Relaxed Ideals Revealed…
The following is an interview with BHP’s Dena! She reveals her experiences as a relaxed woman and the dynamics of her relaxed hair! This is Part I of the 2 Part interview. Be sure to check back for the second half of her exciting interview. Enjoy!
Where are you from?
I was born in Memphis, TN.
Did you have the option to choose to get your first relaxer? When did you get it and why?
It was a decision that my mother and I made mutually. I can remember pleading with my mom to “make my hair straight” I was known as the “girl with the waves” in school. My hair was extremely wavy, and I insisted that I wanted to be more like my friends and have the flowing hair thing going on. I was about 12 when I got my first relaxer and my late grandmother, who was a beautician, gave it to me. We had been discussing it for about a year, and she broke down and relaxed my hair. Sometimes I wish they didn’t given in so easily…
What are the benefits of having a relaxer? What are the challenges?
The most significant benefit of having a relaxer is the convenience. I don’t have to deal with shrinkage or fuss with tangles. Having relaxed hair is also very versatile, I feel that I can take on most styles I desire to. I also simply love the way that my hair looks relaxed. Since most styles that I wear require that I begin with straight hair, having a relaxer is ideal for me.
There are challenges, however. I guess the major one is the fact that the health of my hair is compromised due to chemical processing, especially with the delicate nature of my hair. The chemical processing of my hair makes it so vulnerable to breakage, and I am well aware of that. So, that makes me have to work that much harder to keep it strong and in good condition. My hair is also not as thick as it could be, that would be due to the fact that the processing has thinned my once very full hair.
With all of the buzz around being natural, do you ever feel pressure to do so?
I certainly can’t deny that I have entertained the thought of going natural. These days it almost seems as if I am a minority in a community gone natural! Not that that’s the reason for me having thought about going natural. I adore the natural look, don’t get me wrong! The thing is, I have become so comfortable with my relaxed hair and it is so easy for me and my busy lifestyle. I actually couldn’t really imagine putting in the time and effort necessary for transitioning, due to my career and family. The fact of the matter is, I don’t have the time or the patience that it take to transition. I am not tossing out the idea indefinitely. I am thinking maybe once some of the complexities in my life decrease, I may actually take that plunge. But, when I do it, there will be no turning back, I want to go into it wholeheartedly.
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