prospurr4
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*****Hair Story*****

My natural hair is type 4b, a mixture of fine and medium S-and Z-patterned strands. The back section of my hair, which is more dense, cottony and shrinks more, will not relax straight. That's one reason why I began texlaxing, which is leaving the relaxer on my hair for half (or less) the recommended time, intentionally underprocessing it so that it has more texture, elasticity and strength.

Starting 12/2005, after a major setback (from relaxer and heat abuse) that broke my hair off to a damaged neck length, I gave up all direct heat. I also began my transition from relaxed to texlaxed.

About six months later, I was visiting my regular fitness forum and reading a thread discussing haircare for those who exercise regularly. Another member (an AA woman) posted that she had a hair regimen (never heard that term before) and was also a member of a hair forum and posted the link. I clicked on it and was led to longhaircareforum.com; later I found blackhairmedia.com.

My hair journey officially began on 7/1/2006. I don’t go to salons; I do everything myself, including texlax touchups, coloring (semi-permanent), rollersets and trims. I touchup every 7 to 8 weeks and don't ever plan to use direct heat on my hair again. For healthy ends, I trim every 3-4 months.

I wear "protective styles" 95 percent of the time, not so much for protection but because I like updos. On weekends, I sometimes wear it down in a curly or textured style.

My hair has never been longer than a couple inches past shoulder, so my progress really amazes me. CONSISTENT PRAYER has given me the wisdom I need to reach my goals, and I thank God that I finally know how to take care of my hair...properly.

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*****My 6 Keys to Healthy Hair Growth and Length Retention***** (in order of importance):

* Healthy Lifestyle (includes regular exercise, healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and avoiding stress) - enhances blood circulation, supplies the body with nutrients, flushes out toxins and allows the body to repair and restore itself. A healthy body produces healthy hair.
* Moisture - strengthens hair, leading to reduced breakage/splits and more length retention
* No Direct Heat - allows hair to retain moisture and avoid damage and breakage
* Low Manipulation - helps to reduce breakage and unnecessary shedding from excessive combing, brushing, rough detangling, excessive styling or styles/accessories that put stress on the hair, etc., leading to more length retention
* Protection - includes wearing a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet at bedtime, keeping ends off shoulders/clothing/rough surfaces to protect hair from breakage, protecting hair from unnecessary trimming (sometimes a problem with stylists), stretching relaxers to at least 7-8 weeks and coating previously-relaxed ends with oil, conditioner, vaseline and/or neutralizer shampoo during the touchup process to avoid overprocessing
* Trims - every 3-4 months

When I consistently practice my 6 keys, it doesn't even matter what hair products I use. In fact, I buy ONLY INEXPENSIVE products...(see Staple Products below).

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*****Staple Products*****

Relaxer (used for texlaxing): Revlon Realistic Lye--Regular
Protein Reconstructor: Motions CPR
Neutralizer Shampoo: Motions
Color: KISS Express Semi-Permanent Hair Rinse
Shampoo: Motions Lavish
Co-wash Conditioner: VO5, Suave, other cheapies
Deep Conditioner (DC): Motions Moisture Plus
Leave-in Conditioner: Giovanni Direct (creamy) or Motions Nourish (watery spray)
Protein Conditioner: Motions CPR Treatment (in the jar)
Oils: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), Safflower Oil, Castor Oil
Moisturizer: Plain water, sealed with EVCO, EVOO, Safflower Oil or Castor Oil
Gel: 99% Aloe Vera

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*****Hair Regimen***** (Updated 6/17/2009)

I prefer a simple regimen and avoid unnecessary, time-consuming routines. I usually co-wash once per week (usually on Saturday), and if I have product buildup on my hair, I add diluted shampoo to my weekly process, but otherwise I wash with conditioners only.

I moisturize my hair once or twice daily, using plain water, really concentrating on my ends, and sometimes seal with extra virgin coconut oil. To tame my edges, especially deep into a texlax stretch, I apply a bit of water and follow with castor oil or aloe vera gel, then tie my hair down with a silk scarf until hair is dry.

I never use brushes, and I use a Jilbere de Paris Shower Comb to detangle, but only on freshly-conditioned, damp hair; I never comb dry hair. After my hair has dried, any other styling/combing is done with my fingers and kept to a minimum (low manipulation). Here's my weekly routine:

1) Gently finger-detangle dry hair, starting at ends and moving upward toward scalp.
2) Apply Suave or VO5 Conditioner, from root to tip (avoiding scalp) and allow to soak into hair, at least 15 minutes.
3) Repeat finger-detangle, gently massage the scalp, then rinse thoroughly in shower.
4) OPTIONAL: If there is product-buildup on hair, dilute a quarter-sized amount of Motions Lavish Shampoo in a cup with a couple ounces of water, mix it up and pour over hair. Gently massage the scalp, then rinse thoroughly in shower.
5) Using a microfiber towel, gently blot excess water from hair and allow hair to airdry about 50%. Sometimes, I apply a dime-sized amount of Giovanni Direct Leave-in or 6-7 sprays of Motions Nourish Leave-in, then seal with a few drops of Proclaim Serum. (Sometimes I also add a bit of extra virgin coconut oil if I'm planning to wear an updo. But if I'm wearing my hair straight or curly, I don't use oil as one of the leave-ins because it can weigh hair down.)
6) To straighten, I detangle as I rollerset hair on gray (2-inch) and purple (1-3/4-inch) rollers with roller pins, using a Jilbere de Paris Shower Comb, a spray-bottle filled with water only, a rat-tailed comb and jumbo clips to keep hair sectioned.
7) OPTIONAL: Pre-dry hair with a soft bonnet dryer for about 45 minutes. (I added this step when my hair surpassed APL to shorten drying time.)
8) Airdry to finish.
9) After hair is completely dry, remove rollers and finger-style.

For a straight style and to flatten out the roots, I remove the rollers and gently rake my hair with a comb while gathering it to the back of my head (as if I were going to put into a ponytail) then crosswrap. Or, I may roll my ends around a blue (1-inch) jumbo flexirod instead. Either way, I then cover all of my hair with a silk scarf and satin bonnet. After several hours (usually overnight), I remove all my coverings and finger-style.

NOTE: Every 3 months or 4 times a year (during my texlaxing process), I do a protein treatment with Motions CPR Protein Reconstructor, followed by deep conditioning with Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner.
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*****My Texlaxing Process***** (Updated 7/26/2010)

For texlaxing, I use Revlon Realistic Lye Relaxer in Regular; straight from the jar with nothing added to it. Total application and smoothing time is 15 minutes. Total session requires about 3 hours (not including bonnet drying/airdrying the rollerset):

-(30 minutes)-On dry hair, finger-detangle, beginning at ends and work upward toward scalp. Spray on Proclaim Glosser (for the amino acids) to new growth and ends. For protection, apply a mixture of Proclaim Neutralizer Shampoo, Vaseline and castor oil (or any oil) to previously texlaxed hair, Gloves in A Bottle to hands and petroleum jelly to ears/hairline, etc. Divide hair is half, from ear to ear.
-(15 minutes)-Apply relaxer creme to new growth in back area first, then front, then nape and finally hairline. Using fingers, smooth new growth in back, then front, then nape and hairline.
-(10 minutes)-Thoroughly rinse creme from hair, preferably in the SINK, with hair forward. Then I move to the shower and rinse a bit more so that I can get my hair going in the down-my-back direction with minimum tangling. (All further rinsing will be done in the shower.) Then, I cover hair with a microfiber towel and GENTLY squeeze and blot excess water from hair.
-(7 minutes)-Apply Motions CPR Reconstructor to hair, being gentle and keeping hair straight. After 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
-(15 minutes)-Apply Proclaim Neutralizer Shampoo, let sit for 5 minutes, rinse, then repeat (for a total of 2 times). Then follow with an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse -- (1 part ACV:7 parts water).
-(25 minutes)-Apply KISS Express Semi-Permanent Color Rinse as follows: First wrap a towel around shoulders and secure with a safety pin. Apply petroleum jelly to ears, hairline and nape. While wearing gloves, apply color to hair in small sections, hairline and nape, all the way to ends. Cover hair with a plastic cap. After 15 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
-(20 minutes)-Apply Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner to hair, in small sections, then cover with a plastic cap. After 15 minutes, rinse thoroughly.
-(5 minutes)-On damp hair, apply a small amount of Giovanni Direct Leave-in and seal with a few drops of Proclaim Serum.
-(45 minutes)-Detangle as I rollerset on large rollers (gray, 2-inch and purple, 1-3/4-inch) to straighten.
OPTIONAL: Pre-dry hair with a soft bonnet dryer for about 45 minutes. (I added this step when my hair surpassed APL to shorten drying time.)
Then, airdry to finish. After hair is completely dry, remove rollers and finger-style.

For a straight style and to flatten out the roots, I remove the rollers and gently rake my hair with a comb while gathering it to the back of my head (as if I were going to put into a ponytail) then crosswrap. Or, I may roll my ends around a blue (1-inch) jumbo flexirod instead. Either way, I then cover all of my hair with a silk scarf and satin bonnet. After several hours (usually overnight), I remove all my coverings and finger-style.

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