How to deal with the pressure of going back to relaxers.
Choosing to rock your curls can be invigorating and freeing. After all, you’re saving money on straightening agents such as keratin treatments and relaxers, and you no longer have to deal with chemical burns every couple of months when you go in to touch up your “new growth.” However, not everyone approves of your choice and some of our fellow curlies-turned-straighties are downright hateful and rude. How can we deal with this without caving to the pressure to go back to relaxers?
Why the Hate?
Most curlies who decide to straighten their hair are proud of this decision – just like we’re proud of our curls. Unfortunately, some people still haven’t managed to accept the fact that other people make different choices that work for them. Therefore, girls who choose to straighten their curls might think we’re crazy for choosing to embrace ours. But why?
Part of the reason could be that they envy the fact that we don’t go through frequent chemical treatments. Maybe that relaxed girl who comments (loud enough that you can hear her) about how much she despises curly hair really means that she despises HER curly hair because she hasn’t quite figured out what to do with it. It’s true that straight hair is easier to manage.
Remember that your natural hair journey, be you wavy, curly or coily, was a personal decision that declares to the world that you are embracing your natural beauty. It isn't always for everyone, and especially not at every point in their lives.
Think for a minute: when was the last time you heard one of your straight-haired friends talk about doing an hours-long hair care regimen? Since she has no idea what to do with her curly hair, she probably envies that her curls don’t look anything like yours do!
Another reason could be that she’s secretly kicking herself for just spending $100 on a relaxer and practically going broke, when her curls could look good if she knew what to do to them. Additionally, she could believe all of the misconceptions about girls who choose to go natural.
Regardless of the reason, there’s no excuse for meanness. Since you can’t change other people or prevent rude things from spewing out of their mouths, focus on what you can do to cope.
How to Deal
- Remember why you went natural in the first place. Was it because you started reading about all the harsh chemicals in relaxers? Were you a flatiron addict who got tired of her hair shedding? Did you read something online or meet a natural who really inspired you to go natural yourself? Whatever the reason, keep it in mind if you want to hide under a rock when you hear comments from the haters. Often, it is simply a lack of education on their part, and you can always take the opportunity to share your personal, spiritual journey.
- Sympathize! Chances are good that a curly-turned-straighty just doesn’t know how to manage her natural hair. Chances are also good that that was YOU at one time. Think back to what it was like and tell yourself that if only she knew what you knew (or knew about NaturallyCurly.com!), she’d feel differently. Share your knowledge and help her to understand that no matter her decision, we are all about the "Do YOU" philosophy.
- Consider the source. Does this “curly” actually have curls herself? If the only types of curls she gets are the ones she creates with braids or a curling iron, then realize that she really has no idea what she’s talking about — or missing! The grass is always greener on your neighbor's lawn and that breeds jealousy (why do you think suburbia is so dang dramatic!).
Remember that your natural hair journey, be you wavy, curly or coily, was a personal decision that declares to the world that you are embracing your natural beauty. It isn't for everyone, and especially not at every point in their lives. Share your knowledge, help educate and then smile and move on. Don't you have a new deep conditioning treatment to try anyway?