One common thread that binds nearly all Black women is that a lot of us have had our hair relaxed at one time. Whether it was a Just For Me “kiddie perm” or experiencing a stinging scalp during our college years, some of us have long been users – and devotees – of the “creamy crack.”

Although relaxers may have made our hair look hot for decades, in recent years these chemical straighteners have received a bad rap. Perhaps it was after Chris Rock’s Good Hair film where Rock infamously melted a Coke can in a batch of relaxer, or maybe it’s the new wave of women who are now devoted naturals. Despite the naysayers, it is possible to rock a relaxer without drastically damaging your mane. We summoned Charlene Bastien, Product Development and Marketing Manager of Strength of Nature, to help us dispel a few relaxer myths and share her top tips for maintaining healthy, relaxed hair.