Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Big Girl Techniques

Summer Big Girl Techniques That I'm in Love With:
  1. Sealed with a Buttery Kiss- Chicas--why ain't y'all tell me that butters are some kinda sexy?!? I've been sealing my ends with Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter (Heavenly Delight) for a few weeks now and my hair has been in heaven! Fingers crossed that butter makes it better and keeps my ends looking lush and moisturized (and not raggedy!). In a few days, I'm going to get my apron on and mix up a homemade batch of hair butter. Wish me luck!
  2. No heat #ftw- Remember when I first started my bad habit heat detox in March? I did not think that I would make it this long and be able to count the number of times that I've used direct heat on one hand. Ah-mazing! Who knew that I would love my air dried hair so much?
  3. Co-washing is COOL- My hair loves moisture. I've never been a fan of frequent washing because I felt like it would strip the natural oils in my hair causing dryness. Dryness=breakage. Breakage=heartache. Okay, well maybe I'm being a little dramatic. But you get my drift. However, this summer because I'm back into my 5k training routine and kicking it near the pool so frequently, I've co-washed about every 2-3 days. Thus far, my hair loves it. Co-washing is keeping my roots moisturized, my scalp clean, rids my hair of dryness from the chlorinated pool water and detoxifying sweat (sounds better than the regular old nasty sweat right?). My go to co-washing conditioner is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner. During my last salon visit, the stylist mentioned how dry my roots were. Every. single. Time. I think about hitting my pillow without moisturizing my hair, I reply our convo in my head. #nojudgementzone Then I get up and take care of my hair. Makes me wonder: what if someone told me that chocolate would ruin my hair....

What new techniques have you discovered this summer? Hasta la manana chicas! 

Besitos

KLP

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Healthy Hair Insight: To Trim Or Not To Trim

To trim or not to trim
April 2011
Before Cut March 2013

After Cut March 2013
I've struggled repeatedly (at least 2-3 times a year---every year) with whether or not I should trim or let my uneven ends grow out. I do believe that some individual hairs grow faster than others and that unevenness isn't necessarily attributed to breakage. I also believe that regular micro trimming keeps split ends at bay by preventing the split damage from going up the hair shaft.

I'm a cheerleader for health over length. I understand that there is no sense in holding on to raggedy ends make the hair appear longer; but how can you tell if your ends look scraggly because of the pace that your hair grows or because you're having a setback, if you trim as soon as a hair in your hemline is out of place?


Thus far along this journey, I've opted to trim as soon as a hair is out of place. I cut over 6 inches of my hair last year at random times so I vowed to keep the scissors hidden this year. Now, I micro-trim after each relaxer touch up about every 12-16 weeks. After my first touch up of 2013, I trimmed. Probably a bit too much; My ends didn't really need it and I'm wondering if it would do me more justice to just protect, baby, protect, then trim at the end of year. Decisions. Decisions. What's a girl who loves blunt ends to do?


Besitos!

KLP

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Wishes: Hair Edition

Sometimes, life sucks. And the worst part about life sucking is that sooner or later, it will suck again. Maybe for the same reasons; maybe for different reasons. Sounds awful right? Well, I've learned (the extremely very difficult yucky way) through experience that we can't prevent sucky things from happening to us or around us but we can change our perspective about and how we react to said sucky things.

I invite you to make a positive wish, each week to combat a sucky part of life in an attempt to sprinkle the world with more positive pixie dust.

My first wish, claro que si, is hair related (I'm slightly hair-obsessed afterall!). My wish is that I keep my mind focused and grounded on the progress that I'm making instead of on a potential--not even remotely real today---setback nestled somewhere in future land. Crazy right? But, sometimes I feel like all that I do is to prevent a setback and I never make room for positive thoughts surrounding the progress thus far. 

Does that ever happen to you?

Shout out to Britt from One & Twenty for motivating me to link up! Want more Weekly Wishes? Check out www.thenectarcollective.com.
linked up before you
!

Mini Wash

Spin twice a week + Spray fountain with the kiddos + Running twice a week + Biking a few miles with the hubby = not much time to play around with my hair. But just because you're busy, it doesn't mean that you have to neglect your hair. I co-washed twice last week and I've been sure to moisturize and seal daily. I did a bantu knot set, wore them out for two days then rocked curly buns. I'm only 3 weeks post, but my hair has been easy breezy lately. It feels full of moisture yet strong.

This week, I hit my hair with on overnight deep treatment with Halka Baba de Caracol and followed up with a black tea rinse just to keep my moisture/protein balance in check.
Mini Wash Products
  1. Detangled- using my Magic Star Jumbo Rake seamless comb.
  2. Extreme Deep Condition- with JBCO on my scalp and Halka Baba de Caracol on the length of my hair. Then I massaged my stands with Bee Mine Bee Loved Hair and Scalp Moisturizer, covered with a plastic cap and relaxed under my heat cap for about 2 hours. I've tried using this Bee Mine a couple of ways. I'm not sure if I'm being heavy handed or not, but it feels incredibly thick and really weighs down my hair. I thought that it would be perfect for sealing in my deep conditioner though!
  3. Tea Rinse- I rinsed the conditioner then with 2 black tea bags steeped in 2 cups of water plus a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils, I applied my tea rinse using a narrow tip applicator. I let it sit for a few minutes and rinsed. 
  4. Smoothing Treatment- Next, I applied a large dollop of Nexxus Hydralight Weightless Moisture Conditioner, massaged it in from root to tip for a minute or two then rinsed. I love Nexxus products and I was super anxious to try this one, but my hair just isn't feeling the love; I'm forcing myself to use it up so that I can make room in my stash.
  5. Air Dried- 90% with silk scarf.
  6. Leave-Ins- Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Nectar Leave In Conditioner and Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter (Heavenly Delight)
Results: 
Top: Naked Air Dried 90%
Bottom: Lost hair
L to R- Pre-wash, Shower, Post-wash
I wish that y'all could feel my hair. It's so soft and light. I had my normal amount of lost hair; only slightly more than last week's wash with Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner. Last week, I detangled wet, I didn't notice an increase in smoothness or a decrease in tangles. Everything was the same as when I detangle dry. I think that I'm more comfortable with damp detangling, but I'm glad that I tested now at 3 weeks post instead of in a few weeks. Detangling is a different monster with more curly roots.   Last summer, I was slightly appalled by the slight of my ends, but this summer, I'm quite content. I didn't micro trim after my last relaxer, so I'll probably straighten some time soon and get my trim on. I only have about an inch of bone-straight ends left! I've been debating on whether or not I should just baby my ends and wait to trim at the end of the year or if I should just go for it now. 

 A penny for your thoughts?  

Besitos!  
KLP

Friday, July 26, 2013

How To Do Bantu Knots


I don't know if you noticed but Bantu Knots have been my go to style for this air drying heat free summer. (Say that 10 times fast.) Here's a breakdown of how I get my big fluffy curls. 

1. Detangled and Air Dried: I start with detangled air dried hair. I get the best results when my hair has been washed 24-48 hours before I try to install the knots.

2. Large Sections: I prefer my curls in big sections because I love volume. Big hair; KLP don't care. Ha-ha! The smaller your sections, the smaller the curls. You can experiment to see which curl you like the best. I usually end up with 10-12 knots. My knots take about 15 minutes to install.

3. Cocktail: Moisturizer + Oil + Holding product. Use whatever floats your boat. My go to cocktail has been Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner + Argan oil + Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I do believe that order of operations matter on this one. I've found that many products that "hold" aren't particularly moisturizing and can make my hair feel or look very dry over time. Layering on a moisturizer and oil prior to the holding product traps that moisture in and keeps the frizz at bay.

4. How to knot: Bantu knots can be best explained as mini coiled buns that are twisted around itself and secured in place. It's easier seen than explained. Anybody else in love with Whoissugar on YouTube? She is hilarious honey! *in my best whoissugar singing voice* She has some of the best natural hair tutorials on the block and her bantu knot tutorial can not be beat. Watch it a few times, until you get the hang of the technique. 


5. Troubleshooting: Chicas, I can not count how many bantu knot fails I've had since I started my HHJ. One time, my knots were so bad that I had to go and re-washing my hair just to leave the house with my hair in a high bun. Simply. Terrible. Here are the 3 biggest reasons that my knot-outs were so awful:

  • Poor product selection- My cocktail selection can make or break my curls. The wrong products make my hair dry, frizzy or won't provide enough hold. End result: chia pet.
  • Not drying completely- I've attempted wet bantu knot sets and well----y'all will never see pics of that. I waited 8 hours and my hair never dried. When I took them down, I looked like I got stuck by lighting. *shudders* I achieve my best results when my hair has been air dried. Also, note that if you use too much of anything in your cocktail, the knots either won't set and it will frizz. End result: chia pet.
  • Knots un-raveling: First, be sure that your knots are coiled tightly. Not so tight that your scalp hurts, but tight enough that your ends are tucked securely near the base of the knot. When in doubt, use a pin to secure your ends. If your knots unravel unbeknownst, in that section your curl will be wonky. End result: chia pet.
So your first set was awful. No sweat. You're totally not alone. Throw it all up and rock a curly bun or tuck it under and work a faux bob. Whatever you do, do not give up!

Besitos!
KLP

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hair and Beauty Events In the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia)

Atlanta and New York aren't the only locations for great hair and beauty events for brown chicas! Here are a few upcoming events in the DMV area for naturals and relaxed alike!



Summer Without Heat Natural Hair Happy Hour
Sponsored by: The Heat-Free Hair Movement
Friday, July 26, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

INDULJ
1208 U Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20009


Come and Socialize with Heat Free Hair and other dope naturals in the DMV. Enjoy great food, great drinks, great giveaways, and GREAT HAIR!




The Naturalista Hair Show
Sponsored by ALIKAY NATURALS
Sunday, July 28, 2013 from 2:00-7:00 pm
Silver Spring Civic Building


The Naturalista Hair Show, founded by Angela Walker of N Natural Hair Studio is a showcase and celebration of the coming age of the modern naturalista. We’re standing on the backs of the women who came before us and looking out at a promising future. A future filled with leading healthier and happier lives from rocking natural hair to exercising and eating right.


Glam Night Out - Summer Shopping Experience
Naturally-Glam.com
Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EDT)

Ted Constant Center - Big Blue Room
4320 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23508



The Glam Night Out event series is being presented by Naturally Glam LLC.  This event will be the biggest Glam Night Out of the year!  The Summer Shopping Experience will give guests an opportunity to discover unique designers and vendors - everything from health and wellness to fashion and beauty!  Attendees will enjoy light bites and a cash bar while the mix and mingle with other glam girls.



Natural's Night Out Washingtion DC
Sponsored by: CHICandKINKY
Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
TSquared Loft
1525 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC, 20007



Natural's Night Out has decided to make Washington DC  one of its stop of it's expansion tour and we couldn't be any more excited that DC is the first stop.  Join us for a day of fun where we allow naturalistas to to embrace the beauty in their hair, fashion, style, wellness and more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kitchenista Hair Products That I'm Anxious To Try

Shocker alert: I love mixing my own hair cocktails and concoctions. I know---that's no surprise if you've been following SOS Hair for a little while. Ha-ha! My husband just shakes his head when he sees tea steeping or me mashing up an avocado hair smoothie. After being married for 5 years, he doesn't even bother asking. Any who, here are some recipes for a few kitchenista hair products that I'm anxious to try:

Loco Leave-In

Ingredients:
1 part of your favorite moisturizing co washing conditioner (Mine is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner)
1 part Aloe Vera juice

Directions:
Mix the ingredients together well. Apply this leave-in daily when your hair needs a moisture lift then seal with an oil or butter. 

Whipped Butter

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup aloe vera gel
½ cup shea butter


Directions:
Mix the ingredients together using a hand mixer on low speed. Apply this whipped butter to freshly washed damp hair for locking in moisture or use it for twisting.

What are you favorite kitchenista cocktails?

Besitos!

KLP

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mini Wash

I love the summer months. They are filled with birthdays, anniversaries, block parties, and BBQs. I've been on the go without much time to fiddle with my hair. Since my last wash I've co-washed twice using Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner and I've been moisturizing and sealing using Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Nectar Leave In Conditioner and Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter (Heavenly Delight). I'm totally in love with this combo, especially the hair and body butter. I've never been a "butter" person, in fact this is the first butter that I've used, and I truly don't want to be without it. Keep a lookout for this review! 

After dousing my hair with so much moisture all week, I opted for a light protein deep condition in this week's mini wash to keep my hair balanced. 


Mini Wash Products
Tea Rinse and Smoothing Treatment
  1. Detangled- using my Magic Star Jumbo Rake seamless comb.
  2. Extreme Deep Condition- with JBCO on my scalp and Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner on the length of my hair. Then I massaged my stands with Extra Virgin Coconut oil, covered with a plastic cap and relaxed under my heat cap for about 2 hours. 
  3. Tea Rinse- I rinsed the conditioner then with 2 green tea bags steeped in 2 cups of water plus a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils, I applied my tea rinse using a narrow tip applicator. I let it sit for a few minutes and rinsed. 
  4. Smoothing Treatment- Next, I applied a dollop of Nexxus Hydralight Weightless Moisture Conditioner, massaged it in from root to tip for a minute or two then rinsed. I'm all out of my go to smoothing conditioner, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment. Keyda raves about this conditioner, but my hair just isn't feeling the same love; I figured that I needed to use it up so that I can make room for more goodies.
  5. Air Dried- 50% wrapped in a cotton t shirt. 
  6. Leave-ins- Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Nectar Leave In Conditioner and Koils by Nature Nourishing Hair and Body Butter (Heavenly Delight)
Results:
From Left to right: pre-wash,
shower shed and post wash
Hair after EDC with heat
Moisturized, soft, big, fluffy hair plus very little shed hair. Very very little. I didn't believe it myself. I only had about 5-10 lost strands in the shower. Impressive to say the least. I'd love to attribute it to the Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner, but I want to use this one just one more time before I'll believe their "96% less breakage after one use?" line. However, once again, It absorbed into my hair like butter. When I was done putting in the conditioner, I felt like all the product was gone. It's not oily and even though I would stick it with a protein conditioner label, it's well balanced. Meaning that my hair feels soft yet very strong after use.

Why did I mix my essential oils into my tea rinse? Meh. No real reason. I just forgot to EDC (Extreme Deep Condition) with my essential oil mixture. I'll definitely do that again. My scalp felt refreshed and super clean after my wash. 

Post wash, I usually detangle when my hair is 70-80% dry. I decided to attempt wet detangling, hoping to have smoother air dried hair and less knots. I didn't loose anymore hair than normal but I was super gentle with my hair. The week shall reveal if it was worth it!

How was your most recent wash day? 

Besitos!
KLP

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Healthy Hair Insight: Should you detangle when wet or dry?

After detangling 70%-80% dry and adding leave ins
Simple question; complicated answer. I'll just tell you guys what works for me. 

Post wash, I detangle when my hair is 70-80% dry. How did I get this number? Trial and error. When I first started my journey, I always detangled my hair soaking wet. Why? Because that's what my favorite YouTube vlogger did. Y'all remember Ateeya? Throwback joint. Any who, it took me about a year to realize that my hair HATES being detangled soaking wet. However, when it's completely dry, it's not as easy to stretch my roots. By chance, I let my hair air dry for about 30 minutes then detangled and applied my leave-ins. My hair was smoother, I lost less hair in the process, and the single strand knots/tangles that I experienced prior were reduced.

Detangling is my least favorite part of wash day, but I know that its crucial if I want to retain length. 

I want to know what you do. Are you a wet or dry detangler and why?

Besitos!
KLP


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BHK Expo Experience

En route to the Expo
Thanks to a great friend, I was able to experience the 1st Annual Black Hair Kitchen Expo in Washington, DC over the weekend. The event wasn't advertised as well as I would have expected however it definitely didn't disappoint. I had a great time drooling over relaxed and natural heads of hair alike. I was introduced to a few new companies and reconfirmed my love of a few of my staple products. Ay---claro que si, I came home with a nice supply of samples.






Sample Swag
The most interesting goodies came from the following vendors:
  
Shea Moisture

Koils by Nature

Wonder Curl

Live Havana Twist braiding using Taliah Waajid Products

Best smelling purchase of the year! Koils by Nature Heavenly Delight

If anyone is interested in giving the Taliah Waajid Curls, Waves, and Naturals Line a try, let me know. I have more samples than I know what to do with!



Besitos!

KLP



Monday, July 15, 2013

Mini Wash

Since my relaxer, I've done nothing at all with my hair. Nightly, I detangled, moisturized with Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split End Protector and sealed with grapeseed oil. My hair started off pretty flat so by my wash day it was pretty lifeless. <shrugs> As many of you know, I attended Black Hair Kitchen's 1st Annual Hair Expo in the heart of Washington, DC. Now y'all know that I wasn't going with some flat limp hair right!?! Ha-ha! Here's how I washed and styled by hair for the event:
Wash Day Products
  1. Detangled- using my Magic Star Jumbo Rake seamless comb
  2. Extreme Deep Condition- with JBCO on my scalp and Halka Baba de Caracol on the length of my hair. Then I massaged my stands with Extra Virgin Coconut oil, covered with a plastic cap and relaxed under my heat cap for about 2 hours. 
  3. Tea Rinse- I rinsed the conditioner then with 2 green tea bads steeped in 2 cups of water, I applied my tea rinse using a narrow tip applicator. I let it sit for a few minutes and rinsed. 
  4. Smoothing Treatment- Next, I applied a dollop of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment, massaged it in from root to tip for a minute or two then rinsed. I've had my liter bottle of PMSSDT for over a year now and it's finally run out! I love it and its definitely a staple, but I have a few bottles of conditioner that I need to use up before I repurchase it. I just hope that I don't regret it!
  5. Air Dried- 75% wrapped in a cotton t shirt
  6. Leave-ins- Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, Bee Mine Bee Lovely Hair and Scalp Moisturizer, and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I split my hair into about 10 sections and bantu knotted. 

Results: 
Perfect heat free curls! I'm totally in love with Jessicurl and it will be the first new staple in my product arsenal this year! Woop! I got tons of compliments on the curls. I was in and out of 90+ degree heat but they still lasted relatively frizz free. The next day, for church, I pulled my curls up into a big curly bun with my bangs pulled to the side. 
I had a blast at the expo. Got a ton of sample swag. And found a couple of new products to try. Pretty good for a few hours work. 

How was your latest wash day? How is your hair beating the heat?

Besitos chicas!

KLP

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Vacation Hair Exposed

Here are a few tidbits that I learned about my hair while I was on vacation in Florida: 

  1. My hair is hydrophilic. Yep. GRE word y'all. It simply means that my hair loves moisture. I've never been a fan of frequent washing because I felt like it would strip the natural oils in my hair causing dryness. Dryness=breakage. Breakage=heartache. Okay, well maybe I'm being a little dramatic. But you get my drift. However, this vacation because I hung out at the pool so frequently, I co-washed about every other day and my hair loved it. Co-washing kept my roots moisturized, my scalp clean, and rid my hair of dryness from the chlorinated pool water. My new go to co-washing shampoo is Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner.
  2. Water pressure matters. My vacation home has the world's greatest water pressure. Random, but true. It was a breeze to rinse my hair because I could turn the spout to concentrate the water. Rinsing required less manipulation and less time post wash detangling. My hubby isn't happy with this discovery. When we purchased our home, I asked him to install a rainfall shower head. Not because we needed it. But because I thought that they were cool. Yesterday, I asked him to change it back. *shrugs* Its a woman's prerogative to change her mind right?
  3. Big hair rocks. The one thing that I've learned this year is that my hair can look "done" and cute without heat. I absolutely fell in love with my big bantu curls. They would last for 2 days, withstood the heat/humidity, and allowed me to keep my hair moisturized to the max. Do not be surprised if you don't see any sleek and smooth styles from me for the rest of the summer. Sorry chicas!
What have you learned about your hair this summer?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reader Question: Why do you texlax?

Bantu knots on stretched texlaxed hair
Q: Texlaxing seems counter-productive. Why relax at all?

A: You're right. Sometimes, it feels counter productive. It can be hard to control frizz, you'll encounter some wicked SSKs, and sleek straight hair can require just a tad bit more maintenance than a bone straight relaxed chica. It takes trial-and-error to process your desired texture and just one bone straight relaxer touch up can throw you off. But honestly, right now, my texlaxed hair works for me. I like that my hair is easier to detangle, thicker root to end, and more voluminous. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. If I was completely natural, I'm certain that I would always wear my hair stretched, never in a puff, and at least 90% in an updo (I just get annoyed too easily when my hair is in my way. Ha-ha!). Texlaxing allows me to get the "stretched natural" hair look in half the time or effort that it would take if I didn't relax. 

Thanks for the questions and keep them coming!

Do you feel that texlaxing is counterproductive?

Besitos!
KLP

Friday, July 12, 2013

Black Hair Kitchen Expo Mañana!

We'll be there! Will you?


http://www.blackhairkitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/flyerIG-Per.jpg


Besitos!

KLP & Keyda

Healthy Hair Insight: The Rhyme Behind the Reason

Self-relaxing isn't for the faint at heart. One wrong move can take years to recoup from. I've self-relaxed for a few years now and my relaxer days are long and tedious but there is a definitely a method to the madness.

To me, tex-laxing isn't a product; It's a technique. Some ladies cover their hair in oils, others use milder strength relaxers, while a few, mix conditioners to intentionally under-process their relaxers. I simply don't smooth the relaxing cream with a comb to achieve my tex-laxed results.

I relax in two halves at 12-16 weeks, which usually requires two relaxer kits and double jumping in and out of the shower. I first discovered this process from fellow blogger Ms. Kibbi of www.kibibihair.com. Here's how I tex-lax:

Prep- To strengthen my strands, I like to reinforce my strands with a protein treatment the wash before my relaxer day. My favorite protein treatment is Nexxus Emergencee

Protect Products
Protect- I first section my hair into four quads. Then I take each quad and split into 1" sections, detangling as I work. Next, I base my scalp with JBCO (and after my recent experience Vaseline) then lightly cover my previously relaxed ends with Roux Porosity Control Conditioner, Chi Silk Infusion, and Joico Moisture Recovery to protect from relaxer runoff. Lastly, I double strand twist each section, starting the twist at the line of demarcation, so that I know where to apply the relaxer. The only part of my hair that's "naked" are my roots. I cover the front two quads with a shower cap for each side then 2 more covering both sides to keep it from getting relaxer or water on it while I work on my front half. 

Apply Products/Tools
Apply- I started my application process on the front quads using a (green) Sprush. Because I know exactly where to apply the relaxer and I only apply the relaxer to my unprocessed roots, the fear of overlapping the relaxer is minimal. Once I apply the relaxer, I smooth with my fingers. Application and smoothing takes about 6 minutes for the front and 9 for the back.





Fortify Products
Fortify- Next, I thoroughly rinse removing the top plastic cap because it usually has relaxer on it. Then I massage a mid-relaxer strengthening treatment into my strands. My favorite is Nexxus Keraphix. I let it sit for 1-2 minutes then rinse again.










Neutralize Products
Neutralize- After rinsing the protein conditioner, I neutralize 3 lathers with a neutralizing shampoo plus a 5 minute ACV rinse just to be ensure that the relaxer has been rinsed away and the chemical process has been stopped. My ACV to water ratio is 1:3.








Remove- Until my most recent relaxer touch-up, I've used a no-lye box kit. Commonly after the relaxer service, you can loose a little shine and luster. This might be because of the dulling mineral deposits in most no-lye relaxer kits. To prevent this, I shampoo with a chelating poo. such as Kenra Chelating. For my lye touch-up, I followed with Roux PC Shampoo to balance my hair because I didn't know how my hair would react to the ORS. Then I did my usual green tea rinse and smoothing treatment


Restore- Every relaxer touch up ends with an extreme deep condition. I apply vitamin e oil to my scalp, to soothe possible irritation, KeraCare Humecto on the length of my hair and massaged argan oil throughout. I covered with a plastic cap then condition with my heat cap for at least an hour.  








After relaxing the front half, I cover with conditioner and plastic caps then relax the back. The process from beginning to end takes about 4 hours. 


Whew. That's a lot right? 

What's your secret to self-relaxing?

Besitos!

KLP 

Friday, July 05, 2013

Relaxer Touch Up

Relaxer Drama

I used a new relaxer, ORS Olive Oil Professional Lye Creme Relaxer (Normal Strength), this touch up for the first time in almost 6 years. It was an interesting experience to say the least. So here's how my self-touch up yesterday went:

"Protect" Prodcuts
1. Prep- The wash day before my relaxer, I prep my strands with a protein treatment. Last wash day, I used a mix of One 'n Only Argan Oil Restorative Mask and Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask because I'd already hit my hair with a hard protein treatment 2 weeks ago. 
2. Protect- The day of my relax, I first section my hair into four quads. Then I take each quad and split into 1" sections. Next, I base my scalp with JBCO then lightly cover my previously relaxed ends with Roux Porosity Control Conditioner, Chi Silk Infusion, and Joico Moisture Recovery. Lastly, I double strand twist each section, starting the twist at the line of demarcation, so that I know where to apply the relaxer. I cover the front two quads with a shower cap for each side then 2 more covering both sides to keep it from getting relaxer or water on it while I work on my front half.

Apply- I did a strand test, once this is a new relaxer, so I knew that I had about 7 minutes for the process. I started my application process on the front quads using a sprush (green). Because I know exactly where to apply the relaxer and I only apply the relaxer to my unprocessed roots, the fear of overlapping the relaxer is minimal. Once I apply the relaxer, I smooth with my fingers. HOWEVER, I got to about minute 5 and my scalp was on fire! Literally, I felt like my hair was falling out so, I immediately hopped the shower rinsed thoroughly and did a quick neutralizing. The burning sensation ceased and I woosahed enough to carry on.

Mid-relaxer fortifier
Fortify- Next, I applied Joico K-pak Reconstructor as my mid-relaxer strengthener and let it sit for 2 minutes.  

Neutralize- After rinsing the protein conditioner, I neutralized 3x with ORS Olive Oil Professional Neutralizing Shampoo plus a 5 minute ACV rinse just to be ensure that the relaxer has been rinsed away and the chemical process has been stopped. 

Deep condition
Remove- My old relaxer was no-lye and I would follow up with a chelating shampoo after neutralizing to remove mineral deposits. This time I followed with Roux PC Shampoo to balance my hair because I didn't know how my hair would react to the ORS. Better safe than sorry right?

Restore- Every relaxer touch up ends with an extreme deep condition. I applied vitamin e oil to my scalp, to soothe the irritation, KeraCare Humecto on the length of my hair and massaged Argan oil throughout. I covered with a plastic cap then DIY Steam conditioned with my heat cap for about an hour. 

I tea rinsed/applied a smoothing treatment, air dried, detangled, and used It's a 10! and Chi Silk Infusion as my leave ins then flat ironed.

Results: 
Ugh. That's all that I can say right now. After having so much irritation when relaxing the front half of my hair, I just knew that my roots were going to be bone straight. I literally told myself to man-up in the mirror so that I wouldn't cry. (I can be really emo when I get frustrated.) After deep conditioning, I saw that they weren't. But I'm still salty. Relaxing in two halves is tedious but I'm grateful for that process today because I was able to change my strategy for the back half of my hair. I added about 1/4 cup coconut oil straight to the relaxer creme and double triple based my scalp. This seemed to do the trick because I didn't have one bit of burning in the back. However, the back half of my hair has a little more texture than the front---I'm not sure how I feel about that yet.

I was so tired flustered by the relaxer process that I didn't even bother to length check. My ends looked like they were in decent condition: the one highlight of this touch up.

My hair was really flat and didn't have it's usual "post relaxer swang" so I haven't even worn it down. What was the point of flat ironing?!? To say the least, no soy feliz...*crosses arms and pouts.*

I understand that lye relaxers are better for the hair than no lye relaxers but I'm not sure that the irriation is worth it. Or perhaps my scalp is far more sensitive than I thought. 

If you use a lye formula, how do you prevent scalp burns/irritation?

Besitos!
KLP

"Who Goin Check Me Boo!?" Mid-year review!


Half of 2013 is in the history books already! Let's see how our yearly goals are looking!

KLP's 2013 Hair Goals:
  1. Length. After my shedding fiasco last spring, I want to implement some products or techniques to prevent shedding this year and hopefully I'll be MBL by the end of the year. Check! My shedding is at bay thanks to Tea Rinses, Relaxing my mind, and Philip Kingley Scalp Toner
  2. Trimming. I cut over 6 inches of my hair last year. This year, I hope to only micro-trim on relaxer days. Fail. After my March relaxer I trimmed a smidge over an inch. I probably didn't really need the trim; I hope that I don't regret it at the end of the year. I promise to only mirco-trim after my next relaxer!
  3. Relaxing. I'm about 95% tex-laxed now. Last year, I stretched for 16-20 weeks a time. But I think that these super lengthy stretches may have caused more breakage than I'm comfortable with. This year, I want to reduce the number of weeks between relaxers to 12 and a max of 16 weeks. In progress--I'm currently intend on relaxing at 13 weeks post later this week.
  4. Moisture. Moisture. Moisture. I want to shop for a creamy moisturizing leave-in conditioner for daily moisturizing and sealing. Then I want to be sure to do an extreme deep condition at every wash day. (Extreme Deep conditioning layers an oil over the conditioner covered with a plastic cap and then under indirect heat for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water) Check! I'm in love with
    HETSSEP and surprisingly Jessicurl's Too Shea Conditioner (Review pending).
  5. Journaling. I've maintained an offline healthy hair journal since 2010. I've considered blogging tons of times, but I'm a very private person. But I'm finally challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone. (With the help of my hair bestie and co-author of SOS Hair Keyda) Check!
  6. Styling. This year I'm going to be all about the protective styling. Although, I love feeling my hair flowing in the wind, running after two little ones, makes that simply impractical most days. I want to create tons of go to styles for when I'm short on time. Check! Thanks to The Bun Effect Series
  7. Sweating. I know. This sounds bizarre, but I noticed that when I was on my workout grind, my hair grew like a weed! Plus, my body benefited too! I want to commit to at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Check! I've decreased my workouts from 5 days a week to just 3 times. In its place--swimming at the pool, chasing butterflies with my little ones at the park, and crushing the hubby at badminton on the beach. Perfect bait and switch for the summer! 
Keyda's 2013 Hair Goals:

  1. Make Goals. Journaling. I know...I know..How can that be a goal!? Well, to be honest, I have always been so "wishy-washy" with direct goals! But with help of my HAIR MENTOR/Co-author KLP, I have realized that I can only see progress with my hair if I make goals like I do in every other aspect of my life! In progress --I write in my journal weekly and blog now!
  2. Purchase Useful/Efficient Products. I do not want to become a product junky but I do need to increase my "supply cabinet". I want to shop for more helpful products that help growth and retain length for my hair. In progress--with research and trial/error, I have been purchasing more helpful items!
  3. Self-Relaxing. I have been trying to master successfully relaxing my hair on my own without salon help. My hair is also texlaxed due to a long stretch but I will be also reducing my weeks in-between relaxers. In progress-- I had a lapse last stretch and went to salon because I really wanted a trim/bangs...I ended up with a cut :( lesson learned...stay with my main girl lol or DIY
  4. Trimming. I hope to successfully trim my ends on relaxer days. In progress--Look above!
  5. Moisture. Protein. Moisture. I want to develop and strengthen a good balance between protein and moisture treatments. I also want to truly do more Extreme Deep Conditions and find a solid 2nd deep conditioner. In progress! - I have been doing much better with moisture, however I need to remember protien treatments every so often!
  6. Styling with less/no heat. I lived with my flat iron last year and those before. However, I plan on utilizing my flat iron less to not at all this year. In progress--Look at our Minute to Win it Series.
  7. Length. I have not kept a keen eye on my length always. I have always just let my hair grow and then cut it really short, and do it all over again! However, I plan on growing my hair to BSB or close to it by end of year! In progress --I am now at my shoulders due to my cut :/

How are you accomplishing your 2013 Hair goals?

Un mil besitos!

KLP & Keyda