Thursday, April 7, 2011

Close to Relaxing My Hair!!

Hey Guys,

I’m getting closer to my relax date and I’m excited to see what progress I’ve made. I'm a little worried because my hair hasn’t been acting good to me. I've experienced a lot of shedding and breakage out of nowhere. I’m not sure if it's the winter's dry air that is causing this or the new vitamins that I’ve been taking. Hopefully my hair will start to act right...i really would like to hit my goal of BSL this summer. I'm so close i can taste it! But my fear is that i will have to trim the breakage and be set back to BSB. :-(

Actually, i know for sure that i will have to trim my ends...they look horrendous. Lately (the past two months to be exact) I’ve been bunning my hair. These past two weeks however, i haven’t been able to tame my new growth so after my wash and blow dry i would flat iron my new growth only. When i do use heat on my hair i make sure that i use a really good heat protectant.

I’m still thinking of coloring my hair permanently in May so I’m planning on relaxing my hair fairly soon. I actually wanted to relax my hair on Saturday but i don’t have enough time to prep my hair before i relax it.

Usually before i relax my hair, i like to clarify my hair with my Dove Clarifying Shampoo and then follow up with Roux Porosity Control Shampoo. I will shampoo my hair on Saturday and then relax my hair Tuesday night. After i shampoo i plan on doing a light protein treatment, moisturize with coconut oil and then bun until my relax day.

I plan on following Audrey Sivasothy's 3 steps before self-relaxing your hair. She advises " Step 1: Clean it Up! Your final shampooing should take place on the last 3-5 days before your relaxer. At this wash (particularly if you desire a straighter, more thoroughly processed result), you should use a clarifying shampoo to remove any deposits or product buildup on the hair. A clarifying shampoo, or any "stripping" shampoo containing the detergents Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate will be strong enough to remove buildup and maintain a clean and clear head of hair. (Assuming you use minimal or non- heavy products leading up to your hair service.) I highly recommend Pantene Pro-V Purity Shampoo ($3-5) for clarifying purposes. If you do not wish to have a bone straight look and prefer some texture, then you may continue to apply your products in their normal ratios up until the relaxer.

Step 2: Toughen it Up!
You should treat your hair to a protein treatment the final wash before your relaxer. Follow up the treatment with a good moisturizing deep conditioning. Giving your hair a protein treatment in the days leading up to your relaxer application gives your hair little more protein to work with going into the relaxer. This prevents the relaxing process from totally compromising the strength of your hair when your inner protein bonds are manipulated. To determine which strength of protein reconstructor to use, I would first do a breakage assessment of the hair. If you are already having some breakage, I would go with a moderate to heavy treatment for damaged hair. I recommend the Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair (under $8) for heavy protein conditioning. If you don't have any noticeable breakage, then a lighter/milder treatment should be fine. I recommend Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor or Motions CPR Conditioner for light protein conditioning. Both products are less than $5 at any beauty supply store. You can substitute whatever brand of protein reconstructor/conditioner you like to use. Do not proceed with the relaxer application if you are still having noticeable breakage or shedding. After you have completed steps 1 and 2, do not wash, scratch, or do anything to disturb your scalp.

Step 3: Protect It!
The day of relaxer, pay special attention to the length and ends of your hair. The hair shaft and ends are especially vulnerable to damage from the relaxing process unless you protect them. Applying a light coating of something like olive oil, castor oil, a thick conditioner, grease or Vaseline to your scalp and hair past the new growth prevents the rest of your hair from being "re-relaxed" as a result of overlapping and runoff during the final rinsing of the relaxer. Protection for the length and ends of the hair is essential because the short, compact nature of the new growth makes it is virtually impossible to avoid overlap. This "chemical run" and lack of protection for the shaft and ends is one of the many reasons quite a few relaxed ladies have thinner, and thinner ends.

Also remember, that oiling the new growth itself may leave you under processed because the relaxer has to penetrate through the layers you have put on. If you want a straighter turnout, be sure that you do not coat your new growth-- only coat your scalp and hair shaft past the new growth. As always, apply protective base (Vaseline, oil, grease) to your scalp, tops of ears, and other sensitive areas. The base will give you an extra layer of protection between the relaxer creme and those areas."

I hope my results come out well!

For more self relaxing tips, click here