Drying my relaxed hair

The eternal question of how best to dry our hair, huh?

Before starting my hair journey (and before that...before I wore braids for a couple of years), I used to dry my hair with my faithful Babyliss Beliss dryer after every single shampoo. It gave me beautiful, sleek, healthy hair each time. Or at least it gave me the illusion of nice healthy hair, but I didn't know that then!

Since 2010, I have tried to cut back on direct heat on my hair: I invested in a Hooded Dryer (also for my hair treatments) and have almost stopped using blow dryers. The difficult thing was to manage to get a sleek effect on my hair without direct heat. Erm...not easy!

I tried roller setting, but I realised after a few attempts that except taking up my entire Sundays, it wasn't doing much for the sleek, flowy effect. It also killed my arms. Maybe one day, I will give it another go...

One day I thought: "I don't have anywhere to go today so it won't matter if my hair is not super straight!". And that's how my Air Drying Journey started :-)

I've tried different methods in the last two years and I think I have found a good one now. So here it is:
  1. Did my pre-poo with Black Jamaican Castor Oil the night before
  2. Rinsed the oil the next morning and co-washed with V05 Give Me Moisture Conditioner
  3. I sprayed Aphogee Provitamin Leave-In
  4. Detangled + put in a loose bun + satin scarf to smooth my edges
  5. Once about 95% dry (I still had a tiny spot at the back of my head which was wet), I moisturised and sealed with HE Long Term Relationship and Coconut Oil (one section at a time)
  6. I made some big, loose Bantu Knots
  7. A few hours later (I had a nap, had a terrible migraine on that day), I took down the Bantu Knots
  8. And...VOILA! Actually it would have looked better on my almost BSL hair lol
  9. After that I put my hair in a loose bun as I am still protecting my ends
click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge

I used to Moisturise & Seal when my hair was still about 50% wet and then let it dry completely, but I realised my hair prefer when I don't apply anything on it until it is almost fully dry.

The problem with me I think was that if I applied products while the hair was still wet, I could not really realise how much I applied. Then my hair would be weighed down by either too much product or too much oil. So I think I am going to stick to this method for a little while.

What about you ladies? What method do you use to air dry your hair?

Protective Styling

First of all, although it has been done many, many times before, let me explain quickly what protective styling is (I might be lucky and you will come across my blog on the start of your journey lol)

Protective styling is basically any hairstyle where your hair is protected and more importantly, your ends. It can be anything, as long as those ends are tucked in: this greatly helps those of you, like me, with shoulder length hair. At that length, the hair tend to rub against your shoulder, which can cause breakage. If your hair is longer, you can still benefit from protective styles of course.

Well, for me protective styling has always been a challenge. It got a bit easier when I reached APL, but I have never really managed to find protective hairstyles that I find suit me and that I feel comfortable wearing. Or that I could actually do! So I tend to bun a lot.

Now that I am back at SL again, the whole protective styling nightmare starts all over again lol
Like I said, bunning is the easiest thing for me and I think I might stick to it for a while. Until I reach APL again.

Today, the sock bun. I am glad I got a small doughnut a few months ago: it is proving very useful now!

Very simple and quick to do. I accessorised it with a headband.
click on the image to enlarge
What are some of the protective styles you use when shoulder length?

A good mix: fail or not?

Following up on the mix I made over the weekend, here are the results.
I have "mixed" feelings about it actually: I undid my two braids and although my ends are nice, still soft and sort of moisturised, I have a couple of patches where my hair is dry. Now, I am not sure whether it is due to the products or because my hair tends to do that on a regular basis (yes, I have specific spots that tend do be dry, no matter what I do).
I am also wondering if I should have followed straight away with a moisturising DC, as we all know  that a protein one dries the hair. But I have done the mix of protein/moisturising DC before and had very good results, even on those dry patches. Maybe I did put too much of the Elasta QP in there this time?
Or maybe I should simply come to the conclusion that my hair does not like the Elasta QP's protein DC!
So my verdict is that I will finish this pot but will not re-purchase it again and stick to what I know: ORS Replenishing Conditioner mixed with other moisturisers...
I will have to give extra TLC to my head for the next few nights when I moisturise and seal as this was not a good experience.
Has anyone had a bad experience with that product in the past?

A good mix

I had to adjust my hair regimen and change the way I do my DC: I now have to do it over night.

On Saturday night, I tried a new mix with some of my products. I wanted to do a protein treatment, but the product I got, ElastaQP Ultra Hydration Deep Conditioner, I didn't really like the texture of it and the effect on my hair afterwards (really dry hair, more than usually after a protein treatment). So I grabbed a few other products to try and stop that drying effect I had after the rinse.

 click on the image to enlarge
I applied it, put a plastic cap on, my satin scarf and went to bed. The next day I rinsed it off and already my hair felt really soft and nice. I put some VO5 conditioner on my hair and kept it on for 5 minutes with a plastic cap on, then rinsed.

I sprayed some Aphogee Provitamin Leave-In Conditioner and let my hair air dry. Once it was 90% dry, I applied some moisturiser (ElastaQP Olive Oil & Mango Moisturiser) and sealed with One n Only Argan Oil. I put my hair in two braids which I will keep overnight until my hair is fully dry.

So far, my hair is still super soft so I am happy with this mix. I shall see how it is once I take the braids down :-)

Let's start fresh!

I relaxed my hair on 9th January and realised that my ends were still thinning. What is the point of being almost BSL if you have ugly ends? Erm...none I'd say

I realised that my idea of trimming a tiny amount of my ends at every relaxer (and I wasn't actually really following that as I was scared of losing the tiniest amount of length) was simply a bad one. Postponing that long due trim wasn't gong to help me in achieving those healthy ends I've been trying to have since the beginning of my hair journey.

I blow dried my hair and as it was straight enough, didn't flat iron it. I put it in a low ponytail...and cut! In all it was about 15 centimetres (which is about 6 inches). My sister had to rectify the cut a bit three days later for it to be straight and look better but in all, I am satisfied with the cut.

 click on the image to enlarge
I am now officially back at shoulder length (SL). My ends are nice, healthy (so far) and full! I will just need to get better at documenting my new hair journey and take more pictures. Not easy when your brand new camera breaks and you have to send it back to the shop, huh? I will still try with the old one.