Great Hair Debate: Relaxed vs. Natural

relaxed vs. natural hair

 

Have you noticed there seems to be a great hair debate going on?  Do you prefer natural or relaxed hair?

With the natural hair community growing so fast, there seems to be an ongoing debate on how black women should be wearing and not wearing their hair. The great hair debate forges on.

As black women, our hair is everything; the crown and glory. I know women who will not even leave the house if the ‘do’ is not right! Yes, it’s quite vain how we put so much emphasis on our tresses, but it’s no reason to fight about which is better or worse. All hair has its pros and cons. It’s all about what suits you.

At 12 years old, I begged my mother for a relaxer. All of my friends were veterans in the hair relaxer game and I wanted to join the ranks. Not to mention I was getting teased about my thick, kinky ponytails. Thanks to magazines and TV, I thought it would make me prettier.

As an adult, I still wear my hair relaxed. There are times when I think about going to #TeamNatural, so I will prolong getting a relaxer just to see how it would be. Then I chicken out! What am I afraid of?

Like many, I choose to relax because I perceive it to be easier than caring for natural hair. Admittedly, I am not that educated on how to care for natural hair, so I really don’t know how it would be.  I’m so used to having my hair straight that it is hard to imagine anything different.

In addition, some women aren’t sure how they will look in their natural state. How will they be perceived at work? Will they lose their sex appeal with men? This great hair debate – it’s not just about hair. It’s about self-esteem and self-image realities.

When it’s all said and done, to think that women are at war with each other over the way we/she chooses to style her hair; it’s almost mind-blowing. Both natural and relaxed women have likes and dislikes with their own hair. Stereotyping within our own race is yet another way to press us against each other. We should not allow the great hair debate to divide us. We are much too fabulous for that!

 

 

Archuleta Chisolm

Senior Writer

Archuleta is a brave soul without wings. She is a self-published author of three books, poet, freelancer, speaker, pen junkie, and U.S. Army veteran. She has a passion for encouraging women to be the best version of themselves. Made in Kansas City, Living in Houston.