October 15, 2012

If Relaxers Didn't Exist...

By Danielle Faust of okdani.com and longnaturalhair.info

There’s a trend with the emails I’ve been receiving from my blog readers. More women are telling me they’re frustrated with their hair and asking me if they should stay natural or just perm their hair again. I used to assume that they’re asking this because deep down they want to perm, otherwise why would that be an option to them? I would give some generic answer about how it was a personal decision and they should weigh the pros and cons of each before making their choice.

After thinking on it, I realized that for many women the frustration of dealing with their natural hair at times can lead them to thoughts of perming because it’s all they know as the other option. They may simply desire to remove some of the stress of natural hair care, not necessarily return to perming.

I have started to ask this question in response to these types of emails:

What would you do with your hair if perms didn’t exist?

Asking this always elicits creativity. Once you take perming your hair again off of the table, you start to think bigger as it relates to your hair. This is especially important when it comes to transitioners that are fighting the two textures on their head.

If perms didn’t exist would you:
  • Big chop earlier than expected?
  • Create a more efficient regimen?
  • Get a weave or braids so you don’t have to deal with your hair for a while?
  • Be more patient with your hair?
  • Go to a salon and let someone else handle your hair for you sometimes?
  • Experiment with new products or techniques?
  • Rethink your hair goals?
  • Cut to a more manageable length?
  • Get locs instead of wearing hair loose?
  • Straighten your hair instead of doing your usual curly styles?
When you get frustrated with your hair, whether it be edges that wont lay down, or different textures behaving differently on your head, that urge to perm may creep into your mind. Try to remember you always have non-chemical options. to help you out. Think of what you would do if perms didn’t exist, and do that instead!

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