The conditioning that coily natural hair was ugly and straight hair was beautiful became rooted over time. For many years, afro-textured hair, also referred to as kinky and frizzy hair, was regarded as hard to manage and unprofessional. There has always been a debate in society about which hair state is better: natural or relaxed hair, and this debate is still ongoing in some part of the society. The topic of modesty, self-doubt and laziness always comes up in debates about natural and relaxed hair. This is solely due to the constant buttress of what standard of beauty is adequate or attractive in society at large through various forms of media.
What is Relaxed hair?
Hair relaxing is a process of straightening the hair with chemicals to make it feel relaxed from the natural coily or curly state and pattern, regardless of the natural hair texture. Straightening hair relaxers penetrate the cuticle and cortex layers of the hair shaft to loosen the natural curl or coil pattern. Unlike natural afro-textured hair, which can return to a coily state after having the hair straightened, relaxed hair is always straight and must be blown out and straightened for a smooth, aligned end. These relaxers change the elliptical shape of curl follicles into circular follicles (straightened strands). As of the early 1900s, women and men have started using the hair relaxation process on afro-textured hair to achieve specific hairstyles and hair conditions.
Many women get their hair relaxed to avoid frizz, loose curls, and other issues that come with naturally curly hair. Though many people prefer their natural hair, some prefer the look and convenience of straight hair that stays straight. However, after the chemical application to the hair, maintaining your hair becomes even more crucial.
Just as color-treated hair requires extra care and consideration, relaxed hair usually requires the same. Sun exposure, salt water, and pool water are all common summertime offenders that can damage chemically processed hair. All of these factors can cause strands to become brittle and even break. Relaxing your hair does not imply that it is damaged. It is possible to have healthy, flourishing hair even after applying chemicals to it externally; however, persistent application of additional chemicals like- hair color, heat styling to the hair, and skipping regular trims can cause damage. Both natural and relaxed hair requires nourishment, so a proper hair care routine is essential. Many people prefer relaxing their hair because it is more practical and simpler to style, straight hair can be simple to style and maintain.
If you prefer relaxed hair, here are some things you can do to reduce the risk of hair loss and damage to your hair and scalp.
Any chemical treatment can harm your hair, and relaxing it is no exception.
On the other hand, however, understanding your hair products can be beneficial. Not every product is suitable for every hair. Some are most likely to cause damage to the hair. Due to this reason, it is necessary to have an in-depth discussion with your hairstylist about the numerous products and processes.
Don’t relax and then dye or bleach at the same time.
Both dyes (permanent or temporary) and relaxers contain harsh chemicals that can harm the hair if not used properly. The presence of these chemicals is primarily responsible for the fact that using the two products simultaneously or back to back is a procedure that is discouraged. So dyes and hair bleach should not in any way or form be applied to the hair after the application of relaxers.
Only relax when needed.
Relaxing the hair is very damaging to the hair, and it has numerous drawbacks such as hair thinning, scalp sores and burns, and so on. This is the reason why touch-ups with hair relaxers should solely be done when necessary or mandatory. Touch-ups, on average, should be done after 8 to 10 weeks, according to hair professionals.
Don’t use sulfate
Whether natural or relaxed hair, sulfate is a component in shampoo that is frowned upon for afro-textured hair. When the sulfate concentration in shampoo is too high, it can remove more from your hair than just the dirt, product buildup, and grease you want to remove. The sulfates may cause hair dryness and frizziness by increasing friction caused by the removal of natural oils and moisture.
Work down from root to tip
Because everyone is more concerned with the root, the tip of the hair is always the most challenging place to apply afro-textured hair products; this is also why product build-up occurs at hair roots. During the application of any product to your hair, ensure to do so from the root tip for effective and aligned results. This will also prevent smooth roots, frizzy tips, and split ends.
Avoid heat tools
Styling with heat/hot tools can be damaging to your hair. Reduce the heat time you use by roller-setting your hair after you wash it. If you want to wear your hair straight, comb it out and wrap it after you’ve removed the hair rollers. Heat tools are fine for occasional use, but try to get into the habit of styling with low or no heat whenever possible.
Create protective hairstyles to avoid breakage
As stated in our previous articles, the effect of protective hairstyles on healthy growth can not be overemphasized. Protective hairstyles will help reduce manipulation and tension on the hair, and the MyHairDo app has made everything easier. The app has over 4,000 hairstyles that are protective and trendy. All you have to do is, download the app, log in and make your hairstyle choice. (The app is available for download on PlayStore and AppStore).
Be mindful of your diet
What has been applied to the hair is not the only important thing when it comes to healthy growth, what has been taken in (food or drink) also plays a role. Apply the right product while also eating and drinking healthy.
Trim your end and always detangle delicately
Proper trimming of split ends to improve health growth is also a necessary procedure during hair care, so also delicate detangling of hair (relaxed or natural).
Rather than team natural or team relaxed, everyone should be team healthy hair – MyHairdo