Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 2011 Relaxer- Nothing Like a Good Cut!

I was not getting along with my hair for the past few weeks. It was hard to style and seemed damaged and thin to me. Even my buns looked wack! I usually don't like my hair the week or 2 before a relaxer, but this time felt different. I was seriously thinking about transitioning to natural. I felt like my hair would be so much thicker and healthier without a relaxer. I even talked to some of my natural friends about transitioning.

I ended up getting a relaxer, but I'm still thinking about transitioning. It's such a huge commitment and a lot of work, and I don't know if I'm up for it right now. My life is really busy, and I give a lot of presentations at work, so I have to look polished and professional every day. I do believe that natural hair can look professional, but I also understand that there might be some "not-so-pretty" days while I transition! I would love to see what my natural texture is like since I've been getting relaxers since I was 13. My hair doesn't thrive with braids or weave, and I keep hearing about heat damage with too much flat ironing, so I just need to come up with a plan...

Anyway, because of my hair frustrations, I decided to try a new stylist. My stylist is good, but she insists on relaxing me bone straight and won't use a mild relaxer. She also is much better at styling shorter hair. When I started going to her, I had a tapered cut. As my hair got longer, she could only do a blunt cut. So I went to my girlfriend's salon. I went to this salon a couple of years ago, and didn't like the stylist I went to, but this time I went to another stylist. I was really impressed with my experience this time. Everyone was extremely professional- even the receptionist shook my hand, and they took me right away. I had to fill out a form about my hair, and the stylist talked to me about the kind of relaxer I wanted. We decided on Mizani Mild. I've been getting Mizani relaxers for a couple of years and she said that they are very conditioning. I noticed that almost all of the products in the salon were Mizani, Affirm and Paul Mitchell, which I thought was a good sign.

I got a little worried when the wash girl combed my hair out as she prepped my hair, because I felt like she was manipulating my scalp. It was fine though, because I didn't even burn. I noticed that my stylist relaxed my edges last, which is a good thing because I can't remember a time when my edges didn't have breakage. When I started "tingling," the wash girl immediately ran over and sprayed that area with oil sheen. She rinsed the relaxer out and added conditioner in my hair, which she let sit as a stayed over the sink for about 10 minutes. I'm not sure what kind of conditioner it was, or if it was a protein conditioner, but it felt and smelled really nice. After washing and conditioning, the stylist set my hair on plastic mesh rollers and I sat under the dryer for about an hour. I asked a lot of questions while she did my hair. She gave me some tips on maintaining my hair at night and when I work out. The receptionist also gave me a sheet with hair tips. I knew all of them already, but I thought it was a nice gesture, especially for people who don't know how to take care of their hair.

After my hair was dry, she asked me if I wanted a trim. I said yes, because 1) I knew I needed one, and 2) I wanted an actual hairstyle. I don't think I've had my hair cut into a style in a couple of years- that's the drawback of being so determined to grow your hair long! We decided to "trim" a few layers in my hair to make it look fuller. I also got a little side sweep in the front. She didn't wrap my hair after, which I like (my hair does not like a full wrap). She just massaged my scalp to loosen the curls, and lightly blow dried the top to smooth it out. I love how my hair came out! It looks so much thicker, which is incredible to me since my hair usually looks so flat after a relaxer. For the past few days, I've been alternating pin curling and cross-wrapping it at night. She recommended that I use Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum as a moisturizer and adding a little oil if I need it in the morning and before I work out. I will definitely visit her again!

It's amazing what a good trim/cut can do. I feel like my hair is so much easier to style and that products work so much better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Satin BraidOut

I decided to try another braidout last night. I think this was only the second or third time ever doing a braidout. The last time, my hair was dry, frizzy and looked really short. This time, I did the satin braid out method, inspired by ZanAndRob.

I put some castor oil on my roots and ends and went to a Zumba and Pilates class. When I came home, I co-washed with Tresemme conditioner (my first time using it- I love that stuff!). I applied Aveeno leave-in and a little Morrocan oil, tied down my edges with a satin scarf and let my hair air dry. When it was just about dry, I divided my hair in 4 sections and applied Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil and Silk Elements Mousse to each section. I did twist at the top and braided the rest with the satin strips. I made my four strips out of the fabric I had left over from lining my, my son's and my man's hats last weekend. Then I tied my hair down with a satin scarf and went to bed.

This is how I looked this morning:

I really like it, although I don't really like how the top of my hair came out. Maybe next time I'll cornrow it instead of twisting it, which is why I wore the front up in a clip. It was a challenge to flat twist my hair like that. I really like how this method stretched the hair more, so my hair looked much longer than my last braidout. I am also very pleased with how moisturized my hair feels. I was prepared to add something to it, but I didn't need to.

Now let's see if I can get it like this again tomorrow, lol!