so, it’s interesting how this ties in with our recent discussion on relaxed hair. bublnbrnsuga has some of the thickest, longest and most beautiful natural hair i’ve ever seen. well, had. she chose to relax (motions lye relaxer) in october 2008.

her hair is gorgeous both ways. but i was surprised she relaxed, since i felt she had the best of both worlds — the health of natural hair with the option to straighten if she wanted a relaxed look. so, i asked her about it…

BGLH: was this your first relaxer? were you relaxed before?
B: My first relaxer was in 1998, my second year in college. I snuck behind my mother’s back and got an Affirm relaxer. She was not happy!!

BGLH: why did you do it again after going natural?
B: I was at a standstill with my natural hair or so I thought. I was not at my official goal length afer 6 years of being natural. My hair at this time would just hang — no personality. To remedy this, I knew I would have to cut my hair but at the time, I didn’t want cutting my hair to be a mainstay as a natural. So I sacrificed hair length over health and relaxed. I thought this time, from me being a part of haircare forums, I would know how to manage relaxed hair better than before.

BGLH: so now you’re transitioning back to natural. i know you mentioned something about straight hair frizz… which interested me because you said that you liked your natural frizz. you also mentioned shedding. could you elaborate?
B: Yes, when I was natural I embraced the frizz because my main styles were wild and free. As a relaxed head, my styles are mainly straight with body, but along with this comes frizz. It defeats the purpose of relaxed hair when all it does is frizz. My hair has been shedding a lot, too. I can comb my hair daily with my K-Cutter and long strands will come out. Sometimes I can just rub my hair and I will get a few strands this way,too. Some say it’s normal because the hair sheds daily, but I wasn’t sure.

BGLH: what is your plan for transitioning back to natural?
B: This time I am going to transition for 10 months and chop. I have been going to the beauty shop weekly to get roller wraps, to maintain my relaxed hair look.

Bublnbrnsuga’s photos
NATURAL

RELAXED


the frizz (according to bublnbrnsuga)

interesting stuff. i also asked her about her haircare regimen when she was natural, but i’ll post those responses in a few days. (here’s the link to her fotki page to get your own sneak preview.) for now, i want to hear what you think. and again, all views are welcome.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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35 Comments on "Why I Relaxed My Long, Thick Natural Hair"

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candice roma
I was natural for four years when I made the decision to perm my hair again. And it was the best choice for me. I had recently started a gym routine that had me there four to five days a week, sweating heavily. I couldn’t keep my natural hair moisturized and I was needing to wash my hair more than once a week. My hair was constantly damp, I couldn’t style or protective style (soggy twists are gross), and my hair was starting to break off. I permed my hair, but like I had never permed my hair before. I… Read more »
tpshandu

I personally can count the number of times I’ve had a relaxer on one hand. First one when I was 13 I made the decision to stop relaxing when i was 15, everyone thought i was crazy but I loved my hair and texture an didn’t see the need to alter it. I have been a natural girl for six year and have bc’d twice in between. How you wear you hair or want to wear your hair is a personal and spiritual choice. As long as you feel groovy 🙂

Alyssa

Well, for those who care, she’s done an awesome job growing it back out. She’s waistlength (or more) now.

Her’s her YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7RHHYRRp9oFdKAL9JLFKkA

Or look up “ChakaKhanian” ;o)

KekeKool

she permed again

ElleBella2011

The natural hair journey is Not for everyone. Whether you are doing it to be fashionable or spiritual it is your call. Another chapter to your story, Do you!!

Vee
Afro textured hair is hard work, no matter what style it is in. Why anyone thinks otherwise confuses me! If your hair is relaxed, then trying to get body, volume, and life can be a problem. If natural, trying to find a combing regiment that doesn’t leave you exhausted. Moisture and Proteins are the key, no matter what style your hair is. Getting the right products for your hair, having a solid regime that works for you, and implementing it with patience, all of these will allow for your hair to flourish. Frizzy hair, if your hair was frizzy as… Read more »
ida voyder
It depends on your perception of it. It is true that some textures are easier to take care of – but at the end of the day if you were raised being told that taking care of it is hard work, then for you it will be hard work because of what you were constantly told. To me my hair isn’t hard work at all, it’s to the point where in the summer ( I don’t take to the heat very well) I rinse my hair out daily, my hair was long and yet it was done daily, I never… Read more »
Vee
Afro textured hair is hard work, no matter what style it is in. Why anyone thinks otherwise confuses me! If your hair is relaxed, then trying to get body, volume, and life can be a problem. If natural, trying to find a combing regiment that doesn’t leave you exhausted. Moisture and Proteins are the key, no matter what style your hair is. Getting the right products for your hair, having a solid regime that works for you, and implementing it with patience, all of these will allow for your hair to flourish. Frizzy hair, if your hair was frizzy as… Read more »
JuJu

I don’t understand why she thought that getting a relaxer meant she did not have to cut her hair. We loose 50-100 strands of hair a day & it’s will be fizzy & shedding natural or relaxed when you save dead split ends. Curly hair hides imperfections & straight hair will show what you been hiding.

hilary
I am texlaxed but really it has nothing to do with anyone thinks, but because I find it easier to manage my hair that way. I wear my hair in a lot of different styles, and because my hair still has texture some people think its just stretched natural hair. I think its just sad that people think when you relax your hair then you want to be like a white or hispanic woman. Then why is it ok that naturals are stretching their hair, flat iron, dye their hair or use curl formers? Because at the end of day… Read more »
Anonymous
Nice site. Some of you all have really grown your hair out and it looks great. I was somewhat natural until I was 18 yrs old.(i got it pressed) When i did get a perm my hair neither grew or fell out.I would like to go natural (only to grow my hair out healthy)then perm it. I think people (some) that choose natural is beautiful. I mean there face is just perfect for that style.. Me on the pther hand…I have a huge forhead and can not wear my hair of my forhead. I know i would have to for… Read more »
Elizabeth
I am 17 years old and have had a relaxer since I was about 3 or 4 years old. I was in pageants, and my mom couldn’t deal with it. So, i have practically had a relaxer all of my life. Unlike what seems to be the common stigma, my hair is incredibly healthy. For example, just last year I somehow went without a relaxer for about 4-6 months. While some peoples hair would be falling out by then, the only problem I had was the fact that it was unmanageable for me. My hair wasn’t/isnt’t falling out, my hairline… Read more »
CVB
I 2nd that Black Girl Long hair..JC you should sent in your photos. I would love to hear your experience Okay, on the positives. I praise the fact that the girl in the photos went back to natural hair. Regardless of people’s opinions on why she relaxed, that says a lot in and of itself. I’m a HUGE fotki stocker..lol. I’ve been natural for 4 years and I’ve noticed that some of the girls who journeyed with me, ended up perming their hair. But like bublnbrnsuga, they’re back on their journey to being natural again. Maybe I may be a… Read more »
Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair

jc: it sounds like you need to send in your own photos for an interview, lol.

contro_versial@hotmail.com

Jc
To the last commenter, As a militant natural, I’d like to say that the abuse that you suffered is unfair. I would never participate in degrading another human being nor would I condone it. I’ll tell you why I am militant. I want a world where women do not feel that being relaxed is the ‘only’ option. Currently relaxer manufacturers are bantering a figure that around 80% of women are relaxed (google it, its a fact). It is for this reason, I say, for a large majority of women, relaxing is not an option but a compulsion. I remember people… Read more »
Anonymous
i don’t understand militant naturals who were relaxed before. i am 25 and i was always natural until age 21 i was militant in my teens and twenties. i soon discovered that i didn’t have to me tied down to my hair and what someone else did to their hair wasn’t my business i was natural before natural became a trend before the boards i never even heard of creamy crack lye etc we should be uplifting each other.trust me i didn’t see other naturals in my days except the rastas and none of the black girls liked me in… Read more »
Anonymous
Hi I’m new. My work colleague has just introduced me to this site. This is a great discussion. I feel the passion behind the words. I think too that the hair ‘looks’ good but as has been pointed out, it is not healthy. I guess the lady wanted straight hair. I think for myself, I wouldn’t give up my napps for nothing. I would like to get a straight style on occassion so maybe when Jenteel has time, she can give us some advice on this. I have tried flat ironing once but I didn’t like seeing my hair steaming… Read more »
Cyssy

This makes me wonder if natural girls here think that one day they will come back to relaxer.
I know, we all change, our motivations to come back to natural hair too, but for my part i really think that i will never go back to relaxer. I don’t see what relaxer can give that natural hair doesn’t.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair

ugh, i don’t know that we should feel sorry for bublnbrnsuga. she’s obviously a beautiful and confident black woman who is sharing her story.

i guess i want to be careful how we criticize her. plus, as i said before, relaxed or natural her hair is gorgeous, and a good example for all of us.

Jc
That made me laugh Jenny :). I do love my soap box and fatigues:) Leila put up her fotki link and in there Suga’s own (very harsh) words speak volumes. I would also highly recommend reading it. I felt a little bit sorry for Suga because I think with some effort and learning all her relaxed styles could have been achieved with natural hair and she would not have to go through the hair breakage experience. I really think that she is making the best of the experience she has currently but she has deep regrets. Natural hair is not… Read more »
jenteel
wow i hear you jc i really doyou make excellent points!but we can’t all be so militant all the timeif it looks good, it looks goodthat’s itno one saidwell excuse me (i’ll speak for myself)i never said i “take looks over health” i don’t think we each had to go thru an assessment of the dangers of relaxed hairwe handled that in the other postnatural hair is healthier!!!yay!!! 🙂we agree jc!!! we’re all here for the love of natural hairthat’s what brings us all together i am happy b is going back nappybut i don’t personalize her decision but go… Read more »
Anonymous
I am natural and loving it! My hair was much more high maintenance when I had a relaxer. I hated gettting touch ups and when I did get a touch up the hairdresser would lop off all of my progress, even when I told him/her that I want to let my hair grow with a centimeter trim. I would walk in there with hair longer than my arm pits and leave out with it just skimming my shoulders. WTF??????? I laugh at relaxed heads when they run around looking for a hairdress and are pissed off when they don’t like… Read more »
Mrs. Lilly
You are so right! I did a big chop 3 years ago and my hair was armpit natural and I did have a hard time pressing or flat ironing and so went to a relaxer with an expensive new hairdresser through a co-worker. She not only cut off 3 inches but also did my hair bone straight when asked her not to. It’s been 3 months and I don’t want to go back to her. So yes, BUH HAHAHA to me! Now, I’m not sure what I want to do. Yes, I’m shedding long strands also. My hair is shoulder… Read more »
Loveothers4ever

I never go to these hairdressers. They always cut off your hair. They don’t even understand how to take care of natural hair.

GoldenAh

She’s stunning. She wanted longer hair? Wow.

Although I am a Natural Hair Nazi (smile), this is someone who obviously knows how to take care of her hair with / without a relaxer. To me she’s the kind of person that should do it if she wants, she can manage it.

For those with receding hairlines, scalp damage, extreme breakage and going bald, while I know it is their choice, it is sad to see black women put themselves through that kind of agony.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair

oh, and another cool thing is that bublnbrnsuga sticks to the facts:

OBJECTIVELY speaking the relaxer was bad for her hair. she doesn’t attach any emotional value to the state of being relaxed or natural.

i mean, i can be militant (i confess… again, PLEASE don’t take offense), but i think it’s important for us to look at the facts of being natural and being relaxed.

emotion and rhetoric can come later.

Black girl with long hair
Black girl with long hair

well, i think the relaxed hair is pretty. but i gotta go with jc on this one.

bublnbrnsuga did state that she chose length over health (first blunder), and that the relaxer caused her hair to frizz and shed (second blunder)…

she’s very open about admitting that the relaxer wasn’t a good choice. which i respect sooo much. this interview is actually kind of mild. bublnbrnsuga is a lot more militant on her fotki page. you should definitely check it out.

Jc
This is incredible to me. Do we value hair appearance over health? She said and I quote, ‘My hair has been shedding a lot, too. I can comb my hair daily with my K-Cutter and long strands will come out. Sometimes I can just rub my hair and I will get a few strands this way,too. Some say it’s normal because the hair sheds daily, but I wasn’t sure.’ Yet we still say that that her hair looks good both ways. Why does she notice this shedding now that her hair is relaxed…….hmm I wonder? She uses some extreme terms… Read more »
Lita
It is gorgeous. I wonder whether part of the reason so many go back to the relaxer, is this coming ‘to a standstill’. Once there are no more aims, we can’t deal with just having hair, there needs to be a new challenge. Its interesting. It’s also the aesthetic. I went natural because I no longer preferred straight hair. To relax is to take that extra step. To be natural is to stay, if you get my meaning. As long as you like the way straight hair looks on you, you could forever go back and forth, with no real… Read more »
dasia

Her hair is still pretty natural or relaxed. Most people don’t have it like that.

SLY
i agree with everyone else. Her hair is full either way. Everyone has to do what works for them. When I first went natural..it had nothing to do with wanting to be free of the lye or any other “good” reason. It was out of laziness. I was tired of having to get a perm. Tired of wrapping it up. Flat ironing. Curling. Blow Drying. Making sure it didn’t get wet. Making sure every strand was in place. I just didn’t care about my hair enough to give it that much time and I wanted something simpler. So sometimes people… Read more »
Gabby
Whoa!!Her hair is just gorgeous either way …Its always so interesting to me how we are never satisfied (“we” = humans in general).We all want the Kim Kardashian Booty, the Angelina Lips, the Bublnbrnsuga hair, LOL!I think her hair is close to perfect and i am a bit bummed that she relaxed as I know that its a cycle of I am tired of my naps so I’m texturizing to make it more manageable, but now the texturizer is overlapped so I am relaxing … Now I am transitioning back to natural or cutting it all off because the relaxer… Read more »
Kinky Rhonnie

She’s a real beauty regardless of which way she chooses to wear her hair.

I’ll admit that I was very disappointed that she chose to relax her healthy natural hair.

Many women would give anything to achieve her length naturally.

But, she was able to determine that the relaxed hair is not for her so she’s woman enough to admit it and go back to being a true natural beauty; AGAIN.

That’s wonderful news to my ears.

Rhonda

Wildfiyah

I think her hair looks great both ways. As a pro-choice natural, I really try not to judge, and she’s a great example why. When I see women with damaged processed hair, it makes no sense to me for them to continue down that road; however, this sister’s hair looks quite healthy. To me, I guess it’s all about options and what works for her lifestyle at any particular time in her life.

jenteel

gorgeous hair all around!

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