I was going to say do what you think is best haha... But i decided to click go fully natural instead. Really, once you get into the swing of things, learn what products are perfect for what on your own hair (not what works for others but does nothing for you) and get your routine down, it gets much easier.
And winter time is the perfect time to do it too. On days it gets too much and you can't be bothered to do a style, just whack on a wooly hat, hairs hidden and out the way but you didn't have to do much. You can just do like one braid or two at the side without brushing it all and just have the braid coming out of the hat, or like twisted bangs or something (if you're not chopping off all the relaxer obviously)
Once you've done it and got your routine, you'll love it so much. You can do ANYTHING, you can have a proper fro, curls, messy curls, ringlets or sleek straight, when you have straight relaxed hair it's more limited to straight, ringlets and only certain types of curls. Plus hairstyles just look fuller and have more substance.
I would recommend choosing what's healthiest for your mind, body, and spirit. Based on what I know, the chemicals used in relaxers can literately damage your hair follicles. Not only that but you are setting a mental expectation for yourself that you were not genetically designed to embody. If you do not have straight hair then damaging your hair or paying tons of money to make it look like something it's not is only going to hurt your pockets and your self-esteem.
Beauty is health. :) I think you should choose to go natural and just really educate yourself about what your hair needs/what you can do to make the most out of it.
I wish I could give you helpful advice, but unfortunately I know very little about African descent hair types. A few of my best friends are black. You girls work really hard on your hair! I'm so dang lazy. Is the issue just that you want something that looks nice and is more manageable or are you concerned about hair health primarily or maybe cost primarily?
I have 4c hair and I relax it about once or twice a year. I recommend deep conditioning treatments to ease discomfort and style more easily. I wear my hair in a lot of protective styles to grow it out. I've tried being natural many times and it's really expensive. It also takes a lot of patience. Healthy hair is a journey, but how you want to have your hair is ultimately your decision. Relaxed hair can be healthy as well. Natural doesn't mean healthy.