One of the most controversial issues within the world of hair care at large, whether or not to relax one’s hair is a matter that should always be carefully considered. Although abstaining from using chemicals is ideal (at least, as far as most Naturalistas are concerned) many opt to relax their hair for an array of reasons. Nevertheless, in the interest of free flowing information, before deciding to get your first relaxer or your next retouch, there are a few facts you should consider. The following is an overview of 7 reasons why relaxing your natural hair is dangerous to your health.
7. Frizziness is Next to Dryness
First of all, relaxing your hair can cause frizziness. That is to say, a dry head is often a frizzy one. Given the fact that many relaxers are known to dry the hair and most women with relaxers also frequently use heat on their hair via flat irons, blow dryers, and the like, having a relaxer is a good way to end up with frizzy hair that never lays down.
6. Split Ends
One of the most prominent issues facing those who relax their natural hair, the chemicals in relaxers have a large propensity to cause split ends. This is largely due to the fact that relaxers tend to wear down the outer, protective layer of the hair which leaves the hair shaft exposed. This damage can then travel up the shaft which will cause damage and uneven hair. Although maintaining well-groomed ends is a must for everyone with longer hair, it is also vital to note that relaxers promote split ends by instilling a level of dryness in them which makes them easier to break off.
Next, another related issue, using relaxers has a tendency to cause breakage. Given that relaxers permanently alter your natural hair texture, your hair will become weaker and more likely to break. Over time, this can cause serious breakage to various areas of your hair, if not all of your hair in general.
Yet another prominent issue amongst those who relax their natural hair, relaxers can also cause considerable thinning of the hair. The chemicals in relaxers are literally designed to make your thick, natural tresses straighter and thinner. This is especially problematic in areas such as your edges, a portion of the hair that many men and women are in fear of losing. While many use relaxers for the sole purpose of thinning out their thick, lustrous tresses, keep in mind that it’s always possible for the product to work too well, causing thinning and even balding of the hair.
3. Scalp Burns
Yet another dangerous aspect of relaxers your natural hair, the hair straightening chemicals in relaxers can not only damage your hair, but they can seriously damage your scalp as well. Most women who use relaxers have had at least one bad relaxer that has caused serious burns on the scalp. The most unfortunate of which can end up with scalp issues, many of which, prove to be permanent over time.
2. Scalp Infections
Another fairly common issue among those who rely on relaxers for hair straightening, scalp infections are very serious and can cause massive and irreversible. In fact, several consumers have had to file lawsuits to attempt to rectify the issue. These serious infections can cause permanent bald spots and often have to be treated by a professional.
1. Respiratory Issues
The number one reason why relaxing your natural hair is dangerous for your health, they can literally cause health problems. Filled with very strong chemicals (such as lye), the chemicals in relaxers can affect both hairdressers as well as the ones receiving the relaxers. Breathing in the chemicals on the regular basis or even periodically, and over time, can cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and other respiratory issues. These symptoms can be all the more damaging to those with preexisting respiratory issues.
Overall, whether to use relaxers, or remain natural is a decision that must be made by each individual. Nevertheless, for those who opt to use relaxers, do keep in mind that it may come at a price. What’s more, with other straightening techniques such as henna, stretching the hair, and even the occasional blowout available to Naturalists, it seems, that those who do not opt to permanently alter their hair texture will maintain the highest level of versatility. No matter if you choose to remain natural or venture in the world of creamy crack, remember that properly caring for your hair should always be your top priority!