Friday, January 29, 2010

First Attempt at Self-Texlaxing

I ventured out today in the -35C cold to get the supplies for my first self-texlax.

I bought:
  • ORS Lye Relaxer for Fine-Medium hair
  • Cream of Nature Neutralizing & Conditioning Shampoo
I based my scalp with Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil (basically a hair grease).

I mixed the relaxer with olive oil. I pre-parted my whole head, because I didn't want to worry about parting my hair as I applied the relaxer because my new growth was REALLY thick. I relaxed half of my head, rinsed it, then did the other side. I applied Motions CPR, let that sit for a few minutes, then neutralized.

I was so nervous during this experience. As I was rinsing out the relaxer, I had this fear that my hair was going to start falling in clumps. Thankfully that didn't happen.

What I regret though was not leaving it on longer. Considering that my hair is coarse, the fact that I bought a low-strength relaxer and diluted it, I should have known that I should give it a bit more time to process.

I dried my hair loose under the hooded dryer, then flat ironed. It was still somewhat tough to part the back of my hair (the coarsest area of my hair). I hope I won't need to correct this relaxer.. I'll wash it again after a few days with neutralizing shampoo, but will rollerset, to give the roots some more smoothness.

Hair divided into small sections, to ease relaxer application

Flat ironed hair

"Swang" LOL

Flexirod Sets on Dry Hair

My new love! So much less time consuming than doing it on wet hair. I either airdry or dry loose under the dryer, than put in the flexirods before bed. It's also a great style to do on flat ironed hair that's starting to look a little limp after a few days; it really revives it!

Here are some pics of a side ponytail style I wore to work yesterday:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wash Day

ORS Replenishing DC + Applicator Brush

I practiced relaxing today, using deep conditioner. I am going to attempt to self-relax next week, and I really can't afford a disaster, so I need all the practice I can get. I used an applicator brush that I bought at the BSS for $2. I think I might use my hands (wearing gloves) though. I think I'd prefer to feel what I'm doing. I will definitely continue deep conditioning this way though. It was a really thorough treatment!

My hair after DCing for 30 mins with heat

I rollerset on burgundy rollers, then flat ironed (flipping my wrist to curl it at the same time, for some body).

Transitioning to.. Texlaxed!

I've been on my healthy hair journey for a year now. My original goal was to reach MBL, which seemed so long to me. But I've now decided I'd like to reach WL, then eventually hip length if possible. I like to wear my hair in braidouts and flexi rod sets, for the most part, and I would like those to reach MBL, hence needing my hair to be around hip length stretched.

Lately, as my relaxer day approaches, I've been considering going natural. This week I've been especially torn, because I feel under pressure to make a decision, because it would soon be time to relax. I thought about my reasons for considering transitioning to natural:

1. Hating going to my stylist to have my hair relaxed due to poor salon management
2. Scalp health (I often get relaxer burns)
3. Liking "big hair"
4. Embracing what I was given naturally

After much thought, I've decided I am not ready to be natural. I'm scared that after all the work and mini-chops I'll have to do while transitioning, I'll end up not liking it, and kicking myself for having cut off my relaxed hair's progress.

What I have decided to do is self-texlax. That way, I can keep most of my hair's natural texture, and still have the flexibility of straightening it quite easily. I'll save money by not having to go to the salon. I'll be quite relieved not to have to visit my stylist anymore. She is very pro bone-straight relaxer, and I don't imagine her supporting my decision to texlax instead. Where I live, it's not as simple as just switching stylists. Good Black stylists are very few and far between around here. I've been going to my current stylist since I was 14, and can't imagine putting my hair into anyone else's hands. I've read way too many horror stories.

I've been doing tons of research on self-relaxing. Today I practiced "relaxing" with deep conditioner, to test how long it'd take me to apply it. I was done within 10 minutes, which is good. I still have tons of reading and watching videos to do, but I'm motivated.

I'll be doing this next Sunday, at 13 weeks post-relaxer.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I washed my hair last night with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo. It was late, and I couldn't be bothered to prepoo and deep condition. I simply washed, conditioned with Aussie Moist, then applied some Africa's Best Kids' Organics Shea Butter Detangler/Moisturizer. I braided it into 3 plaits, and let it airdry.

Today, my hair was about 90% dry or so, but I unbraided anyway 'cause I had to go out.

Tonight, I'll apply some more of the Kids' Organics Moisturizer, seal with coconut oil, and rebraid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm so torn..

I'm getting so bored of my relaxed hair. Lately, I have been really digging "bigger" styles, like braidouts, flexi rod sets, etc. I like having my hair look really full, and sometimes I feel like achieving that with relaxed hair is somewhat redundant since I could have that naturally.

I've had relaxed hair since I was 14 years old. Prior to that, all I did with my hair was wash it once a week, blowdry it with a comb attachment, put grease over it and put it in a bun. With the knowledge I have now about hair care, being natural would be a completely different experience than it was back then. The only thing stopping me is the headache of transitioning. There is no way that I would cut my hair into a TWA. I admit, my hair is my security blanket. There's no way I would even consider having hair shorter than SL-APL. I never have in my life.

Right now, I'm 12 weeks post. I'm considering trying to transition by the way of rollersetting and flat ironing my roots. The longest I've stretched my relaxer is 20 weeks, so hopefully I can get there again without a problem.

The other option is to texlax. They say it's the best of both worlds?

I'm so torn..

I'll just keep on stretching, and weigh my pros and cons during that time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Maintaining Flat Ironed Hair

I enjoyed my flat ironed hair a lot this week. Since my ends are somewhat uneven right now, I didn't feel comfortable wearing it stick straight to work. I added a few flexi rods at the ends only to give it a slight wave. I only put them in a couple of hours before I left for work, so the wave was very slight.

For the next day, I decided to put the flexi rods on my ends right before bed. I moisturized my ends with a bit of Herbal Essences LTR, followed by a touch of CHI Silk Infusion. Here are the results:

The next night, I rolled all the way to the top, to give it a fully curly look. I've realized how much I love adding flexi rods to dry hair. They really form nice curls, that look more soft and natural, as opposed to stiff and forced.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Length Check

I washed my hair yesterday. I deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing on dry hair, washed with Aussie Moist and Head & Shoulders Refresh, conditioned with Aussie Moist. Applied HE LTR and coconut oil, and airdried.

Today, I detangled with Africa's Best Olive Oil Detangling Moisturizer (LOVE this stuff), then applied some CHI Silk Infusion and Dove Heat Protectant, and proceeded to flat iron with my FHI Platform.

A bit uneven, but I'm ok with that for now. My strategy is to trim off my split ends as I notice them, then once I've reached my desired length, I'll give it a good trim to even it out.

Tonight I'll cross wrap and wear my hair straight tomorrow. After a couple of days, I plan to do a flexi rod set (using 4-6 rods max) to give it some body until I wash on Sunday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Hair Care Resolutions

I've been a member of LHCF since 2007, but became a paying member in February 2009, so it's been pretty much a year that I have been serious about my HHJ. I've learned a lot and changed a lot of my hair practices within the last year.

During 2009, I started:

  • deep conditioning
  • doing protein treatments
  • to co-wash
  • clarifying
  • rollersetting
  • to only flat iron for special occasions (for the most part)
  • moisturizing and sealing twice daily
  • caring which shampoos and conditioners I use
  • experimenting with different hairstyles
It's been great. I see a huge different in my hair. I'm pretty happy with my progress, but there are things I'd like to change/improve.

2010 Resolutions:

  • Begin protective styling - I used to always do this before I got my first flat iron. I didn't know what else to do with my hair but put it up in a bun. My hair was long, but very dry. I know I will never be a girl who always has her hair in a bun, but I'd like to put it up at least a few times a week, especially during the winter.
  • Not relax "bone straight" - I want to begin texlaxing for the new year. I'm sick of the flat, lifeless hair that I have after relaxing. Lately I've been wearing my hair in braidouts all the time, and I am appreciating textured styles more. If I decide to go natural at a certain point, transitioning from texlaxed to natural will be less of a stretch.
  • Oil my scalp religiously - with either coconut oil and/or olive oil