By Erma W.
The natural hair journey can truly be a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, the ups and downs are so dizzying that we choose to make an exit. If you're on the brink of hitting the natural hair "off" switch and relaxing (or re-relaxing), here are some points to consider:
1. Let's talk about expectations: What were your natural hair expectations? Did you think your natural hair would behave like your relaxed hair? If you wear your hair in its natural texture, keep in mind that there will be frizz at times, you may have to contend with single-strand knots, and your ends may not be perfectly smooth. These factors are partially dependent on the weather (expect more poof when it's humid). They are also dependent on your hair type. Wavy hair is wavy hair, curly hair is curly hair, and kinky hair is kinky hair. There are products that you can use to soften the hair, calm frizz, and add hold, but you cannot change what grows out of your head. That's just the bottom line.
2. The time factor is unavoidable: Everything takes time; that's life. You may not find your holy grail products (or even semi-good products) right away. Your natural-hair flow may not develop for one year (or more) into your journey. Take that time to understand your hair. What does it respond to? What does it dislike? Get as specific as possible. Your discoveries will help you to make your hair its best.
3. Going to relaxers may not be the solution: If you were relaxed before, think about why you stopped. What was wrong? What did you want to achieve? Keep in mind that all hair requires maintenance. You'll have to care for your relaxed hair just as you have to care for your natural hair. The time-consuming and styling aspects of natural hair are often mentioned when deciding to relax. Natural hair does come with its challenges, but relaxed hair may not be your ticket to the easy life. Touch-ups, relaxer burns, and discovering your hair (again) are just some of what will await you.
In no way is this post intended to be a relaxer-bashing commentary. Ultimately, you will make decisions based on your desires and needs. Just make sure you consider all your options before you act.