Thursday, July 19, 2012

From Natural to Relaxed and lessons learned along the way

In recent past, I've received emails from ladies who are newly relaxed after years of rocking their natural hair.  Many of them are filled with confidence from the fact that they learned so much about their hair during their natural journey. All of the wonderful ladies I've spoken to were highly optimistic about being able to maintain the health levels of newly their relaxed tresses.

For a while now, I've wanted to write a post on making the big change from natural to relaxed.  It seems like transitioning from relaxed to natural receives lots of attention nowadays but little is shared about how to maintain a healthy journey after a virgin relaxer.  Needless to say, I will still dedicate a post on this topic. But in the mean time, I'd like to introduce you all to a special guest I have sitting in the Relaxed Hair Health lounge with me this evening.

Why don't you all join me in giving a warm welcome to miss "Lucie!"

Just one glance and you'll see that this woman's hair is simply stunning.  I've secretly stalked her hair journey from beautiful relaxed hair to gorgeous natural curls and back again.  I decided to reach out to her to see if we can gain a little wisdom from her multiple hair journeys.  Ladies, let me tell you. This woman was so proactive that she pulled questions from the blog's past features and answered them for me without me having to ask.  How cool is that!?!

So without further adieu, let's get to know Lucie and her fabulous hair.

1. What is your hair type? 
I would classify it as a 4a. I love my hair natural/relaxed. I have always had thick hair and it gives me many styling options. Now that I am relaxed again, I get a kick out of people thinking my hair is still natural but straightened.

2. How often do you touch up/relax?
Once a season, give or take a week or two.

2. What is your current length?

I am APL and getting close to BSL.

2. Please share your regimen.
What do you do daily, and weekly, to care for your hair? Daily: I usually have my hair in a high bun or high ponytail. At night time I will comb it and put it in yet another bun with a pin at the end to keep it from unraveling. Weekly: I deep condition every week when I am relaxed. I use Nexxus Therappe shampoo and Nexxus Humectress condition. I alternate with Alter Ego condition about once/twice a month. How often do you wear your hair out vs. protective styling? I do not wear my hair down often because I've gotten it caught on my clothes, in car doors (LOL) and whatever else it can get itself into. I usually wear a bun. I try to alternate the location to protect my hairline. I wear my hair down for special occasions or if I am wearing delicate clothing that does not create snags.

4. You've made some huge progress with your hair journey.What do you attribute most to your success? I would say keeping things simple. I do not stress about hair. I know it will do what it should and I just make sure to keep myself healthy. Good hair health comes from the inside. So I work out, take my vitamins, drink water, eat good foods, et cetera. Also, I do not do too much to my hair. I condition when it needs it. My hair loves water and I make sure I condition-wash frequently.

5 How often do you co-wash?  
Now that it is summer time, I condition wash daily. When I am relaxed in the winter or fall, I condition wash once/twice a week. 

6 Tell us more about your air drying process.I just condition wash and go. I rinse with a cheapie Suave conditioner and when I am done, I apply some Herbal Essence mousse to keep my hair less frizzy.

7. Have you had any setbacks/trouble along the way? I noticed that the right side of my hair was a little thinner than the left.

8. How did you overcome your setbacks?
I stopped wrapping my hair in a way that stressed the right side. And I also massaged that side with castor oil to fill it back in.

9. How are you able to maintain such thickness overall?
 I do not use a lot of heat. I do not even own a curling iron/flat iron. I pin curl to achieve a curly look and I wrap my hair if I want it sleeker.

 10. Looking back at your journey so far, is there anything you would do differently?Or wish you would have done sooner? I am content with my journey. I try not to focus on the things I cannot change and only focus on what I can currently do. I apply my mantra to my hair as well, LOL!

11. What was the difference in regimen between when you were natural and when you were relaxed? The only difference is that shampooed more relaxed than when I was natural. When I was natural, I shampooed sometimes every other MONTH. My natural hair did not like shampoo.

13. Will you do anything differently to avoid any possible damage from having relaxed hair?
 I will be more mindful of when my hair is out not to have it brush on fabrics. When I was natural my hair was so big I did not really have to worry about it brushing on my clothes.

Lucie attributes her "transition" to relaxed hair as a decision she made just "to switch up her look."  She also mentioned the fact that her hair was beginning to block the visibility in her rear view mirror.  In the future, she may transition again to natural.  I just love the carefree and easy attitude she has towards her hair.  That way of thinking makes it easy for her to see loads of progress whether curly or straight.

I asked Lucie to take a look at the post I did about hair lessons we can learn from naturals to see if there was anything I missed that's worth mentioning. She felt that I pretty much had it covered.  One thing about her regimen that really sticks with me is her daily wash routine.  I always thought that naturals were the ones who's hair thrived from daily co-washes.  Anyhow, I'm glad that Miss Lucie was generous enough to share her story with us.

  1. great post. i love her carefree attitude towards hair care, her hair looks lovely.

  2. Great info! Your hair is beautiful!

  3. Great informative post~her hair is beautiful!

  4. What is the name of her blog?

  5. @Anon,
    She actually doesn't have a blog.

  6. How long was she natural before she decided to relax again? Was it right after the one year natural anniversary?

  7. Great post! I too went from natural to relaxed after being natural for three years. I never had a problem with my relaxed hair as well as my natural hair. I just like to switch things up every once in a while.