I am 16* weeks post relaxer and I can't believe it's come to this again because each of the last two times I stretched my relaxer to 16 weeks, I swore that I would never do it again. I could go into all the reasons/excuses for letting so much time lapse, but I won't. It's not necessary.
Lest I forget, this post will serve as a personal reminder of what my limits are when it comes to stretching my relaxer touch ups. More details after the jump...
I would have relaxed my new growth with this wash but I hadn't done a protein treatment in a couple weeks and I was using a lot of hair products like moisturizer and gel on my roots, especially at the front. So instead I opted for a shampoo, protein treatment, and flatironing.
My wash session started with a quick detangling session using my wide tooth comb and a spray bottle of water. I didn't work too much with my roots because I didn't want to cause any unnecessary breakage. I sectioned my hair into four sections adding my honey pre-poo (I went heavy on the oil) as I went along, which I left on for about 30 minutes. Then I washed with my tea tree shampoo (keeping my hair those same sections). Next I let my Aphogee 2 minute reconstructor sit on my towel dried hair for 5 minutes. I rinsed that and added Roux Porosity Control for about 30 seconds. After rinsing the porosity control, I towel dried again and applied my Conditioning Balm for about 30 minutes. Once I was done deep conditioning I added my GVP The Conditioner, and Potion 9 as my leave in treatments and started detangling my hair. THIS is where the stress came in.
I knew that I was going to be flat ironing my hair, which meant that I needed my hair to be thoroughly detangled and all shed hairs removed. This step alone was what let me know that stretching this long is NOT for me. Even though I was combing my hair with my wide tooth shower comb every step of the way, I had so many knots in hair. I began detangling a section of hair at my nape working the comb through my hair, starting at the ends and working my way up to the roots. I had to stop several times just in first section to remove the knots that I encountered. I instantly started getting flashbacks to the first two times that I had stretched this long. It was so discouraging seeing so many knots and I felt like I was losing so much hair. I continued to fight against the knots as I went through my hair. I tried to stay positive and press on detangling the remaining sections. Repeating to myself that, "It's just the shed hairs that had built up over the last two weeks" (since I hadn't shampooed since then). I kept at it being ever so gentle. And forever and a day later, I had finally detangled all six sections.
It was time to start blow drying, but first I sprayed my hair with Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Restructurizer and applied one and a half pumps of Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide. I blow dried my hair dry in the same separate sections and continued to find knots. And with every knot that I tackled, the hair on the bathroom floor continued to amass. But I continued to quietly hope that those were just old shed hairs...
After adding my favorite heat serum Chi Silk Infusion, it was time to start flat ironing. Because I had so much new growth, I knew that I would have to part my hair in very tiny slivers to get my hair straight. And as I was making the parts to flat iron, I was still encountering knots. But I just had to gently remove them and press on.
Eventually I got through my entire head and my hair was finally done. From Shampoo to the last sliver of hair that got flat ironed it took me 4 hours. While I am enjoying the results of this flat ironing session, this stretch was not worth the worry. I'm still not entirely sure that I've escaped this stretch unscathed, but so far I think I might be alright.
June 17th is relaxer day and today is that day. My hair is currently deep conditioning, so look out for my relaxer update and my final thoughts on this recent stretch, officially ending at 17 weeks.
*I wrote this and flat ironed on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
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