Relaxers have been the go to favorite hair product for African American Women for over a century. In the early part of the 1900s relaxer products emerged promising to give curly and extremely textured hair the luxury of obtaining straight tresses. While relaxers seemingly offered straight, free flowing, shiny healthy looking hair, there is deception in that appearance. With that said the benefits of natural hair far out way that of chemically straightening it.
Created in the 1900s by the infamous inventor Garret A. Morgan, what is now known as the relaxer, was meant to be used in the repair of sewing machines and coatings on needles. It was accidentally discovered when Morgan wiped the chemicals off on wool and the texture became smoothed. After experimenting with various chemicals he tested his concoction out on an Airedale, a dog breed known to have extremely curly coats. He observed that once certain chemicals penetrated the cortical layer the hair shaft would alter and become finer and softer. What he discovered would forever revolution the hair industry, and change the way African Americans viewed themselves and their so called unruly hair. Women and men have gone through great lengths to have a hit of the creamy crack. They have all been willing to accept the great odds of an unhealthy head of hair just to eliminate one of the main features that makes African and African Americans unique, their coiled-kinky locks.
Everything from thinning, breakage, stunted growth, severe split ends, scalp damage and infections due to chemical burn, frizzing hair, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and permanent hair loss are all consequences African Americas have been willing to accept in the name of supposed “beauty.” It’s time for women and the few men across the world to wake up and realize this beauty regiment is extremely detrimental to you and your hair health. While it may seem hard to stomach for some, there are far more benefits and far less side effects to remaining or returning back to a natural state.
The advantages of maintaining naturally textured hair are immense. First and foremost, it benefits the overall hair health. It is a proven fact that non-relaxed hair is stronger, extra durable, more nutrient rich, sheds less and grows faster and with greater ease compared to that of relaxed hair. A second factor to natural hair is the versatility in styling, because the hair is stronger it can withstand braided styles longer, weathering elements such as: wind and rain are not huge factors to ruining styles, and once trained, it can hold a straightened look when pressed, flat ironed or blow dried. Thirdly, infections, chemical burns and hair loss are not in your eminent future. Lastly, it’s easy on the wallet; you won’t be spending all your money on by-weekly or monthly visits to the salon.
Overall, natural hair provides women with the freedom to live as they are. Anyone who is natural can tell you each black woman’s hair has its own personality and uniqueness; it, in its own right, is a self-esteem booster. Natural hair wants its voice back; so, let it stand-out in a crowd. It’s time to really consider the benefits of natural hair.