Relaxer Update

after detangling & pre-relaxer routine
I relaxed my hair two weeks ago today (August 8th) at 11 weeks post relaxer. Since I thought I was getting family pictures taken the next week I ended my stretch a little earlier than I could have. Once I knew it wasn't going to happen, I had already psyched myself up for fresh hair and didn't want to deal with my new growth anymore. So, I went for it! The previous wash day was pretty protein intensive, as usual, but I followed up with a deep conditioning session containing protein a few days prior to relaxing. I usually don't do the extra deep condition day, but I just felt like my hair needed a little more this time.

I made sure I detangled my hair very well before relaxing this time, in 4 sections. I am usually not as thorough as I should be with this step and I believe it totally slows me down during the application step. For some reason, I finger detangle during my prep and once I start apply the relaxer I get so upset with myself for forgetting to use a comb afterward. I guess because, normally, I only use a comb at the end of wash days. Anyway, I did my usual pre-relaxer routine: based my scalp with vaseline then layered the length of my hair with the triple threat of (1) conditioner (HE Honey I'm Strong), followed by (2) oil (grapeseed), topped with (3) vaseline. I really think that this step is great. It truly protects my previously relaxed hair from being processed again and/or losing any of the texture I am trying to keep. 

I decided to add oil to my relaxer this time. I have done this one time before and I liked my results even though I wasn't the smartest about the way I went about it. I have tried several different methods of texlaxing since then and believe that combining this with the triple threat will produce the results I want. I measured out 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil and sat it to the side. I mixed the activator and relaxer creme completely. I then began to slowly pour some oil into the relaxer, mix until it was back to creamy and pour some more. I only ended up adding about an 1/8 of a cup into the mixture. I think I will add the whole quarter in next though. The first time I did this, my mistake was adding all the oil at once along with the activator. Yea...never do that. It made the mixture so runny it was hard to control during application. *sigh* you live and you learn, right? So, this time, I made sure I kept the consistency I need while mixing in the oil a little at a time.

My processing time was about 15 minutes. I just do not think I will ever get to a processing time of 10 minutes without doing the half and half method. I have no desire to even try the half and half method either. It seems like it will guarantee relaxer days go from a matter of hours to a full day event. Maybe not, but either way I just don't want to do all those steps twice. This is one of the main reasons I decided to combine the two methods of texlaxing: I want to achieve my desired texture while relaxing my whole head at once in around 15 minutes. 

after t-shirt drying
I rinsed the relaxer out in the shower and followed with a protein treatment. In my last relaxer update post, I talked about hating how messy Aphogee's 2-step protein treatment is and not being too keen on the smell either. A fellow blogger (hey KLP!) suggested I try out Nexxus Emergencee and I have been hunting for that stuff ever since. To no avail. I have purchased two new protein conditioners, Umberto Beverly Hills Repair Treatment Masque & L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm, while attempting to find that one. I combined them in this step, covered with a plastic cap and left it on for about 5 minutes. Rinsed then neutralized (3 times). My hair felt uh-mazing!! Strong yet so soft and I hadn't even deep conditioned yet! I deep conditioned under a plastic cap with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream for about 10 minutes, rinsed and did an ACV rinse. T-shirt dried for a little while, then I applied my leave-ins and let my hair air dry in a loose bun overnight. 

That may seem like a lot because I want to be detailed enough so that any lady could repeat my process if they want. Also to explain why I do things the way I do. All in all this whole process only took a couple hours. I did it after work and was in bed in time to get enough sleep for the next work day! Relaxing your own hair doesn't have to be a full day event. :)


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You can now follow A Desired Beauty on Bloglovin!

I know I'm so late finally getting hip to bloglovin. I've heard of it a lot, but never took the time to actually see what it was all about. I have been playing around with it this past week and I downloaded the app. I really like it! I think this app comes the closest to making me feel like I'm reading my favorite blogs on my laptop. I think it might cause me to stop using Feedly. I like the layout and the clarity of the pictures. And it's easy to use both on the computer and the phone. Yay!


Revisting the Ponytail Rollerset

I have attempted a couple of roller-sets so far this summer, neither of which lasted more than a day due to the humidity, but they were still good practice. The first was a ponytail rollerset, which I haven't done since sometime last year. I am not very good at rollersetting my hair, but it is a skill I would like to gain since it's a healthier option when I want my hair straightened.

So, after washing/deep conditioning my hair, I did let it air dry some in order to add my leave-ins (Elasta QP H2 & Aphogee Keratin and Greet Tea Restructurizer) and detangle. I don't like to do those things when my hair is still wet. I could definitely tell the difference between the amount of hair I have now vs the amount I had the last time I did a ponytail rollerset. I had to put more ponytails in this time to make sure my hair would dry and the rollers weren't overloaded. I re-wet my hair with a spray bottle and applied a heat protectant serum before rolling my hair on each roller. The heat protectant is by a company named Good2Gro, which I'm pretty sure is only sold locally in Chicago. I've never seen it anywhere else. 

I put 11 ponytails in: 4 in the back and 5 on the top. Except a few in the back, I put two rollers on each ponytail. I also used end papers since I was using mesh rollers. 

I sat with my bonnet dryer on for about an hour and fifteen minutes. It wasn't quite long enough, but I was under time constraints so I had to go ahead and finish up. I'm sure this also contributed to my curls not lasting into the next day. I used a blow dryer on medium for a few minutes to try to help my hair dry faster. After that I took down the rollers and popped the rubber bands with a nail clip. *Important note: if you have never done a ponytail rollerset before, and plan on using black rubber bands and cutting them out the way I do, BE VERY CAREFUL! Make sure you lift the rubber band up high enough to be sure there's no hair caught in it before snipping. Sounds simple enough, but the first time I ever did this, I definitely cut sum pretty long strands and almost cried. Twice. 

Next I flat ironed my roots to remove the lines from the ponytails. I was pleased with the results! I just wished they lasted longer. I also didn't lose very much hair through the whole process, from wash to finish. That's always a plus. I probably won't do this again until the weather changes in hopes that it will last longer. 

left to right: rollers out, flat ironed, styled.

Has anyone else tried a rollerset lately?


My Hiatus & Random Hair Chatter

So, my [unplanned] hiatus is over! I have been thoroughly enjoying the past two months of summer without breaking for blogging. I have celebrated my birthday, traveled to London (England!), moved my 2 bedroom apartment about 400 miles across the midwest, seen one of my favorite Broadway shows (Wicked!), and had some life-changing experiences with Jesus! Pure awesomeness. I had this whole idea of blogging through it all that was BUT I did keep up with my hair habits and attempt to document with photos. Here are some of my random hair thoughts of late. 

my big hair!
My hair and I have had a love/hate relationship this summer, which I would like to blame on the humidity. However, I know there have been times when I've neglected moisturizing and sealing properly which probably led to its hateful behavior at times. It has been huge. Seriously, unless I have it pulled back or pinned up, it has been huge. Especially in London! That rainy, misty, humid weather did not get along with my hair. I don't know how the UK ladies deal! On one hand, it's awesome my hair has grown so much that it can get that big. On the other, it is extremely annoying when braid/twist/bantu knot outs become a huge wannabe afro by the end of the day. Even one of my roller sets just swelled up throughout the day. Ha! It's laughable at this point. 

my marley twists twisted back
My irritation with my huge hair made me try out putting in marley twists. I had them in for about 3 weeks. Of all hair adventures this summer, I truly did the worst job documenting this one. I'm not sure how people do so well putting them in the back of their hair. It was so hard for me to get them done tightly. I liked them! They kept my out of my hair as desired, but also made it easy for me to slack on moisturizing and sealing. I think they would be a great long term protective style, if I was willing to pay someone else to do it.

I am itching not only to dye my hair, but also to cut it! To me, this one length hair stuff is for the birds. It's so boring and flat and dimensionless (lol!). Well...maybe not really. I'm being a little dramatic, but needless to say my straight hair has become extra boring to me. Before deciding to grow my hair out, I kept it in a layered style. I love layers! When it's cut that way, I think my hair has so much more volume without needing to put a bunch of curls in it. But I made a decision NOT to do anymore serious hair cuts until I reach my goal length and I'm sticking to it. So I'll just have to fight this sudden urge to cut it again until I get there. Maybe some weave will help?

I also used to highlight my hair annually. Yet another thing I stopped doing to get my hair to a healthier state. It's definitely much healthier now and almost completely black. To fight this urge, I am going to henna my hair and perhaps try out the new Shea Moisture hair color. I'm trying to avoid that latter option, hoping the henna will hold me over.

Last but not least: I haven't done an official length check since April, but I'm pretty positive my hair's now flirting with bra-strap length! So exciting! I'm not going to claim it because I'm also pretty sure I have about two inches of thin ends that I need to chop off. Even with that though, I should be able to hit my goal length sooner than I thought. Dedication pays off!

I hope everyone's summer has been great!
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