Saturday, 6 April 2013

Winds of Change: Relaxed vs Natural



Relaxed or Natural?

That is the question!

 For the past few weeks I've been considering my hair situation quite seriously.

On one hand, I did want to stick out my breakage in the hopes of finding a product/technique that would restore my hair's health. On the other hand, I was severely frustrated and fed up with my lack of progress over the past few months.

From breakage to texlaxed roots to consistently uneven ends...I think I may have reached the end of my rope.

I know that on my healthy hair journey I'm supposed to expect difficult periods and motivate myself to endure them, but recently I haven't seen the point in constantly enduring stress and frustration when I really don't have to.

So, I'm considering "going natural" or transitioning.

And before you think I'm simply "giving up" on my hair, let me explain further:

  • I admit it, I'm fed-up. Fed-up of being disappointed and not gaining pleasure from my hair. It's said that madness is essentially repeating the same steps while hoping for different results...well I might be mad! I have been trying to solve the source of my breakage but all the techniques that I've tried have yet to resolve them. More and more, I'm feeling emotionally detached from my relaxed hair. So why not try a different method all together?

  • I have also come to appreciate natural hair much more. When I wrote my post about the natural hair movement I, like many other relaxed ladies, felt very tempted to join the movement. It seemed cool, embracing your "roots". Looking back, I'm glad I didn't because I didn't have the emotional appreciation of natural hair and an earnest curiosity or desire to take care of it. Now, I feel much more committed to the idea and even excited about growing out my afro. The youtube tutorials and tumblr blogs I've been following are very inspiring and I have been valuing natural hair from a different light. My new growth is quite tame (shock upon shocks!), easy to comb and its just so fluffy. I'm very curious about my natural hair texture.

"But aren't I supposed to be consistent on my hair journey? Why give up? Shouldn't I stick it out with the end results (health and length) in mind?"

Jeni of is one of my relaxed hair-spirations. Through thick and thin she has cared for her hair and gained amazing results!

Honestly I'm not too sure how to answer this question. Sometimes I feel like a should give my hair more time and be persistent on my relaxed hair journey. Then at other times I feel like its too much of an emotional, time consuming burden. At the end of the day, hair is hair. I don't want to be worrying about my relaxed hair issues more than my assignments and other responsibilities. For me, its a matter of eliminating unnecessary problems. (Ouch, does that sound as harsh as I think it does? lol)

I know that natural hair (especially my thick 4c texture) is no laughing matter, and will require a lot of work. However, seeing that it would be chemically stronger than relaxed hair, and there is now so much useful natural hair information online, I know the challenge would be much easier than years ago when I used to wear my natural hair.

"So if you 'give up' on this hair journey, who's to say that you won't give up again on your natural hair journey?"

Time will tell, but I certainly don't plan on starting another hair journey with failure in mind. And who's to say that I am giving up? Transitioning doesn't change the fact that I'm continuing to work towards healthier hair. It just changes my strategies and overall orientation towards taking care my kinky hair.

So what's your opinion? Is it okay if someone on a relaxed hair journey sacrifices it when times get tough? Is it all about the commitment to relaxed hair or personal satisfaction? Have you ever felt like calling it quits on relaxed hair and "going natural"?

I appreciate your honesty!



  1. Hatter---there is nothing in the definition of transitioning that signifies "giving up." Sometimes in life, we have to move in a very different direction because our goals and desires have changed. Your journey isn't a failure because you want to switch directions. If anything--its a success because the ultimate goal was to care for your hair in a way that facilitates health and prosperity right? If you feel that transitioning will help you achieve that goal---then you're #winning in my book.

    Stop being so hard on yourself chica

  2. personally i think its a great choice and can relate a lot to what ur saying, i started off on a healthy hair journey.. did-not-work-out lol!! i think maybe some types of hair just cant take relaxers and get too damaged.. at least that was the case with my hair, and it was unevenly relaxed as well. even though u have 4c hair (i am mixed but still have 3c-4c hair, i have different textures everywhere lol).. i really don't think natural hair is more work than relaxed. you never have to relax it to start with.. and u wil RETAIN length which was amazing for me to see who hadn't retained any length for about 5 years, my hair has now gone back to the same length it was when i started last year in april (almost) :) i have loads of transitioning posts on my blog if u havent seen xx