Well today is the last Wash Day before my relaxer this Friday, so you know what that means … if you guessed long, drawn out process, then you would be correct! Gold star for you!!!
It is highly recommended from the Science of Black Hair to use your last wash day before a relaxer to clean, strengthen and hydrate your hair in preparation. Today, I did this by:
1. Clean – I clarified my hair today with Alterna Life Clarifying Shampoo about three times to remove the buildup of oils and products I have put on my hair for the past few weeks. I do this so that the relaxer will not have to do battle with debris before straightening my hair. The relaxer will work quicker, reducing the chances for me to be burned and/or underprocessed. Since I do not “texlax” and like my hair to be 80% processed, removing buildup will allow me to reach this threshold faster.
I followed this clarifying session up with Alterna Caviar Moisture shampoo and the Alterna Thermal Rx Oil. I also did a quick conditioning session with Redken All Soft just to get my hair to flatten a bit. It was quite puffy after clarifying!
2. Strengthen – I alternate which protein treatments I use prior to relaxing. It has been a hot minute since I have used the Aphogee 2-step, so I thought that I would use that today instead of the Aphogee 2 minute Keratin Treatment. I usually opt for the lighter protein treatment pre-relaxer because I do not experience much breakage (sans for the ends), but since I am incorporating a lighter protein treatment into my relaxer (more to come), I think using a heavier one would be a good thing. Now this stuff stinks. Literally. I put it all over my hair and sat under the dryer for 20 minutes. During that time, I sent Alterna an email asking if they were discontinuing my beloved White Truffle Elixir (will keep you posted).
3. Hydrate – After using the Aphogee 2-Step, it is required that you follow it up with a good deep conditioner or you will have hair that is shaped like a haystack (and it will definitely feel like it, too). Is it me, or does the “conditioner” that they include to follow-up the protein conditioner flat out suck? It’s so thin!! I would never, ever use that stuff by itself on my hair to follow that harsh protein conditioner. I always add my own. Today, I used the included conditioner, MegaSilk, vegetable glycerin and kukui nut oil. I wrapped my hair up in a wet turban, threw on a plastic baggy and plopped myself under the dryer for 50 minutes. I followed this with a final cool rinse of Roux Porosity Control to shut that cuticle.
After all of that, I was at a lost of what to do with my hair. I sure as heck was not doing a roller set. I had already packed up my rollers to go home (intentionally, may I add, to prevent me wanting to do one). I thought about doing flexi-rods, but the thought of sitting under the dryer quickly dispersed that thought. Well, that left one option … my tried and true air drying! I planned to bun my hair all week in Atlanta anyways, so it was a perfect plan! I applied my normal leave-ins (Roux 619, Alterna Photo Defense and Alterna Texture) and some kukui nut oil to seal.
The end. 🙂
During the week leading up to a relaxer, I do not apply anything to my scalp and I keep product use minimal. I use my daily moisturizer and seal with oil … that’s pretty much it. I also try to protective style so that I am not combing or manipulating the hair and / or scalp too much. They go through enough trauma on relaxer day … the least I can do is protect them until that day happens!
Well, I need to write one more blog post about my relaxer day plans and that will probably be the last post I do before my relaxer. I will post pics when I am done … just in case you want to see!
Until next time, take care! 🙂
UPDATE: I do not know what happened to my hair yesterday, but after rinsing the deep conditioner out … it was a knotted, matted mess! I had to detangle with Alberto V-05 and re-rinse my hair! It was horrible! I do not know if it was shed hair trying to make it’s way down the shaft or what, but from now on … I will be detangling with my deep conditioner whether I want to or not! It took me 35 minutes to detangle my hair and it left with me with a major headache! I do not know how much hair I lost, but needless to say, I am not too thrilled with my hair right now. It made me wonder if this is how hard natural hair is to detangle and if so, I want no part of it!