Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let's Talk Hair

I’ve been doing my own hair for I don’t know how many years. And even more since I moved to Holland. The only times I go to a hairdresser is either for a haircut or for the holidays, which is totally 2 – 3 times a year. 

My hair is of ‘Afro’ textured and I’ve been relaxing it since my early teen years. Why I did it you ask? Or the real question, why did my mom do it? Well she always had problem managing my hair in its natural way because of all the tangles. And when it’s super worse, she sends me to my grandma who I inherited the hair from. She always had the patience to comb and detangle my hair. And then I grew up to a certain age where I was old enough to relax my hair.

By relaxing my hair I can manage my hair a whole lot better, it has less tangles and did I say I can manage it better?

But what is the process behind a relaxed hair?

Hair relaxing is a chemically way to permanently straighten a curly/afro textured hair. It comes as a lotion or a cream and can be applied by either a professional at the salon or with the DIY relaxer kits that can be purchased at pharmacies.

How does it work?
Relaxers are strong chemicals that work by changing the basic structure of the hair shaft. The chemical penetrates the second layer of the hair – cortex – and loosens the natural curl pattern. The cortex contains melanin pigment and is responsible for giving the hair its strength, elasticity and tenacity. Once the hair relaxing process has been performed there’s no turning back, it’s irreversible. The hair loosens its strength and becomes weak.

A weak hair is very vulnerable and quick damage, it can easily break and also hair fall-out.

I was the type of girl that always loved changes and I’ve done quite some changes with my hair. Besides relaxing I’ve also dyed my hair, bleached, cut in many different ways… I liked changes.

But since these last 2 years my hair really started to get thin has been falling out like no other. It drove me crazy! And it got even worse this year. Every time I wash my hair, there was more hair on the shower floor than you can imagine. It made me super sad and stressed.

My hair September 2010 *Not a fan of the hair cut at all!*

I’ve tried everything I could to get its health back, but nothing was helping. I’ve even considered off cutting everything off and get back to my natural hair. But then again that’s the one thing that I have never had the courage to do.

Anyway, finally after I took a visit to my hairdresser on Curacao in September, she gave my hair a treatment and cut my hair in layers and also after my hair got to be washed in calcium free water, it’s finally starting to look healthy again and I’m happy about that.

Hair needs to be treated with care otherwise it will show its unhappiness. And it needs some extra good treatment if you’re relaxing your hair.

Healthy Hair Tips:
* Hair has its own natural oil. Don’t wash your hair every day, it will dry your hair out. Relaxed hair will tend to be drier and break easily, be sure to give the hair extra care since the chemicals removed all the hair oils.
* Conditioned the hair to restore moisture, balance and shine.
* Be sure to change your hair products every now & then. Don’t use the same brand year after year. The hair is just like us human, it gets bored of the same product and will not do the work it’s meant for anymore. Ex: the anti-breakage shampoo of brand X will not make the hair strong enough to prevent breakage anymore. The shampoo just doesn’t work anymore. Just use another anti-breakage with growth serum shampoo and you’ll see changes with the hair.
* While re-touching new growth with the hair relaxer, be sure not to apply the cream/lotion on old relaxed hair. Touch only the new growth up to prevent breakage.
* While rinsing the hair, be sure to rinse everything out. Currently almost every relax shampoo comes with the pink foam. Be sure that the foam turns completely white *no more chemical left* before conditioning.
* Use a good hair serum
* Don’t sleep on the hair, but use a special hair net or silk cap to prevent breakage of the hair.
* Most important! Eat right, healthy and drink lots of water.
* Stress might also cause hair loss. So be aware of your life situation and calm down. Settle everything straight and you’ll see.
* Less heath = more healthy
* Try to relax the hair after every 6 to 8 weeks and not longer as that also might cause hair damage like hair breaks.
* Relaxed hair needs to be shampooed with neutralized shampoo. If not “neutralized” the chemical will continue to work on the hair strand weakening it further.

Last night I relaxed my hair and styled it myself as always and I’m really noticing a change in my hair, a change for the good! I tweeted these next two pictures.

How do you handle your hair? Do you have any hair tip to share? Let me know in the comments ;)

Kiss, Kiss & Love
Mz. J ♥
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