Relaxed Hair vs. Natural Hair – The Great Debate

June 21, 2010  |  

There’s always been a little bit of a beef between au natural women and women with relaxers. Well, we’re here to settle the argument with a pros and cons list.

In this corner, we have focused fighter. She spends her time keeping her hair from moisture and frizz. Watch out for this pretty little thing, she keeps a comb in her back pocket.

Miss Au’ Natural
– Healthier hair that’s not stripped away of natural oils
– Less breakage, if kept moisturized. Because natural hair is stronger it’s can handle chemicals from hair dye better than permed hair. You also have the option to style curly or flat iron for a straight look, although excessive heat should be avoided.

– Major increase in daily maintenance. No longer are the days when you can brush your doobie wrap and go. Also, natural hair needs to be moisturized daily, co-washed at least twice a week and detangled as often as possible.
– Straight styles don’t last as long because humidity cases frizz. Also if you avoid hairspray, sleek styles may not stay in place.
– Sensitivity to styling products. You’ll find, if you’re in the process of going natural that you hair will take to certain products and hate others. Miss Jessie’s has an amazing range of products that work best for natural hair. But as any beautician will tell you, it’s all about training your hair to work in a new environment. By trial and error you’ll know eventually what works for your hair.

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  • Ro’Teia Thompson

    Hi my name is roteia im going natural but I have given myself an time limit before my big chop which is gonna be in September my hair shall have enough new growth by than but I put natural hair products okay my hair that made it kind of look like I have new growth now one side of my head still looks relaxed did I damage my hair or anything? you can see how one side is curlier than the other

  • Natural is NOT stronger, even when moisturized.

    • Mona

      Natural hair IS stronger because it isnt worn down by chemicals…

  • Denise

    hi Im Denise i believe I relapse off the creamy crack 3 times in one year, however I had regret that I permed my 4c hair. I love being Natural, because its much more easy and less maintance. Relaxed hair leaves your hair dead with know body. We as African Americans have to Understand and realize that we was not born with straight r flowing hair. The hair products on the shelves promise us things for our hair and money. Accept your NATURAL HAIR. ACCEPT THE REAL YOU. That GOD created. Email me at for any questions about Natural hair.

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  • 90sBaby

    .i had natural hair up until i was in the 4th grade nd since then i’ve had perms… this year when i put micro’s in my hair in March nd took them down in May.i decided that i would like to go natural..yea with any texture hair to keep it maintained..haven’t had a perm since nd loving it..

  • happily natural

    Seems to me being natural ia better. I’d rather put up with a little frozen than chemicals seeping into mu body

  • Back2CreamyCrack

    I feel that natural hair is good if you are good at styling. People talk of its versatility, but unless you can braid or flat twist, I don't see the versatility. Wearing twistouts/braidouts everyday would get boring, esp for those not interested in rocking an afro or puff. And for those of us with thick, KINKY hair the time it takes to straighten is overwhelming. Plus, there's always the risk of heat damage. I'm 6 months post and thought about going natural, but just feel that it's too time consuming for my current lifestyle.

  • CompletelyNatural

    I've been NATURAL for 6 years. It has been tough! I've thought about going back relaxed do many times but afraid to. When I was relaxed I had over processed my hair, and it was breaking off, didn't grow, and bad split in's. Even though I have alot of shrinkage, when-ever I do flat iron my hair its about 3 inches from bra strap length. I have started my hair journey and set a goal for my hair length for Aug 2012. I follow my hair regimen and have seen lots of growth. Relaxed hair is ok if you chose to have thin, breakage, chemical damage, etc. YOU can have long hair but NATURAL. Just think would you rather long, heathy, NATURAL hair ( can straighten to look like relaxed hair) or unhealthy, damaged hair just to be straight? If you need any pointers on NATURAL hair growth email me at

  • Kayk

    Im 16 years old and ill be 6 months natural on the 14th and I love it ! My mom permed my hair when I was 3 and I never got a chance to see what was really under all of the chemicals . My relaxed days are long gone and way out the door! Im never going back to the creamy crack. All the scars ,split ends and damage to the hair is not worth it …Natural over powers Relaxers

  • I’ve been au natural for 15 months. My hair is HEALTHY! Love the compliments I receive. Bye bye relaxers. You’re so yesterday.

  • Tierra

    My mother wants me to keep my hair relaxted but i want go natural with the whole thing. I dont know how to convince her that it's good or better for me to go natural.

  • Kierra

    Natural hair really isnt that complicated …

    • Faye

      But it requires regular upkeep and management on a greater level than straight relaxed hair (which is usually just unwrap and go)…

      • Lori

        You can “unwrap and go” with natural hair, once you have a fresh twistout etc you can wrap it too, undo it in the morning, shake , spritz if needed and go, you can have your big hair just bun it up and tie under a satin cap/scarf.
        Once you know what you are doing, natural hair can be so easy to deal with.

  • Mimi

    @B3auty Qu33n,

    I agree with you about your point that was made about mothers perming their young daughters' hair. Whenever I see a little girl with a receding hairline or their hair is incredibly short, it's one of those "shake my head" moments.

    My mother had done the same thing to my hair, when I was five years old, not because my hair was unmanageable, but she wanted to keep up with 'ghetto Joneses'.

    Right now, I am a natural because it is so easy for me to maintain and it is healthier for my hair. On special occasions, I do rock a press and curl from time to time. The salon that I patronage, the hair stylists refuse to relax any child's hair, if the child is under the age of 12.

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  • B3auty*Qu33n

    I'm personaly down with "au naturale" all day everyday day!! But

    I feel that any grown woman has the right to rock whichever style she prefers. On the contrary i think that perms should be banned for kids because it is totally on the parent to maintain the necessary moisturizing and maintenace post-perm, and speaking from my own severe childhood hair-breakage

    and most young black girls of mygeneration, parents drop the ball.

    This is the reason why there are so many chickenhead girls under highschool age– because parents wanna slap a perm on there to avoid the work that natural hair calls for, but they also don't understand that you can just perm it and thats it! Perming calls for alot of maintanance as well. I feel the same way for Dreds as well, and any other permanent styles like these. Let the child get older, and decide what they want.

  • detroitdoll

    This is a to each is own issue. I've worn my hair both natural and relaxed. its now relaxed and I have no plans to go back to natual. I like the flexability of relaxed hair. Timely relaxing and proper mantainance with products that don't dry your hair will result in your hair being healthy. I 've used the Motions system on my hair for many years and my hair healthy and shiney. The trick is applying less heat to your hair as possibly when relaxed and keeping it mositurized and not over conditioned.

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  • afroqueenb

    I've always liked big hair and had to weave when i felt like having that style when my hair was relaxed, now I can go from afro to sleek in minutes!! I love my natural hair, as I am not a lazy person, washing twice a week and mositurizing daily is no big deal when the benefits are so vast. I also like that i am not dependent on a stylist and dont have to spend HOURS in a salon

  • Oyin

    I'm a beautician and I've rocked both natural and straight hair. I will say when my hair was relaxed, it didn't have as much sheen or life as it does with natural hair.

    Natural hair does take work too now. As my hair got longer, it was a challenge to keep it untangled. I decided to lock it up and this is my favorite style of all the styles I've had!