Somewhere along the way, beautiful hair became synonymous with straight, blown-out hair. The war against curls led to the birth of hair treatments like the Dominican blowout and the use of relaxers and they're not just for adults—i’s common to see girls as young as five or six getting their hair straightened. We found five reasons to change the conversation about curly hair, which will hopefully stop the torture and help us to embrace our natural textures.
1. It's Damaging
Nowadays, a lot of relaxers have been reformulated to reduce breakage and increase moisture levels in hair but, as with any chemical process, there’s still plenty of risk. In order to straighten hair, the relaxer has to alter the structure of your hair strand. If it’s not done carefully, (for example, if you or your stylist overlaps the cream on the same section of hair), your strands become brittle and over time, will break prematurely. Now, imagine putting your hair through that stress from age five. You would never dye your daughter’s hair, so why put her through this kind of chemical process?
2. It's a lot of Maintenance
It’s a Lot of Maintenance
Women who dye their hair know that your roots can’t keep a secret because new growth usually means it’s time to grab that relaxer again. This results in another application and more opportunity for damage (see overlapping sections in the previous slide). Often times, women will continue to relax their hair because the growing out process is difficult. Yes, it might take some time but once you stop relaxing, you get all that time back (and more!) when you don’t have to spend your Saturday mornings at the salon. Your little girl should be worried about school and playing with friends, not her hair appointment at the salon. Let’s leave Saturday rollers time for your tias!
3. Your Curls Give You More Styling Options
Your Curls Give You More Styling Options
Have you noticed that most of the red-carpet updos we love start with beautiful curls? That’s because a head of soft waves or tight coils provides a more interesting look. Yes, you may like to straighten your thick rizos as a way to keep them out of your face, but think of all the fun and creative ways to wear them up. Just grab some bobby pins, a photo of your favorite celeb and see what you can come up with! Plus, little girls with curly hair are super adorable. Shirley Temple, anyone?
4. There are Other Alternatives to Relaxers
There are Other Alternatives to Relaxers
And no, we don’t mean sweltering (and painful!) blowout sessions at your local Dominican salon. If one of the reasons you’re bringing your daughter to get her hair chemically straightened is because detangling curls is your worst nightmare, no worries. Many beauty companies are paying more attention. Brands like Kinky-Curly and Miss Jessie's are constantly coming out with new products that help with tangles and keep curls smooth and frizz-free.
5. It's Hurting Her Self-Esteem
It’s Hurting Her Self-Esteem
More than having healthy hair or gaining free time, the most important reason to stop relaxing your hija's hair is that it has a negative affect on the way she sees herself. By constantly, and sometimes drastically, changing one of her physical qualities we are telling her that her natural beauty just doesn’t cut it. Every time you tell her that her curls are messy, every time we yank her coils into a tight pony to hold her over until the next blowout, and every time we fail to praise her beautiful rizos, we are telling her that she’s not good enough. Instead, let’s tell her that curls are just as beautiful, just as professional, just as polished and just as perfect as any other type of hair. Most of all, let’s make sure that our daughters always feel beautiful, inside and out.