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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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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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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Relaxer is in Less Than 6 Hours (and other thoughts!)

Greetings from Baltimore-Washington International airport! I am about to go board in the next 20 minutes, but I wanted to share my thoughts before my relaxer tonight around 7:30pm!

– I am going to be a darling friend and base and clip my hair in 4 parts before I head over Kim’s. This way I can ensure that it’s done to my liking and that it helps her not have to part through all this hair. I will also coat the length of my hair with olive oil and conditioner to protect my ends.

– I am just over my new growth right now and am just ready to relax! Nothing is going as I want it to! My buns look bad, my edges will not have any of this laying down, etc! Heaven help me if and when I decide to transition!!

– There were some sisters who definitely got the HHJ memos in Baltimore!! I saw several sisters with waist length hair and a lot with BSB and longer hair (both natural and relaxed!) There was this one natural gal who had the cutest twists … Wish I could’ve snapped a picture! I wished my hair was on point, but oh well. There were also a lot of buns due to the humidity!

– On the other side of the token, there were many who did not get the memo. I saw a good deal of scraggly weaves (and they probably weren’t protective styling!!), broken and dry hair. Hmmm ….

Well, I’m just ecstatic about my relaxer! I’m ready to see how its grown! I will definitely clip some ends tonight, but they don’t look too bad. I have a few hairs that have grown longer than the rest of the section, so I plan on evening up my hemline.

Stay tuned!! I will post pictures tonight and write a detailed post when I have time!

Until then … !!!!

Relaxer Day

Greetings! I wanted to post a relaxer update.

Friday was relaxer day. I have learned my lesson … Do not let hair air dry before relaxing. I did this in November and obviously the pain of having my hair torn through didn’t register … this time, it did! Kim told me not to ever come back when my hair is dreaded together! Hahahaha!!

I applied cheapie conditioner and the macadamia nut oil to the length of my hair (sans the new growth). Kim based me (not as good as I liked, so I will be doing it next time) and applied the relaxer. I left it on for about 15 minutes and then rinsed.

I followed up with the KeraPro Reconstructor protein treatment. I left that on for 5 minutes and then had Kim do the neutralizing shampoo, followed by some Paul Mitchell Awapuhi shampoo. I did a deep conditioner of MegaSilk and Ion Extreme Moisture. I sat under the conditioning cap for about 15 minutes.

I was going to roll my hair, but since I had a shindig to go to and time was drawing really short, I just decided to get it flat ironed. I applied my normal leave-ins and the macadamia nut oil (since it had the silicones) and let her do her thing!

She said I needed to trim the ends (which I did … the ends were a little weathered), but I didn’t need to take off too much.

The end result was fabulous! I am oh so close to BSL. The longest parts of my hair are already there! I will probably be ready to claim it soon!! :))

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Post Relaxer Update!

Well, I got my relaxer last Tuesday, but since I have been on the go since I arrived in NC … I have not even had a chance to take a pic nor post about it. I leave tomorrow morning, so I thought that I would burn the midnight oil (literally, its after midnight here) and write about it.

As I noted last post, I washed my hair Sunday and got a relaxer Tuesday … that was a bad idea. My head burned so bad, I had Kim wash the relaxer out early! It’s not so much a bad thing, as my hair was processed enough anyways … but now I have some scabs. Ah, the joy of relaxing hair.

Before putting the relaxer on, I covered my processed hair with cheapie conditioner to prevent double processing. After the relaxer, Kim washed with neutralizing shampoo, followed up by my Alterna Caviar shampoo. I deep conditioned for 15 minutes with Alterna Caviar conditioner and Alterna 10 Hair Masque followed by a final cold rinse with Roux Porosity Control. The leave-ins were my typical leave-ins. Kim blow dried and flat ironed my hair and it looked amazing!!!!!! I was so impressed! I can tell a radical length change from my relaxer in May to the one in August.

Well, my joy was short lived. I am not sure if my hair was not dry enough or the NC humidity was too strong, but by the next day, my hair was a swollen mess. I had to go to my friend Scott’s house in Morrisville to co-wash and blow dry it so that I could get it flat ironed at the Walmart salon! I had some important outings and I had to look fly. I apologized to my hair for the heat overload, but made sure that it had plenty of heat protectant on it. This style has lasted all week. I wonder if it is because I used the cool shot on the blow dryer to “set” the style.

I made it past the 7 in the longest layers … which was my goal for this relaxer cycle. I will post pics when I get home tomorrow evening! I am really proud of my hair. I have gotten a lot of compliments on its health and how long it is getting!!! I am closing in on BSB. That shoulder blade is getting close to being covered!! I think that I will be BSB by October. I don’t think that I will be BSL by my next relaxer in late November … but if I can get 1.5 inches, then I will be darn close!

Here’s to healthy hair growth and length retention!

Sorry for the picture without the length check shirt on. I will take one soon!