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FEATURES Sep 4 2012 6:04PM
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3 Rules of a Relaxed-Hair Girl (In a Natural-Hair World)

By Shaunequa Brathwaite, templeofglam.com
 
Be honest. Has there been a more embarrassing (or hilarious) cinematic depiction of relaxer follies than the head-in-the-toilet scene from Malcolm X? Oh, you know what I mean. Malcolm Little's relaxed (er, conked) hair was burning something awful, the tenement building's water was shut off and he desperately ran from room to room in search of aquatic relief; he found the cool, healing waters of the crapper. Relaxers have pretty much had a bad rap from that very moment.  Tell me I'm wrong.
  
Now as the natural hair crews grow deeper and deeper, how does a relaxed-hair chick stay true to her aesthetic (keep it real, if you will)? I have three rules that I've adopted. Rock with me.

Rule #1 Be True to You
Folks can be very passionate about their opinions on YOUR hair. And as vigilant as I find myself on the topic of a woman's right to choose (relaxer), sometimes I let those voices creep into my head. I then paraphrase the timeless adage: opinions are like follicles, we all got 'em.

Rule #2 Hair Is Exactly That...Hair
As I've stated earlier, I have my own hair challenges. The last place I want to be is another person's scalp. Forgive me as I state the obvious: a hairstyle doesn't make someone a good or bad person. It’s just that: a style of hair that can change on a whim. Live and let live. Curl and let curl. Ya know?
 
Rule #3 Treat Your Tresses Right
Our relationship with our relaxed hair can be a fragile one. When we wash our hair, we need to gently pat it dry. Once conditioned and dried, we should pay extra-special attention to our ends. Easily frayed, trimming and keeping our supple with our favorite moisturizer will work wonders. So sure, we may get flack for relaxing our hair, but when our hair looks amazing, does that really matter? Nah!

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