February 20, 2012

Why I Relax My Hair (AND LOVE IT)

For those who aren't familiar with black hair, it has natural kinks at the roots that make it "nappy." And in order to straighten these kinks and make the hair relaxed, many black women get perms. This is something I do every four months...I think. I'm not quite sure how long I usually wait between perms, but I know I wait as long as possible until my next relaxer out of pure laziness. But also, I like not getting a perm so often because it's not good for the scalp.

While getting a perm can be painful and detrimental to my scalp, I love it because my hair is easy to manage and comb through. I'm tender-headed, folks. I also think I practice perming a healthy way. My hair dresser and I have been working together on my hair for over 10 years, so he knows how sensitive my skin is to the relaxer. I use a base before I perm and the relaxer is not in my hair for too long. He also makes sure he gets the perm as close to my roots as possible without touching my scalp. We have this perfected.

Anyway, over the past couple years, there has been a recent movement of black women cutting their hair and going natural. I think it's great! You know, the whole embracing the natural side of your hair and forgoing the pain of a perm. Or, if you want to get all political... It's great that many black women don't feel the need to conform to the standard of beauty that leans to the European side.

I'm not one to get all political and etc, but many believe that black women get their hair relaxed to achieve a hair style that is "more white." Although, I would beg to differ. Dealing with kinky roots is a pain in the butt! So if you're up for the challenge, more power to ya!

Needless to say, I feel like the new war in the black community will soon be natural vs relaxed because sometimes I feel like women with natural hair go out of their way to make us girls with relaxed hair feel bad or like we are "betraying" our people by remaining relaxed. (This could all be something I'm internalizing and blowing out of proportion, so please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.) The complexities of black hair are far too difficult for me to try and delve into, so I can only speak for myself.

In addition, a recent article on the Huffington Post brushed over the fact that many black women aren't exercising for the sake of ruining their perms. I for one am not one of those black women. HELLO, I'm a bikram yoga lover. I find this very, very interesting though. Are you a black woman that doesn't exercise as frequently as you should because of your hair?

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