Lessons from my 6 month stretch and my texlax results

2017-04-11 15.56.56

Hello ladies

You may know that I relaxed my hair almost three weeks ago and I have shared some of the pictures on Instagram but this post is crammed with loads more.

I stretched for 6 months plus and I certainly learned a few lessons along the way which as always, I hope you can benefit from.   I will attempt to keep things short and sweet and jump right into it.

pixlr_20170411155126312

The Cons of My 6 Month Stretch

 

It was time consuming and got increasingly difficult

The longer your hair and the longer the stretch, the more time and effort hair care takes.   I am usually quite good at stretching but I really struggled on this stretch and absolutely dreaded wash days.

Even though my wig regimen usually makes my stretches more bearable, I struggled to be consistent and patient with my hair.

I think I also found the stretch challenging because I was quite busy with work over the last few months and just really didn’t have the time that was needed to manage my hair as well as I would have liked.
Breakage at the line of Demarcation

I noticed that I had more breakage at the line of demarcation. The breakage occurred more in the areas that have thinner and weaker hairs. This reminded me that everyone’s hair is different and some ladies may not be able to stretch for long periods as it may do more harm than good. I usually notice some breakage on my 5 month stretches but the breakage on this stretch was more than I felt comfortable with. This is the main reason I doubt I’ll stretch for 6 months in the future.

 

pixlr_20170411152730764

 

The Pros of My 6 Month Stretch

 

My hair feels healthier than it does after shorter stretches.

At several points on this stretch, I felt as though my hair was becoming quite damaged as a result of my struggle to manage the two textures. The length of my hair added to the difficulty of it all.

To my genuine surprise, when I texlaxed eventually, I found my hair to be in the best shape it has ever been since I began my hair journey. This reminded me that the less we expose our hair to harsh chemical processes the healthier our hair is….so long as we remain consistent with good hair care practices.
My ends are the best they have ever been

A long term hair goal of mine was to have even blunt or full looking ends.

I don’t want to create unrealistic hair goals.  It is normal for hair to be a bit thinner towards the ends because with age and wear and tear, the cuticles of our hair gradually chip off and results in thinner hair especially towards our ends which are the oldest part of our hair.  I however felt that because I was no longer letting my hair get longer by cutting off approximately 6 inches a year, with normal hair growth, good hair care and regular trims I would eventually have thicker ends.

Towards the end of my stretch, my hair began to look very uneven and I became discouraged about the stretch and I ended up cutting off two inches just so that wouldn’t look so bad.
When I eventually texlaxed my hair I could see that my ends where nowhere near as bad as it looked but I still cut off a further inch and half after my texlax.
I have trimmed off a total of 3 and half inches and my ends are currently in pretty good shape. I hope to maintain this by being consistent with my regimen and trimming as and when necessary.

2017-04-11 15.55.22

If you are on a long term stretch, it is normal for your ends to begin to look very thin and lifeless in comparison to your thick new growth. Try to hold off trimming until your next relaxer and if for whatever reason you can’t wait that long, try not to get too scissor happy and cut too much off.


Despite the positive aspects of this stretch I don’t think I will stretch beyond 5 months in the future. I simply don’t want to work as hard as I had to on this stretch.

pixlr_20170411160435467

Have your recently ended a stretch? How did you manage the stretch and were you happy with your results?
My next post will be a simple hair style pictorial after a much needed wash day.

See you soon.

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

 

Three Techniques That Helped me “Grow” My Waist Lenght Hair

DSC_4986

Hello Ladies

In this collaboration post with the lovely full haired Tonkabelle of Wura’s Secret Hair, we intend to share our top tips that have helped us grow our own hair to our desired length.

As many of you may know, I offer a hair care consultation service. The first session I have with my clients involves me asking a series of questions so that I am able to advise them accurately. One of the questions I ask my clients is; what do you want for your hair or what are your hair goals? Do you want to guess what the number one response is???? Length!!!! is without a doubt the top answer I receive.

The fact is although there are now so many ladies who have grown their hair to their desired goal, there are by far many more who “seem” to have stunted hair growth, still move from one set back to another and generally are not happy with the length and health of their hair.

There are many practices that have helped me turn the state of my hair around. I choose the following top three because they are the ones that were a major change in how I treated my hair.

 

Three Techniques that Helped me Grow my Hair

Before I get into the three techniques, because I have quite a number of new readers (hey ladies!!!) I have to start by explaining that hair grows longer when we are able to prevent damage and breakage of our existing hair, ie, the hair we have already grown.

What I find is that so many ladies trying to grow longer hair become obsessed with how fast their hair grows. Many don’t realise that what they should be focusing on is caring for the hair they have already grown.   Because no matter how fast your hair grows, if it keeps getting damaged and breaking off you won’t get the long hair you are looking for.  If however you are able to prevent breakage and keep/retain the hair you currently have then with time your hair will get longer. Retention is the key or secret to longer hair.

If you haven’t already please read the section of Hairducation called How To care For Black Hair for general hair care advise that will help you prevent breakage and damage and help you retain/keep your hair so that it grows longer. Off course I share all my own techniques in that section too.

Now if I had to pick three things that really made a huge impact in me retaining/keeping my hair and growing it to its current length it would be the following

DSC_9054

 

1) Reducing Manipulation

Manipulation in this sense can include combing, styling, playing with or generally physically handling your hair.
Black hair is fragile so must be manipulated gently and excessive manipulation should be avoided. Many ladies who have been successful on a hair journey note that they were able to retain more hair when they cut back on unnecessary manipulation because it often leads to breakage. Simply put; leave your hair alone.

Before my hair journey I would comb my hair several times a day…just for fun. I would experiment and change hair styles very frequently. I loved playing with my hair but all that excessive combing and styling was leading to breakage and shorter hair over time. Now I comb my hair once or twice a week max, I avoid experimenting with hair styles too often, instead I experiment with wig styles and extensions rather than my own hair. I basically try to leave my hair alone as much as possible.

 

2 Reduce the Use of Direct Heat

Direct heat such as blow driers, curling irons or straightners when used regularly dries out our hair internal moisture making it brittle and prone to breakage.
I used to wash and condition my hair often prior to my hair journey but I would blow dry it on very high heat settings every single wash day, I would style my hair using curling irons several times during the week, sometimes daily.
Now I avoid direct heat as much as possible and only use indirect heat (heat from steamers or hood driers when deep conditioning, rollersetting). If don’t have time to air dry my hair I will use a blow drier but only on the cool air setting.

 

3) Moisturising and Sealing

Surprisingly, before my hair journey I was aware of many good hair care practices, I simply ignored them because I didn’t think they made an actual difference.
Moisturising and sealing however was a practice I had never ever heard of before my hair journey. I would apply leave in conditioner to my hair on my wash day and nothing else until my next wash two weeks after. My hair was always dry and brittle and if it began to break badly I would apply a hair grease.

Hair that is well hydrated will have good elasticity which helps it fight breakage.  Black hair tends to be drier than other hair types and needs our help to stay hydrated and fight breakage. We do this by moisturising and sealing our hair regularly.

Prior to my hair journey I never EVER moisturised and sealed my hair. When I started my hair journey my hair was in such a bad state I had to moisturise and seal twice a day. As my hair became healthier ot retained moisture better and I began to moisturise and seal once a day. Now because my hair is in quite good shape I moisturise and seal every other day.
The other practices which I know also contribute to me retaining my hair length is protective styling and moisture/protein balancing.  I hope you have been encouraged by this blog post.

Don’t forget to go check out Tonkebelle’s tips on how she retains her hair on her blog Wura’s Secret Hair.

I relaxed my hair on 20th March and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of pictures of my results already but I have loads more to share as well as all the things I learned from my 6 months stretch.

I hope you’ll be back soon.

x

Lade

 

February Up-do of the Month

2017-03-01 00.25.25

Hello ladies

Thanks to Solange Knowles, beaded braided hair styles are popular again.

I decided to create a hair style inspired by her for the February updo of the month post. I certainly wasnt going to braid all of my hair but I decided to somehow incorporate the trend into an updo.  I ended up with this bun and 4 box braids combo.
I was concerned that the beads would feel heavy but suprisingly it was comfortable however I only had the style in for a few hours so i am not sure what it would feel like after a day or two. When I moved or walked around the beads would crash againt each other and were a little bit noisy…and for some reason I enjoyed the noise.

2017-03-01 00.23.58

I actually really loved the style and I am looking forward to texlaxing in a few more weeks just so I can wear it again.

 

Happy hair journey ladies

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

New Hair Style Series

DSC_9773

Hello ladies,

Last year, I forced myself to get out of my hairstyling laziness/rut by starting a bun of the month series.
I tried to come up with simple and easy to do bun hairstyles each month that were different from the everyday super plain ones I usually wear.

The bun of the month series went down well and this year I’ve decided to start an up-do of the month series.
Now here’s the thing….. I love up-does…. but I love them more on other ladies.  I actually do like creating them but the reality is that I will probably keep wearing my buns or faux bobs when I have my hair out because I prefer them for myself.   I’ll probably save the up-does for special occasions.

And on that note, here is the first up-do of the series.

Please look past the facial expression and focus on the height of the style :)

 

I absolutely loved how much height the front/top of the style had (thanks to my new growth and all the texture left in my texlaxed hair). I don’t know how I managed to forget to take a picture of the back of it.   I’ll do better ladies, I promise.


Please come back soon for the educative post about how scalp massaging boosts hair growth.

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

Hair Update

DSC_9482

Hello ladies

Its time I share my hair update especially since I have managed to stay on track after narrowly escaping a major setback late last year. I am proud of myself for that :)

I had a wash day a few days ago and decided I might as well take a few pictures to share with you all. I took these pictures 4 days after my wash day and had not combed my hair since wash day. I haven’t done a proper length check in such a while and decided to do and impromptu one hence me pulling my hair in all kinds of angles. This is the wrong time to do a length check though as my hair is sooooo many weeks post relaxer and isn’t its “normal self” at the moment.

 

DSC_9535

How Many Weeks Post am I?

I am currently 19 weeks post relaxer. I think I have about 2 inches of new growth.

 

DSC_9588

Cousin Itt vibes :)

 

 

Current State of My Hair

When my hair is this many weeks post relaxer, it tends to feel mega dry despite me moisturising and sealing daily. It also tends to feel stiff and is difficult to style. I usually switch to heavier products when my hair begins to act this way.

The thing that annoys me is how the length of my hair tends to clump together and matt when it has a lot of new growth. It means I have to detangle it daily or every other day and this can be quite time consuming. This is the biggest challenge I have with my hair at the moment and it is the reason I use wigs to help me avoid spending so much time on hair care daily. Please click here to see my wig regimen.
What I do looooove about my hair having this much new growth is how much volume my hair has. My buns look huge and I can create a lot of gravity defying up-does.

All in all I am really pleased my hair and I have kissed and made up after I neglected it for about a month. My hair looks healthy and my ends aren’t bad either. But this is because I trimmed off about an inch and half a few weeks ago.

 

DSC_9625

That’s my hair update in a nutshell. What’s happening with your hair ladies? How many weeks post are you? What challenges are you facing with your hair at the moment?

My next post will be an educative one about how scalp massages help boost hair growth. Come back soon!!!!

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow