Yes, you read that right. I’m in the midst of a set back. I’ve already taken steps to address it, which I’ll share. But first let me tell you what I think happened.
The Set Back.
Remember when I did my first six month stretch? Well, I under-processed my hair in the front. After the relaxer, I didn’t notice it (or maybe I didn’t think it was as under-processed as it actually was). Now fast forward to today (a year later) and there is obvious thinning in the two front quadrants of my hair. When you get in real close, you see that the thinning abruptly stops where that first six month stretch would have been. Also at this same location, the hair is fuzzier. It’s annoying that it took me so long to realize. And even more annoying is that the back half of my hair seems fine. So, I’m sitting here with the front of my hair needing inches upon inches cut away, but the back almost nothing . . uugggghhh!
Initially I was going to cut it (and I started to). But I began to worry what it would look like to have the front of my hair significantly shorter than the rest. Instead, as a remedial step, I decided to do a corrective relaxer addressing that “first six month stretch” section of my hair strand. Hopefully this would at least stop the breakage. I was super nervous to do the corrective relaxer because it’s been years since I last did one. And when I did it, the under-processed section was close to the root; so the corrective was the same as a normal relaxer — just six weeks later. This time the under-processed section was in the middle of my hair shaft. And I needed a plan for targeting the under-processed section while avoiding over-processing.
How I Did My Corrective Relaxer.
With straight hair (flat ironed or roller set), I can’t see the different levels of straightness. And while I can see it clearly with air dried hair, there is no way I’d be able to relax my hair in that state. So, I knew I had to do the corrective on straight hair. But the night before, I misted certain sections with water to confirm where I thought the under-processed sections were.
I was also worried that maybe the back quadrants of “first six month stretch” hair were under-processed as well. And maybe the front was just a lot more under-processed. To put my mind at ease I decided to do the corrective relaxer on the back sections as well.
Looking at the pictures from my corrective relaxer, you’ll see that there was some serious overlapping. That definitely wasn’t in the plans. But I wanted to correct all the under-processed sections and was so worried about missing them. Even though I risked over-processing other sections, I just went to town applying the relaxer. And hoped that if I paid close attention to how straight my hair strands were looking, I’d be ok.
How long did I leave it on? Again, I just eyed it on this part of the process too because I wasn’t sure of what was appropriate. In the end, the start to finish time of the relaxer application process was about 15 minutes.
Changes to my Hair Regimen?
After realizing the cause of this setback, I know you’re wondering whether I will continue to stretch long-term… Well, yes. I am fully committed to the first 7-10 inches of my hair. It is stronger and thicker, which I attribute to the longer stretches. And I am hopeful that my hair will continue to grow out to the point where it all looks like this.
Am I going to cut it?
I still have a very strong urge to cut right now (and I’ve quietly been cutting here and there). But I’m postponing it until my next relaxer. In January/February, I’ll reset and do a major cut (between APL and BSL). Plus, I would’ve had more than enough time to settle into this decision — avoiding possible regret.
Now, that we’ve addressed the main issue at hand. The next question on your mind: Where have you been, Kim? It’s been months since your last post. Well, I’m sorry. I did just disappeared on you all — not cool. Please forgive me.
I had things planned on my blog schedule, but I fell and sprained my knee really badly. Then almost immediately after that I got really sick, moody, and fatigued. Do those last three symptoms sound familiar? No? Well, I’m expecting a new baby and the first trimester Wore.Me.Out! It made doing anything miserable, so I only did things that were absolutely required. I feel bad that my blog and other social media outlets had to suffer, but it really was for the best. Plus when I’m not feeling it, I’d rather not force it. Thankfully, I’m now solidly in my second trimester and feeling more like myself again. So stay tuned for more.