Relaxer Results

Hi friends! I hope your Sunday is going well. This is a long post, so feel free to skip to the bottom for pics if you don't feel like reading! I got my hair relaxed today after 13 weeks. I usually relax anywhere between 12 and 14 weeks, so I'm right on schedule.

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


New Products!

Hi ladies! After my June relaxer, I decided that it was time for me to start using a different shampoo because my Phytolium Energizing Shampoo felt really drying to my hair. Also, Phytolium is for thinning hair (i.e. to promote growth), but I didn't really feel that I needed to use a shampoo specifically for that purpose. I also wanted to try a less expensive conditioner because my hair loves Phytosesame Express Hydrating Conditioner, but I use a lot during each wash day when I'm detangling and it's expensive considering how much I use!

With that, I asked my stylist for a recommendation. Of course because she thinks Phyto is the best product for my hair (i.e. that's the only line she uses and sells at her salon), she recommended the following products for my shampoo replacement and a detangler to help minimize the amount of conditioner that I use:

The bottle on the left is the missPhytospecific Magic Detangling Spray and the one on the left is missPhytospecific Magic Detangling Shampoo. As I'm sure you've figured out, this is Phyto's children's line for African American hair (BTW - I love the packaging, it's so cute!). Anyway, my stylist thought these products would work well for my hair considering I have a texturizer and still have a good amount of curl pattern.

So my thoughts - I really like the shampoo - it's very moisturizing and gives a good lather. My hair and scalp feel clean after using this, but still moisturized. The consistency is quite interesting - it's very liquidy (kind of like liquid soap, but thinner), but it gets the job done. On wash days, I shampoo my hair once with this because I'm lazy and it does the trick! I also really like that this comes in a pump - it makes it easy for me to control how much I use (1 pump per section), and I can squirt a pump of shampoo directly on my scalp.

I did not like the detangler at all - it didn't work!!! The instructions say to apply it generously to your hair and do not rinse out. I did that with one section and thought I was going to lose my hair, lol. So instead of wasting the entire bottle, I decided to use it as a leave in conditioner after my full wash day process. It may have softened my hair a little, but overall I don't think it did anything and would not buy this again. I joked with my stylist that I have grown up curls, so the magic properties that work for the children do not work for me!

Both products have a really nice smell - along the lines of a light shea butter + coconut + something else sweet, but not overwhelming. I'll be back with more product updates that I have backlogged from the last few months! HHJ