Hair Updates and Rumblings: NC Edition

In order not to make my Relaxer Day post too long, I thought I would break these 2 posts up and give some hair updates and observations during my time in NC.

– As you may have read, the week and a half leading up to my relaxer had me shedding something crazy! I literally thought I was going to be bald (hahah!) I never attribute excessive shedding as a cause of me needing to end a relaxer stretch, but since I have relaxed my hair a week ago, the shedding has been soooooooo minimal. Like a few strands a day, even with combing. I often view relaxers as kind of a Darwin-esque mechanism. Hairs (and ends) that are weak just won’t last during a relaxer processing, so I am left with strong, robust strands, if you will! I am not sure if my new birth control kicked in some hormones or whether a change in scenery was what my hair needed, but my shedding is under control – for now!

– I also experienced some breakage near the end of my relaxer stretch. I don’t think I will just blow dry my hair and not flat iron it again. I plan on roller setting my next pre-relaxer day.

– I am going to have to learn my hair all over again when I move back to NC. It is soooooooooooo humid! My hair just didn’t stand a chance! I don’t think all the products in the world will stand up to the humidity in the South! I will say this, I think the Living Proof products I am using helped (see below for full list of products). Instead of my hair poofing up all wild-like and leaving me with wet, swollen, and limp hair, the curls just fell and I was able to still wear it down (not sleek … pulled back in a headband) or in a ponytail. I am so glad that I did not pay $45 for a roller set only to have the NC rain and heat come and whisk my curls (and coins) away!

– I don’t like straight hair. It’s fun to have a sleek, flat ironed look sometimes, but to me, it’s gets old pretty fast and the reasons should be pretty obvious to someone on a HHJ! For one, there is too much upkeep involved to maintain it. You have to wrap (or cross-wrap), take it down, make sure there aren’t any bobby pin or clip indentations and if there are, apply heat to remove them (if you so choose). Also, if it needs to be “bumped,” you have to apply more direct heat. Then you have to watch what you’re wearing, where you go, what the forecast is looking like, etc.! It would be remiss of me not to mention that straight hair displays all your flaws. If your hemline is chewed up, it will show. If you ends are like Rice Krispies (snap, crackle and pop!), it will show. You can hide easily hide subtle flaws with roller sets and other protective styles. Also, I like the look of voluminous curls or waves that I get from roller setting or doing the faux air-drying method.

– I did a roller set two days after I got my relaxer on Labor Day. I was heading to Raleigh to meet with some friends and had to be fly! I washed my hair with some sulfate shampoo Kim had on hand to remove silicones from my flat ironing session and followed up with my Alterna Caviar Volume poo. I did a 20 minute deep-conditioning session with Ion Extreme Moisture conditioner and followed up with my Roux for 1 minute. My leave-ins were: Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Living Proof frizz Nourishing cream and Alterna Texture cream. Kim kept insisting that I use a setting lotion or foam. I said nope … water only! She rolled me up, I placed on my roller net and I went back to my mom’s house, where I had a dryer like mine waiting for me! I can’t do tabletops if I can avoid it! I sat under the dryer for about 1 hr and was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I decided to sleep in the rollers for the first time to let it air dry over night! It was a bit uncomfortable, but I was so tired, it really didn’t matter. I misted my hair the next morning and sat back under the dryer for about 30 minutes for a final setting. The curls were beautiful! I was very tempted not to blow them out in preparation for my hair to be wrapped, but I did! In hindsight, I should have left them alone and maybe the frizz wouldn’t have been so bad!

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By the time I got to Raleigh in the late afternoon on Tuesday, my hair had had it. It was humid, my ends were screaming for a dusting (which I did when I got to the hotel). To add insult to injury, after dinner at Second Empire (yum), we went to Solas, which is a rooftop bar! By the end of the night, my hair was in a bun! The next day, I combed and detangled it, smoothed with some Vitamin E oil and wore it down with a headband.

– People touching my hair makes me very nervous. I think the longer my hair gets, the more protective of it I become. At the ratchet club we went to Saturday, I sat still in a booth and made sure people couldn’t get behind me. I was in fear that someone would try and pull or cut my hair! In my hometown, there were a few people who checked for tracks. One hairdresser told me, “I would just cut all that hair off if you came to me!” SEE? That’s why I won’t allow black people to do my trims! That almost turned my blood cold.

– At Sephora in Crabtree Valley Mall, this beautiful lady with beautiful natural hair gave me some tips on how to deal with long hair and frizz! I asked her if she thought the Living Proof frizz shampoo and conditioner was good, and she said she didn’t recommend it, as even without sulfates, she found the shampoo stripping and the conditioner didn’t work well. She said she uses the Alterna Caviar shampoo and conditioner and Living Proof leave-ins (frizz Nourishing cream, Prime Style Extender and Satin Serum). I knew when she said that, she was a HHJ sister, as she even mentioned the word “journey.” She admired the thickness of my hair and ends, even though the curls had been long gone! She told me that I missed one spot when dusting (which was the very back!), but other than that, my ends looked good! She told me she is preparing for a trim in December to remove some of her ends, but she wants to be MBL when she does it. I talked with her a good 10 minutes, sharing hair tips  (I recommended she try the Hercules Sagemann rake comb) and would’ve stayed longer had my friend not come in to retrieve me! One story she told me stuck out and validated my choice not to go to this salon I was thinking about trying. She recalled a time she was at a salon and she was asking the stylist what products she was using, instructing her on how to detangle her hair, etc. and the stylist told her “Oh … you’re one of THOSE!” HA!!!!!!!!!!! I know there are great stylists out there, but I don’t want to go bald on my quest to find one! That’s why I will stick with me or my friend doing it for now!

P.S. As soon as I got to some shears, I had my friend helped me get that last piece of rough hair!

– I went to see my dad and thanked him for his genes when it came to hair (he gets no love for my beady, non-descript eyes, but some love for my thick eyebrows). He said, “you’re welcome!” 🙂

– My ponytails are on point! I was swanging my long ponytail the last two days I was in town! I can’t wait until I see my WL ponytail!

– I don’t think I am going for full waist length. It would be just too much to deal with, IMHO. I actually like soft, subtle layers, so maybe when my length in the front hits BSL (in the year 2025), I will be happy!

– No tea, no shade, but so many people are not getting the HHJ memo in NC! These thin wraps that have been flat ironed into oblivion, lacefront wigs, double-processed hair, etc. Kim wanted to know why I sat with conditioner every time I got my hair washed and I told her I never miss a weekly deep conditioning – EVER! I will mind my own damn scalp, but I’m just saying …

Well, I think that’s all the hair updates and observations I have for now! 🙂

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