For the past couple of years I've considered myself to be a die-hard Naturalista. I now believe that relaxed hair can be as healthy as natural hair. I think that the decision best comes down to how you prefer to wear YOUR hair, and how much time you are willing to spend taking good care of it. For those who prefer to wear their hair straight, relaxed hair may actually better in the long run than constantly straightening our hair with heat. Relaxed hair can also be worn in looser styles that do not require heat.
If you can find a stylist who is highly experienced in applying relaxers and uses a top quality professional brand such as Affirm* or Phyto-Specific *, I believe that you have an excellent chance at growing and maintaining a healthy head of hair. You can also learn to apply it yourself. If you do, PLEASE do your homework. Learn to apply it like a pro. Invest in a top quality relaxer and not the boxed relaxers sold in the drugstore or beauty supply store.
The big "if" in all of this is whether you are willing to protect, moisturize and condition your relaxed hair daily. Using a water based moisturizer followed by a coconut oil based balm daily can help protect relaxed hair by strengthening the broken protein bonds required to chemically straighten hair.
I am not advocating relaxed over natural hair. I am just emphasizing that it is a valid personal choice.
Remember, it's YOUR hair. Don't let anyone pressure you to wear it any particular way.
*I have no relationship with either company. I just think that they make good products.