Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spotlight on healthy hair: Beautiful Flower!

I've been drooling over this woman's hair for the longest so I finally reached out to her to find out more about what creates her healthy hair. Check out my interview with Beautiful Flower!

You shared on your blog that you were inspired by some of the greats on LHCF including Syvler77, what were some of the tips you learned that really helped you in your journey?

I based my regimen over the years by mixing and matching the techniques of my relaxed legends. I think some of the main tips I have learned are:
- Air drying doesn’t always look pretty but it will keep the hair on your head
- Make braidouts and buns your default
- Stretch relaxers at least 3 months at a time
- Moisture is your friend
- Low to no heat but sometimes a little heat can make your hair feel a lot better

Your hair is super thick, are you doing long term stretches? When you relax, are you using a milder formula to texlax? How do you maintain your thickness

My only and last long term stretch was before this past relaxer and it lasted from November to May (24 weeks). I usually do 3 months at a time. I think I will do another 24 week stretch.
I have always had thick, dense hair but it has increased in thickness since starting my hair journey. Air drying, stretching, moisturizing, detangling properly, and heat reduction makes a difference in hair density. I suggest going for a blunt cut then adding layaers after you’ve reached your hair goal to add dimension for those with thinner hair. Also your ends will get thin over time so I dust with every relaxer and do a good self-trim once a year. If you can find a stylist you trust to trim you, I recommend going to that person. They can see what you cannot.
I do relax with a regular strength lye relaxer always. I do not consider myself texlax’d. Why? I relax my hair in a way to keep the hair stronger by not killing all my protein bonds. I also fear burning my scalp so I prefer to smooth and rinse as quickly as possible. I don’t relax to keep it thick but it does help maintain volume. If you’ll like at a strand of my hair it’s not straight nor does it have any particular wave/curl pattern. I don’t know if that makes sense. LOL.

Based on the photos from you blog, you don't seem like a consistent protective styler. How do you wear your hair day to day?

I don’t. LOL! But my defaults are braidouts (pinned up, straight-down, half-n-half), buns (all kinds), and ponytails. I do more braidouts now than anything. When I was Mid-back and shorter, I did mostly buns. I do ponytails on old straighten hair or old braidout hair. I have been rollersetting a lot lately so I rock ponytails then morph to braidouts like today. I also LOVE Ez-combs so I wear these alot now. I have 6 and they are super cute and easy to use.

If you're stranded on a desert island. What three products do you take with you?

It would be a good shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in. Currently that would be:
-Crème of Nature Detangling Shampoo
-Queen Helene Cholesterol Conditioner
-Silicon Mix Intensive Leave-in Conditioner (this stuff is AMAZING)
If I could add three tools: a medium tooth comb, scarf, and perm rods.

What's has worked for you to help retain length? Have you dealt with excessive breakage?

I have not dealt with excessive breakage since I started my journey. Regular Breakage? Yes…everyday. I manage it with maintaining my protein-moisture balance. I do that by doing moisture during the week with leave-in and co-washing, a deep condition overnight once a week, and one protein infused conditioner on the weekend. This typically keeps me in check.
I also retain length with low to no heat styles. I may blow dry once a month and flat iron once every 2 to 3 months. DETANGLING PROPERLY and GENTLY. This cannot be stressed enough. This will help or break (literally) your hair progress. Use a proper comb, a lot of leave-in, work from bottom to top, work in sections, and be patient. And I use leave-in of some sort EVERYDAY. If I flat iron, I use a serum EVERYDAY.

Do you support healthy hair nutritionally? If so, how?

I do but it’s not intentionally. I work out 4 days a week and have been doing this off and on the last 6 years. Protein drinks really help nails and hair. I also do not eat a lot of junk but I don’t deny myself either. I practice moderation. I do not take vitamins and I don’t drink as much water as I should. I’m getting better though.

How do you maintain moisture on such a thick head of hair?

I moisturize EVERYDAY and I pay attention the ends. And a lot of times, if my hair feels dry, I just hop in the shower and wet my hair. I love water on my scalp.

Any setbacks?

Twice. It was more like ripped out hair in sections. I tried Curlformers once and never again. My hair was too thick and too many textures for that. Another time I shampoo’d my hair after coming out of a 2 month weave without detangling. BIG NO NO. My hair knotted and matted like nothing before. It took 2 days and a lot of conditioner to remove all the shed and knotted hair. I lost a lot of hair (good and shed hair) but because of patience, conditioner, and a rat tooth comb, I keep a lot of hair too.

Before your recent trim, you were a member of the waist length club, was it like everything you imagined it would be?

Yes and no. Waist length is long to most everyone that sees you and you can play with the length but hip length is yummy. It felt nice to have the hair grazing the bottom of my back after a wash. My air dried hair hung a lot lower and my braid-outs looked crazy long. I am shooting for hip length again. I hope to be there again by the end of this year or early next year and I’ll be maintaining that length.

What are the three pieces of advice for someone just starting in or struggling with their hair journey?

- RESEARCH. I spent hours and days and months researching about hair, hair science, moisture, protein, products, and techniques. Research the regimens of people that have the length you want. Try it out. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, dispose of it. Ultimately, you’re making your own regimen. It will take time and your regimen will be ever changing but you’ll find what works if you don’t give up.
- Products only make your hair manageable; they do not grow your hair. Find products that make your hair feel soft, light, strong and smell good.
- Patience. The progress is coming. If it’s not, look at the regimen of some one that has your goal and see what you may be missing. Give your regimen 6 months at least to decide your process isn’t working.

Check out beautifulflower's blog for more about her beautiful hair.

  1. awesome post, I love her hair too! I can't wait til I've grown enough to be a "feature" here. Thanks for sharing, have a great week!


  2. I agree.. buying good quality hair prdts can make a lot of diff to hair :)

  3. I love her hair! Definitely an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Lovely hair!!! Great post:)

  5. Thank you for posting this. It answered lots of questions which I had.
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  6. Thanks for the post, This was exactly what I needed to see.Good list, keep up the good work

  7. Thank you ladies for the kind words.

    I also noticed that I didn't pass on my new web address.