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Twists, Curls & Perms! How To Be Nice To Your Hair

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I love my hair and my love for hair generally is bordering on near obsession In fact, sometimes I go to the salon to just watch hair being done. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of hair stylists don’t know how to treat our hair. On one occasion, I was at the salon and I smelled the all too familiar smell of ‘fried hair’. My heart sunk as I saw the stylist pick up the smoking, not previously cleaned non-ceramic flat iron and repeatedly run it through this lady’s lovely hair. Every fiber of my being wanted to knock it out of the stylist’s hands and beg Ms. Lovely hair to run out but I managed to sit quietly and endure it.

This experience has inspired this article about hair and the entire process. By nature, our hair is kinky and generally difficult to manage but not impossible. In order for our hair to be silky smooth and easier to manage, we relax our hair.

Relaxing is the harshest process a hair strand will encounter in its lifetime and it is a challenge to keep up with BUT it can be done. As someone who has had relaxed hair for 8 years, it can be done if done right!

In the wrong hands, any form of relaxer is bad and can lead to extensive and sometimes irreversible damage. Baldness and hair breakage are the two most popular side effects of improper application or maintenance of relaxed hair.

Don’t get scared, my job is to help you make sure these issues don’t happen to your hair and with the right hair care regimen you’ll be looking forward to longer, healthier and relaxed hair.

Lye vs. No-Lye Relaxers

A common myth among women is that a no-lye relaxer means that it is not as dangerous as that with lye. This is not the case. Lye and No-Lye products both contain ingredients that can be as damaging and are equally as dangerous if mishandled. No-Lye relaxers have an activator which is to be mixed into the main cream and Lye relaxers come in a tub and are ready for use, most times, for professional use.

Figure out what works best for your hair type and stick to it.

Applying your relaxer

-When relaxing previously relaxed hair, the relaxer should only be applied to the new growth. The line that separates the new growth from the previously relaxed hair (Line of Demarcation) happens to be the weakest points and must be treated with care.

-Basing your hair and scalp with a light coating of oil is an important stage in the application process. It prevents previously relaxed hair from being reprocessed during the rinsing stage

-Most stylists prefer to divide hair into three or four sections, there is no right or wrong way of doing this but it is easier to relax your hair in an organized manner, one section at a time.

-Smooth and work the cream into the new growth trying as much as possible not to overlap.

Let’s rinse

-The hair should be thoroughly washed in warm water. This is the most critical part of the process, any leftover cream in hair can and will lead to permanent damage.

-Washing out the cream with a neutralizing shampoo is very important because it restores the PH level to pre-application which is very necessary for the hair. A color changing neutralizing shampoo can be used as it effectively indicated the presence of cream left while rinsing.

-Protein and moisture are two basic necessities for relaxed hair which is why a good conditioner should be used at this point. Most kits come with the appropriate conditioner but in the event that it is absent, make sure you condition your hair with a conditioner that is rich in protein. This restores the protein stripped during the relaxer process.

Now that your hair has been successfully relaxed, style as usual.

With styling comes the temptation to use flat irons.

This is what your hair looks like with all that heat!

Let me just say this, heat is not all bad. . For naturals, using a bit of heat to roller set or blow and stretch the hair can provide relief from knotting during styling. It helps our deep conditioner perform and speeds up the styling process. The overuse, however, of heated styling can take beautiful healthy hair and completely destroy it in one bad styling/straightening/pressing process. Yikes! Heat damage is not fun! So before you sit in the chair to get your hair styled, make sure your stylist knows exactly what he/she is doing.

If you insist on using a flat iron/curling iron, the temperature should always be controlled. Hair burns at 233C/ 451.4F which happens to be the same temperature that burns paper, it’s not enough to say High or Low, you do NOT want to burn your hair.

Deep conditioning your hair before you use heat helps with reducing the amount of moisture your hair will lose when using heat and, moisture is very essential for black hair.

Alternatives to the Flat Iron

Hooded Drying – This is probably the safest form for heat and it also protects the ends of the hair from overwhelming heat because the ends are rolled and tucked under the other hair which is usually more durable than the ends. Styles done with the hooded dryer tend to be longer lasting than those created with other forms.

Air Drying – the simplest form of drying, quick, easy and perfect for days when you want to spend 15minutes in the salon. For those with textured hair, this can be a rather long process as it takes longer to completely dry rather than using heat, it does however help maintain the health of the hair. It is not enough to wash your hair and step out, the hair should be moisturized and sealed with an oil to help flatten it. Never allow textured hair to simply dry on its own without any products or shaping support. Air drying any type of hair can lead to excessive tangling and breakage.

The more infrequent the heat, the faster and greater length retention results will be.

If your hair is breaking or thinning out, you need to find out the source of the problem. Relaxers are never a solution to a problem. The hair problem should always be investigated, treated and corrected before proceeding with a relaxer. Never relax broken or damaged hair.

As a victim of improper relaxer application that resulted in me S-H-AV-I-N-G off all of my not-quite-healthy-but-at-least-we’re-getting-there hair, I know the importance of handling relaxing with the utmost care. Relaxing textured or natural hair is serious business and should never be done by an amateur.

I love my hair and I care about it, so should you.

Photo credithairwegoproducts.net

Passionate about Hair!!! Not just mine, yours as well! I've been through almost every phase your hair can go through so I know what it means to have bad hair days and be frustrated about your hair. For personal hair issues please email me [email protected]

123 Comments

  1. Sugabelly

    July 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    But ALL relaxers are bad. Heat is bad for your hair. And practically any chemical process that alters the structure of your hair is bad for not only your hair but also for your HEALTH so why do it?

    Your natural hair will always be better and healthier than even the most carefully relaxed hair so it doesn’t make sense looking for ways to relax your hair and fractionally minimise the harm when you could have invested that time and energy in learning how to grow and care for your own natural hair.

    • Petra

      July 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Relaxing ones hair is a personal choice. It is possible to have healthy hair with is relaxed but it just takes a lot of effort (co-washing, regular protein/moisture conditioning etc) which many black women are not educated about.

      Please save this Natural Hair evangelism for those haircare forums.

      I cannot stand Natural Hair Nazism. Its self righteous and it stinks.

    • auntie

      July 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      God bless you!

    • Ene

      July 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Thank you…I’m natural and I hate when people act as though women who use relaxers care less about their hair

    • deeee

      July 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Thank u very much.. i agree!

    • Sugabelly

      July 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      It’s not possible to have healthy relaxed hair. Relaxed hair by its very nature is damaged by the process of relaxing so sorry.

      Better luck next time. Try again.

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      It does not matter whether your relaxed hair looks as thick as any of Beyonce’s lacefronts. Once you have applied that chemical to your hair, your hair is no longer healthy. You cannot look at a slim, nicely shaped woman and say she is healthy, she may just have good genes. What she deposits into her system is what determines whether she is healthy or not. Also, you cannot eat rice and salad everyday and because you are fortunate to remain slim, you say you are healthy.

      We all know that relaxing your hair is a personal choice but that is a different topic. The topic under discussion is that relaxer is bad for your hair but some people think otherwise. Educate yourself and stop thinking that you are being attacked.

    • Petra

      July 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      Sugarbelly, you need to get off your Self Righteous Natural Hair High Horse, seriously.

      I’m not going to get into any argument with you about the definition of the word ‘Healthy’ but I will say this – relative to the type of hair one has (be it natural or processed with chemicals), a person hair can be described as ‘healthy’.

      I will reitarate my point – hair that is chemically processed requires more TLC than the average black woman is aware of, hence why a lot of ladies have over processed, dry, damaged hair. Conversely, women with natural hair who use too much heat to straighten their hair or who do not moisturise very tightly coiled hair have damaged hair.

      I personally have shoulder length healthy relaxed hair. I work hard to treat my hair as it should be treated and it had responded well. I made a choice to relax it in order to give myself more versitility with my hairstyling.

      You clearly are a Natural Hair Nazi but you wont succeed in your efforts to make us responsible and well informed Relaxed sisters feel bad about the choices we have made concerning our own hair.

      Thanks.

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Petra, we get that it is your choice to have relaxed hair and that no one can change your mind about why you think relaxed hair can be healthy. My advice to you is to properly educate yourself on relaxed hair and healthy stop taking this discussion so personal. Unfortunately for you, Sugabelly is right. The truth is that no matter what you do, relaxed hair is not healthy. You are maintaining it from breakage etc. However, I am going to repeat what I have been saying. Our actions always catches up with us just like how you think you can avoid diabetes in the nearest future because you eat salad with your bowl of rice everyday.

    • Petra

      July 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      I am fully convinced that these Natural Nazis have serious chips on their shoulders cos I dont get why they feel the need to always point out to girls who relax their hair that their hair is not ‘healthy’.

      Its actually ridiculous.

      If my hair is bouncy, shiny, smooth cuticles and grows at a good rate, who are you to tell me that is it not ‘healthy’ because of some rigid definition of ‘healthy’ which you insist on impressing on others.

    • LS

      July 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      I agree that relaxed hair is compromised and hair in it’s natural state is better, however natural hair can be damaged and unhealthy if it is not taken care of.
      The fact is all hair, natural, texlaxed, coloured or relaxed requires care. Ladies should take the time to learn and adopt healthy hair practices for whatever hair they choose to have. Its about making informed choices. Being relaxed is not always the problem in they same way that being natural alone does not guarantee healthy hair. A healthy hair regimen is what is required. Adopting a healthy hair regimen is how I got my chemically processed hair to grow to the middle of my back.

    • Petra

      July 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      well said, LS.

    • E

      July 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      Sometimes I wonder if relaxer has smoked people’s brains out. Sugabelly is 1000% right! Yes, natural hair can be unhealthy if uncared for but relaxed hair is BY DEFAULT, UNHEALTHY!!! While natural hair is BY DEFAULT, HEALTHY. You CANNOT have healthy and relaxed hair, it is indeed an oxymoron; that option doesn’t even exist whereas you can certainly attain healthy natural hair.
      I hope all the ignorant ones are clear here (all of you cosigning and agreeing to the 1st person who disagreed with Sugabelly)….

    • Queen

      July 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      the stress of natural hair is too much, i either relax or chop off my hair, and i look better with hair, so ill stay relaxed, my sister has been begging me to go natural, but i will not till i have enough money for someone to come and groom my hair everyday before i go to lectures, and i go to church in the morning lol 🙂

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      If you stop thinking of your real hair as difficult to maintain then that is only what you would see. I also elaxed hair is hard to maintain as well because you are constantly running away from water like you’re a criminal running from the police , you cannot work out because you don’t want to sweat out your hair. You are constantly thinking about touching up the “due” edges and roots. It’s hard as well. We choose to believe what we want and stick with it.

    • LS

      July 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      @Babe
      Informed relaxed ladies do not run from water, we run towards it.

    • hop7

      July 8, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Bless you Queen.

    • Me

      July 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Any hair that grows out of your scalp and is visible to the human eye is dead fiber… Anything “dead” cannot be healthy; be it chemically treated or not… So to all of you that discuss hair and use the word “healthy” there’s no such thing as “healthy” hair… There is “well managed” hair or hair that is “well cared for”.. When you realize that maybe you’d learn to appreciate people’s choices when it comes to chemically treat their hair or not…

    • E

      July 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      What you’re saying is that yogurt cannot go bad because it is fermented already. Please, your thought process is immensely screwed up. How dare you say anything ‘dead’ cannot be healthy? Dead things do not GROW but hair and nails do so. They are dead cells but they still come from somewhere that is indeed living and therefore there are standards to which they can be held as to whether they are healthy or not. When you PERMANENTLY ALTER YOU PHYSICAL TEXTURE, YOUR HAIR BECOMES UNHEALTHY. Read a F****** book.

    • kassi

      July 31, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      To each his own oh. If you can manage your hair natural, relaxed, texturised, semi relaxed or semi texturised, as long as you can manage it. If you believe natural hair is healthy, good for you. If you believe that relaxed hair is healthy, good for you. Please its all about conviction and manageability (please people manageability has nothing to do with loving another race’s hair.) Its just hair, hair! Let’s try and get along.

      @sugabelly @babe @LS attacking the relaxed gals will not make them turn natural. You are sharing the gospel of the naturals, gently educate them to see and know what you know.

      na hair oh. it doesn’t change the price of fish in the market.

      One love!!

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      Your belief can be different from the truth and that is the case with some people trying to justify that chemically processed hair can be healthy. Ha! I don’t care who goes natural, bald, etc. I’m more concerned with the ignorant comments and incorrect information that I’m seeing here. And this is not an attack on anyone, it is a discussion. However, some people are finding it difficult to handle discussions properly e.g name calling, etc.

    • LS

      July 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      I ia

      I am relaxed, you may have misread my posts

    • my beat

      August 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      I can bet that Sugarbelly’s hair is neither here or there, she just like’s rubbing people off the other way on every topic on this forum.
      Mtchewwwww

    • Petra

      July 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      To the girl drawing an analogy between relaxing ones hair and causing diabetes – perfect case in point about these Natural Nazis. You guys need to get over yourselves.

      Its actually ridiculous.

      If my hair is bouncy, shiny, smooth cuticles and grows at a good rate, who are you to tell me that is it not ‘healthy’ because of some rigid definition of ‘healthy’ which you insist on impressing on others.

    • BellaYankee

      July 31, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      @Petra, it’s far from ridiculous, it’s true. Looking after relaxed hair is medicine after death. It is clear that you resort to using derogatory terms as ‘nazi’ because you are clearly incapable of defending yourself intelligently as these ladies have spoken the truth.
      Yes, it’s everyone s choice however if you’re DENYING the negativity inherent in relaxing one’s hair, you’re honestly the one losing out. At least, if youre eating a huge plate of rice with icecream for dessert then expect your diabetic news someday, don’t be ignorant. We are all just in denial because obviously, we are afraid of change and the self-hate is something we do not want to admit.

      But playing devil’s advocate sha, #teamrelaxer points are very weak. Lol

    • Ogonna

      August 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      If your hair is as thick and long as mine or mu sister’s, you wont even think of going natural EVER!

    • Kcfaith

      August 13, 2012 at 3:03 am

      Yeah, So true Dear

    • Fabulousbabe

      September 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      @ sugabelly, are you a natural hair nazi ni??
      LEt folks have information and decide. At the end of the day its their hair, scalp and health not yours

  2. myHairmyBeauty.wordpress.com

    July 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Loved this PIECE!! Linking it to our blog! 🙂 black women honestly need to understand that it is reallly important we take care of our hair first! because at the rate some of us are going, carelessly relaxing, braiding and weaving our hair, we might be bald before we’re 35!!!

    nice piece!

  3. Turayo Tijani

    July 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I was really hoping this article would be about taking care of natural hair, as in un-relaxed hair.

    • ameenah

      July 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      same here!!!

    • LS

      July 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      if you are intetrested in learing about unrelaxed hair there is a great blog called kinkyapothecary .com
      I suggest you check it out.

  4. Princess of Zion

    July 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Great article! I used to sit back and just watch them do my hair before but now I’m actively involved. Of course this was after extensive heat and relaxer damage. I’m very precise with my hair now, no straighteners or direct hear. After washing, I always do a deep conditioner. Also, invest in shampoos that don’t contain sulphate!

    http://www.princessofzion.wordpress.com/

  5. Chattyzee

    July 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    My hair stylist thinks I’m a control freak simply because I tell her what to do and how to do it. If I’m not satisfied, I let her know immediately. After all, it’s my hair.
    http://dprodigalchild.wordpress.com/

    • Ibinabo

      July 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      lol @ control freak.. how re u?

    • Chattyzee

      July 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      IB!!!!!!! I’m great! Funny that we meet here again. How are you doing? I’m not currently on FaceBook so hit me up on my blog ok? http://dprodigalchild.wordpress.com/

    • http://fulanihair.blogspot.com/

      July 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      I am exactly the same way especially during relaxing and I make the stylist coat my previously relaxed hair with sheabutter and wash my hair more times that she wants with neutralizing shampoo (I bring an extra bottle because the on in the kit is NOT enough). If I don’t take care of my hair, who will?

      Most Nigerian hair stylists aren’t formally trained. They just learn as apprentices from a semi-skilled stylist. Having braiding talent doesn’t cut it.

  6. Tobechidaniel

    July 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    There is the permed hair and there is the natural hair, neither one is bad and it is perfectly A-okay for ladies to express themselves in whichever way they choose to do so.I’ve been on the natural hair path before and it was a difficult journey- perhaps I was unprepared, perhaps it was something different. But which ever way, one chooses to express themselves (natural/unnatural), utmost care must be given at both times in taking care of one’s hair. Invest properly in good hair products and have a good diet and your hair will thank you for it. Also remember to trim often, it doesn’t make your hair shorter, it helps in ridding split ends before they cause a greater damage. God is perfectly right, hair truly is the “cap” to a ladies beauty(paraphrased)
    http://tobechidaniel.blogspot.com/

    • Madam the Madam

      July 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Wow, I always thought you were male. LOL. Maybe ‘cos of your name.

    • Tobechidaniel

      July 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      “There is the permed hair and there is the natural hair, neither one is bad and it is perfectly”

      Please stop with your wrong advice. The fact is that one is healthy and the other is not. Choosing either of them is simply a choice and the mind influences people’s truth whether it is rational or not.

    • my beat

      August 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      @Babe, no matter how much you & your cohorts take this topic personal, life is full of choices so you just have to take that in! My hair remains permed & I’m very happy with my looks. Chikena

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      @ my beat

      Eyah, Congratulations on your hair! Please read properly I am not talking about whether you are happy with your looks or not..Plead read.

  7. ami

    July 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I just stop relaxing my hair bcos too many hairdressers were getting it wrong. Alot of them think they know it all and when u do give instructions on how you want you hair treated they just do what they want anyway.

  8. Nkem

    July 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Please how often should one deep condition relaxed hair?

    • LS

      July 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      relaxed hair should be deep conditioned every time it is washed. most relaxed ladies who have a healthy hair regimen wash and deep condition it once a week.

  9. Angie king

    July 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    @tobechidaniel..Please i will like to know about good hair products,i will be grateful if you can list them and their uses…especially those available in 9ja..Thanks

    • Tobechidaniel

      July 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Angie, I wish I could help but I won’t be able to, but I can research and get some links for you or you might need to ask around. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
      http://tobechidaniel.blogspot.com/

    • http://fulanihair.blogspot.com/

      July 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      In deep conditioners- avoid products with mineral oil and petrolatum. Mix conditioners with honey and natural oils such as coconut and shea butter to add jara conditioning.

      In shampoo- sulphate free is better. I use Pantene Relaxed&Natural which has sulphates but very moisturizing though I am switching to dudu osun/ natural soaps to shampoo my hair.

      There are many blogs with gazillion product reviews but different products work differently for different heads.

  10. JAnomaly

    July 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    @ Sugabelly

    I agree with you. Why do people think natural hair folks force it down their throat, when the truth is, your hair is the most healthy when it’s in the natural state, there’s no way around it. There are some unhealthy natural hair too, but it’s easier to get it healthy than getting a overly relaxed hair healthy. I think at this point, Black women have to invest and accept their hair more and let’s try to embrace what we have more by taking better care of it. I will have to say, I’m impressed and admire many African American women who have embraced their natural hair and helping others too. At this point, we should focus more on how to grow and keep our natural hair healthy because that’s been the biggest problem. So, besides the wig, weave, relaxed, we can still rock our natural hair and look beautiful.

    • LS

      July 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      I dont think all naturals force it down everyones throat, Its the naturals who believe that relaxed hair cannot be healthy and have a better than thou attitude that cause offence. Both natural and relaxed hair can be healthy. Every woman should do what is best for them.

    • Sugabelly

      July 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      But relaxed hair cannot be healthy.

      The relaxer has already damaged your hair. That’s what relaxing is. Damaging your hair so that your curl pattern will break down and your hair will appear straight.

    • LS

      July 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      @ Sugabelly
      I know how relaxers work. Yes, relaxers work by breaking down the protein bonds in our hair structure, the disulfide bonds to be exact.
      Disulfide bonds form a part of our hair structure but does not make up the entire hair structure. So although hair that is relaxed is damaged to an extent, it does not damage the entire hair shaft and cuticles. So it is possible for relaxed hair to still be healthy, maybe not 100% percent healthy but healthy all the same.
      Even natural hair that is well taken care of is not 100% healthy simply because factors such as the sun, air and general wear and tear prevent 100% health. If you visit sites such as black girl long hair which is for unrelaxed ladies you will find that several of them suffer from split ends and porosity issues even though they take very good care of their hair. This does not mean their hair is unhealthy.
      I am proud to say I have learnt a lot about hair because I always loved hair in which ever state. Even though I am chemically processed I have learnt about natural and relaxed hair cos I love hair full stop.
      relaxed ladies need to accept that our hair is compromised so in some respects we have to work harder than our natural sisters. Relaxed ladies also need to be aware that the straigher their hair is the more damaged it is. This is why relaxed ladies should avoid relaxing their hair bone straight. Relaxed hair can be healthy if you know what you are doing.
      I visit several hair forums and have seen several hundreds of relaxed ladeies with long healthy hair. Mine included. Knowledge is power. Fact.

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      LS, you are obviously more concerned with “long healthy hair”
      You may love hair but you clearly don’t know enough about it. You can keep your relaxed hair from not shedding and make it grow longer but that does not change the fact that relaxed hair is not healthy.
      My godmother had the most gorgeous long relaxed hair in her 30s and when I saw her recently I could not believe what I saw. Her hair was a light as a piece of chiffon fabric. This may seem blunt but whatever you’re doing to your relaxed hair now will not last. Our choices catch up with us later just like how you can get away with eating carbohydrate/unhealthy regularly while you are young, and then become diabetic when you are in your 40s. Ask some of our Nigerian parents with diabetes.

    • LS

      July 31, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      @Babe
      Yes i loooove healthy long hair. i am sure its not a crime.
      I make no assumptions on what you know about hair and you shouldnt make any assumptions on what I know either.
      I dont know how your godmother maintains her hair so cannot comment on it. Could her hair issues be caused by relaxer damage? possibly. Could it be dietary,hormonal or other issues? Possibly. That is something for your godmother to look into. I am not going to automatically assume that a relaxer is the definate cause of her hair problems.
      I cant predict the future and neither can you. as far as my hair is concerned so far so good. I have done my research and know what i am doing.
      I am not sure a comparison between relaxers and carbs is appropriate however I am happy to discuss this if you like.
      Eating carbs is not the problem, its excessive amounts that is a problem. most things in life should be done in moderation whether its carbs, salt or relaxers. i relax my hair twice or at most 3 times a year. If my diet and health remains the same ( God willing) there is no scientic basis for my hair to just drop off.

  11. JAnomaly

    July 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Unfortunately, Nigerian women are more obsessed with wigs, weaves and relaxing their hair than anything else. Time for a change.

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Way too obsessed with another race’s hair texture and they are so quick to criticize their God-given hair.
      When you tell people the truth, they get upset and try to bring up what they are using to maintain their unhealthy at the moment. It’s only for a moment. I have seen girls with a few strands of hair left on their heads and they are quick argue their hair looks fab the way it is. We create our own reality.

    • Tolu

      July 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Please shut it abeg. You like your hair natural. It don do nah abi. Ok, relaxed hair is not healthy, and so? Are you the one that will pay their doctor bills, to go make their hair healthy. What you are saying is just pure and simple BS. Its like saying because I don’t steal, I will make heaven. You don’t commit one sin, doesn’t min you are entirely sinless. You are making yourself come across some health nut, who is 100% healthy. No one is 100% healthy o, otherwise, you would be stuck in a lab, and they will be studying you forever. So because someone has relaxed hair, stop making them sound like they have the plague. You with the natural hair, doesn’t make you healthier in general than someone with relaxed hair. All you Natural Hair movement ladies actually irritate me. They have made it their life’s mission to convert people, and come up with all the definitions and documentation, bla bla bla. Even the air you breathe is unhealthy, so stop being anal about hair. its just hair now, abi. My natural hair is one of the toughest ever. My mother tried EVERYTHING in the book, and I mean everything. She bought products from as far as Morrocco, South Africa, Gambia, you name it. Any childhood travels, my mum was hunting for the next hair miracle. My childhood was marred with blinding headaches, due to the stress of the natural hair. At some point it made me ill. My dad took me to the salon and had it shaved off. As a teenager, I tried growing it again, and the nightmare started all over again. We tried everything else, and it didn’t work. So before you go all sanctimonious with people about relaxed hair, and with so much scorn, one would think they were infecting themselves with HIV. Natural hair IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. The day i had my first perm, I never looked back. Hair, that refused to grow, and had clumps and patches, I have such great hair now, it amazes my mum. She told me once that, if she had known all those years, she would have relaxed my hair, and not put both of us through all that hell, (some days, my mum cried with me) because she was listening to people like you back then, who think relaxer is the anti christ. Please, women reading this, mothers and single women don’t get unnecessarily swayed. Each person is different, there is no one size fits all. Natural hair isn’t necessarily the best, or for everyone. I’m a living proof. If you pay me, I won’t go back to natural hair. Don’t put yourselves and your daughters through hell, just because some Nappy gangsters think their “way” is the best. People who have made the right health choices all their lives, watched what they eat, drank, put into their body, the environment the live and work, health and exercise freaks, and they still got cancer, or some unexplained disease. How do you explain that, and you are making natural hair sound like it is the gateway to a clean bill of health. Shut up please, you are sounding like a broken record. Thank goodness those headaches didn’t give me brain damage as a child. Lol

    • Tolu

      July 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      If my daughter inherits my hair, I will definitely not make her go through the hell I went through. I’m sure my mum as grandmother would be the first person to buy the kids relaxer. No child should have to go through what I went through, all in the name of you want to keep your “natural hair healthy”. I wish i can post my before and after pictures. Pre relaxer and after relaxer. Any hair, relaxed or not, if well taken care of will thrive. Simple as that. I just pity the daughters of this Nappy movement. If they have hair like I do, mehn, they are in for a childhood of misery. At some point, i thought my mother hated me. Reading all your comments, actually gave me goose bumps, remembering those days.

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 1:06 am

      Lol @ Tolu..
      “Natural hair IS NOT FOR EVERYONE”
      That statement in your dissertation paper just puts me off. That is one of the favorite statements a lot of girls with relaxed hair say. Trust me, I used to say that when I had relaxed hair but it ain’t sh*t! My dear, you and your sisters here should go and do your research.. x

    • Lucy

      August 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Just because it works for you, doesn’t mean, natural hair is the bible for everyone. I also had a similar expereince to Tolu. Hair making (washing, combing, plaiting) times were one of the worst childhood/adult experiences. All the way to university, my parents didnt let me use relaxer. I decided one day, to hell with it, and I have known peace since then. So before you sound so derogatory about girls with relaxed hair, abeg go sitddon. You are not the Alpha and Omega of hair, you just happen to be following the craze. Tomorrow it will be something else. trust Nigerians, something is in vogue, they jump on the gravy train, and anyone not doing what they r doing, suddenly gets treated with scorn and disrespect. Like Tolu said, natural hair doesn’t give you a clean bill of health in any way. So please. Go to the hospitals, and you will see stories of health freaks, who are ill too, and you will find people who have made all the wrong health choices live to 80. If you havent seen the hair on some people, you can sit down in your comfort zone and say natural hair is the best. I am quite surprised, all your eloquence about the nappy hair movement (lol), that was the best response you could give about Tolu’s experience with her natural hair. Mschew. You natural hair people talk as if, having the natural hair is the next best thing since sliced bread. Come down from your high horse, and allow room for everyone. No way in nature, does one size fit all. so please, your arrogance is becoming old.

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      It makes me laugh when people write a long essay about the same ignorant things others have said. My best response, which is pure fact, cannot change someone’s mind, especially when they are responding solely on feelings and wrong advice. I have mentioned this so many times already- You create your own reality and that reality may not always be factual. I have not being disrespectful to anyone. The girls with relaxed hair, including you, have being rude but I really don’t give a damn. I know what I am saying and I am not speaking on feelings like you people. And yes gwurl, my hair is quite the business! *2 snaps for the kids*

      Again, if you have read what I have being saying properly, you will not say that I want everyone to become natural. No, I really do not care what you do to your hair. I actually like all types of hair on women as long as they wear it nicely. I want people to stop thinking that relaxed hair can be healthy because that is untrue.

      And you girls should really stop saying natural hair doesn’t work everybody. It’s very ignorant of you to say. It does not work for you because you do not know what to do and don’t want to take your time to know your hair. What works for my hair may not work for the next girl with natural hair just like how we all have different body types and what may look great on you will look terrible on someone else. Simply educate yourselves and put your emotions aside!

    • Missus

      August 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

      It is actually very arrogant of you to say “And you girls should really stop saying natural hair doesn’t work everybody. It’s very ignorant of you to say. It does not work for you because you do not know what to do and don’t want to take your time to know your hair. ” If you have met other women, who really dont want to make the effort, or dont want to make the time, doesnt mean every, and I mean every african woman on the planet who have relaxed hair is the same. I’ve been reading some of your comments, and i keep thinking, what’s she up about? Are you omniscient? How would you know, and suddenly come to that conclusion. You do not know what they have tried, and the efforts they have made, so to say that is very very wrong. Unless you are God, you cant tell me that everyone has not tried, or they are ignorant. Haba. That is delusion and self importance on another level. If something has worked for you, and worked for some people that you know, there are billions of african women all over the planet, so you cant sit down in your own little space and say no, they dont know what to do, and they dont want to take the time to know it. Geez, that is presumption on another level. Even research is not always 100% correct, because if you cant sample all the billions of people that live on earth, you cannot say that your research has been proven to, so so and so. Babe, i think you are the one that needs to educate yourself really. You cant go about your life thinking like that, oh, something works for you, and bla bla bla, sth in its natural state is always better, so everyone else is doing something wrong, or dont care. I hope you dont take this presumption of yours to other aspects of your life, because, wahala go dey o. You that are accusing other people of being ignorant, tkae a look in the mirror girl, your ignorance is showing.

    • Pd

      August 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Tolu ……God bless u o…..i tire for matter ke!

  12. Yinka Ogunbajo

    July 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Natural hair is the best. Please try the following hair products: Carol’s daughter (www.carolsdaughter.com) and Shea Moisture products (at Walgreens and Target). You can also view videos on how to style and take care of natural hair on Youtube.com

  13. Janded

    July 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I have been natural for almost 2 years now. I confess it is very difficult but if I had not made that decision, I would have been bald now. My hair is back to its natural richness. I love it. However I relax my daughter’s hair (she is six started when she was 4)and based on my bad hair experience, I have done extensive research to help treat her hair with extreme care. People never believe it is her because it is so full and healthy. I do all what the article writer advices when it comes to relaxing her hair. I hope it stays healthy.

    • E

      July 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Your daughter’s hair can’t possibly be healthy.

    • Babe

      July 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Her hair may be full and look healthy but its not healthy because of the relaxer.

    • P

      August 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Babe, you need to chill a bit! I get what you are saying – relaxed hair cannot be healthy. It makes some sense, depending on each persons definition of ‘healthy’, however it’s the fact that you seem to be forcing your point on everyone else! Just make your point and let each person decide for themselves what they make of it! No need to reply to NEARLY EVERYONE who doesn’t agree with you. Sheesh…

    • Fabulousbabe

      September 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      @janded,

      Please stop the relaaxers on the little missus hair and give me a call on these numbers 08035778486, 08191241759…I specialise in caring for children’s hair the natural way no ouches or headaches
      Just give me a call ok

  14. @ajiriavae

    July 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    One problem is that a lot of us go to have our real hair done at salons that specialise in weaves and extentions forgetting that real hair has to be handled with far more care than extentions. We have two choices, at the end of the day. Go to substandard salons where we have to micro manage the whole experience ( which I must confess to choosing on those broke days when I’m having to watch every penny) or go to a proper salon where they know what they are doing and you can relax while you are being hooked up.
    http://ajiristyle.blogspot.com/

  15. Melissa

    July 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the post! I only use natural and organic products on my hair too. I prefer Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil on my natural hair to keep it healthy, my hair is curly and gets really frizzy but the oil smooths it down and nourishes it. Chemical free hair is definitely better.

  16. Monique

    July 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I take care of my hair with argan oil, it’s really good for the damaged hair, I use Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil which also protects the hair and keeps it soft and shiny. 😀

  17. Layo

    July 31, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Taking care of your hair if you want your hair to look and be healthy is a lot of work regardless of whether it is natural or not. Get on a hair regimen and stick to it, no need to make it a debate about whether or not one’s hair is relaxed. If you put the effort into your hair, your hair will be beautiful either way.

  18. AnonYMOUS

    July 31, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I’ve definitely taken a cue from all the comments. My hair is breaking seriously as in seriously! I dont know what to do or how to even go about it. I have deep conditioned and done all sorts. I guess I will try some of the products listed here. hopefully…

  19. Pendo

    July 31, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Mehn these back and forth commentors should have been in my high school debate team lol natural or relaxed i don’t care whatever rocks your boat….as for me the only thing i am “frying” is hair that i bought oh, the one that God gave me is air dried or hood dried and once in a while i will blow dry for a min or two after air drying it just to get it straight especially the ends i always roller set for curls as opposed to using curling irons/tongs etc well unles the hair is bought of course

  20. jinx

    July 31, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    My hair’s been natural for about four years. At first I kept it most in braids, as the hair-dressers in Brixton (south-London) did not know how to treat my hair. Even blow-drying the hair was a mission for them.

    Then I discovered this up-market natural hair salon also in Brixton. They gave me a stunning up-do corn-row, and then my natural hair was curled using a foam rod. It makes me too young, but I’ve received compliments daily.

    Because I have not relaxed and rarely use heat on my hair, it has gotten really thick and the length is incredible (when blow-dried). Also my skin-tone has improved drastically as I was allergic to the chemical products in relaxer which was causing reactions on my skin.

    I’m contemplating relaxing my hair for my wedding in December! Does anyone have any classic looking natural hair-style they could recommend? If not – I might be forced to go back to the creamy crack (as Chris Rock calls it)

    • Yinka Ogunbajo

      July 31, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      check out videos for styling African American hair on Youtube.com also there are videos on Carolsdaughter.com

    • Pendo

      July 31, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      if you have it blow dried real fine using a lot of heat there is no need to relax as it will look like relaxed hair and you can still have it curled using curling irons etc they will hold just as fine as relaxed hair would you don’ t necessarily need to go back to relaxing if you don’t want to just for the wedding….

    • sweet

      August 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      hey jinx, maybe you should try coconut milk and lime. use it as a deep conditioner. Havent tried it yet but i hear it really smooths hair out that it looks almost relaxed and using a flat iron would give yo the sleek look you are looking for…
      http://www.dailyglow.com/coconut-and-lime-natural-hair-straightener-a-homemade-treatment.html

  21. molarah

    July 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Interesting article, and even more interesting comments. I think the most correct person is commenter Me – anything dead cannot be quantified as ‘healthy’. Guess most of us have been brainwashed by all those haircare product commercials that show ladies with extremely chemical-ized, processed, photo-shopped hair with some sexy background voice cooing ‘get that beaurriful, healthy, glossy…’ LOL.

    And Petra darling, your approach was really un-called for. We can argue our points out in a more genteel fashion. And like someone’s noted, our hair’s ‘health’ does not really affect the price of fish in the market. Ladies are walking around rocking a bald look and no asteroids are falling to earth yet. Get a grip.

  22. Paul

    August 1, 2012 at 1:28 am

    I don’t know a lot about women’s hair but I will like to say Naija women need to stop their obsession with brazillian hair. In naija parties, it’s competition for who has the longest, fullest, the most frizzy. It is getting very annoying especially with my girlfriend. I don’t care how a woman does her hair but I believe the wig hides her beauty. I convinced my girl to get a different style this summer. She has twists now, I think she looks better, it brings out her face more.

  23. Babe

    August 1, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I wish some people could read properly and see that I do not care whether your hair is natural or not. I am not interested in “converting” anybody because I believe everyone should do as they please. I do not know you people. I am simply here to have a discussion saying why relaxed hair (chemically processed hair) cannot be healthy. My mother relaxed my hair when I was 4 years old and so I have had my hair relaxed for over 22 years. I understand some people stubbornness because I was once like that. However, I have gone natural and have seen the light. I think this is the best hair decision I have ever made and I will keep it this way.
    I find women with natural hair and women who wear weaves but keep it natural looking, very beautiful. Now, I dislike when some women wear weaves/ wigs/ lacewigs that look like a sumo wrestler’s/ mermaid’s hair or an old Hausa mat. Or when your hair is relaxed and it looks like you’re holding on to the few strands left. The struggle must be real.

  24. Hair LOVER

    August 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Seriously?! I had permed hair for 20years and I loved it. I have gone natural now and I love this too. Will i perm my hair again? Maybe. All i know is that I have good hair and it’s mine so I can do whatever I want. I must say that I’m shocked at what the people with natural hair are writing sha (why all the anger) What is the problem exactly… is it the use of the word HEALTHY, that is causing all this? If this article isnt for you, then move on. Everyone isnt going to stop relaxing their hair cause its unhealthy so if there is a way to take care of the relaxed hair, please let them learn how to. I’ve seen some obese ladies with natural hair, I’ll prefer it if they put in as much effort in their health than in their hair. #teamgoodbeautifulhair (relaxed, dreadlocks, kinky &all)

    P.S
    team permed hair – natural Nazi (harsh much)

  25. Omolola

    August 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Ose jare, hair lover. Thank you o. See me see trouble. Healthy, not healthy, like they are about to win a Nobel prize for hair care. It makes me wonder, why the sudden aggravation towards people with relaxed hair. It is not healthy, please how does it affect the price of fish in the market. If you have natural hair on your head, and your BMI isnt in the average range, guess what, that skinny, athletic, eats right woman with relaxed hair is healthier than you. I see so many obese women with natural hair, who shout to the heavens, loud and proud, they have natural hair. I dont mind at all, its their choice, but when they have the nerve to tell me, you know relaxed hair isnt healthy. I have tried so hard not to tell them to look in the mirror. Who looks healthier, me or you. So cool down about hair abeg. It is not the way to heaven. It is not like you get conferred genius status because you have natural hair on your head. Hlaf of these people, are following the latest craze sef. So ewo wa de ni ariwo (why the noise?). LOL

  26. Missus

    August 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hmmmn, true talk o. My friend is obese, and not in in the good way obese. Its not as if obese can ever be in the good way. She switched to natural hair about a year ago, and if you see all the attention and focus, ah she has changed to natural hair o, best thing that has ever happened to her. She tells everyone to change too. I look at her, and I’ve been itching to tell her she is a living breathing oxymoron. Hypocrite may be too harsh. All this wahala on top hair, priorities girl. If you spend the effort on hair on your weight, you would have lost so much weight, and be really healthy. All this clamoring for health, on top hair. That is the exact issue I have with the natural haired ladies. Go natural, thats great. One but, though. If other aspects of your body, are not receving the same time, effort, dedication and pampering (which you will find in the majority of the natural hair movement, like everyone else too, even teh relaxed hair girls – how many people are truly health conscious), then you are so far off the line of health, you cant even see the line. So I put it to you all who have commented about natural hair. Do you make all this effort to your body in general. Eat right, exercise 3 – 5 times a week, no processed foods, no soda’s, ice cream, popcorn, portion control, do you have fibre in your diet, do you eat fruits and veg everyday, minimal oil in cooking, use biodegradable products, do you smoke, what volume of alcohol do you consume regularly, use non toxic cleaning agents, what bath soap, or body cream do you use. I can go on and on. If you can’t in all honesty answer yes to all the above questions, abeg go sitdon. Relaxer is the least of your problems. End of

    • mimi

      August 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. mimi

    August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, all these comments have killed me especially the natural ones who reply to the relaxed ones. who are you to tell people what to do? im pretty sure there are things in your life that arent perfect so please leave everyone to do what they wish.natural or relaxed it doesnt matter as long as you look prsentable. as for me i can NEVER be natural and i got good hair from my mum so if my hair starts messing up i simply cut if off and do braids back to back for a year and my hair grows back. i really duff my hat to you natural people because i had natural hair for the past year and i can tell you that i didnt put a comb through my hair for that period, it hurt so much and it actually made me cry. why should human beings go through such?? anyway, like i said to each their own.

  28. jinx

    August 1, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    @ missus – some points you have made are valid. I personally wear natural cause it’s kinder to my scalp and my skin loves it too. Also I can answer ‘yes’ to most of your above points; except the smoking (No I don’t smoke)

    What would be annoying to see is a natural hair woman that bleaches her skin. But I’ve not seen such. Cause natural hair ladies usually take the natural products movement to their skin. But true that they should also apply such dedication to their diets et al.

  29. Babe

    August 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Omo, I think the problem is that people find it difficult to comprehend the actual subject of this discussion. Sigh. Again, It is not an attack on what you do to your hair. It is an argument about the fact that relaxed hair cannot be healthy. It may look bouncy, shiny, and all but it is not healthy because you have chemicals that damage your hair in it. You are doing a great job maintaining it for the time being but like I said, our actions come with consequences.

  30. smiles

    August 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    nawa o…see different kain epistle untop hair. nywys i love my hair and iv been thinking a lot on goin natural. i told my friends that i ws gona go natural a while back but i must confess i dont know ow im gona deal with it.
    so…..any1 cares to give me simple basic steps and tell me things i should know?
    my hair is still relaxed as I speak.

  31. naijababe

    August 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    @ Mimi

    Your natural hair hurting has nothing to do with it being natural. You probably didn’t put the right conditioner, the right products to soften it. African women kill me with their zero effort to making their natural hair more manageable. Before wigs/weaves came into the picture, I’m sure our grandmothers had ways to work with their hair. My grandmother had long, full, soft hair and all she did was braid it and use natural oil. So, we don’t even need that much.

    I’m natural, I wear my hair in twists, braids, different style and it’s hard at first but you will get used to it. People can do whatever to their hair but don’t give the foolish talk of it’s just hard to manage natural African hair. So much information out there, natural products that will help you manage your hair better without putting chemical or be enslaved to wigs/weaves. Just say, you are too lazy to care for your hair and you like the look of relaxed hair and the illusion of long hair with wigs/weaves.

    @ Babe
    Your point is not that hard to understand. Just ignore the other shenanigans, because skin color and hair is the most sensitive topic among Black/African women. It’s war, when one of this topic comes up. When in reality, it’s just suggestion to help ourselves better and accept whatever skin color or hair type you come with since African women are the ones changing themselves the most to meet some type of standard more accepting in the society.

    • mimi

      August 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      umm from my story, any reasonable person will be able to tell that that i dont have the time to care for my hair hence me saying that i cut it off quite often. kudus to your grandma for carrying her natural hair, i dont subscribe to such. so please carry your anger and pour it on someone who cares…

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      @ naijababe
      Abi o! The topic has changed from why relaxed hair cannot be healthy to nazism, queen of health, I love my permed hair, natural hair is not for everyone etc.Loll. If people cannot read carefully anymore, then I will have to ignore them. The truth really hurts.. I want someone to challenge me with facts not various people writing “under the influence of emotions” x

  32. naijababe

    August 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    @ AnonYMOUS

    What type of hair do you have? 3A, 3B, 4A or 4B. It’s important to know because it helps to decide the product that will work for your hair. What works for me might not work for you. I’m 4A, but I just don’t want to throw different products at you. I will suggest you watch these two natural sistas on youtube, AfricanExport and naptural85. Basically, do your research first. The general products that works for every type of African hair, is the nourishing coconut milk you can get from any hair store. The hydrating macadamia oil works for my sister, whose hair is very coarse. She uses it for deep conditioning, also whenever she want to style her hair. The Organic root stimulator brand seems to work for any type of hair too. The olive oil moisturizing lotion is a great one to soften your hair. Shea butter and natural oil like almond, olive, rosemary, mira oil etc helps too. I know, this sounds like too much info but it’s really not once you find what works for you. Also, try taking multivitamins for hair.

  33. Sade

    August 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    @Babe, and natural hair is healthy. You have not seen some people’s natural hair. Gross and disgraceful are some words that come to mind. So, your default of relaxed hair cannot be healthy is not entirely correct. We all have chemicals that damage parts of our bodies, and we are exposed to them on a daily basis. So, chill on the hair parade. I have relatives who have retouched their hair way into their 60’s, even coloured it too, and still have amazing hair. Genetics sometimes plays a role. My grandma is one of my number one relaxed hair example. For as long as I can remember she always had relaxed hair, and her hair was glorious. We used to spend ages, playing hairdresser, playing with it. Her only moisturiser was shea butter, and olive oil. Simple, and she had lovely, and I mean lovely relaxed hair. Unluckily, I did not inherit her hair, but I hope my daughters do. She only stopped relaxing her hair at 70, because she has a bad back and neck, and couldn’t tolerate, leaning back to have her hair washed at the salon. Doing it at home, was even more uncomfortable, and she stopped. So, all that story of relaxed hair can’t be healthy because of chemicals is BS. My natural hair despite my efforts refused to yield any positive results, so why would I make myself miserable, so that I can claim to have healthy hair, when the rest of my body is under attack from free radicals everywhere. Even the food you eat, as long as you eat some form of processed food, that is chemical exposure too. Your mobile phone, that you put close to your ears for hours daily, is also chemical exposure. So avoiding relaxed hair because of the chemicals damaging it, is a moot point. Your body suffers more chemical damage on a daily basis, than it does with a 3 or 4 times a year relaxer application. So, again, your point about healthy hair and chemicals is?

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      So what is your point? You don’t know me, the food that I consume, and my health regimen..My mother is diabetic. I see what she goes through and so I am smart enough to prevent it. I do my very best at staying healthy.
      And good for your mum! Her hair will be healthy now.

  34. Laura

    August 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    You can’t pick one part of your body, and zoom on it, and be the queen of the healthy hair parade. My mum is 68 this year, and she has been relaxing her hair since she was a young girl, and her hair is still wonderfully soft, shiny, and bouncy and full. You would think at her age, it would have started thinning out. Nope. So Babe, who seems to know so much about how relaxed hair cannot be healthy. Can your argument compete against a 68year old woman’s hair. Someone who has been using the relaxer since before getting married.

    • Babe

      August 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      I know some people who have lost some volume from their hair and still think the volume is the same…. Why should I argue about a woman I have never seen. People have different definitions of what they consider long, full,etc.. I gave an example of my godmother.. Your natural hair will be healthy if you take good care of it…again, relaxed hair cannot be healthy.

  35. mimi

    August 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    umm from my story, any reasonable person will be able to tell that that i dont have the time to care for my hair hence me saying that i cut it off quite often. kudus to your grandma for carrying her natural hair, i dont subscribe to such. so please carry your anger and pour it on someone who cares

  36. Jane

    August 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    You black women worry about your natural hair. Love what God has given u! The only thing blaCk women commonly accept is their butt/ curves.. We are all divided when it comes to our hair and skin. Stop fooling yourselves. your hair is NOT healthy with the chemicals. Lolllllllllll..

  37. Finolee

    August 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    @ Petra, it is ironic that you are calling people hair nazi when you were the one that started off writing angrily.You started off defensive and you are accusing others??What did sugarbelly say that warranted your angry outburst in the first instance?

  38. naijababe

    August 2, 2012 at 2:08 am

    @ Sade

    Natural hair is not DIFFICULT to take care of, when people find the perfect products for their hair and they know how to care for it. If you don’t take care of anything even your skin, it won’t look as good, you will have crappy skin. Even for your skin, we are always advised to try to stay away from too much chemically made products and try to stick to simple natural products. The food we eat, we are advised to eat natural made food. Does that mean if you eat chemically preserved or made food like fast food burgers, you will immediately die? No. But it’s still better to try to eat more natural foods because it’s healthier.
    EVERYTHING IS HEALTHY WHEN IT’S IN THE VERY NATURAL STATE WITHOUT IT BEING ALTERED OR MESSED WITH.
    I believe it’s not that hard to understand this, people just want to be stubborn for no reason. Kudos to your grandmother for relaxing her hair till 70, and you want to continue that legacy. Go and relax your hair, nobody is holding you back. Do you feel better now. Sigh.

  39. Sade

    August 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I dont mind continuing that legacy at all, because as you all are pointing out that natural hair is better and works for you, and some people that you know. I have also seen based on evidence of the people around me, who have not suffered adversely due to relaxer application. So, I dont mind continuing at all. You need to scroll up and read Tolu’s story, about what she faced with her natural hair. So, until you natural hair ladies, accept that one size does not fit all, your argument will continue to remain flawed. I love my relaxed hair, and it makes me look happy and very presentable. Why would I trade that, for something that makes me miserable. I have tried the natural hair route, years ago, in fact, my first relaxer application was at 22. So I happen to know what I am saying. If you have not walked a mile in my shoes, you can never tell me, how I should and should not handle my hair. The problem with natural haired ladies, is this misplaced notion that every African woman’s hair can be manageable in its natural state. If that is not arrogance, I dont know what is. Yes decades and decades ago before relaxer, women were managing there hair, but to what cost. Quality of life, is something you have to factor in, so because women centuries ago didnt have a choice, doesnt meant they were happy about it. Tolu’s story indicated that she went through hell, blidning headaches and all regarding managing her hair, and her mum tried everything under the book. She cut it off, and tried again as a teenager, and nothing still worked. I wont let my child go through that at all. She should be crying and suffering, and I should stick to my stubborness and say NO, you will have your hair natural. If my daughter inherits my hair, I wont put her though what I went through. No way. So, such a person should suffer, just because she wants to keep her natural hair healthy. The way not all meds give the same positive results for everyone, is the same way, not all hair products work for everyone. If it worked for you, fine, but dont put someone down who it did not work for, and say, she didnt try hard enough, she is lazy. Not all those products work, in my case, I only saw results when the hair was wet, as soon, as it was dry, even after applying all sorts, to maintain it in its dry state. A day or two, thats it, and its back again to its wahala. I tried everything, and anything, my childhood and teenage years, even till univeristy was an uphill battle. The day I wrote my final exam, I went to buy a relaxer. When the matter of hair, causes you pain, and suffering, and you’ve tried everything, and it didnt work, so you should just continue, bcause you want to keep your hair healthy. Thats ludicrous. I take very good care of my body, eat right exercise, the whole shebang. If applying relxer is my only health sin, to hell with it then. Life is meant to be simple, and enjoyable, and full of choice, not put in a one box fits everyone. That is my point.

    • E

      August 3, 2012 at 7:56 am

      @Sade,

      “”I love my relaxed hair, and it makes me look happy and very presentable. Why would I trade that, for something that makes me miserable.””
      Wow, this is a new level of self-hate. In other words, relaxed hair makes you look presentable and natural hair doesn’t. I see. The same way an aunt told me that she bleaches because in pictures, she looks too dark and all her colleagues are white. She felt she would be prettier and more visible lighter… Now she has the worst skin ever.

      “”The problem with natural haired ladies, is this misplaced notion that every African woman’s hair can be manageable in its natural state. If that is not arrogance, I dont know what is.””
      – Misplaced??? What is misplaced is thinking that our hair wasn’t created for all of us but just a few (there are fewer Black women who wear their real hair inits natural state, this includes weave addicts, both natural or relaxed).
      If us loving ourselves and promoting a positive image of originality and beauty is arrogant then I guess we are. Would you say the same thing to a white person who mentions that their hair is manageable in it’s original state? I guess not, because you already BELIEVE that it is indeed the truth. But for Black people, it becomes arrogant??? WOW.

      “”If my daughter inherits my hair, I wont put her though what I went through. No way.””
      – I really hope you don’t put that poor girl through what you went through. No way. Please don’t put her through the ignorance you experienced in caring for your own hair. Please don’t allow her hate herself and feel a damaging chemical is all she needs every 6 weeks for comfort and presentability. PLEASE. Please don’t let her feel less of herself because she doesn’t have the tools to improve her personal ideals of beauty, instead, encourage her to do things differently. To love her true self and let that affection propel her to learning about herself and allow her attempt to know her real hair instead of living everyday in self-inflicted misery as you did. As @babe said, we create our own reality. You never had faith in your own hair but hopefully, she will.

  40. Hair LOVER

    August 2, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Natural hair lovers, no one has forgotten or is ignoring the points being made about healthy natural hair. Y’all just sound angry that’s why no one is listening to you clearly(no be fight). I’m rocking natural hair right now coz I’m lucky to have very soft hair that grows really fast and it looks good. But I’m not going to try and convince someone that has stubborn hair or is too busy to maintain natural hair to try it. You ladies need to understand that not everyone has the time and patience to take care of their hair themselves ergo going to the salon to relax it or fix weaves. Instead of preaching the natural gospel here, why dont you experts try and open salons so those with unhealthy hair can walk in and get a quick fix. I love braids and cornrows but so what if some babe likes long 22″ oyibo hair (una de try sha. the heat!!!!!!!!!!) anyway, you might like u hair healthy and natural but the faux leather shoes, bags and cosmetics u carry and use are tested on some poor animals and are not so natural.

    And as much as you African ladies talk about embracing our heritage *rolling eyes* , natural hair doesnt suit evryone. Some ladies look very unkempt. So even if relaxed hair isnt HEALTHY, it sure looks it.

    …and yes I have seen white-washed-unnatural-looking girls struggling to go natural. after all, na im de rain!!!

  41. Hair LOVER

    August 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Wait oh, isnt this article for ladies with relaxed hair. Oya my natural-hair sistas follow me lets go. We have looked for enough trouble. Lets leave the unhealthy hair people to learn how to maintain their hair 🙂 :*

  42. Dabs

    August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Angie King follow my blog http://www.naijahaircangrow.blogspot.com for more info on products that work, check the archives or click on the label hair products!

  43. naijababe

    August 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    @ Sade

    Go drink a cup of tea while you relax your hair, it’s not a big deal. Just like how you are getting all passionate and spokesperson for relaxed hair, people who have a different opinion will get all passionate too, fair enough. I personally don’t care what people do to their hair, I just wanted to comment after people clearly misunderstood and overreacted to “Babe” comment. Majority of the women in my family all relax or perm their hair. Hey, whatever rocks your boat. I just don’t agree when African women make ignorant statement about their hair or hate their hair and will go extra miles to make it look a certain way. I’m more of accept what God has blessed you with and it’s not all bad if you be patient and find better effective ways to care for it.

    The argument for natural healthy hair is better will remain flawed? Now, I know you clearly not using your brain. It’s like saying the argument that natural foods with not much chemical is healthier is flawed because people hate the taste of salad or fruits and they enjoy fast food better. C’mon now!!!

    @ Hair LOVER
    Natural hair people sound angry? hahahaha…you are delusional. I think women who wear wigs/weaves or relaxed hair are the ones who are the most sensitive because you are telling them to stop something they’ve grown to like and attached to. I see your point, basically African hair doesn’t look good on all of us. Some of us look better with other people’s hair, just changing our hair to fit into a standard of beauty. I’m sure the white men will be very proud of you because you just proved his point. No need to get mad anymore when white people are pushing their standard of beauty and continue to look down on Africans because we give them every reason to.

    • Scarlet

      August 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

      I agree with you on this. I mean, nobody is forcing anybody to do anything. Choose whichever one rocks your boat. It’s your hair.By the way, I’m in my transition stage.To the person who said , ‘na im dey rain’. E no dey reign for here o. I get weird looks everytime I tell people I’m going natural. Admitted, a lot of people go with their natural hair here in Akure, but those are like the Deeper Life or Mountain of Fire devotees. My relaxed hair was ok,just ok. But I got tired of relaxers,even tried jerry curl. Same thing. So I decided, no more relaxers!

    • Babe

      August 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      That’s good to hear, Scarlet. Cheers to the beginning of real healthy hair. My hair is very coarse but I am slowly learning what to do with it. It’s fun playing with the coils too.

  44. Miss Jay

    August 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    It is just hair at the end of the day. Well done good and faithful servant is what I want my legacy to be. That being said, I am currently transitioning (27 months and going) and before I started a natural hair journey, I was on a relaxed hair journey and learnt to look after my hair both ways. I beleive that natural hair ISN’T for everyone as not everyone is passionate about hair or has the patience. Any healthy hair regimen (and not just a natural one) requires an amount of discipline and dedication which not everyone has the time for. I pray for a day when we Nigerians begin to embrace and take care of the hair God has given us (relaxed or natural) instead of wearing other peoples hair on our heads cos the truth of the matter is, our hair can be as long as mrs brazil or peru if and only if we take the time to look after it. So please let us be open minded and embrace a post as this. if it means i dont have to see gorimapa for a while or traction alopecia, then im good.

  45. triangle

    August 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    As far as I have something the stylist can catch and weave the hair for fixing I’m okay. All these back N forth argument I can’t shout biko.
    Like my jnr Sis will say, what’s d point of grooming and suffering ontop maintaining hair, wen she won’t carry the hair without weave. I go without braids or weaves tops 1 week.

  46. Hair LOVER

    August 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    @naijababe, SERIOUSLY?!!! Abeg wake up! How do you dress and where do you shop? What standard of beauty do you follow when u pick out an outfit or is beauty just about the hair. Its people like you that call the “white-man” racist before checking yourself. You comfortably use everything the white-man has invented but when it comes to hair, you get all righteous. I hope you call God’s name in every aspect of your life and appreciate every single thing he has done for you not just the God-GIVEN HAIR. Yes, all the kinky hair ladies here sound very, very angry. And I’ll say it again, why dont you guys invest in salons for natural hair. I know what goes into taking care of my hair but i have time to do it. A busy lady will rather fix something she can carry for weeks without putting to much effort in maintenance.

  47. naijababe

    August 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I don’t need to wake up, you need to go to sleep. It makes no sense comparing wearing jeans Europeans introduced to us, to changing your hair or skin to fit into something that is more acceptable by the mainstream. I give credit to White men to where it’s due, for the development they brought to Nigeria through colonization and their contributions to the world. So, I have to thank God and them for saying black skin and black hair is least attractive. Me saying Africans should embrace who they are more makes me a “White-man” racist, that sounds foolish. Like I said, relaxing your hair, wearing wig/weave is no big deal to me, as long as you are not enslave where you hate your African hair so much, like self hate. If kinky hair ladies here sound angry, so how does relaxed hair ladies here sound? It’s a discussion, so people on both sides will get passionate, I won’t say angry. You make absolutely no sense.

  48. Cool cat

    August 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Na wa o, tried to read all but my eyes started hurting. I am actually surprised at the number of natural locks faithfuls here, I want to assume all of you do not live in Nigeria cos I can’t remember how many naija babes I’ve seen with natural hair. Many of you forget that we all have different textures. Some are lucky with soft hair that grows straight, some have coarse frizzy hair that grows in volume and never length, like mine. Even my relaxed hair never gets bone straight, if I try to blow dry and style it, it swells up like agege bread within minutes. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. Some people weave or braid their hair and end up with iya eko, some install weaves and end up with split ends, some do dread locks(natural they say) and can never unlock the hair without losing a chunk. As long as you are confident with what you’re carrying, pls go ahead and fry, colour, jerry curl your hair as much as you want. I just know its very sickening seeing little girls wailing, almost having their necks snapped off all in the name of combing natural hair. Both natural and permed hair are susceptible to split ends, breakage, and growth.

    • Jah

      August 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      You’ve raised no point.

  49. Jah

    August 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Does relaxer make people this emotional? #TeamNatural/GodGivenhair!!!

  50. Toyin

    August 4, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Wow, it seems like hair and skin color is a NO go area for black women. I’ve never had any problem with my natural hair, it’s long, thick and healthy. I even cut it really short, rocked it for a while and it grew back. Black people tell me you are lucky you have good hair. I don’t think it’s a matter of good hair, we just have different texture and we each need to find what works for us. I put a lot of time into my hair, make sure I wash it , condition it every week or two other weeks, use my vitamins and oil. I wear wig/weave sometimes for a change and to give my hair a break without touching it.
    I agree with naijababe, about us being enslaved to it. And, nigerians who wear wigs, please get the good, hydrated ones at least natural looking ones. Those extra long ones to the butt are plain ugly. Another problem that I see with naija girls, when they take their wigs off, their hair underneath is dreadful, because they don’t wash it or oil it often. Take care of your hair underneath.

  51. Pd

    August 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Una don chop belleful oh…….bn comments! Smh

  52. self esteem

    August 25, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    there is a lot more information now than ever about how to grow and maintain natural afro hair. our natural hair is worth getting to know, maintain and grow out healthily no matter the challenges. people should profit from the natural hair blogs, forums and youtube, thats where the revolution is at. and, there is nothing like rocking and your own natural hair! love and have patience for your hair at every stage and you will get the love back ten-fold! thats how it works! good luck!

  53. Anonymous

    September 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    All these natural hair freaks should hold their breath and stfu. My hair is a perfect example of a healthy relaxed hair. I’m a Nigerian lady with over 24 inches in length of relaxed hair. Grown for 10 years and I’ve relaxed three times a year (experienced stylist), avoided braids and tight weaves and did go on extensions when i feel like giving my hair a break from combing. So either natural or relaxed, it all boils down to your inherited genes and how you care for your hair. If you aren’t blessed with good hair genes, natural or relaxed will never be healthy and vice versa. PS: Seen a lot of all these self righteous naturals with bald scalp and smelly hair due to constant pulls, tight weaves and phobia for washing (cos they know what they go through to dry and straighten out voluminous natural hair). Take a chill pill and allow peeps go with what suits them!

  54. tgal

    October 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Nice tips! Please does anyone know ‎​how much it costs to learn as an apprentice in a hair styling salon? I mean like a range. Bin to some places but really dont want to be cheated. Lol. Pls reply

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