growth point.

    1. Yup, you are only supposed to relax your new growth. I put the relaxer on my roots only but when smoothing it out it does sometimes over lap the relaxed hair. However I put oil and a pre-treatment on my relaxed hair before putting in the relaxer to protect it from being processed again.

  29. I’m relaxed however I’m currently transitioning. I currently have a sew-in (with a bit of my real hair left out at the front for a side parting) and I don’t know about anyone else but gradually seeing my hair return back to its tight curls gets me so excited! I haven’t relaxed my hair for about 4 months now and i’ve been upping up on coconut, shea and sweet almond oils for moisture.

  30. That sounds like a nice mixture for a Moisturizer. I am going to have to try that, maybe I will use it for my hot oil treatments. Thanks!

  31. Well I have been natural for one year now and let me tell you that more often than not I want to go back to perming my hair lol. I love your style. I few yera back I got that hair style and I loved it. For me perming my hair has to do with being able to manage my hair. Natural hair is A LOT OF WORK! I think women of color need to stop judging other women based on how they want to wear their hair. There is always something. If we worry more about our own heads there wouldn’t be so much conflict. Anyways keep doing you cause you look FABULOUS ; )

  32. You sound defensive. If it’s a choice that you’re proud of then why get annoyed enough to write a whole blog explaining yourself? If it’s just hair then live your life like you seem to be doing.

    1. Not defensive, just stating that I am relaxed and why I choose to relax. This is a beauty and fashion blog and relaxed vs natural hair is a popular topic in the beauty world and that is why I wrote about it. The only thing that annoys me is when naturals are pushy and look down on those who relax and I would feel the same if it were vice versa… But quite frankly if I did take a defensive tone or if it’s something that annoyed me enough to write about it, this is my blog and this would be the outlet to do that. So I do not see the problem. Oh and trust I am living my life like I been and will continue to do so. Thanks.

  33. I’ve had my locs for a little over three years and I love them. My hair is healthy and full, which is something I could never accomplish with a relaxer.

  34. It is all about preference. You can have natural hair that is not healthy and relaxed hair that is and vice versa. I am not sure who the “they” are you reference in your post but I say, and think, all the divisiveness must stop. Seriously. I don’t like generalizations and avoid painting people with a broad stroke putting them all into one category. I am natural. I have done it all, from natural to locs to weaves and braids to natural again. I love changing my hair. I am getting ready to have a weave, wavy hair, installed later this month. At the end of the day we are all grown women and what we do to our individual heads of hair is each person’s own business. One of my favorite hair sites is The Anti Hair Slave, which is a blog by a woman who is relaxed but promotes healthy hair. Her tips and some products she uses/recommends are the same products that some with natural hair promote. A lot of African American hair tends to be dry and fine and must be treated with care, whether relaxed or natural. I say, do you. Your hair looks good too by the way. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Thank you and thanks for adding your 2 cents. When I refer to they, I mean the people that tend to go back and forth on this topic on blogs, hair forums etc. with strong opinions, and no matter what feel that they are 100% correct and their opinion is right or better. I agree, to each it’s own and I could really care less what the next woman does to her hair, her business. As a beauty blogger however, I will give hair tips to the general consensus and anyone can take it how they see fit and utilize it or not. What works for me won’t always work for the next person. (If only everyone thought like that lol)

      Anyway, I am going to check out The anti Hair Slave. Thanks for the recommendation hon!

  35. I have been natural for 5 years and I want to relax my hair. Natural hair does take LOTS of time and patience. And I really don’t feel like putting in all of that for it right now. Detangle, wash, condition, detangle, twist, style… knots, tangles, breakage from tangles. Ugh. But honestly, I feel bad for not wanting to deal with my natural hair. Like all these natural Nazis make you feel low because you choose what’s easier for you to manage.
    I want a change. I want straight hair, but I’m afraid.

  36. I am natural and pretty happy with it. I grew up with perms and was happy with those as well, even though for a long time I struggled to grow a healthy head of hair and had breakage and such. I decided to stop perming and foung THE BOMB hairdresser that could press to death. With kinky twists in summer because I sweat in my hair, and press with a good hairdresser in the summer, I had health and growth. I had to cut if off though due to illness so have been wearing it short and natural since. To each his own; I had some good hair days with perm (texture changed and it started to thin) and some BAD days and am still finding my way with textured styles on shorter hair. You have to do you and I do, despite what family and friends think is their business about MY head, lol.

  37. corrections: press in winter and fall, kinky twists in winter…I haven’t had a perm in about 6 years and am okay with it.

    1. Lol I hear you girl. I see you’ve tried many different things with your hair. Glad that you found something that works for you! πŸ™‚

  38. Im natural after transitioning from texlaxed hair. I did so with the help of weaves. My first attempt failed, because as you mentioned its work dealing with to different textures. But let me just say that not every natural is part of the natural nazi crew! LOL! I really dont understand what the debate is all about. I think we (African American) women need to spend more time focusing on better supporting each other and embracing the differences amongst us.
    BTW I absolutely love you and your blog!! Its a joy to read! Take care!!

  39. Hello, I just wanted to say I love your website. I’ve been natural for 1 year. I love it! If you want to put perms on your head that’s your business. I did it for 45 years. Do what you want to do! I also agree with TG above. Took the words right out of my mouth.

    Thanks again!

  40. Do you girlie. Your hair looks very healthy and if relaxed hair works for you please enjoy your relaxed hair by all means. Your post makes a lot of sense to me. There are too many nosy natural hair police out there, it’s a shame.

  41. I say do you. I’m natural because my hair is fine and thin, so relaxers are a no go for me. I wont have any hair and it doesn’t matter how long I stretch my relaxer. I’ve never had any good experience with relaxers, but to each is its own

  42. I’m currently natural and live in hot Houston I’ve only been natural for 8 months but I’m finding my self wanting to go back to the creamy crack and extra black hair. Im from the north and I wore short perked hair. Both styles are beautiful even though natural is cheaper for me and a quick get up and go I miss short straight hair. I’m caught in between a rock and a hard place lol

    1. I can imagine your pain. When I tried to go natural and when I stretch my relaxers I have the hardest time when it’s really hot. As soon as I sweat my hair poofs up bad. When I was wearing weave to transition my hair would swell on top and I had to put so much stuff on it to keep it down and blend it in. I couldn’t manage lol

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