I started going back and forth on whether or not it was time to step away from the relaxers and maybe move to Brazilian Blowouts or Amino Acid Treatments. I even went so far as searching for stylist in my area that offered one or the other or both. After much contemplation i decided to give the relaxer one more try with another stylist.
To find the new stylist I got on StyleSeat and searched for hair stylists in my area and looked for keywords such as healthy hair, taking care of your hair in their profiles. After weeks of searching I finally found a couple of stylists who looked like they could be contenders. So I contacted them and only heard back from one. I schedule an in-person consultation with her. During the consultation the stylist had me fill out a questionnaire asking me questions about the products I use on my hair, my hair type, how I care for my hair and any issues I may be experiencing.
Next she and I talked for a few minutes about the answers I put on my questionnaire. During this time she was putting her hands in my hair to see what it was like for herself. I've had other consultations where the stylist didn't touch my hair. I've learned it's a bad thing if they don't put their hands in your hair. We also talked about the stylists philosophy of hair care, the products she uses and her process for relaxers. I also asked some questions of my own. After talking with her I felt we were on the same page about a lot of things so I scheduled a touch up. Now it was time to start prepping for my relaxer touch up.
The prepSince I was going to be using a new stylist and I wanted to make sure I did what I could to avoid the breakage and dryness I experienced after my last touch up I took even more preventative measures by
- Cleansing my hair with shampoo about four days prior to the touch up
- Deep conditioning
- Fully detangling with my fingers and a wide tooth comb
- Not scratching my scalp
- Basing my scalp with a petroleum based product
- Covering my strands with a nice layer of coconut oil to prevent the effects of relaxer run off
The touch up
- When I arrived the stylist sat me in her chair and gathered all her tools and then proceeded with basing my scalp with an oil product
- For the touch up she used a Silk Elements relaxer and only applied it to my new growth. I made sure to check
- I told her I didn't like my hair processed to be bone straight, so she didn't let the relaxer process for too long before rinsing it out and shampooing
- Next came a 15 minute deep conditioning treatment under a hooded dryer.
- To finish the stylist had me dry under the hooded dryer and then got out the last of the moisture with a blow dryer. She then used a flat iron to bump my ends. Oh...she used a heat protectant before applying direct heat. Definite win
After the touch upAbout three days after the touch up, my hair felt weighed down and flat. I couldn't go a full week before washing my hair so about three days in I went ahead and clarified with Ion Hard Water Shampoo, deep conditioned and did a hard protein treatment. I think I'll be doing hard protein treatments more often as my hair felt awesome afterwards and I didn't experience any breakage. I also started using a new daily leave-in the stylist recommended that I applied after drying my hair.
Since my relaxer touch up I've strayed from my once a week wash schedule and started washing my hair whenever it says it needs it. This means I typically wash about twice a week - once mid-week and once on the weekends. To keep my moisture levels up I've been doing more co-washing.
One thing that has gotten my attention is I've been experiences a lot of dry, itchy and flaky scalp. I'm thinking it could be a result of the relaxer, but the issue didn't pop up until bout two weeks after my touch up. The itchiness, dryness and flakes could also be due to stress from my new house purchase and moving. Or from being exposed to dry air from air conditioners all day. I'm not sure and unfortunately I may not be able to pin it to one cause.
How did your last trip to the stylist go?