I am not African-American, or mixed. But me, in my oh-so-great curl philosophy thought it was just great to try every relaxing product out there. It never worked. Always made my hair a big greasy mess, but dried out, looking fried and not knowing whether it was straight or curly. Oh, I have had bad experiences. I once had my hair relaxed professionally as the demo model (you know...free hairstyle.) I did not get any type of straightness, just more dry curly and confused hair. From my experience I say stay natural. Boy, I had every product possible every relaxer shampoo, then the heat gel to put on hair, blah blah blah. It was a hair nightmare, and that is just my opinion, but I will tell ya I have some crazy big curly hair. I learned now to just work with what I have. I threw all my straightening products out, incl. a straightening iron that cost over $100. So not worth it, too much trouble. I have extremely thick, red, curly corkscrews and lots of it. Good luck. I just had to share, LOL.
Xtramoist shampoo, Fastfood leave on, Recoil, varnish Gel-Herbal Essances, Totally Twisted
Never try to be something you are not, and never be afraid to be who you are.