Friday, July 18, 2008

Want stronger hair? Maybe you should start with your relaxer

As you all may know, I'm going through a phase where I'm searching for the most optimal means possible of adding much needed strength to my hair. So far I've been introduced to the Nanokeratin system by my stylist. Along with that, I also bought Silicon Mix w/Pearl Extract in hopes of benefiting from the strengthening pearl ingredient.

Today, while browsing various blogs online, I noticed Dr. Ali Syed shared with his readers a fabulous presentation on the type of damage that can occur to our hair during the coloring, styling, and relaxing process. His presentation will be shared with professional hair dressers on his visit to Europe.

I am most grateful that he shared presentation with us. He presents some great information that we (common folk) may not see on a regular basis. That's because most of the information is highly scientific in nature.
Dr. Syed immediately grabbed my attention on slide 48 where he shows the amount of cuticle layer loss which occurs during the relaxing process. Knowing how important the cuticle layer is to the health of our hair, I was disheartened to see how much loss occurs using a traditional traditional relaxer. According to the graph, the loss which occurs at the cuticle layer is about 90% more than in untreated (virgin) hair. Just before I started contemplating going natural, I noticed a third comparison of cuticle layer loss with the use of a fiber guard relaxer. According to the graph, the amount of cuticle loss with a fiber guard relaxer is about half of that with a normal relaxer.

I immediately went searching for more information on the fiberguard system. Apparently the fibergaurd system is one that is exclusively used in the Avlon's Affirm Relaxer with fiberguard. I found some reviews online and I thought I would share one or two of them with you.

This one was excerpted from a thread:

"I use Fiberguard and I LOVE IT! It retains the tensile strength and elasticity of the hair, and it is excellent for color treated hair. My hairdresser uses Affirm and Fiberguard on my hair, depending on whether I have used color recently or not. Both relaxers work great. I used to use optimum before I switched to a hairdresser who used Affirm. That was 7 years ago, and I will not use any other relaxers. I urge you to try Affirm or Fiberguard."

Here's another post from LHCF:

"My stylist also uses Affirm Fiberguard on my hair, too. I have not had as much breakage since he's been using it. My last stylist used Affirm...not sure if it was Fiberguard and I always had really thick hair. After Hurricane Katrina I went through a stylist search and ended up using other brands. I had so much breakage and thinning. I found my new guy and he used Affirm FG and it is healthier. It is a plus for preventing/slowing breakage IMO. As far as CONS, maybe switching brands after using it for years was not a good idea. That is the only thing I can think of."

According to Avlon's website, strengthening polymers in the relaxer creme penetrates hair fibers leaving hair with significantly more tensile strength and elasticity after relaxing. The four-step system is also said to preserve up to 40% more of the hair's strength compared to conventional relaxers.

This information came to me at the most opportune time because I'm currently on the hunt for a new relaxer and I am seriously leaning towards ordering this product.

Right now I am experimenting with Mizani but I'm not totally sold yet. I have to admit that my hair feels extremely silky and soft right after application but after a couple of weeks, I'm no longer impressed with the appearance of my hair.

Prior to Mizani, I was faithfully using Deep Brilliance. I had no major concerns with Deep Brilliance, I just stopped using it because I could no longer purchase it from my local BSS.

To be completely honest with you, I have now reached a new level of thinking with regards to my hair care. I no longer want a mediocre product. I want a product working hard to protect the strength of my hair. I want my products to go to war against the evil powers that be which seek to damage my hair!!!!
I will continue to search both near and far until I can honestly say that I have thee absolute best products for my hair.

With that said, I will politely finish off the rest of the Mizani relaxer and quickly replenish my relaxer supply with Affirm Fiberguard. If Avlon's claims are true, by this time next year my hair will be a force to be reckoned with.
  1. I love Affirm. My hair is a lot better after I started using it last year.

  2. I'm a faithful Mizani user... but that's only because it was the relaxer recommended to me after I was natural for 2.5 years. I'm afraid to try anything else... eek.

    I can't wait to read your review on Affirm Fiberguard.

  3. You will also retain upto 75-80% of the original tensile strength when using the new FiberGuard Bridge Conditioning Serum after completing the FG relaxer steps, so make sure you ask your stylist about the FG Bridge Conditioning Serum if you are interested in maintaining as much tensile strength as possible.

  4. @ Dr Ali:
    Thanks for the heads up!
    I will definately be on the lookout for the FiberGuard Conditioning Serum. The more strength, the better!

  5. My stylist uses Motions in my worked pretty well. I may have to switch over or self relax..Im scared though.