I know I haven't been writing here much lately, but honestly, I don't have much to write about. That and the fact that my job has me working like a slave! I've just been trying to stick to my regimen. I've been drinking a lot more water every day and I started taking daily prenatal vitamins about a month ago. What I notice most is that my new growth became very noticeable at about 2 weeks post-relaxer, which is hopefully a sign of growth and thickness. My nails are hard as nails too- I can't remember the last time I had a split or broken nail!
It's been 7 weeks since my last relaxer and I'm hanging in there, hopefully for another 2 weeks at least. I've been working on finding products when I'm past 5 weeks post-relaxer. I find that most of my techniques stay the same, but I need products that have more moisture when I'm past that 5 week mark. I'm striving to go 9 weeks this time (I've never gone past 8), so I need to put in some extra effort to keep my hair healthy and presentable. It's still a work in progress, but here is what I have so far:
Pre-poo: Vanilla Organix Conditioner and Vatika Oil - the Vanilla Organix seems to soften my new growth and loosen the curls a little more than the other Organix conditioners I use to pre-poo. I apply it like relaxer to my roots and use heat for about 15 minutes before washing my hair. I'd like to try neem oil in the future since I've heard how much it softens new growth.
Shampoo (1x a week): Creme of Nature Shampoo - I just used this shampoo (green label) for the first time last weekend, and I liked it. My hair wasn't tangled and felt as moist as it could be, I think. I don't really know what moisturized hair feels like when wet, but I know what stripped hair feels like, and I didn't get that feeling from the CON. This is a keeper.
Conditioner Wash (1x a week): I continue to co-wash with V05 Moisture Milks. I've been using the Passion Fruit Smoothie flavor. It's good, but I'm in love with the Strawberries n Cream scent!
Deep Conditioner: ORS Replenishing - I like Pantene Breakage Defense Mask, but the ORS gives me moisture and slip that can't compare. Even though it has some olive oil in it (my hair hates olive oil), this conditioner seems to really penetrate my hair, not only moisturizing it, but also allowing other moisturizers to work better. I have been doing the Aphogee 2-minute treatment every week before deep conditioning.
Leave-In Conditioner: Giovanni Direct Leave-In - I went back to Salerm 21, and although both do a good job at de-tangling and moisturizing, the Giovanni softens my new growth much better.
Roller setting products: coconut oil + water spray/serum + water spray/setting lotion - Since my last relaxer, I've been setting my hair by spraying all over once with coconut oil mixed with water, and once with serum mixed with water, then using water to keep it wet. However, as my new growth got longer, this mix left me with a nice set with a rough afro underneath. This past weekend I added diluted Lottabody into the mix, and my roots were straighter and softer.
Moisturizer: B&B Oil Moisturizer and Coconut Oil - The biggest stretching challenge for me is keeping my hair moisturized. KeraCare Creme Hairdress is great, but after about 5 weeks, it doesn't keep my hair moisturized all day. I thought of bringing it to work with me, but that's just too much- I don't have time to moisturize my hair during the work day! I remembered when I first started using the B&B, it was almost time for a touch-up and it worked really well. So I started using it again about a week ago, just on my ends, but my roots were still dry and hard. The other day I started applying it to my new growth at night, and my roots have been moist and soft ever since. I've been doing this every night, even though my roots already feel great. I have also been pin curling, since my curls don't seem to stay as long after 5 weeks, and applying the B&B to my ends before I pin curl has been fabulous. I seal with coconut oil in the morning when I comb out my curls. Pin curling has also helped to keep my hair off my collars (yes, my hair is hitting my jacket collars!).
I know I haven't been posting photos much either, but I'd like to wait until my next relaxer so I can see if I had any growth!