I’ve been getting a few questions from folks who recently decided to go natural but seem to have a hard time letting go of their relaxed hair mentality. Here’s a short and sweet post on the differences and why you must change your mindset when going natural.
Often times people want to transition their hair out of relaxers, but a lot of times people are looking at their natural hair with a relaxer mentality. Many need to realize that relaxed hair is very different from natural hair. They are two totally different structures and they need to be treated totally different. This is why so many people have so much trouble growing out there relaxer. I would like to give you the pros and cons of relaxers vs natural hair so the transition can become an easier path and help with a successful transition.
- Relaxed hair is extremely porous: It sucks up everything: color, oils, moisturizers and even conditioners. Porous hair means the cuticle layer is open like a wet sponge and it absorbs everything.
- Natural hair is nonporous: It repels everything. The cuticle layer is closed, so anything that you put on it will run completely off. Everything you put on natural hair lays on top of it. Like a dry sponge Do you ever notice when you put water or natural hair it immediately runs off?. If you have natural hair that is porous it’s most likely due to heat damage.
- Relaxed hair and Color: You can use semi permanent colors or temporary colors or vegetable dyes to color gray hair. You can put red colors that are plum and bright and vibrant more on relaxed hair. This is because the hair is very porous and it absorbs the color better.
- Natural hair and Color: that’s very nonporous you need to use demi-permanent colors or permanent colors. The reason being you need to use a developer to open up the cuticle so that the color can be deposited. Typically when you go natural your hair is much more healthy because of the stronger cuticle. Permanent colors (or anything requiring your hair to lift) are a chemical, but it is not as damaging as chemical relaxers.
- The state of relaxed hair: usually can stay in the style a lot longer when going to the salon you don’t have to worry about your hair swelling up from humidity. You can do trendy styles but the con is the hair may not grow as thick or as long due to the weakening it may encounter from the chemicals from relaxers and color.
- The state of natural hair: usually a lot thicker and coarser and you really have to have a good natural hair routine to keep it healthy and thriving on a regular basis. Your routine with Natural Hair needs to be more structured. People tend to do better with natural hair if they are able to do their own hair at home. If you’re not willing to do your hair at home on a regular basis,natural hair can be a lot more difficult to deal with as you will be relying on a professional to care for it.
Whether natural or relaxed the idea is to be knowledgeable about your hair’s condition, texture and porosity. Listen to your hair and make sure to eat right and know any type of chemicals or altering techniques (relaxers, straighteners, heat or color) can cause damage if not properly used.