The relaxed vs natural debate has been popping up pretty often in my life these days, so its only fitting that I blog about it. Quite a few people I know have gone natural, even my mother has broached the topic with me, nevermind that she is relaxed. In her words,
'Now that you know how to take care of your hair why don't you just go back natural'.
To give some background to this statement I was natural up until about 13 years old when my mom finally gave in to my begging and pleading and let me get a relaxer. At that point I had been taking care of my natural hair by myself for about three years and was totally fed up with all the time and energy I had to put into detangling and styling etc. Not to mention that for me natural hair was very limiting in how I could style it for school, so I kept it in plaits or twists. Now bear in mind that this was before the 'natural hair movement' so twistouts and tips on wearing 'loose' natural hair were not available to me. Also, I was still in high school, and Catholic high school at that so my hairstyles had to be simple.
I have been happy with my relaxed hair ever since and honestly don't see myself ever going back natural.
1. My hair is easy to manage
2. I spend 3-4 hours a week max washing, detangling and drying compared to the hours that my THICK natural hair required
3. I think relaxed hair suits me, as I mentioned in my last post I love wearing loose hair with a lil body wave
4. Its my hair and I will do with it as I please regardless of what society (or friends and fam) think I should do
Number 4 is really what inspired this particular post,
This one girl went natural nazi on me for awhile. One of the many times she brought up the subject, she told me she went natural because she didn't want to conform to what society thought her hair should be like, that God didnt make her hair like that so why should she keep relaxing it, and something about not knowing herself or not having a sense of identity...
I joked around and played devil's advocate for a bit, asking her if that meant she was also going to stop shaving and wearing makeup since God put hair on our legs etc etc lol .. But then I gave what she said some thought.
1. In my humble opinion by letting society tell you that if your hair is not in its natural state you're not black enough then...by going natural arent you still conforming to what society wants?
2. Your self identity should be based on waaaay more than just whether your hair is natural or not
3. Why keep your hair in a certain way or style if you're not happy with it? Its YOUR hair! (and this goes for any hair style, cut or color)
She's not the only person who has made the above statements to me, and strangely enough one of the grls who went natural for the above reasons has expressed that she's not happy with her natural hair, yet she doesn't want to look like a 'sell-out' so she won't relax. :S
In a nutshell, sometimes hair is just hair. Do whatever you want with it, cut it, grow it, dye it, texturize, go natural whatever. But do it for you and not for anyone else. Do what makes you happy!
Examples of people doing 'them'
Solange Knowles rocking her natural hair...to me it makes her features and style pop more than her relaxed hair
There's something about Halle Berry's pixie cut that just rocks!
DISCLAIMER: I know people can get hot and bothered over the relaxed vs. natural debate so please note that I never said anything anti-natural hair :)