Monday, May 29, 2006

Sister, Relaxer is Not By Force...

What is this I read in last Sunday's This Day newspaper? The paper has a weekly hair column, which appears on Sundays called Hair Affair with Angel. Although, I tend to either disagree with much of what I read about hair care in Nigerian publications or have heard it so often that it's nothing new, I enjoy reading Angel's column. This title caught my attention and so I went on to read the article.

Angel starts off:
"There is no law that says your hair must be relaxed before it can be beautiful. You must bear in mind that most women do not hit 50 years with a full head of hair, and the reasons for this are many."
What?????? I am knocked slightly off balance from reading this in a Nigerian paper. Okay, perhaps I am being slightly un-generous, afterall I do see a few younger people going natural, but relaxed hair is still very much the norm.

She then goes on to outline some reasons for women losing their hair prematurely:

  • Some women have sensitive scalps or conditions like psoriasis or seborrhea which are exacerbated by relaxer applications

  • Naturally thin hair will be made even thinner with regular use of strong chemicals

  • Consistent stress and abuse will eventually make your hair pack-up shop and decide on go on a permanent holiday

  • As we grow older, our hair will naturally become thinner. Hormonal changes like those resulting from pregnancy and menopause also affect hair volume.

Angel goes on to say that locs and short cuts are not the only natural hair styling options (I was reeling from disbelief by the time I read this). However, the only other style option she mentions is braiding with hair extensions.

Overall, a good write-up and a much needed wake-up call for women with seriously thinning hair.


Everchange said...

Funny. I would be suprised as well. This is a message women really need to hear. I don't think I would ever relax my hair again, given how much I suffered years back trying to get it to "relax by force." I tried everything, and the closest that came to relaxing my incredibly thick hair was Petals (the local brand). So no more of that. Natural hair is just simpler, less painful, and more in tune with my "aura" LOL.

Ore said...

Hmm, never heard of Petals and I thought I knew all the relaxer brands.

Feel you on the aura.

ngozi said...

LOL...i love the title : 'sister, relaxer is not by force.'
i wish more of us will try to believe this.

Busola said...

Starting to believe this myself. Although I remember when my hair was natural, I was really young, and going to the hairdressers every week to get my hair 'woven' for school was so traumatising. So since then have had relaxed hair.

It hasn't been too bad until recently. Too tired of all the split ends, broken hair shafts etc. Thinking about taking a huge step, cutting it all off and going natural........easier said than done though :S

Ore said...

I really believe the reason that natural hair was so traumatising for many of us was that the people who did our hair, in most cases, didn't have natural hair themselves and so had forgotten how to (or maybe never knew) how to handle it.

When I started taking care of my hair myself, I found it so much easier.

Yes, you are right that moving back to natural is easier said than done. If my own hair hadn't fallen out, I don't know when I would have done it. But now that I have, I really love it!