Relaxing Your Edges? Really?

Reclaiming my napptural time.

Subject: If your hair is natural and you relax your hairline are you still natural?

My inbox blew up the other day. It seems there is some kerfuffle going on about natural hair bloggers on social media relaxing their edges, advising you to do it and now many folks out there want to know what I think (thank you for that).

Normally I would pass over hair relaxing issues because, I’ve been doing this gig since 2001 and hey if people still, after all the documented health problems caused using creamy crack want to continue with it I can keep telling them they shouldn’t, that they should look at alternative, healthier ways to straighten their hair if they want to because putting those toxic chemicals on their bodies, inhaling carcinogenic chemicals into their lungs and exposing themselves to the burn is NOT the way to do it… but I’m tired of repeating myself thousands of times and the information is already out there.

But… in this case, I will make an exception.

Are napptural-haired women REALLY chemically relaxing their hairline?

At least one is and I’m not going to waste my time surfing around the interwebs to find out if hundreds of others are doing this because it doesn’t matter. I’m just going to speak my peace.

Encouraging other naturals to relax any part of their hair is something I would never do because I don’t believe it is beneficial to our hair or bodies in any way and it is in complete opposition to what the natural hair movement represents. Relaxing your hair is bad for you. End of story.

This this is not about ironing, weaving, wigging, whatever and I am not going to conflate this specific issue with side issues. My issue has ALWAYS been with damaging your natural hair and body to try and achieve a beauty standard that was never meant for you in the first place. And chemical relaxers are one thing squarely in my line of sight. You put that toxic cocktail on your hair, it gets onto your scalp, and gets all through your body and into your organs.

So let’s talk "baby hair."

Click this: http://www.nappturality.com/forums/search.php. Type in BABY HAIR. There are at least 1000 posts about baby hair on Nappturality.com. Baby hair has always been something. And that’s what this hairline relaxing thing is about.

While you're at it, check this out. http://www.nappturality.com/forums/showthread.php?156148-The-Obsession-With-Edge-Control-in-the-Natural-Hair-Community

It’s about the 4’s wanting a hairline that looks like the 3’s, 2’s and 1’s.

This is what they are trying to do

You are not a baby. You do not have baby hair, babies don’t even have baby hair. You have a hairline and it is delicate. Chemical relaxers WILL scar and thicken your skin and thin your hairline, causing your hairline to begin to march back from your forehead to your ears. And it’s hell trying to grow it back. Sometimes it never does.

I have seen some of this going on, the relaxed hair in the front and the afro puff piece in the back. Everybody knows what it is when they see it. I’m happy to see the afro hair ALL the time in any situation and I always think when I see these styles, “Hey it’s a step.” And anything I can do to encourage women who are still relaxing their hair to embrace what they are wearing in the back I will do.

But this is not a step. This is promoting natural hair with a relaxed hairline.

If you are putting relaxers on your hairline, you are not natural. It doesn’t matter if you only use chemical relaxers on 1/99th of your hair, you are not natural. You have chemically relaxed part of your hair. You are not natural. Let’s be clear about that.

If you are vegetarian and eat a steak you are not vegetarian.
If you are vegan and eat honey you are not vegan.
If you are natural and relax your hairline you are not natural.

The bad thing is that you are not natural. The good thing is that you will be natural again once that chemically relaxed hair grows out (or breaks off and/or falls out, which would be sad).

Another good thing, there are natural products out there that deal with edge control and help grow your hairline in strong and healthy. Find them and use them. Your hairline will thank you.

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