After I went back and read over my blog “This e-mail really set me off…” I realized I never answered the young lady's question!
Here's the email she sent me…
“Good Morning Marquetta,
I have received many of your emails with great suggestions and advice on caring for our hair. I have even purchased a few of your CDs. I have thought about going natural and letting my relaxer grow up for a couple of years now. I spoke with my stylist about it and she said no. It's not like I have a bad grade of hair. In fact, my hair was long and curly as a child. As I got older I started cutting and relaxing my hair. My hair still curls when I wash it. Sometimes I use Mixed Chicks products when I decide not to blow dry my hair and wear it curly.
I am wondering what is the best way to grow out a relaxer without cutting my hair. I just recently started letting my hair grow back out and it's gotten quite long.”
Okay, in order for you to fully understand my answer I want to break down exactly what a relaxer is and how it chemically alter's the hair. This way you will better understand my answer.
A relaxer completely rearranges the structure of curly/coily hair into a straighter and smoother form. Relaxers are NOT meant to get the hair bone straight, they are simply supposed to relax the curl/coil.
The only way a relaxer changes the structure of the hair is by breaking down the disulfide bonds casing a permanent change in the structure.
With a permanent change such as this, the hair will not revert back to it's original state so the ONLY way to get rid of your relaxed ends is to cut them off.
Now, you can definitely transition by wearing protective styles like braids, twists, and sew-in weaves until you reach a length you're comfortable with.
You can then do your “big chop” and cut off your relaxed ends and be completely natural.
I hope this helps you understand better why you can't NOT cut your relaxer off.
Remember, protective styles are the name of the game.