What works for me?Well initially I had no clue what I was doing. My first transition ended when I was only 3 months post relaxer. This time I've lasted 17 months and counting. I thought about big chopping sooner on more than one occasion but I'm glad I didn't, I love my hair. I love my big transitioning soon to be natural hair!! I call it Big Sexy. It would not have gotten so long if I had still been relaxing. I tried and it didn't work for me. Now when I flatiron my hair looks so much fuller and healthier than when it was relaxed. I will however be wearing it in it's natural state way more than flat ironing. I've only been doing that because it's colder and because it helps me to work with the two textures if I make them one plus cold season is the only time I can enjoy my flat ironed hair without fear of reversion. I normally like to blow dry and wear braid out or simple pinned up styles because I like the fullness. Plus the thought of a blow dry then flatiron is tiring.
|Big chop, 3 month post relaxer. June 23, 2008.|
The main key though to my transition journey was finding my protein/moisture balance as witnessed on my wash days. I always concentrate on working my Nexxus Emergencee/Aloxxi reconstructor into the demarcation area as this is the weakest part and I'm trying to hold on to my relaxed ends as long as I can. I also do the same with my conditioner. I don't deviate from my regimen much. Most times change occurs when I run out of a regular product and decide to use up a different product from my stash.
Additionally I always work with my hair in sections if it's not blown out or flat ironed. I DO NOT let all my hair tangle up for any reason, I will experience potentially more breakage than I am comfortable with at the demarcation area. Also finger combing as much as I can even after a wash and air dry reduces breakage immensely. I have seen the major difference it made compared to using a comb even if it was a big tooth comb. It takes longer but it’s worth it for me.
Suave Professionals for deep condition and cowash
My own herbal oils that I steep
Nexxus emergence for protein
Grape seed, castor, olive oils
IC fantasia heat protector
Kid’s organics moisturizer
Castile soap for shampoo
Split ender for trims
CHI flat iron
I photographed some of the products I'm trying to use up along with my staples.
|Megatek, Suave conditioner, nexxus aloxxi(renamed from emergencee), |
castile soap, suave professionals, porosity control shampoo.
|IC fantasia heat protector, amla oil, nexxus humectress, |
random oil, hair elastics.
|Random mystery oils|
|Blow dryer, split ender, CHI flat iron|
1. Section hair in about 15 pony tails
2. Wash with unscented castile soap
3. Apply Nexxus Emergencee, shower cap, leave in for 20 to 30 minutes under steam cap
4. Apply Suave Professionals Humectant Conditioner for dry hair
5. Overnight DC for about 6 to 8 hours.
6. Rinse and check scalp for conditioner build up.
7. If there is buildup, take my very soft tooth brush and scrub my scalp gently to remove as much conditioner as I can.
8. ACV rinse if needed for porosity. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to 64oz of water. This is what works for ME. It may not be standard for someone else so try at your own risk.
9. Air dry to about 70% or 80%.
10. Blow dry and flat iron, or detangle and braid back up. I finger comb when I blow dry to detangle. I use a comb only if I feel it's needed. This was acheived with a Revlon Amber Waves Professional Ionic Dryer RV672AW and FHI flatiron.
Can also be found here in more detail.
Daily Blow dry/Flat iron maintenance regimenDaily maintenance of these styles is pretty simple. I put my hair into 4 to 6 sections by finger combing. I never use a comb unless I feel like I need to which is about 1% of the time. About two times a week I apply an herbal oil mix to my scalp only and massage. Most times I don't bother to ad to my ends because the oil applied to the scalp makes it's way down the strands. When I do I use coconut oil or grape seed oil. I wear a satin head tie to bed but sometimes I do fall asleep without one. This is how I wear my hair when I'm not in protective style mode.
Daily Protective Style mode regimenWhen I am in protective style mode I wear my hair in about 10 or 12 plaits. Once a day I moisturize with Kids Organics Moisture and seal with an oil mostly coconut or grape seed. If I run out I'll use whatever oil I have in my stash of products to use up. I add megatek to the length once a week to keep up with the protein balance concentrating mostly on the demarcation area. I also finger detangled each section twice a week. When going out I wear either a wig or a head wrap. I prefer to use a du rag instead of a wig cap.
These are the basics for me so the best thing I can say is maybe build from this if you want to and most importantly, listen to your hair. Remember that everyone's hair is different and what what may work for one may not work for all.