Hair Update: 15 weeks post relaxer and my ends are thinning again. :(

When you’re on your relaxer stretch, I think there’s this sweet spot where you are so content with the way that your previously relaxed hair and your new growth are working together.  The sun is shinning, the breeze is blowing and your wash days go by with out a hitch and you begin to think,

“Wow, this relax stretch is a breeze.  I think I might wait until [insert some absurd date far in the future that results in a relaxer stretch longer than you’ve ever contemplated] to relax my hair.”  For me, I was thinking waiting to Thanksgiving or Christmas, which would have put me at like 5 or 6 months post relaxer.

I think, the exact timing of the sweet spot differs for everyone, but about two weeks ago this was me.  I was just over 13 weeks post relaxer and was honestly considering going another 2 to 3 months before relaxing my hair again.  Well, let me tell you last week’s wash day brought me back to reality.

Before I shampooed, I was detangling with my wide tooth comb and it took a lot longer than normal.  Then when I was finally ready to start shampooing, I could feel these large clumps of hairs knotted at the back of my head.  I immediately started working on getting those knots out with my fingers — GENTLY of course.  After I got the knotted clumps taken care of I grabbed my Roux Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner, which I thought would help to smooth my strands and ensure that I’d be able to detangle my hair easily.  But nope, that did not happen.  I started to notice even more tangles and knots in my hair.  I hopped out the shower and got to work detangling again in quadrants and then applying my moisturizing conditioner which helped.  It was after all of that I decided that I was done with this relaxer stretch.  But first I was going to blow dry and flat iron my hair.  While I was deep conditioning, I grabbed my camera and started recording from that point forward.  Below you will see the video of what I did, how I straighten my hair, my hair update and my length check:

But for those of you who can’t (or don’t want to) watch the video…

I’ll tell you this.  The good news is that I think I’m back at Mid Back Length. Whoo-hoo!  The bad news is that my ends are thin again AND as I was watching the video footage of my flat ironing I could really see the unevenness was evident all throughout my hair (not just at the ends close to the longer lengths).  Of course, my immediate thought was to trim my ends, but that doesn’t really do anything to address the issue I am having with these thin ends coming back.  When I did my major cut back in March, I promised myself that I would moisturize/seal daily and avoid heat tools, which I did.  So why am I back in this predicament?  I don’t know, but I will say that my ends are not as bad as they were in March.  Even though they are not in good shape (see comparison below):

March 2013

October 2013

 
Especially since my ends looked quite respectable after I trimmed them for that March relaxer. See…

After relaxer and trim

Well, now you know my predicament and if you have any advice for me I would love to hear about it.  I will say that I have to give a really big shout out to Dessy GT for sharing these two blog posts from Relaxed Hair Health that address some methods for combating thin ends:
  1. Sealing Your Ends for Ultimate Length Retention and
  2. More Protein For Your Ends.
She sent them to me after seeing my initial complaints on Instagram (@fancyflairlady).  And I plan on implementing both of those techniques into my regimen.  I really hope that this helps because I’ve been fighting to get to waist hip length for a long time.  And while mid back length is amazing, I just want MORE! lol.
 

22 Comments


  1. I feel your pain… Thinning ends are the bane of my hhj, I really need to up my care of my ends now I've trimmed them back – thanks for the links and good luck with your journey, we're all in this together!


  2. I was just about to mention Nadege post about using more protein on your ends since they are the oldest part and need the most care but you've got that info already. I definitely get you on doing a stretch that goes so well till SSK take over. Do you pre-poo because I didn't see you mention that? Perhaps you could pre-poo with a light protein treatment weekly or bi-weekly and follow up with your usual Wash day routine to see if it helps.


  3. I hope those two article are a big help. I started using more protein on my ends and working on them. Im glad to hear about your update.


  4. Ay dios! Just when I thought that I was the only one trying to save her ends! Thanks for the post and recommendations Kim!

    KLP @ SavingOurStrands


  5. Wait and see what it looks like once you have relaxed the hair. The new growth is shrinking unevenly and it will probably look more even when all hair is relaxed. I'm sure it will look different then.


  6. I definitely know the feeling. It's so frustrating but it happens to everyone – relaxed or natural. It's definitely good to get to the root cause.
    My issue is not cutting enough I think. Until the last year I only cut the bare minimum when one side was clearly thinner. One side seems to be thriving, the other not so much :/
    I'll definitely be trying protein just on my ends. When Nadege first posted about it I tried just deep conditioning my ends between usual wash days and oh my god, my ends just felt like butter. I can see how using protein would help length retention x


  7. Sorry my comment didn't finish posting so I had to post another!!

    Kim, it appears you're WL!! And honestly, your ends do not look that bad!! You're doing everything right, so I reluctantly say that maybe this is how your hair "weathers" at the end! I would not trim for a while and see where the new year takes you!!

    As for suggestions, I've noticed less breaking since I've starting using light protein leave-ins every wash day! Also, Carol's Daughter monoi oil serum has also helped cut down on my breakage!!

    Good luck and congrats on your growth!! 🙂


  8. We are in this together! I hope that we can get this under control soon. And thank you well wishes. 🙂


  9. You know, I was considering adding the extra protein through a pre-poo or a leave-in treatment. The jury is still out on how I will add the protein but, I'll let you know once I decide.


  10. That's why I had to share, because I was so sure that there are others out there dealing with this too. I hope that you find those recommendations helpful! 🙂

    P.S. Hey KLP, I love your comments, but I don't allow active links in the comment section of my blog. And it hurts my heart to delete your comments but I've got to be impartial about how I moderate these comments. Could you comment without the active link? You can type your website in plain text but no active links, please. Thanks love!


  11. Oh, I definitely will wait to see how it will look. I don't want to act when I know that the new growth is distorting things a bit. But I just know from past experience that a lot of the unevenness is usually there after relaxing too. Thanks for commenting!


  12. Good luck to you too, Lesley! I hope that we can get this in order soon. I was thinking that maybe I didn't cut enough last time too. But honestly I don't think I had the heart to cut anymore than I did last time. For now, I'll just keep doing those mini trims with each relaxer and hope that this (and the other things I'm about to start doing) will help me get through this. Thanks for commenting!


  13. Really — on both counts (WL and my ends)! I knew that I was ridiculously close to WL, but with my impending trim, I wasn't trying to even let the excitement of it all overwhelm me, lol. Thank you for your recommendations. I will be doing more protein and oil for sure. Thanks, LaShonda!


  14. Hi Kim, love your blog! Instead of doing a major trim why not just keep it at MBL and do regular trims to that length until you get the ebdsc you want. It may just be the rate your hair grows and it will all catch up with time.


  15. Thank you! You know, I might just do that. Because these big trims are just stressing me out, lol. Thanks for the suggestion!


  16. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you didn't cut enough last time. I notice that I can see through your hair (just a little) about 3 inches up in the "after trim" pic from March. I also had thin ends, but it was breakage from trying to transition. I recently sucked it up and cut 4 inches! But, there's nothing wrong with mini trims. I'm excited to see your hair after your relaxer. Let us know if you do another mini trim!


  17. Yeah, I think you're right, Neisha. But I cut something like 6 inches last time and couldn't bear to do any more. I'm trying to post the relaxer update on Sunday (fingers crossed that I can get this video recorded and edited by then)–if not, next weekend for sure. FYI, I did do the mini trim and I'm content with it. I think I'll be doing that every other relaxer along with a few other things to help my ends.

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