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5 Solid Reasons To Never Relax Your Hair Again

Your hair is your own. I get that. If you want to relax it, that’s your choice. But, allow me to share 5 reasons to never relax your hair again. It’s my hope that you’ll have a change of heart.

There’s much debate about the use of chemical hair straighteners. Some say they do it because natural hair is too hard to manage. Others say you hate yourself if you relax your hair.

I believe there are extremes to each position.

Whatever your stance is, I want you to make sure you are well educated on the consequences of using relaxers. Then, if you decide that relaxing your hair is the only choice you want to make, I’m content knowing you didn’t make the choice without being fully informed.

Let’s get to the reasons to never relax your hair again.

1. Relaxers Can Damage the Hair

Over time, relaxers have been shown to thin out hair. Also, there’s a high risk of hair breakage.

When you manipulate how your hair naturally grows out of your head with chemical relaxers, you are essentially “paralyzing” your strands.

Relaxed hair is hair that’s actually been damaged.

Before you close this article, please allow me to finish…

When a chemical relaxer straightens the hair, its the result of those chemicals breaking apart the disulfide bonds of each strand of hair.

The hair shaft naturally becomes much weaker. Even with extreme deep conditioning, breakage easily occurs.

2. Your Scalp is At Risk of Being Damaged As Well

Chemical burns and scalp irritation are a very real risk when you choose to relax your hair. It doesn’t matter if you’ve relaxed your hair before. All it takes is one variable changing when getting the relaxer done. This could include:

  • Change in the stability of the chemicals (even a slight change)
  • Leaving the product in your head for a little too long
reasons to never relax your hair
Image credit: TellingHairStory

3. The Risk of Hair Loss

The chemicals in relaxers can cause irreparable hair loss. This is due to the lye content and other chemical interactions taking place.

I woke up to this fact after reading this book by Cathy Howse, Thinning Edges. While in the this book, Cathy doesn’t offer much new insight, this book was a real eye opener to the risks associated with relaxing your hair. After reading that book well over 10 years ago, I just stopped.

While it may be less time consuming to style (notice I didn’t say care for) relaxed hair, I see caring for my natural hair as part of my self care.

When God gave us hair (no matter if you like its curl pattern or not), He did not make any mistakes.

Yes, it will take some time to learn how to care for your hair but in my opinion, it’s just as precious to do so as if you were caring for any other part of your physical body.

Risking hair loss because I don’t want the hassle of detangling or __________ (you fill in the blank) is not worth it, IMHO.

I’d much rather invest in my natural hair (the way God gave it to me) so that I can learn to appreciate the health of it.

4. Relaxers are Volume Killers

relaxed hair
Relaxed hair – 1995

On the one hand, your hair is more manageable when relaxed but on the other hand, the hair becomes pretty limp and lifeless.

Unprocessed hair naturally has more volume. So, if you want to maintain that, you shouldn’t relax your hair. Especially, if you have fine hair.

Those with fine hair that’s low density already deal with limp hair. Relaxing it would be counter productive.

Instead, check out this article:

Fine Hair Hacks, Tips and Tricks

never relax your hair natural hair
natural hair 2021

5. Chemical Relaxers CAN Cause Health Issues

I probably should have led with this one but I saved it for last because I want to end with impact. At least, that’s my hope because I really do care about whoever is considering relaxing their hair but are reading this.

Studies have actually shown that the ingredients in chemical relaxers are able to penetrate through the skin barrier.

The chemicals in relaxers easily enter our body through cuts or burns, which are highly likely to occur during the application process.

Once the chemicals enter the bodily system, they have been shown to contribute toward a number of systemic health problems including but not limited to:

  • Dermatitis
  • Respiratory problems
  • High blood pressure

It doesn’t matter if you use a relaxer containing lye (sodium hydroxide) or what’s called no-lye, containing guanidine hydroxide (created from combining calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate).

Relaxers can cause a serious disruption of the chemical balance of our bodies.

Check out this very eye opening read on Pulse Nigeria: The harsh truth about relaxers (this is a light read)

If you have time, check out this article on Femininity, Hair Relaxers, and the Impact of Beauty Standards on Black Women’s Health (a longer read but with official citations)

All in Love

It was not my intent to bash ladies who relax their hair. On the contrary, I used to do so until I found out about the serious risks to my hair and health.

Maybe you’re on the fence and you were led to this article. I don’t believe in chance. There’s a reason you’re reading this.

Of course, you will see ladies who appear to have healthy hair. Some even have long relaxed hair. I was actually able to grow longer hair when I was relaxed too.

However, it did begin to thin out and I would always have some minor scalp irritation on relaxer day.

I believe a person can relax their hair for many year without any apparent issues but whose to say down the line (even 20 years later), there won’t be issues? Is your hair and health worth the risk?

I hope you’ve found these reasons to never relax your hair compelling enough to either end your relationship with the “creamy crack” or never enter into that relationship to begin with.

God bless you

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  1. Thank you for this! Ive been natural for four years now and I put on a wig today and considered relaxing my hair again but helped me realize my natural hair is healthiest! Thanks and God bless!

    1. I’m glad you decided not to! It’s easy to make that decision but the regret that can come isn’t worth it. It’s not even about how the hair looks. Relaxers are just not good for our health.

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