By Hadassah Agbaps - February 24, 2014
Hi people, what's been on?
I went for a wedding recently with my natural hair out and I got several questions about it and why I chose not to relax my hair and it dawned on me that the simplest answer is 'Just because I can'.
I don't really care for the natural hair vs relaxed hair issue.....and yes I am aware that this debate has been overflogged ....but still, I feel like saying what I feel about it since I get questions in that general direction.
Some people think that as a natural, you can't apply makeup, use ready made products, eat meat, fix weaves, braid your hair with extensions, dye it, straighten it and finally, chemically relax it.
Well the answer to that is YOU CAN.
Can I chemically relax my hair?
Yes I can......but I don't want to.
Relaxing my hair should be a choice much like dyeing it or braiding it. I wouldn't do it because I feel my hair is unmanageable....it's not. We are friends now.
I wouldn't do it because the stylists have a look of terror when they see my mane.
I wouldn't do it because everyone is doing it.
I will relax my hair because I want to permanently straighten my hair. I will do so with the understanding that my hair has been permanently altered (like dyeing) and I will need to stock up on protein reconstructors, deep conditioners and natural oils that will help protect my strands.
I won't use harsh shampoos.
I won't weigh my hair down withvwax because I want it to shine, I won't overprocess my hair beyond what it can handle.
I won't overlap my relaxer. I won't ignore my hair.
I will still handle it with care.
Can I plait Ghana weaving?
Yes I can.....and I did but at the moment I don't feel like testing braiders and sitting for 4hrs to do that.
Can I big chop my hair now?
Yes I can....hair grows afterall.....slowly but it grows.
Can I dye my hair?
Yes I can....I can even go blonde if I want to because my hair is less likely to be damaged since it hasn't been chemically altered. All I need to do is get it professionally done and stock up on protein and moisture deep conditioners.
Can I fix a weave?
Yes I can.....and the good thing is it's a choice and not because I'm forced to cover up damaged hair. In fact, it's a good way to let my hair rest from manipulation and allow it to grow.
Can I have straight hair?
Yes I can.....with my trusty flat iron, I can go from bouncy curly to silky straight.....and the best part is I don't have to sacrifice volume or load up my hair with oils to get a mirror like sheen.
Can I style my hair with extensions?
Yes I can.....and because I want to not because I'm insecure about the length of my hair.....and no....it's not cheating. It's like applying mascara to my lashes.
Can I use bendy rollers, perm rods, magnetic rollers etc on my hair?
Yes I can.....and I love that I don't have to put my head under a dryer to set my style.
Can I have manageable natural hair?
Yes I can......with the right tools, products and methods my curls and I aren't enemies but friends. Does it have anything to do with texture....in my experience, no it does not. All texture is good texture.
There are different methods for different textures. I already know what works for me.
Can I use un natural products on my hair?
Yes I can.....I don't need to be a natural mixtress. I love those shiny bottles as much as the next person. I see a lot of naturals with unattractive hair just because they insist on using just shea butter, aloe vera gel and ACV to care for their hair. I'm not saying it's wrong but my sister, there are lovely well researched products out there theat will definitely make your coils pop with minimum effort.....and yes, you can put on makeup too, dress up and don stilettos too! Natural hair is a hair styling choice not a sentence o!
Can I have fabulous hair as a Nigerian living in Nigeria?
Yes I can.......because I'm home. That's where my hair is rooted and there's no place like home! Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to live outside Nigeria to grow healthy hair. Our warm humid environment is the best place for our natural hair to thrive. Unfortunately, we've forgotten how to care for it and most hair products and tools cause more damage making our hair 'hard'....but then we have local butters, oils and soaps that work really well....and better hair friendly products are slowly creeping in.
My point is, being natural is about choice. The choice to do whatever you want with your hair without socially imposed limitations.
If you are natural, there really is no need to be insecure about it....you can choose to relax it.....because you can.
If you are relaxed, there really is no need to be insecure about it.....you can be natural......because you can.
The main thing is do what is healthy for your hair. I never tire of showing people Dab's picture of NaijaHairCanGrow to prove that the most important thing to grow natural or relaxed or texlaxed hair long is the right hair care.
Weigh your options with knowledge of what it takes to get the best out of your hair. Don't blindly jump on any bandwagon....relaxed, natural, texlaxed, weaved.....look,think before you leap....lol!
Okay....I'm done with Philosopy....anyone interested in Genetics?