Is Natural Hair Harder Than Relaxed Hair?

Is Natural Hair Harder Than Relaxed Hair?


While I relaxed my hair, I remember being offended by statements like “People who wear relaxers are lazy” and “They just don’t want to deal with their REAL hair.” Now that I’m relaxer free and enjoying my natural texture….I’m still just as offended!

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Sure, straight hair is less time consuming to style. But honestly, detangling my completely natural hair is WAYYYY easier than dealing with the two different textures during my transition period. And let’s face it…relaxed girls are constantly dealing with two textures! Depending on how long you stretch your relaxers, you may be dealing with just as much new growth as many transitioners and big choppers.
Which means that as tough as my two year transition was, as a relaxed girl, you are almost always in a transition period! Constantly working the delicate balance of maintaining both your natural new growth and your relaxed length plus ensuring you don’t have breakage where the two textures meet. No easy feat my friends!
Aside from preserving the health of two textures between touch ups, you also have to assess your hair much more closely to determine what it needs. Maintaining the moisture-protein balance is much more difficult for relaxed hair due to the proteins being chemically altered. Every week, I had to touch my hair, feel it and decide what type of conditioner I needed: moisture, light or heavy protein. I assessed whether or not I was experiencing breakage and should end or continue my stretch. How many times have you timed relaxing your hair so it would be fresh for a big event? And let’s not forget all the prep before, during and after relaxer days!
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Don’t get me wrong, I loved wearing my hair relaxed, especially when it was at its healthiest state. However, maintaining HEALTHY relaxed hair is no easy feat and my hat goes off to all the ladies that have grown long, beautifully healthy relaxed hair. You’re the real MVPs!
Sure, my natural hair is a bit more challenging while styling and definitely dealing with the weather (um, hello humidity? I hate you). But overall, I have to say maintaining the health of my natural hair is wayyyyyyyyy easier! My natural hair regimen requires much less tweaking from week to week. I prepoo and detangle with the same Motions Pre-Wash Detangling Butter every week, wash with a sulfate free shampoo (not much need for clarifying/chealating while not applying chemicals to my hair – chlorine included), deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner (Bee Mine Bee-U-ti-Ful Deep Conditioner), and use the LOC method to style. Simple, mindless and easy. So far, my hair seems to be thriving and it hasn’t required much effort on my part.
The true testament will be whenever I decide to straighten my hair and better assess the state of my ends. But my stance is, to all who say relaxed hair is EASY doesn’t even have a clue!  Plus any natural vs relaxed hair debate is silly and played out to me.  Maintaining healthy hair- period – can be challenging regardless of your texture or style choice – but the rewards make it all worth it!
  • I agree with you, my relaxed hair requires more maintenance than my daughter’s natural hair but detangling and styling her hair takes way longer than mine.

  • Fashion Pad

    You’ve made some great points hun but I’m at the other end of the spectrum. My relaxed hair was more easy for me to manage by far. However, I’m falling in love with my natural so I’m learning to manage my struggle styling adventures, lol.

  • Michelle

    I would agree with you but take it a step farther to add that texlaxed hair has to be THE hardest on all levels. Because you’re not relaxing bone straight it’s nearly impossible to have exactly consistent results with each touch up, so you can be dealing with multiple textures at once, particularly if you have bone straight ends, texlaxed mid-length of the strands and new growth. Detangling can be just as challenging or more so than natural hair depending on the level of texture you’ve left in your hair. You’re basically contending with nearly all the struggles of natural hair, and those of relaxed hair at all times (protein-moisture balancing, etc). But the thickness and reduced shrinkage make it worth while to me!

  • Hi Ebony! Your hair looks great and I admire your transition. Both relaxed and natural hair have its strong points and challenges. It’s time consuming to detangling varying textures each wash day at 17 months post. I feel the natural portions of my hair perform better on wash day but the relaxed portions perform best throughout the week. Multiple textures are a beast.