Overall I had a really good relaxer experience from start to finish in terms of tangling and the blow-out process, which can be horrible, BUT - I'm stressed! After my last relaxer, I was excited to see if I would make my end of year goal of APL, but over the last month or more, my hair has been BREAKING like crazy. Yes ladies - you heard me right, the dreaded B word. They were little tiny pieces, but that obviously adds up!
Initially when I noticed the breakage, I thought it would pass, but it never did. The one thing that I changed to try to combat the breakage was to stop using the detangling spray as a leave-in conditioner (although I stopped using it because I ran out, not because I thought it was the cause of the problem). I also used tea before shampooing for a few weeks. The reason I didn't change much is because I couldn't figure out what to change. When I reflected on my regimen, I couldn't think of anything majorly different that I was doing...kind of. Over time I was making really small adjustments to my regimen (for example different oils, using honey, etc. to pre-condition), so I think that is also what made it hard to figure out. Then I was thinking that maybe I just needed a good trim.
Well after my hair was blown out and it was time to trim, my stylist showed me that my hair is DEFINITELY broken in certain areas. My left side was shorter than my right, so I imagine the breakage I suffered came primarily from the left side, there is a section in the back of my hair with some breakage (it's minimal, but breakage nonetheless), and then there's a section on the front left side that's broken. Also, my ends on the left side were significantly more worn than the right, which is just weird.
While my stylist was showing me this, I immediately started stressing because my hair seemed to be doing so well earlier this year, and I feel like I had just gotten into a rhythm with understanding my hair and now it has some damage and I don't know why. Length goals immediately went out of the window because I will always strive for health over length.
I started thinking a bit harder and trying to remember what I was doing differently at the beginning of the year versus now. I think in an effort to keep the basics the same, I may have experimented too much with things that should have been a part of the basics, but weren't. For example, I used to do a weekly oil treatment with Huile d'Ales pre shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil before shampooing, and then go into my routine. Also, I used to shampoo 2X during a typical wash day, but I've been being lazy and only doing one shampoo on a given week. I used to do a protein treatment every other week (I think), but I haven't done that since April. Long story short, the small things definitely add up, and I've learned that the hard way.
So I purchased a few of the basics that I used to use and will start using again in an effort to get back on track. The other thing I learned is that I need to start journaling again! Part of the reason why I couldn't figure out what was different is because I haven't been diligent about recording my regimen and products (or blogging about it). I have a horrible memory and if I don't write things down, I won't remember. So without further delay, here are a few pics from today + comparisons. BTW - my BF thinks I made APL, while my sister says I'm grazing...I'm not sure.
|Relaxer Results: December 2012|
|Left: December 2012, Right: September 2012|
|November 2011 vs. December 2012|