Later in this post: Greenhouse Beauty’s video about the importance of stretching natural hair
My Scheduled Hair Relaxer? But, Why?
A few weeks ago I made an appointment at Lenoir Salons in Dallas, Texas to get my natural hair relaxed (chemically straightened).
It’s amazing to me that after THREE YEARS of working hard to transition to natural hair and working hard and investing much time and money into learning to care for and style my natural hair, I reached the point of being ready to chemically straighten my hair. What makes it even more astonishing is that beforehand, chemical relaxers had been destroying my hair. Yet I reached the point of being WILLING to return to chemically relaxing my hair! Why?!??
I’ve since CANCELED the appointment (below I share what changed). What drove me to make the appointment in the first place was:
- the long, loooooooooooooooong detangling sessions required to detangle my hair and all the hair loss that happened each detangling session, and
- the time sink involved in styling my hair.
I Actually Lived Worried, Stressed, and Fearful Because of My Hair Woes
It’s sad to say, but I kind of lived in fear regarding my hair after my hair grew from a TWA (teeny weenie afro) to it’s “awkward length” (not long, but not short, and therefore somewhat challenging to style).
“Fear?!?? No way!!! You exaggerate, girlie,” you say. But no, honestly: I was afraid that my hair was going to lock up if it tangled to much. I was afraid I wasn’t going to keep having all the time available that it was taking me to detangle my hair, and that it was thus going to lock up. Because styling my natural hair seemed such a time sink (especially compared to styling my straight hair years ago), I was afraid that I was going to have to leave the house some days with my hair looking just CRAZY because I’d had a styling fail and didn’t have a way or the expertise to correct it or cover it up.
The Fix Came So Quickly, and Right On Time! 🙂
One day I decided that it was SILLY to be experiencing such worry and stress and anxiety about hair. I looked at the list I’d made of things I promised myself I’d try before returning to chemically relaxing my hair, and I sped UP iterating through the list. For example, I bought the products I promised I’d try, such as the Komaza Care Protein Hair Strengthener. I tried the treatments I promised I’d try, such as henna treatments (to thicken up my hair and perhaps reduce tangling some, that way).
The FIX to all of my hair woes occurred to me when I was reading an unrelated thread at LongHairCareForum.com. A poster wrote that she had GREAT success with retaining almost all of her hair by keeping her hair stretched.
I have NO EARTHLY IDEA why THOSE words made it click, but I had been receiving advice to STOP doing wash-and-go’s for a while. The problem was, I wasn’t seeing that advice as advice to STRETCH my hair (and in a way desirable to me), but as advice to STOP trying to obtain a successful wash-and-go. I didn’t like that. I wanted to be able to wash and go! I loved both the look and the less mechanically-manipulative process of the wash-and-go, as compared to braid-outs, twists-outs, etc.
I asked the poster a question: “By stretched, do you mean blow drying your hair or flat ironing it, or are there other options?” She didn’t really answer that question, but the spark of inspiration was LIT!!!
It clicked!!!: I could find some kind of style that was not about STRAIGHTENING my hair, but was about not letting my hair draw up as it dried (because that was the cause of my massive tangles). 🙂 HUUUUUUUUUUUGE difference.
Everything went quickly from there! I found three STRETCHED (not straightened) and relatively easy styles I could do. I even found a way to do a stretched wash-and-go that doesn’t really tangle!!! Woot! I also found a scientific, informative video about the importance of keeping natural hair stretched.
The MAJOR, MASSIVE ROLE of KOMAZA CARE’S PROTEIN TREATMENT in REMEDYING MY HAIR WOES
And, oh, regarding the Komaza protein treatment that was on my list of “must-try-these-things-before-permitting-yourself-to-get-a-chemical-relaxer” items? Well, I tried it and it TRANSFORMED MY HAIR. It turns out that my hair needed protein, and that once my hair got protein, my hair was then able to hold onto moisture and styling products.
All those PRODUCTS I had purchased and trialed because I didn’t think previous products were working on my hair! Ugggh!!! Just . . . uggghhhh!!!!!!! As I mentioned, right after doing the Komaza protein treatment, instantly my hair felt amazing. I went back and tried products that I thought for SURE should have worked but didn’t, and most of those products were FANTABULOUS for my hair. One such product in particular is Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Masque. That thing works WONDERS on my hair. Who knew?!??
The Final Piece: Soultanicals Hair Glide, The Wet Brush, and Kent’s 16t Seamless Comb
I’d be remiss if I did not share that another aspect of the fix was that detangling became a breeze for me almost overnight! It was CRAAAAAAAZZZZZZYYYY! After 2-3 hour -long detangling sessions with lots of hair loss, one day my every detangling problem just disappeared!
The reason my every detangling problem disappeared is three-fold:
- Because I don’t allow my hair to dry unstretched, when I DO sit down to detangle my hair, it is actually hardly tangled to begin with. And it can’t take me 2-3 hours to detangle hardly tangled hair. Woot! 😀 However, hardly tangled hair is intentionally achieved, and not by accident, I’ve learned the hard way. Better late than never, right? 🙂
- I attempted (and it WORKED WONDERS!) the Funnel Method of detangling (please see video below) on damp hair using the following: the harp method of separating strands (please see video below), Soultanicals Hair Glide (which I have reviewed), Soultanicals Knot Dressing Oil Rinse, The Wet Brush (I purchased mine from Target), and Kent’s 16t seamless comb.
- Finally, one major key to detangling my hair with very little hair loss is that I fully unfurl my hair strands with my fingers before trying to de-knot or detangle my hair. I find that often what looks like knots or tangles simply ARE NOT once I fully, gently unfurl and section of hair.
Relevant Videos and Pictures
Below are the videos about techniques I mentioned above, followed by pictures and a brief discussion of my easy, stretched, everyday hair.
I hope this post has encouraged, informed, or supported you in some way! Blessings! 🙂
The funnel method of detangling:
The harp method of detangling:
Onicia Muller’s method of stretching the hair during a wash-and-go:
My Protective, Easy, Stretched, Knot-and-Tangle-Preventing, Everyday Hair
My everyday hair style that prevents knots is my pony-tailed twist-out from 8-10 twists. My hair and especially the ends are sealed with gel, and that’s quite protective. At night, I very lightly spritz the pony tail puff, elongate it with my fingers, and put a soft and clothy Ouchless band around the very end of the ponytail. This keeps my strands in place and untangled. I then two-strand twist up my side bang and cover my head with a disposable, plastic processing cap and my bonnet (this is the GHE method for moisture). In the morning, I remove the band at the end of my ponytail, shape it, untwist my bangs, spritz, and go! ZERO FEAR! 😉 🙂