|My last weekend in braids/twists|
Okay, I can tell you the following - I definitely retained all my growth whilst wearing my twists/braids, and will do it again. However, my nape experienced some MAJOR damage. My next stint with braids or any long term protective style I will keep my nape out and not put them in braids.
|The nape damage as clear as day pre touch up|
For the next few months I am going to BABY my nape. I removed my braids myself, using a crap load of coconut oil as I removed each braid so as to enable to have shed hair simply slide out and to minimize hair loss. Except for the breakage around the nape,I lost very little hair during this process.
|Hair lost during removal process|
Although I have had transitioning thoughts I realized that I am not ready and thus this week prepped my hair for a touch up at 18 weeks post - LONGEST STRETCH EVER!
|18 weeks post dry texture shot, hair was stretched via rollersetting during prep wash|
Last night I started prepping my hair for the relaxer to come by massaging my hair and scalp with coconut oil. This morning I grabbed my box kit of ORS Olive Oil No Lye Relaxer for Girls and based my scalp completely with the enclosed protective gel. I then covered my hair with the enclosed protective pre-treatment (yes, I love this kit!!) and then started applying the mixed relaxer. I self relaxed ALL by myself this time, no help. My usual helper became a mom again and that new born is taking up all of her time. After the maximum time allowed my scalp still did not tingle or burn in the slightest, but I went to go rinse anyway. I am deathly scared of over processing and the resultant damage. I did a mild mid protein step using my ORS Replenishing Conditioner and then started neutralizing. I must have shampooed my hair 6-7 times before the lather was white, but rather the resulting back ache than insufficiently neutralized hair! I am a paranoid relaxed head! I then deep conditioned for almost an hour with the enclosed conditioning pack, which is awesome! I love it, my hair felt SO soft, the conditioner simply SUNK in. After rinsing I applied my leave ins and roller set, letting my hair airdry in the rollers. The result - silky, shiny, straight hair.
|No heat used.|
|Relaxed scalp texture shot|
|Nape damage as seen post touch up|
I am going to go back to basics, be as careful and obsessive as I was when I started my journey, as if my hair is still in that dismal state. THAT way I should be able to UP my retention and to ensure that the breakage I experienced does not result in a set back. The weather is HOT and a little more humid this side of the world now, so I am thinking of incorporating some glycerin and grape seed oil in my moisturizing and sealing of my hair and of incorporating cowashing more often, especially as I'm going to get my lazy ass a personal trainer to give my swift kick I the behind on a daily basis regarding my workouts. Workouts and hot weather and sweat equals more regular washing which means co-washing and a VERY gentle hand. I am NOT going to have any of my journeys suffer now.
In the meantime have a great Friday y'all!! And an awesome weekend!