Thursday, March 3, 2011

Natural Hair v. Relaxed Hair

Although I don’t blog as much anymore (yes, I am working on it!), I do still keep up with natural hair blogs and such through my Google Reader. One recurring theme that I continue to see in the natural hair blogosphere is the natural vs. relaxed hair debacle.

I am in a closed natural hair group on Facebook and one night I commented, “I am tired of the natural vs. relaxed hair debacle.” What followed was about 15 comments (so far) regarding my statement. It was very good dialogue and helped me to see just what some naturals think about relaxed hair. One group member stated that some people that have relaxers are not aware of the harmful effects of continued use of relaxers, and this is why she tries to encourage people to go natural. While education of the effects of relaxers is great, I also feel that just as we educate ladies on maintaining healthy hair, EVEN with a relaxer can be helpful too.

I have the privilege of advising an undergraduate chapter through my Sorority, and last year my undergrads had a forum on campus discussing the body, hygiene, hair, etc. They asked me to talk a little about hair. At that time, there were a few transitioners in the room but no 100% naturals (except for the guys). I didn’t want to turn them off by telling them that natural hair is the way to go, because *I* do not feel that everyone has within them the desire to care for natural hair. This does NOT mean that everyone can’t BE natural, because everyone does have that ability, people just don’t have the desire. SO, I talked to them about proper hair care, educated them about co-washing and wrapping their hair to use less heat, and stretching their relaxers to 8-10 weeks instead of every 4-6 weeks. After a few side-eyes, I did have some of them come up after to ask about the co-washing. Weeks later, when I was on campus again, a few told me that they had started co-washing and saw a big improvement. See what I mean?

Education is key in this hair thing whether it’s relaxed or natural!!

It reminds me so much of the scene from School Daze! Go on and swear, see if I care, good or bad hair!!!

What say you MHIM? Do you play into the debacle? Are you a natural nazi?
Don’t be shamed if you are :o) I admit that sometimes I get a little frustrated with some NATURALS!


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