Let's be honest, doing your hair can be always be a chore but doing your natural hair can at times be a pain.....at least for me. I tend to run out of styles to do and also the hundreds of dollars worth of products that I have spent trying to get them to work on my curl pattern.
Recently, this tweet surfaced that mentioned a trend of black women going back to relaxers:
In the 1960's, wearing your natural hair was more a political statement that coincided with the civil rights movement. Statements like "Black is Beautiful" and "I'm Black and I'm Proud" helped to fuel the movement even further making sure that we loved ourselves and all that comes with it honey!
The movement seemed to die down in the 80's and 90's as processed hair treatments such as the Jheri curl and relaxers created a frenzy. This promised black men and women the look of loose wavy curls or bone straight hair for weeks at a time. The beauty standards even changed to convince us that the hair we we were born was not good enough. However, that has changed and Black people; more specifically Black women; took back that power and decided to change the narrative once again. Thats exactly what we did back in 2010. The natural hair movement sparked a huge flame but this time instead of politics, we were on the road to self discovery and self love.
Since then, it took off and black women everywhere wanted to ditch the relaxers and learn how to take care of the beautiful crown we were given. As beautiful as this was, it became a billion dollar industry and put money in the pockets of those outside of the Black community, but thats a different story for a different day.
Between the endless YouTube videos and the new products that hit the market, it was enough to make you feel seen and confused at the same time. This movement is not a one size fits all and it can be very costly. So this circles us back to the initial question in the beginning of the blog, why are so many women going back to relaxers? I truly believe it comes down to preference, time, and an over load of information.
Let's start with preferences:
When it comes to preferences, everyone knows when it comes to versatility, Black women are the QUEENS! We love to do different things with our hair. It's a bonding experience amongst black women to discuss hair and how we can switch it up to the next style. I believe some women feel like relaxed hair saves their strands from a lot of manipulation. Relaxed hair gives some women freedom from buying multiple trial and error products and long wash day weekend routines.
Speaking of freedom, let's talk about time:
Those wash day weekends are definitely not for the weak. You know how much arm strength goes into detangling and twisting those coils? (although in my opinion, it is still definitely a lot better than spending unnecessary time in the salon chair). Some women feel that it cuts down on time. If you are a busy mom or woman in general, you may struggle trying to find a balance and you may not have the time or funds to do protective styles. Let's be honest, finding the right products can be a pain. Having to try product after product and even trying to discover what hair type you have can become all so stressful.
With that being said, let's move on to the overload of information.
At one point there was so much information out, mostly provided by our natural hair gurus via YouTube. Trying to find that influencer that has similar texture, curl patterns, and routines to your own can be deceptive. It can be an overload and can honestly lead to frustration. With frustration, comes with going back to what you know and what is easier to deal with. Sadly with most of us, the familiar is the creamy crack.
There are so many ways to have healthy hair, whether relaxed or natural and we are all about team healthy. I think it all comes down to what will help you feel your best self. The natural hair movement was started with Black beauty and Black pride in mind. As long as you feel like the best version of yourself, does it really make a difference what your hair routine is?
My sister and I have been natural for over 5 years. I like to wear my natural hair straight. It works best for my lifestyle and it is my preference. My sister likes to keep her hair in its natural state but loves to rock those protective styles. Both routines help to protect our hair in the healthiest way that works best with our crown.
What is your take on some of the women in the natural hair community hitting the reverse button? Are you still team natural or team relaxer? Leave a comment below and let us know.