Chemically treated hair, which can lead to breakage and other forms of damage, is one of the reasons why women are embracing their natural textures. Some are chopping it off, while others are hesitating with the decision to go natural. With the fear of short hair, some are slowly trimming off the relaxed hair little by little. Scalp burns and balding edges are some of the other reasons why the numbers of clients who chemically relax their hair are slowly decreasing.

Natural African-American hair is inherently dry and moisture is hard to maintain, often leading to breakage and un-retained growth. Chemically relaxing hair for several people seems the best option because they feel that it requires low maintenance, although others could argue that natural hair itself requires low maintenance. Some women feel confined by the limited styles of braids, twists or free formed afros. Some are scared of heat pressing for fear it may damage their hair’s natural curl, leading to noticeable straight strands. Different natural hair textures are stigmatized as being “nappy,” hard to grow and ugly, causing many women to return to the chemical alteration of their curls.

Relaxed hair does not have to be damaging as long as one knows how to properly care for it. Breakage and split ends are signs of an unbalance between protein and moisture. Chemical relaxers break down the hair protein structure so it is very important that one must use protein at least once a month. A few highly recommended products are Aphogee two-step protein treatment or Aphogee keratin two-minute reconstructor, which will help to maintain the hair’s structure while replacing protein that is lost during the chemical process.

Moisture is a key issue. For some women, shedding or breakage signals that it is time for a touch up. It actually means that your hair is being dehydrated. Trying to preserve freshly straightened hair without frequent washing, deep conditioning, or moisturizing it (grease and oils do not moisturize) causes your hair to shed and break off. Avlon’s licensed cosmetologists from say that breakage and shedding is the result of heat damage and chemical over processing. Stretching your new growth longer than two weeks is good for maintaining healthy thickness rather than risking thin and limp hair due to overlapping relaxers. Stretching is doable as long as one does not over manipulate one’s hair, and if protective styles such as braid outs, roller-sets, etc. are used.

Natural hair does not have to be damaged or hard to maintain. Using tiny combs lead to breakage. The jilbre shower comb or the denman brush are highly recommended for detangling, especially while in the shower with the use of conditioner helping to prevent breakage. Naturals do not require protein as relaxed do, only if one straightens her hair a lot.

Natural hair does not have to be monotonous. Wash ‘n go’s, braid-outs, roller-sets, and the use of hair accessories can accentuate any style.

Being natural is the “best of both worlds.” Straightening while natural produces locks that are bouncy, thick and healthy. There are many ways for natural hair to loosen its texture.

DiDill, editor for presents an article on homemade hair relaxers using a can of coconut milk and lime. These ingredients will gradually produce noticeable loosing effects on the hair.

A roller-set and saran wrap technique can have the appearance of relaxed hair. If you would like to view this technique in action, visit the YouTube website and search for “gimmy0365 saran-wrap.” The woman featured in the tutorial is the author of, a website promoting healthy relaxed hair.

Tex-laxing the hair, the process of leaving a relaxer on for a short amount of time can be useful for naturals who find their hair to be too thick and tightly coiled, but still wanting the appearance of natural hair.

Whether you choose to maintain your current relaxed or natural hairstyle, or cross over to the other side, know that each way can be healthy as long as you follow healthy hair practices. Remember, your hair is your crowning glory and deserves to be healthy. Here’s one last tip: If you’re tired of spending money on relaxers, natural hair may be cheaper for your pockets!