You’re not a sellout for wearing a perm, and you shouldn’t think you’re one either.
I get it. You see everyone around you going through the big chop, and you get some side-eyes for admitting that you still get those curls straightened out. But just because you choose to relax your hair doesn’t mean that you don’t love yourself, nor does it mean that you’re brainwashed to think that bone-straight, buttery blond hair is the only kind of hair that is beautiful.
Now, if that’s the way you just so happen to think, well, that’s something you need to work on. But for most women still reaching for relaxers, you do so because you like the way your hair looks when it’s straight. Plain and simple. Sometimes, a look is just that—a look. There’s nothing more to read into.
For a while now, some naturals have been hard on those of you choosing relaxers as a styling option. While it’s true that the social and psychological aspects of Black hair isn’t some fabricated notion, the mindset that Black hair is “bad” hair does not govern the actions of every woman with relaxed hair.
There are plenty of reasons to want a straight hairstyle, just like there are many reasons for desiring any other style. When you have a specific aesthetic, there’s security in sticking to your signature style. It feels authentic to who you are and how you express yourself visually to others.
It’s hard to ignore the pressure to be on-trend with free ‘fros, box braids, long locs and other natural styles. And yes, I said it: The natural hair movement is a cyclical style trend. Trends change, and in a few years, there will be a mass exodus to some other popular style. And in that transition, lots of present-day naturals will transition into the next great, Black hair movement. It’s hard to try something that could take a one-year transition commitment.
But relaxed hair isn’t necessarily the default option for lazy hair care. Just as much time and money goes into maintaining the health of relaxed hair (or at least it should), as it does for natural hair. But most will agree there’s less daily styling required for relaxed hair, and there’s comfort in knowing exactly what to expect each morning when you comb down your nightly wrap. It’s simple for you: wrap, comb and go. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that, so don’t allow anyone to make you feel like there is.
It doesn’t matter which chemicals you do or don’t apply to hair, because it’s just that—YOUR HAIR. Every style isn’t for every woman. You shouldn’t feel pressured to wear your natural hair if it’s something you have struggled with and aren’t necessarily comfortable with. Rock the hairstyle that makes you happy, confident and uniquely beautiful.
LaKrishia believes every woman has the power to choose her own adventure. She writes about creativity, lifestyle and positivity at www.ARMOURELLE.com.