We’ve all had trying seasons where it seems our hair is dry, breaking, shedding, and impossible to detangle – essentially it’s driving us crazy! Or perhaps you are incredibly bored with your fro and miss the days where your hair swung, blew, and twirled in the wind. Before giving up on your natural hair and picking up the half priced relaxer box from the beauty supply store, try one of these alternatives that might get you over the bridge.
Straighten Your Hair
If our kinks aren’t acting right, sometimes it might be easier to go back to the familiar and have straight hair for a few weeks. A skilled stylist can press your natural hair out bone straight to get that freshly relaxed look, or you can blow it out and straighten it yourself for a more voluminous style. For more long-term results, you may consider one of the in salon or at-home hair smoothing treatments, such as the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System or the Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING Treatment. While research has shown that these applications will chemically alter your hair, they are still less harmful than a relaxer, and even more so when the application and follow up is done by professionals.
A Second Big Chop
Remember the days when your natural hair was fun and carefree, and only took 10 minutes to style (if you didn’t include the 2 hours “prep time” you spent on YouTube), 30 minutes to wash, and actually used a quarter sized amount of product? If you’re thinking about the relaxer again because you want less drama with your natural hair, consider cutting it to a length that is more manageable. The reign of #longhairdontcare is over as naturals are increasingly choosing style and comfort over length, so shave it low, fade it out, get it tapered, or just cut off a few inches all around.
Long Term Protective Styles
Maybe your hair isn’t damaged but you’re just going through a season – say a job change, new baby, or personal life woes – that just makes the thought of a two hour weekly wash process sound like purgatory. Taking a six week break with braids or twists with extensions, a full head weave, crochet braids, cornrows under wigs, or other long term protective styles buys you the same exact time as a perm (which would need to be touched up in six weeks), but maintains the health and integrity of your strands.
If you don’t want to sacrifice length with a big chop, you don’t like the added weight and heat of hair extensions, and your least favorite thing about your hair is the detangling process, then you should consider installing locs instead of getting a relaxer. You can maintain your natural look and your hair’s health without getting entangled (pun intended!) in many of the knotting, split ending, and shedding struggles that naturals who wear their hair loose have to struggle with.