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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BlackDoctor.org - Should You Be Relaxer-Free?


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There is an article on BlackDoctor.org by the BDO hair expert, Jacqueline Tarrant.  She herself has gone Natural and asks this question that seems to be burning (pun intended) in the minds of many Black women recently. 

She discusses the Inventor and the history of the relaxer.  She goes on to also discuss the many dangers associated with Relaxing our locs as well as how this can be avoided by proper application and maintenance. 

I would have written this off as another article touting how Relaxers don't have to necessarily be harmful but instead I was excited to see her give excellent steps on how to safely transition from Relaxed to Natural if a Black woman was seriously considering doing it.  I've listed them below:

 Option 1 - The Slow Transition
• Step 1 - Grow It OutThis step requires a lot of patience, but sometimes it is the only way to transition from relaxed hair back to your natural hair. Hair grows at a length of ¼ -1/2 inch per month so it may take 9 months to 2 years or more to truly grow out your relaxed hair. Of course that will depend on how you care for your hair and how much length will make you feel comfortable. 
• Step 2 – Trim GraduallyThe easiest rule of thumb is growing an inch, and then cutting an inch. Remember, condition regularly and take care and
and patience with your hair in that it is very fragile when you have both relaxed and natural texture on one strand. Hair will tend to break off at the point where the 2 textures meet, with the weaker part of the strand, the relaxed part breaking off.
• Step 3 - Condition. Condition. ConditionIt is important that you never skip this step. Keeping hair balanced between strength from proteins and softened with moisturizers will be key to a healthy transition.
• Step 4 - Set & Go Wear textured styles- straw sets, rod set styles, and two strand twisted styles will keep hair healthy and allow the new texture to work with the relaxed hair with minimal damage.

• Option 2 - Cut It All Off
Cutting off all of the relaxed hair and starting fresh is one of the fastest ways to go from relaxed hair to natural hair.

• Option 3 - Temporarily Wear Other Hairstyles
Style your hair in cornrows, braids, extensions or wigs until the natural hair grows out. This will allow you to look stylish while simultaneously transitioning from relaxed hair to your natural hair. The key here is make sure braids or extensions are not too tight, and condition regularly. BlackDoctor.org

I find her article insightful as well as helpful to anyone seriously considering the transition.  It doesn't try to scare anyone into Going Natural even though many who are and adamant about staying relaxed claim many Natural women are doing.  Her article gives a history lesson along with proper information on being Relaxed and having no problems.   She is also aiding the Black woman considering transitioning by giving her a lesson on how to do it and to do is successfully. 

I should have read this before I transitioned.  I may have avoided quite a few of the mistakes I encountered but my journey has been one that will forever make me grateful for finally going Natural.  My blog is here to keep others from falling into the same pitfalls I fell into as well as allowing older women who are Natural or considering going Natural a place they can see someone like them and is here to support them if necessary. 

You can read the article in its entirety at, article Should You Be Relaxer-Free?
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