Many people ask the question: Do you regret relaxing your hair? My short answer is: “No”. My long answer is: “No, not really.” You may wonder how can that be true since I am once again transitioning back to “natural” hair. That can easily be explained, but first you might need to get familiar with the reasons on why I relaxed in the first place.
I liked my natural curls but i found that most styles heat free style did not have any longevity. I could do a set of twists and by day 3 they would look a month old. Also I began to prefer smoother styles such as roller sets. Like twists, they wouldn’t look good past day 3 or so.
I wanted to cut the heat out of my regimen and allow myself to wash my hair more frequently. Wash days were horrible and I dreaded having to deal with the curls. Sure my hair always looked nice when it was done, but I just hated how long it took me to do basic styles such as a wash n go or a wet bun.
After a while I rarely wore my hair in a style that depended on its natural curl. When my hair wasn’t pressed straight it was in a roller set. When i did wear it curly I would just slap it up in a bun. I don’t know what the issue was with my hair, but every time I wore a bun my hair would turn into one nice big dread lock. It would take hours to remove. I tired many different techniques and products to prevent the tangling but nothing worked….except bunning with straightened hair.
So fed up with the frizz and not really caring about seeing my natural curl for a while I went ahead and relaxed. i was finally able to get the longevity I wanted and much easier wash days.
So if relaxing was so great why do I want to go back to “natural”? There are 3 main reasons why I decided that relaxed hair wasn’t for me.
The Relaxer Process
I hate this so much. there is so much to worry about:
Did I wait long enough to relax my hair since my last wash? If I wait too long I start scratching and burn. If i do it too soon it still might burn! Did this trick over process my hair and overlap the ends? Why are parts of my hair under processed? The stylists is too rough with my hair! Should I self relax? Should I relax it all at once? Or should i figure out how to finagle some bags to do half at a time? How long should I process? Did i base well enough? Is that a burn? Should I do mid protein step? Are 7 neutralizing shampoos enough or should I make it an even 10? Should I rinse out the relaxer in the shower or the sink? If I do it in the sink it might get relaxer in my eyes! But it might get into my crack if I rinse in the shower! :o((((
I could go on and on. It literally drove me crazy! Perhaps I was too informed/paranoid about the process but it was the only way I could do it on my own.
No wash n go ability
If I had processed less curl out of my hair I probably would have had the option to wash n go. Being as I wanted a certain look, having a texurized result would have just given me unneeded stress. Even though I did not wear my hair curly very often, I liked the option to do so. If i had somewhere to go and as low on time I could just wash n go and look decent. With the relaxed hair I did not have many wash n style options especially after a few weeks post. My hair was too textured to lay down sleekly but too straight to wear curly. Luckily, this was not such a big deal so far but I do like the option especially when i go swimming or traveling.
My hair is obviously not made of steel but once I relaxed it was very hard to keep a decent hemline. Relaxed heads may disagree, but compared to natural hair the relaxed hair was more fragile and higher maintenance. My natural hair took quite a bit of abuse and still looked awesome. My relaxed hair… not so much. Of course, I try to keep the hair abuse to a minimum nowadays. I still prefer that my hair not break off at the drop of a hat. (I’m exaggerating somewhat)
So I’d rather be a straight haired natural than a relaxed head. It’s just a preference. I’m going to miss my roller sets but I can still achieve a similar look with heat. Besides heat wasn’t really giving me much of an issue before. I shouldn’t have fallen for the “heat is evil” hype.
When I relaxed I was surprised on peoples reactions. Many people were distraught! Some were quite vocal on me submitting to the “creamy crack”. I just called myself a creamy crack head, did a little shuffle and went on my merry way. It didn’t bother me because I considered it to be karma. (FYI, I was quite the ass during my militant natural days.)
I was quite happy with my relaxed hair. It wasn’t until my last relaxer that I just got fed up with the application. So decided to let it grow out.
One way to look at the whole experience is to say: “OH MY GAWD! I lost 3 years of natural hair! Now I have to spend all this time growing it out! My hair is ruined!”
I try not to look at it like that.
Honestly, I cannot feel regret over relaxing my hair. The relaxed experience was great. My hair looked awesome. Having a change of look was refreshing. Having to revamp my regimen was exciting. Seeing the world of hair from a different view gave me more insight. Overall I found it to be quite empowering and I do not regret it one bit. Sure my natural hair could be at my butt by now but I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything!
If you do have relaxer regret, I have just 3 words for you
It may seem a little harsh, but seriously, it’s just hair! It will grow back! It took me a while where I could say that with ease, but believe that it is the truth! Not having natural hair anymore is not the end of your life, does not mean your hair will fall off or that you will look like a general HAM. Your man will not leave you, your house will not go in foreclosure and your car wont be towed just because you decided to relax! Just make sure to own that hair and make it look it’s best while you grow it out.
So if you relaxed your hair and don’t like it don’t think of it as failure or regret. Just enjoy your new look and enjoy the easy detangling ………that is, until the new growth takes over!
Did you relax your hair recently and not like it? Why or why not?