January 2018, I RELAXED MY HAIR!
I grew up with natural hair, which means that I did not permanently straighten my hair. My mother mainly kept my hair in protective styles such as braids or buns and because of that routine, my hair was really long.
When I was 17 years old, I left home for college and within about a week of leaving-I got my first perm. lol I had waited my whole to finally have "straight" hair and finally I was able to.
And it was glorious!
Until my hair started thinning....and then started to fall out in certain areas of my hair. Then when my seborrheic dermatitis started, my scalp would often bleed or peel from the toxins.
I blamed the perms and decided I would stop perming my hair in 2010.
And now, I can't believe that after 8 years-I just permed my hair.
So you see why I'm in a little bit of shock here.
The thing is, I had done a LOT of bad things to my hair and scalp when I first permed my hair because I didn't know better. And sadly, many of my hairstylists-did not inform me on properly caring for permed hair. So I did all the "no-no's".
All the No-No's!
A. I permed my hair every month.
This is a HUGE no! Most perm boxes will even tell you NOT to perm your hair within 8 weeks of your previous straightening! However, none of my stylists told me differently.
B. I applied heat daily-sometimes twice a day.
I would flat iron in the morning and then again at night. I have no idea how I didn't become bald! It's recommended that you avoid heat if your hair is permanently straightened but that if you're GOING to use heat....only flat iron your hair 2-3 a times (or about once a week). Or use in direct heat (such as sitting under a bonnet dryer).
C. I didn't use quality products.
Perms can be incredibly damaging to the hair cuticle so relying on conditioners and shampoos that are damaging can cause a LOT of problems. So it's important to use products with no parabens, sulfates, or toxic chemicals. Seeing as they only increase your chances of breaking off your hair.
So, why did I decide to return to straightening my hair?
Well because, I really wanted to have straight hair again! <3
My hair type is 4c, which means that I have the kinkiest curl pattern that causes itself to shrink up when wet. If you see my right out of the shower, I look like I have incredibly short (but thick) hair. However my hair is down my back-but due to my hair shrinking when wet-you can't tell. I wanted the length back and so I've decided to return to straightening. WITH a twist.
My New Permanent Straightening Routine
1. Stretching Out My Perms.
No more monthly perms for me. I am going to try to go about FOUR months between straightening sets. If I can go longer, I will. I've been doing my research and most of the bloggers I've followed who have permed, healthy hair go about 4-6 months between relaxers
2. Applying Heat No More Than Once a Week.
I plan to only flat iron my hair only on wash day....if I even want to use it at all.
3. Using Quality Products.
No more trashy products. I'm sticking to my favorites for my scalp (my seborrheic dermatitis) and strands.
4. Regular Deep Conditioning.
Since it's winter-this means once a week. I'll be using my favorite deep conditioner each week since it smells SO good AND it adds a LOT of shine to my hair
5. Taking my Supplements.
Another secret to long and healthy hair is nutrition. I am trying to maintain a balanced diet- but sometimes I don't do so well at this. However my supplements help me to grow my hair even if I'm not eating all my fruits and veggies.
6. Still Using My Wigs.
To maintain my length, I fully plan on wearing wigs to give my hair a break from being out.
It is TRULY possible to have healthy (and long) hair that is relaxed. I've seen many women talk about their routines here and here. For me, my goal isn't so much about length as it is about creating healthy hair without split ends and without thinning it.
In the future, I'll share my daily styling routine so be on the lookout for videos on that!