I hear all the time when naturals get their hair flat ironed or straightened the remark, “It looks just like a relaxer.”

Well, this is really not true, and when you think about it, do you want it to be?

In my opinion, natural hair that has been flat ironed or pressed with a straightening comb does not look like a relaxer – it looks better. Natural hair can never really look or more importantly behave like a relaxer because the basic structure of the hair strand is different. Relaxed hair has been chemically altered, so the strand itself has been changed.

Relaxing strips layers from the cuticle. Natural hair will automatically be thicker and have more body when flat ironed or pressed with a hot comb than relaxed hair, sometimes much more depending on how harsh the relaxing process was or how often it was done. As a result, it will be bigger hair. I think this is a good thing. And yes, it can still have ‘swing’ without damage if done correctly.

Natural hair that has been straightened non chemically will also react to humidity and water differently. It may seem like I am stating the obvious, but some ladies that have never had natural hair before that are now flat ironing or pressing their hair to get it straight may be disappointed at their hair in its straightened state.

Remember when you were relaxed and you did not have to think too much about the weather? Well, those days are over, lol!

Expect some frizz. And don’t try to smooth out every little thing. Frizz is only natural in anyone’s hair if exposed to humidity or moisture. Even my Caucasian friends’ hair shows some frizz under these conditions.

As long as it does not revert to the point that you have no style left (this is really bad when this happens) you are okay. Remember your hair is natural and naturally curly, and this is just part of the gig. Love it, and if it gets too bad you can always put it up. Be prepared just in case with bands, bobby pins, banana clips, etc.