CarmelTreat(CarmelTreat) avatar
Hey everyone! I'm Carmela (a.k.a. CarmelTreat). I live in Michigan and I've been on my healthy hair care journey since about October 2003. My hair type is a 4a/b mix that's about a 50/50 spread around my head. I've learned a lot by visiting several really great hair forums such as Long Hair Care Forum, Relaxed Hair Care on, and Black Hair Care Talk on ezboard (now on I'm currently the owner and administrator of the Black Hair Care Talk board, so come check us out when you can.

I hope you enjoy my hair album. Check back periodically for updates on my growth!

Hair Regimen & Products:

1) Wash with moisturizing shampoo and deep condition once a week. A clarifying shampoo is used in place of the moisturizing shampoo whenever my scalp is itchy or I feel I have product build-up. I also use a dandruff shampoo the week after my relaxer touch-up.

Weekly Shampoos (pick one and lather up once):
Cream of Nature Shampoo
Elasta QP Creme Conditioning

UPDATE! I no longer use NTM Triple Moisture shampoo. It leaves a wierd buildup on my hair!

Clarifying Shampoos:
Herbal Essence Clarifying Shampoo
Nexxus Aloe Rid Shampoo

Dandruff Shampoos:
NTM Active Soothing Shampoo

2) Deep conditioning involves applying conditioner and an oil mixture, covering with plastic cap, and sitting under dryer 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse. Use moisturizing conditioner, alternating with protein conditioner every 2-3 weeks depending on hair's condition. Follow all protein deep conditioning with moisturizing conditioner for a few minutes under dryer as well.

Moisturizing Conditioners:
Mizani Moisturefuse (excellent!)
KeraCare Humecto (excellent!)
Nexxus Humectress (when I have some on hand)

Current Protein conditioners:
Dudley DRC-28 (heavy duty - FAVORITE!)
Profective Growth Masque (medium)
Nexxus KerapHix (light)

Past Protein Favorites:
Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair (heavy duty)
Ultra Black Hair Conditioner (medium)

Moisture and Protein combo conditioners:
Mizani FulFyl (works great! New favorite!)

Current Oil:
KeraCare Essential Oils (best mix ever!)

Past oil favorites:
coconut oil
olive oil
jojoba oil
Surge Lotion Motion oil mix

3) UPDATE 1/10/07-- After conditioning, during the rinse-out, detangle with wide-tooth comb in the shower with running water. Then, I get out of the shower, leaving hair dripping wet, apply a small amount of leave-in throughout, and proceed to rollerset with magnetic rollers. Then proceed to dry under the dome dryer (takes about an hour on medium, 30 minutes on high when I'm in a hurry). This is now my default weekly set and it's been great for my hair now that I'm back to using a lye relaxer.

Other options that I will only do periodically now: a) Apply ample amount of oil, put into ponytail, twist and pin down ends when I want to airdry in ponytail; b) Airdrying to about 80% and then doing french braids for braidouts or doing bantu knots for twistout; c) Or whatever I'm feeling at the moment. Airdrying is the method for these styles.

Profectiv Breakfree (when I want protein)
Giovanni Direct Leave-in (when I don't want protein)
Surge Plus 14 (on my edges and temples only)

4) Moisturize daily, focusing on ends.

Current Moisturizers:
Silk Elements Revive & Restore Oil Moisturizer (sampling right now)
Dudley PCA Moisture Retainer (not bad!!!!)
BB Oil Lotion Moisturizer w/Castor Oil and Aloe (phasing it out)
Africa's Best Kid's Organics Shea Butter Detangling Lotion (use on occasion, it's a very wet feel)
Water + leave-in (spritz on & follow w/light coat of oil)

Past favorites:
Elasta QP Mango Butter (ends and edges only)
Elasta QP Recovery Oil Moisturizer

5) When needed, do CO washes as 2nd or 3rd wash of the week. During weeks 5+ post touch-up, definitely do CO washes so that water is applied every 3-4 days.

CO-wash conditioners:

V05 Kiwi & Lime Clarifying Conditioner (use 1st, then follow with 1 other)
V05 Strawberries & Cream Smoothing Conditioner
Suave Professionals Humectant
Suave Milk & Honey conditioner
Suave Professionals Awapuhi Conditioner

6) I am relaxed and stretch to 8-9 weeks. I'm currently using a lye relaxer. Picures from 2004 to early 2006 of my album are with no-lye. The best one that I used for 5 years straight was the Design Essentials Sensitive Scalp relaxer. It straightened well, rarely burned, and helped me achieve great growth. But, as my hair got longer, it lost a lot of its silkiness and natural shine and became hard for me to maintain. I switched to Designer Touch Sensitive Scalp No-Lye (end of 2005) in hopes of better results, and it made it even duller and actually broke my hair.

I switched back to lye in July, 2006 to get my silkiness back. I used the Designer Touch Texturizing Relaxer (Regular) in July and September because it's gentle on the scalp. It didn't straighten the best and left me underprocessed in a few areas. The hair felt a lot more moisutrized than with the no-lye, though, even in spite of being underprocessed. I used Silk Elements regular beginning November, 2006 relaxer. I love it! My hair feels so soft and is managable for weeks. BUT, it burns even when based well. :-( I'm going to try to work with it though because it treats my hair so well. If anyone has any ideas for reducing burning (in addition to basing well with a petroleum-based product right before relaxing), PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I let my scalp heal and use a dandruff shampoo the week after my touch-ups and that gets my scalp back to normal, thank goodness. I still don't like burning, though...

General tips and styling tools:

* Refrain from heat as much as possible. Every now and then I'll splurge and get a Dominican blowout or flat iron my hair.

* The Caruso roller system is great for curly styles using steam and not direct heat. It's fast and easy, too.

* I opt for braids (with human hair extensions) about once a year, usually during the spring/summer time. They provide a nice break from daily manipulation, and I get nice growth! I get them no smaller than pencil diameter, keep them in for about 6 weeks, and make sure to continue to wash and condition weekly so my hair stays healthy. I have a whole braids regimen that I'll post sometime.

Styling products (not used regularly):
KeraCare Setting Lotion (for rollersets sometimes)
Nexxus VersaStyler Design Lotion (use w/Caurso sometimes)
Biosilk Silk Therapy (for flat ironing)
Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion
Lottabody setting cream (never tried - need to give it away)
General Information
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Female gender
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Grad/professional school
Black/African descent
Christian - other
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