Hair Journey Update: Fall 2013

Since fall has been upon us for a while and I've recently done a touch-up, it's high time for another Hair Journey update! Sharing updates here on the blog and taking notes has really helped me keep up with my hair goals and needs. While some things have been the same since the last update due to pregnancy, I have seen a few changes as well.  I really think that after using a cocktail of products and practices, I'm starting to learn what my hair likes, hates, and needs.

relaxed hair journey

This is one of the days I wore my hair out.  
I did it up with that side bang from back in the day lol

Hair Stats
Last relaxer: October 25, 2013
Next relaxer: February 1, 2013
Hair Length Goal: Full APL, then BSL
Current Length: APL--except in crown area
Hair Wants: huetiful hair steamer, hempseed oil
Loving: scalp massages, JBCO, and Hair Trigger Growth Elixir

Current Goals:
1. Obtain overall thickness, as opposed to length.
2. Grow back crown breakage. 
3. Try new low-manipulation hairstyles 
(twist-outs and braid-outs)
4. Stick to my routine! Remain consistent in my hair care.
5. Keep it simple- moisturize and seal. cleanse. deep condition.

In remaining consistent, I must make sure to stick to these tasks:
1. Not using any direct heat at all.
2. Moisturize + seal and wear bonnet each night.
3. Deep condition weekly under the dryer.
4. Massage scalp with Hair Trigger 2-3x weekly.
5. Apply JBCO to edges and ends nightly.
6. Use what I have- no purchasing of any new products. 
Exception: running out of staples.

The Stretch

Prior to October 25, 2013, my last relaxer was on July 5, 2013. This time I stretched for 16 weeks, and boy was it tough! Just like with my last stretch, I kept my hair away for the most part.  I moisturized with African Pride Olive Miracle Moisturizer and sealed with grapeseed oil nightly or every other night. I also continued to add a drop of JBCO to the ends of my hair every other night after moisturizing and sealing. With the ceramides from the grapeseed oil and the JBCO, my hair seems to be getting a little thicker!

Unfortunately I didn't get around to trying new protective styles this stretch, either. After a failed bantu-knot attempt, I told myself trying something new now was so not worth it. I was always tired in my last semester of pregnancy, so I gave myself a bit of a break and kept my hair in a bun for the most part. I made sure not to wear my bun in the same position for too long, as I am trying to correct the breakage in my crown.

And of course, as I have mentioned before, the Aloe Vera Mix is absolute love to new growth when the stretch starts to run long. The mix of aloe vera juice, vegetable glycerine, and rosewater made my new growth very soft and a breeze to manage for the remainder of the stretch.

The Process

Per my usual relaxer process--I applied the Optimum Care No-Lye Relaxer. Directly after relaxing and rinsing out the relaxer, I applied the Aphogee 2-Minute Reconstructor to replenish some of the protein that was lost in the process. After rinsing out the protein I neutralized, cleansing thoroughly, and conditioned once more with the conditioner that comes with the relaxer. I then rinsed, squeezing out the excess water with a t-shirt. Then I applied a spray of Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer as my leave-in conditioner.  I moisturized and sealed with my African Pride moisturizer and a bit of grapeseed oil, then just a drop of GVP Silk Remedy before wrapping it and putting it in a scarf + bonnet for the night.  

The Results

I think this was the first time my hair has actually felt full after a relaxer.  Usually after I relax, I will air-dry and take my hair down the next morning (with the exception of my spring relax). Instead of combing down limp, lifeless hair, it seemed to have a bit of thickness to it. This NEVER happens after a relaxer. It also felt stronger too, like I had just had a protein treatment.  

Everything is looking great so far. While I don't think I've had a tremendous amount of growth, others around me notice that my hair has definitely grown.  I think I'm finally APL everywhere except in my crown area. I do have a game plan on getting it back on track, though. I'll share more about that in a post next week.

In the upcoming months, I will be looking to finally test out these protective and low-manipulation hairstyles.  For one, I am tired of wearing a bun. And for two, I need a break from my wigs and weaves for a little while also. I'm either going to try again with the bantu knots or try to perfect the twist-out and braid-out. And if that doesn't work out, I'm getting braids or a sew-in. I will update with pics in whatever choices I make so stay tuned (for real this time lol)!

I will still be using my JBCO for my edges and ends, I will still find more ways to add ceramides into my regimen (more than likely deep conditioning with oils), and I will continue to do scalp massages every other day with Hair Trigger Growth Elixir.  Look out for a review on the Hair Trigger Growth Elixir soon, too :-)

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