Relaxer Day!!!!!!!

I must admit, this relaxer day came fast! I don’t know if it was the ease of this stretch (I was 14 weeks post and normally I relax around 12-13 weeks) or the fact that the fall has flown by, but before I knew it, it was time to relax! Due to the fact that I need to cook and get ready for a week-long work trip, I will make this quick and dirty!

This is the first time Kim has not done my relaxer since May 2012! I was going to self-relax, but at the last minute I decided to ask my friend Tracie to help me out! I am still a bit chicken about applying such a chemical to my hair!

So here’s how Relaxer Day went:

Friday night, I applied vitamin E oil and Softee coconut grease to my ends and pigtailed my hair in six sections so that my hair wouldn’t be tangled. I did a good job keeping my hair detangled this week so I wouldn’t have any problems come relaxer day! I put on my satin bonnet and went to sleep. I also laid out all the things that I would need for my relaxer.

I did get a good chuckle out of the Softee coconut ingredients list! They have the nerve to tell people that this stuff is moisturizing? Not a drop of water insight! I will say that the smell took me back to childhood! I loved the smell of coconut grease!

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Saturday morning, I applied the Softee coconut grease to my scalp and edges. Tracie said I laid it on so thick that there were globs of it in my hair! Better to be safe than sorry!

Tracie then applied my Mizani Butter Blends relaxer. It took about 25 minutes from first application until I rinsed. The good thing was, I was not burning at all (must have been that coconut grease!!!) I rinsed out the relaxer and then applied my ApHogee 2 minute Keratin Treatment. I put on a warm turban, topped off with a conditioning cap and sat under the dryer for 17 minutes. I rinsed that out, neutralized with shampoo, then applied my Silk Elements Megasilk deep conditioner for about 20 minutes, then final rinsed with Roux.

I know I said I was not going to use direct heat again, but I just didn’t have the energy to roll my hair and sit under a dryer for 2 hours. Besides, we had Christmas photos to take that afternoon and time was already flying by. I had Tracie flat iron it and put in some curls, which I promptly noticed needed dusting, as my ends were looked a little raggedy. With that said, I do not have a length check photo. I plan on roller setting next week so I will try and get one then!

All-in-all, I believe my relaxer took really well and I am happy with the results! It was definitely a bit weird getting my hair relaxed at home (which hasn’t happened in ages)!

In lieu of hair photos, here are some of our holiday photos!

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Pre-Relaxer Wash Day: Why Can’t These Ever Go Right?

This is the fourth and final Pre-Relaxer Wash Day of 2013! You know this is the time when I: Clean, Strengthen and Hydrate!

Unfortunately, these Pre-Relaxer Wash Days have not gone right all year! In February, my hair was so tangled and matted after deep conditioning that I had to spend 35 painful minutes detangling it. In May, the end result of my hair was so oily after deep conditioning with hemp seed oil that it came out limp and gross. In August, I was just so frustrated with my hair not cooperating during roller setting that I blew it dry without flat ironing, only to have it become brittle and break by the time relaxer day rolled around. To keep with tradition, today’s Wash Day wasn’t that great either, but it definitely was the best I’ve had all year (which is not saying much at all).

I was going to do my relaxer application practice, but it was a total failure. My hair was wayyyyyyy too curly and I would have had to tear through it just to apply it! No bueno!!!! No wonder Kim threatened me about coming for a relaxer after air-drying the week before! I just pre-pooed with the V-05 conditioner I was using for practice for about an hour without heat. All week, I have been wearing my twist out which didn’t fall below my shoulders, so I wanted to stretch the hair out before I hopped in the shower and washed it.

Clean – I clarified my hair with my Alterna Life Solutions Clarifying Shampoo, followed by my Alterna Caviar Volume for moisture replenishment. Both of these shampoos are sulfate free.

Strengthen – I did my ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment. Since I abhor their conditioner that they include with it, I just bought the bottle of the protein treatment to use with my own deep conditioner. I applied the treatment and sat under the dryer for 20 minutes while it hardened. I then rinsed it out with warm water and applied my Ion Extreme Moisture Cream for 30 seconds to soften the hair.

Hydrate – I applied my Silk Elements MegaSilk deep conditioner for an hour (45 minutes with heat). I rinsed, followed up with Roux for 1 minute, then rinsed again.

This weekend, I knew that I needed a finished style because I am going to be filming some hair tutorials for a project at work (additional details coming soon!) on Monday, so I decided to roller set. I detangled as normal after applying my leave-ins (the usual ones I use for rollersetting except the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Anti-Breakage Repair Spray since I had done a hard protein tx) and noticed that I was losing a lot of hair in the comb. I noticed a band of strands that came out in the shower, but I chalked it up to me doing zero manipulation to my hair the past week. Even as I used the rattail comb to smooth sections out before rolling, I noticed that I had to clean out the comb after each section of my mohawk because it was full of hair! You know I was almost in a panic! It could be a few things: my hormones (I had to go back to my old birth control pill due to the new one breaking me out and I also starting using progesterone cream to help with menstrual migraines), the weather (I had excessive shedding in December of last year) and like I said, no manipulation in the past week. I have had relatively little shedding the past 2 months, so who knows? I will definitely be monitoring it throughout the week and if it is still going on, I will defer my relaxer until its under control.

I rolled my hair as usual, using the black and gray rollers. I wanted to have had a decent styling session this Pre-Relaxer Wash Day, so I took my time rolling my hair and practiced some much-needed patience. When my hair didn’t want to cooperate or the rollers were not placed right, I calmly corrected it. It took me just under an hour to roll my hair today, which is about 10-12 minutes longer than normal. I also added diluted Lotta Body back into my regimen. During previous Wash Days, I noticed as soon as I comb my curls, they just go straight and flat. I think it was because I used too much moisture while rolling (my leave-ins in addition to my setting mix of glycerin and water) and had no setting lotion. Kim told me that I needed to use some, but I wouldn’t hear it! After all, Gennifer in the roller setting video only used water to set her hair, so that’s what I would do … until I got tired of my hair not holding a curl after spending all day on it! Also, setting lotion helps hair dry faster. I sprayed every section of hair to be rolled with diluted Lotta Body (not sure of the ratio … but it was definitely a lighter blue color).

Well, the Lotta Body helped me have crisper curls, but didn’t really cut down on drying time. I was almost dry at 90 minutes, but I stayed under the dryer for just over 2 hours so I could be sure I was dry. Besides, I was reading a good book which makes dryer time more bearable! I took my hair down and applied a bit of Carol’s Daughter Monoi serum to the curls! The curls felt like they had more staying power than curls of prior weeks, but I couldn’t help that my hair felt thinner due to the amount of hair I lost (see below). I combed the curls out and wow … my hair retained some bend (see photos)! It definitely was a roller setting success! Now I know that I need some setting product in my life! I continued to pull shed hairs down my hemline that hadn’t quite released themselves yet, which annoyed me, but whatevs.

I then wrapped my hair up for the evening! I will capture some “next day hair” photos tomorrow or Monday!

These are the curls as soon as I took them out. Most of my hair was rolled on black rollers. I also took a close-up of my ends, as I was very pleased with how they are holding up this relaxer stretch.

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Hair combed out! A success! Hair still has bend at the ends! Also, notice that ball of yarn hair!!! That doesn’t include the countless stragglers that came out afterwards or in the shower! 

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Relaxer Day!

Greetings guys! I am finally back in Oregon and able to do a extended post about my relaxer day on September 1, 2013! Here  goes:

– I based my scalp with Isoplus Castor oil grease and applied my mom’s mixture of coconut oil, castor oil and EVOO from my roots to tips in 6 sections.

– Kim applied the Mizani Butter Blends relaxer and I left it in for about 17 minutes. We were using the Mizani Butter Blends Relaxer System (read more about it here), so after she rinsed out the relaxer, she used the Perphecting Creme Normalizing Conditioner, which is designed to neutralize and strengthen hair immediately after the relaxer. I left that on my hair for about 5 minutes (I am not sure that this mid-step protein treatment was as good as using ApHogee’s 2 minute keratin treatment. I didn’t feel that my hair had the volume I get with using that stuff. I don’t plan on using the Mizani conditioner again as my mid-step protein). After that, she used the Balance Hair Bath Neutralizing and Chelating Shampoo. The thing I didn’t like about the shampoo was that it was not color-activated, which means it was not pink (or another color) in the presence of relaxer. For the initial wash, I left the shampoo on for 5 minutes so it could have more of a chance to neutralize. I had her wash my hair with this shampoo twice and followed up with the Isoplus neutralizer to make sure all traces of the relaxer were gone.

– I deep conditoned with Ion Extreme Moisture cream and Redken All-Soft using my hot turban and shower cap for about 20 minutes under the dryer.

– My leave-ins for my blow drying session were: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Blow Out Cream (which is running quite low) and Living Proof Prime Style Extender.

– After my hair was blow dried, I applied Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant spray. It has dimethicone as the fifth ingredient, but I loved this stuff! I didn’t experience any breakage after using it (maybe because I washed 2 days after using it). I also applied Living Proof Satin serum (silicone-free). Kim flat ironed my hair a few hours after it was blown out.

I noticed that my ends looked a bit rough and weren’t holding a curl well, so I clipped about 1/2 inch in some places. I CANNOT STAND RAGGEDY ENDS. DID YOU HEAR THAT? NO RAGGEDY ENDS! My hair looked so much better once I did!

I have to admit … while I look forward to getting my hair relaxed, it is also causes me great stress! We all hear about the woman who had her hair fall out due to a bad relaxer! I say a prayer before my relaxer and hope everything goes OK! Well, all-in-all, this relaxer day was a success!

Below are the final results.

Hair blown out – longest hairs are right at MBL!

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Hair I lost during the relaxing process … not too bad

 

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Hair flat ironed … the bra is at waist length

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Me after a long night at this ratchet club where I just wanted to go home and eat pizza and sleep!! 

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Like Hay in the Middle of the Barn

Today I was M&Sing my hair and noticed that the ends of my hair looked so dry! Instantly, I thought about this old song from Crucial Conflict a la 1995-96 called “Hay.” In the chorus, they say “smoking on hay  in the middle of the barn … ” That’s what my ends felt like … some hay in the middle of a barn!!!!!!

I was very tempted to grab my scissors and get to cutting, but I had to remind myself of a few things:

1) I blow-dried my hair and did not “smooth” it by flat ironing it

2) There was not very much breakage from the ends. My hair breaks at the first hint of dryness, so for ends not to be popping off left and right, they must not be that bad; all-in-all, I may have had 7 small broken ends today (I had 0 yesterday), so I am not too concerned!

To combat further dryness, I M&Sed in 6 sections using the L-O-C method with my Alterna White Truffle Elixir as my liquid, kukui nut oil as my oil and Amla Legends 1001 Oils Night Wrap Cream as my cream. I twisted the cream onto my ends and instead of leaving my hair in a bun for the night, I wound up each of my six sessions and pinned them close to my head, hoping the heat from my head would help the product penetrate my hair a bit better and let me wake it to soft hair!

Here’s how it looked when I was finished pinning my hair up!

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As far as shedding goes, it hasn’t been too bad since Saturday. Yesterday evening I lost very little hairs and this is what I lost today. I checked each of them for bulbs to make sure my hair isn’t breaking heading into a relaxer. After I inspected each hair, there was 3 strands without a bulb, which could be breakage or the fact that I sometimes yank at my hemline trying to remove shed hairs and sometimes those strands break. Either way, the number was not so great that I was alarmed in any way.

Here’s the hair I lost today, which is not at all excessive, even in my [tightly-wound] book!

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I will continue to monitor the ends of my hair and shedding volume until my relaxer on Saturday! Whoop whoop! 5 more days!!!

These are the Wash Days that Try Womens’ Souls …

Today my Wash Day before my relaxer and let me tell you … it was all I could do not to rip it out! Every so often, my hair throws a tantrum and today was that day!!!!!! Read on, please!! WARNING: It is long, so skip to the pics if you want. 🙂

So as you may know, the purpose of my pre-relaxer Wash Day is to: Clean, Strengthen, Hydrate! (Read earlier Pre-Relaxer Wash days here and here!)

I started of with a honey, safflower oil and coconut oil pre-poo for about 25 minutes without heat. I then proceeded to cleaning step, in which I clarified my hair with Alterna Life Solutions clarifying poo, followed by a wash with Alterna Life Solutions Scalp Therapy and Alterna Caviar Volume. I then then an in-shower conditioning treatment with Redken All-Soft … all of this which is par for the course!

I then proceeded to strengthen with my protein treatment, which is where things went a bit awry. I applied my ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment as normal, sat under the dryer for 20 minutes, and then rinsed it out. I followed it up with slabs of Alma Legends conditioner and Silk Elements MegaSilk, as my hair was hella tangled! I learned my lesson from my February pre-relaxer wash day that is it important to detangle before you proceed to deep conditioning after doing an ApHogee 2-step protein treatment! Once I detangled my hair using those products, I put a coat of Ion Extreme Moisture cream on. I placed a wet turban over my hair, popped on a shower cap and deep conditioned for 50 minutes.

So I should go ahead and note that I am noticing heavier-than-normal shedding right now. I noticed during several of my M&S sessions this week that my hair is shedding more. It is nothing for me to remove no shed hair on some days and less than 10 hairs on some days. For the past 2 days, I noticed I am shedding about 10 hairs in about 4 sections (see below for an example), but it’s not enough for me to be worried. I experienced an increase in shedding in early September of last year, so it may be due to autumn coming! Also, I changed birth control pills early in this month (from generic Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo to generic Yazmin), so it could be my hormones working themselves out! I looked up the potential impact of changing birth control pills and this is what I found …

“Just as progesterone dominant BCPs can facilitate female pattern hair loss, oral contraceptives higher in estrogen can stimulate hair growth by prolonging the anagen phase of the growth cycle. A problem is that estrogen dominant birth control pills have a greater incidence of certain side effects. Your gynecologist should advise you on which BPCs should be used in your particular situation.

The newer oral contraceptives such as Yasmin, Yaz, Desogen, Mircette, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo have lower androgenetic effects and are useful in patients concerned about hair loss. In particular, Yaz and Yasmin contain the progestin drospirenone, which has anti-androgen properties, and can therefore be particularly helpful in women experiencing female pattern hair loss.” 

Source: http://www.bernsteinmedical.com/medical-treatment/medications/oral-contraceptives/

Since I am not too concerned about the amount of hair that is shedding, I do not plan on doing any interventions for right now (e.g. black tea rinses, garlic treatments). I also want to continue to monitor the amount of hair that I lose so I can see if this is a trend that happens as autumn nears. In The Science of Black Hair, Audrey Sivasothy notes that the greatest percentage of our hair is in the telogen stage (also known as the shedding state) during the late summer or early fall months.

So Ok … back to Wash Day!

So I rinsed out the conditioner, expecting my hair to feel soft as silk since I had slathered so much conditioner on it, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t feel hard, but it doesn’t feel like it’s normal silky self after a DC. I detangle and apply my leave-ins, as I am planning to roller set. I applied: Living Proof Restore Targeted repair cream, Living Proof Prime Style Extender and Living Proof Satin serum. For some reason, now my hair feels mushy and thin since it’s been shedding like crazy throughout each stage of this Wash Day and I am watching the ball of hair I lose grow by the second. By this point, I am convinced that my hair has lost like 3 inches of growth and that I have a bald patch somewhere. I throw 2 rollers in my hair and I am just like “Fukk this!!!! I am blow-drying my hair straight to see what the damage is.” I didn’t want any surprises when I relaxed next week to find that my hemline is now shaped like a “W” instead of my “U” and/or my hair has thinned out so much!

Of course that made my HHJ-conscious angel go: “Well, if you blow dry your hair this week and then next week you will have used direct heat back-to-back, which is a major NO-NO!” My HHJ-conscious devil then went: “As angry as I am, if this hair can’t take two weeks of direct heat, then dammit, it deserves to fall out or break off because I. AM. NOT. ROLLING. NO. DAMN. HAIR. TODAY!” HINT: Devil wins!

So I begin the arduous task of blow drying my hair. I have not blow dried my hair in months and it’s definitely not something I enjoy doing. I applied some Alterna Texture cream for its heat protectant properties and began to  blow dry sections of my hair, starting at the nape. By the time I am in the middle of my hair, I am just done. The attachment is getting caught in my hair, despite me detangling it before I began blow-drying, the new growth won’t lay flat. I AM BEAT.

I finally finish drying my hair and apply Alterna Caviar White Truffle Elixir to the length and seal with kukui nut oil. I don’t see a lot of broken ends, just more shedded hair. I think that some of the hair just got caught in this vicious cycle of going from my head back to my comb back to my hair again before I finally removed it and put it in a pile.

I knew I wasn’t going to flat iron my hair after blow drying (see HHJ-conscious angel, I comprised!!!) This week, I plan on bunning while trying to keep my hair as detangled as possible to prevent matting.

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I managed to capture a few pics. Here ya go …

First I wanted to share with you the amount of hair I lost today (pictured left) vs. the amount of hair I lost about 3 weeks ago (pictured right) during a Wash Day. See the difference?

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Here are some pictures of my new growth during my pre-poo. I think I am at just over 1.5 inches of new growth … the clip where I start measuring my wavy new growth may have been a little high.

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Here is my blow-dried, wild-looking, Mufasa-mane-like hair! Sorry it doesn’t look “polished,” but this is as good as it gets today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, it’s official … I am closing in on MBL! I will find out for sure next Saturday!!!!!!!!!

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Well, it’s off to the store to get me some of my favorite gum … the 1928 Dubble Bubble! I can literally eat like 50 pieces of those a day … and after having a day like today, it is either gum or some tequila! (I chose gum … saving the drinking for next week!)

Until next time, friends … !

P.S. I don’t think my hair likes the Living Proof Restore Targeted Repair cream, so I will not be buying it!

Mizani Butter Blends Relaxer System

Greetings! I wanted to share the fact that on my next relaxer, I will get to use the Mizani Butter Blends system. My friend Tracie recently went back to relaxing her hair after being natural for 2 years and she ordered the shampoo and conditioner and was kind enough to bring me a sample of each of the products (and graciously allowed me to keep these handy containers as well!)

This is the same system that Jeanne (my stylist from Hawaii) would use. As soon as I opened the conditioner, the smell took me back! It’s a really good smelling product that lingers around in the hair for a few days!

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So here are the products I will use (NOTE: there are other products in the system, but IMO, these are two of the most important ones):

Balance Hair Bath Neutralizing and Chelating Shampoo

Product Description: The Hair Bath Neutralizing & Chelating Shampoo is such the little helper when it comes to relaxing hair. Not only is it formulated with honey for enhanced moisturization, it’s been created with a pink color indicator to signal remaining relaxer residue. This is the final process in Phase 2 because it completes the neutralization process and removes mineral deposits for soft, healthy hair.. NEUTRALIZING AND CHELATING SHAMPOO A nourishing neutralizing and chelating shampoo created with a pink color indicator to signal remaining relaxer residue. Formulated with moisturizing honey combined with a protein conditioner for enhanced moisturization, it restores natural pH balance and removes mineral deposits for soft, healthy hair. (Source: http://www.naturalbraid.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=125)

Ingredients: 42491 SS5 AQUA/WATHER, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, POLYSORBATE 20. SODIUM CHLORIDE, COCAMIDE MEA, PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-7, PARFUM/ FRAGRANCE, METHYLPARABEN, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HONEY, DISODIUM EDTA, HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, PHENOLSULFONEPHTHALEIN

Perphecting Créme Normalizing Conditioner

Product Description: A light cream conditioner designed to re-establish hair’s natural pH level formulated with an ultra moisturizing blend of shea butter and honey with strengthening ceramide. Moisturizing agents provide excellent detangling benefits to minimize breakage from wet combing and styling. Patented ceramide penetrates the cuticle to strengthen for optimal conditioning. (Source: http://www.beautyclicks.com/mizani-butter-blend-perphecting-creme.html)

Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Polyquaternium-37, Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Parfum/Fragrance, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Methylparaben, Panthenol, Butyrospermum Parkii/Shea Butter, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Pentasodium Penteate, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, 2-Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol.

So, this is how I will use this system, which is as directed:

1. Base scalp with Vaseline or whatever petroleum product is around; protect ends with EVOO and cheap conditioner

2. Relax with Mizani Butter Blends relaxer, rinse

3. Apply Perphecting Créme Normalizing Conditioner and let it sit for about 5 minutes, rinse

4. Wash with Balance Hair Bath Neutralizing and Chelating Shampoo until all traces of pink are gone

5. Deep condition with MegaSilk and Alterna Caviar under heated cap for 15 minutes

6. Apply leave-ins (TBD) and style as desired.

You may have noticed that I bolded the mineral oil ingredient that is in the conditioner. At first, I was a bit worried about it, but since it will pretty much be stripped away with the chelating shampoo, it’s no cause for worry. Also, it appears that I will be getting adequate strength and protein from the conditioner and shampoo, so I consider that my mid-step protein treatment. I will follow up with a good moisturizing deep conditioner so that my hair is not left too rigid and prone to breakage.

I’m pretty excited about seeing how my hair reacts to the entire system! I will know in less than 14 days!!!

Until next time …

Relaxer Day!

Greetings! I wanted to do a quick post-relaxer update!

I started by basing my hair with my mom’s Isoplus castor oil (she did not have any Vaseline) and applied that and some EVOO to the length of my hair. This stuff has to be some of the worst stuff you can put in your hair (sans basing for a harsh chemical procedure)! The first ingredient was mineral jelly followed by paraffin wax?? Oh lord!! It’s like they didn’t even try to make a quality product, but claimed it did everything fantastic! To add insult to injury, they called it “moisturizing and conditioning!” I just shook my head, laughed and applied it to my hair.

Look at those ingredients … No aqua in sight!

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My basing materials – EVOO and this thick mineral oil concoction

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Kim did a wonderful job applying the relaxer. I left it in about 15-20 minutes. Normally I don’t burn, but I did this time!! I toughed it out because I needed it to take! I relax to about 80% curl reduction.

I did a mid-step protein treatment with Joico K-Pak reconstructor. I left it on for about 7 minutes, followed it with a neutralizing shampoo then my Alterna Caviar moisture shampoo. I applied the following for my deep conditioner: Alterna Caviar, Redken All Soft and Ion Moisture. I put on a shower cap under a heated conditioning cap and let it sit for 15 minutes, rinsed in cool, followed with Porosity Control for 4 minutes then cool rinsed!

My leave-ins were: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Blow Out Creme, Redken Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk Styling Hair Styling Serum and Chi 44 Iron Guard.

She started to detangle my hair from the top, which I hate, so I detangled my own hair. She then blow dried and flat ironed and did a nasty curl! She even insisted that my ends didn’t need clipping. It’s probably because the bad ends broke off, but it came out beautifully!! I can’t wait to move back so she can do my hair exclusively!

Here are a few pictures! We went out last night, so I was in a rush so I didn’t take many!!

More to come!

My next relaxer will be Labor Day Weekend. I will be 13 weeks post. 🙂

Hair that came out during relaxing

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A look from the back … Ends look good and thick! Chasing MBL!!!

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What’s The Tea?: A Pre-Relaxer Wash Day

Tea (n): Atlanta-speak for gossip, news, knowledge

Today is my last Wash Day before my relaxer! Now, normally I would just let my hair air dry to reduce the amount of manipulation that I had to do as my finishing style, but I made a promise to Kim during my relaxer that I would never come back to her with my hair a tangled mess again!! Besides, I have a conference that I am attending, so I thought a roller set would be appropriate.

My regimen for pre-relaxer day since the beginning of my HHJ has been to:

1. Clean Up

2. Strengthen

3. Hydrate

So here’s how my [time intensive] Wash Day went accordingly:

1. Clean Up-

I began Wash Day by clarifying my hair with my Alterna Life Clarifying shampoo. This will remove all the product build-up in my hair and leave me with a clean palate in which to do my Pre-Relaxer regimen. I washed 2x. Clarifying my hair often leaves my hair feeling stripped and dry, so I always following up with a moisturizing shampoo, with my favorite being Alterna Caviar Moisture.

2. Strengthen –

I followed up my shampoo session with an in-shower black tea rinse to see if it would help with shedding. To be honest, I have not been experiencing bad shedding for the past month, but since I love how strong my hair feels after a tea rinse, I decided to do it anyway! I applied the tea rinse to my scalp with a nozzled bottle and applied to the length of my hair. I left on for about 5 minutes and rinsed. Despite feeling strong, my hair also felt a bit dry, so I decided to detangle in the shower with my Redken All Soft. Another reason I detangled was because during my last hard protein treatment before February’s relaxer, I just applied the ApHogee 2 step protein treatment on my hair without doing so. When I went to detangle my hair after the deep conditioner, it was a horrible, matted mess. It took me 30 minutes to detangle my hair and that resulted in broken hairs. NEVER AGAIN! I thought, WILL I EVER APPLY THE APHOGEE 2 STEP WITHOUT DETANGLING!!!!!

I rinsed the conditioner from my hair, stepped out of the shower and applied the ApHogee 2 step protein treatment, making sure to give extra care to the ends of my hair and the line of demarcation between new growth and relaxed hair. Now here’s my thoughts on this product, if you care to hear. The protein treatment stuff smells pretty bad and is messier and stickier than a mug. I often smell it for a few days if I don’t clean my rugs, floors and any rags that I wipe up my sink with. It’s a great treatment, as I remember using it way back in the day (like 1996). Despite me not feeling that I need such a strong protein treatment, I like to use it every pre-relaxer day as I feel it gives my hair a fighting chance with goes up against relaxers and people who may not care about my hair the way I do! 😉 So, despite me not liking the smell or the mess, it is something that I deal with 4xs a year to give my hair some added strength heading into a relaxer session.

As required, I sat under the dryer until my hair hardened (which was 15 minutes) and then stepped into the shower to rinse out.

3. Hydrate –

A must following any protein treatment, it was time for me to hydrate my hair and bring it back to balance after the hard protein. Since I do not pre-poo before clarifying (it just seems to be moot, in my opinion), I decided to incorporate a hot oil treatment into my deep conditioning session. Still eager to try the safflower and hemp seed oils, I mixed them in a bowl and heated them for 15 seconds to get them warm. Since all of my nozzled bottles are currently occupied (which is how I normally apply my oils during hot oil treatments), I decided to do it the old-fashioned way — by hand! I parted my hair into six parts, detangled (WHICH WAS A BREEZE!!!), applied the oil mixture to my scalp and along the length of my hair. I also applied my MegaSilk deep conditioner to the length of my hair. After my whole head and length were done, I put the left over oils on the length of my hair … for good measure!

I sat under the dryer for 30 minutes, which is shorter than my normal time of 45-60 minutes. I rinsed, applied Roux for 2 minutes, then rinsed in cool water.

By this time, I should note, my bathroom looks a *in Madea’s voice* DAMN MESS! The floor has been “hydrated” with my repeated entry and exit from the tub because I forgot something, towels are thrown askew and there are random product droplets all on my counter. That’s why Wash Day is synonymous with Cleaning Day for my bathroom!

Pics from L to R: My front part with oil mixture applied; the coloring of safflower and hemp seed oil warmed; my scalp and length covered in conditioner and oil; another shot of my hair with oil and conditioner applied

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I must say that my hair felt heavenly after the deep conditioner! Parting and detangling were a breeze and in some spots, my hair felt like butter it was so soft!!! I am looking forward to using these two oils again!! I will play around with them upon my return and see how they can fix in other parts of my regimen (e.g. M&Sing).

Now it’s time to roll. I applied my leave-ins: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Texture, Alterna White Truffle Elixir, and diluted Lottabody. Now mind you, I normally do not roll on pre-relaxer Wash Days, so by the time I get to rolling, I just had it! I definitely did not put too much stock into rollersetting this week. If need be, I will just wear some headbands and wear in a bun!! I may press the roots out if I see they need it (NOTE: I am under the dryer as I type this … gotta multi-task!)

Well, I am just spent … from start to finish, today’s Wash Day will be almost 5 hrs!! It’s already 3:30pm and I have about another hour to go under the dryer. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to be in the bed by 8:30pm, as I have a 6am flight tomorrow!! I will try to post some pics of the finished product, but if I don’t … don’t worry … relaxer pics will be coming soon!!!

Until next time …

🙂

Update: After I took my rollers down, my hair was so oily!! There were parts of my hair that even looked wet, it was so oily. I have included a couple of pictures. I think I may have been too heavy-handed with the safflower and hemp seed oils and also I think that the mixture was a bit heavy for my fine strands. Next time, I will use less oil and use it as a pre-poo so that I have a chance to wash it out instead of just rinsing. I plan on using some dry shampoo to absorb some of this oil when I style it in the morning.

Also, I need a new hair dryer. I was trying to hold out, but my old tabletop isn’t cutting it anymore. There aren’t many vents in the back, so I end up having a dry top and wet back area! No thanks. I will be shopping for one upon my return from NC next week.

Eew!! Look at that sogginess!!!

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Update: When I awoke that morning, I applied some Kenra Dry Shampoo and combed throughout my hair. I clipped it up and headed out the door. When I arrived in Baltimore, I had some white residue in my hair, so I applied some Alterna Caviar White Truffle Elixir and combed my hair … it came out nice … until the humidity hit it! It was Bun City after that evening, but hey, now I know I can recover if I use too much oil on my hair!

Excuse face-covered shots … I didn’t feel I was “proper” enough for the camera!

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