Welcome to Relaxed Redefined ~ a better, healthier way to care for chemically relaxed hair. This is a personal hair journal created to share easy, do-at-home tips and techniques that have made my hair stronger and longer. I hope you'll learn something here that will enhance your healthy hair journey or better yet insprire you to start one. Happy Hair Growting!

11.24.2010

Komaza Hair Care



Always on the look out for great natural hair products, I ran across the website for Komaza Hair Care recently. I haven't tried any of their products just yet, but I certainly intend to. Their products boast great natural ingredients and specific prescriptions for each type of hair or hair problem. I also love that they have sample sizes available so I can try before I buy a full size. Finding and trying new natural products is a huge part of what Relaxed Redefined is all about so I'm excited about this find!

Komaza Hair Care

11.19.2010

Counting Down

As of today I am 4 weeks away from my next relaxer touch-up and I am counting down the days! Until last week this relaxer stretch was going along quiet smoothly, my hair was cooperating and had been pretty easy to maintain with the exception of a little hiccup. But then one day last week my new growth decided to announce itself with full force and my hair has been on the fluffy side ever since. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad problem to have. The fact that my new growth is so prominent at just 6 to 7 weeks post means that my hair has really been growing during this stretch and I'm very happy about that. I just know I'll have to work a little harder over the next 4 weeks to keep my new growth moisturized and the length of my hair strong. So I'll keep going with washing and conditioning every 5 days or so, I've added more frequent deep conditioning with moisture and a protein leave-in conditioner to my regimen to combat the changing weather. Styling my hair during this point of the stretch can also a be bit of a challenge, but as long as I can wrangle the back of my hair into a bun and go to war with my edges to keep them slicked down, I'll look presentable enough to leave the house for the next few weeks.

This point in my stretch is also where I start to get excited about how much length I will have gained by touch-up time. Even though I know how much my hair has grown over the past year, it sometimes feels like my goal length is so far way. But I just need to be patient and stay on my path, my hair is growing and its not breaking so I know I'm retaining length and by next summer I will reach my goal. It seems I just gave myself a nice little affirmation to keep me going through the rest of this count down. 5...,4...,3....

11.15.2010

RR Quick Tip: Comb Through, Then Shampoo



More often than not, I try to wear my hair in low-manipulation or protective styles which means I may not actually be running a comb through my hair daily. This also means, most of my shed hairs are not being removed daily, which is okay until you add water to the mix because then it can lead to tangles galore. So to cut down on tangles from unremoved shed hairs during a wash I always take the time to gently, but thoroughly comb through my hair before I start my wash routine.

11.10.2010

Winter Hair Care for Relaxed Hair


Even though it is going to be over 70 degrees outside today where I live, the calender does indeed say November and that means cold weather is definitely coming. It also means it's time for me to start preparing myself and my hair for the wicked winter of the Midwest. My hair has already survived its first winter on my hair journey so I feel I've learned a few things about getting to the other side of my least favorite season with my length retention in tact. And the most important thing I learned about caring for relaxed hair in winter is the word DRY. The cold air outside is DRY, the warm heat inside is DRY and being constantly surrounded by dryness will quickly suck all the moisture and life from relaxed hair if nothing is done to prevent it.

These are some useful tips I learned to prevent DRY hair during the least wonderful weather time of the year:
  • Use cleansers and conditioners that offer moisture first and foremost especially thick and creamy deep conditioners that specialize in infusing moisture, increasing the frequency of deep conditioning treatments is also key (once a month is good, but 2 to 3 times per month is better). 
  • Use warm, not hot water when washing hair, hot water can actually make dry hair and skin much worse.  Luke-warm water is tolerable and will not over dry your scalp by melting away needed natural oils.
  • Be extra vigilant about avoiding products that can build up to reduce the need for clarifying shampoos, the strong sulfates needed to remove silicones exacerbate dryness and wash away that crucial natural scalp oil.
  • Increase moisturizer maintenance, especially on older hair ends, with all-natural products that can actually penetrate hair strands and seal in moisture with a natural hair butter, which is heavier and more protective than oil.  Natural oils can still be used to soothe a dry scalp, but as always, use sparingly.
  • If there is ever a good time for low manipulation and or protective styling, winter is certainly it, cold winds "whipping hair back and forth" can reek havoc so rollersets, buns and up-do's are winter-time go-to styles. If nothing else at least wear a hat (preferably satin lined) when stepping outside to protect hair from the elements.
  • Protect hair indoors as well by wearing a satin scarf around the house (I need to do better with this one), the dry heat produced from home heating systems can be just as damaging as cold outdoor wind. Using a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air is also helpful.
  • Things to AVOID in winter include moisturizers that contain glycerin and other humectants since these ingredients work best in the warm moist air of summer, direct heat styling tools (flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers)--for the same reasons to avoid them at every other time of year, and skipping on protein treatments when needed--moisture is the best guard against winter dryness, but over moisturized hair can also be a problem so keep hair balanced and strong with protein as needed.
Through too many winters past I learned the hard way that dry hair equals brittle hair and brittle hair equals breakage. So my focus will be preventing dryness and breakage this winter and following these tips will make it easy to do just that!

11.08.2010

First Time for Everything-->Dusting My Ends


In addition to my newly discovered love of MYHoneyChild Afrikoko Silky Hair Lotion to moisturize my ends, I also decided to try a self-trim for the first time. Usually I only get a trim during my relaxer touch up and its done by my stylist. But with my recent bout of dry ends I didn't think waiting another 7 weeks for a trim would be in the best interest of my hair. So I picked up a pair of barber scissors from Target and set out to complete my first ever dusting. Dusting is trimming hair ends very lightly, so lightly that its not even a visable trim. I went section by section (as usual) twisting my hair into ropes and then cutting only a few millimeters from the tips. This can also work with braids but I didn't feel like the extra effort. The whole process was quick, easy and painless even though I was worried about my scissors being new and very sharp, I was afraid my hand might slip and I'd have a disaster on my hands. Fortunately that didn't happen and as a bonus I happen to spy a few split ends in the process that I happily snipped off. My ends look so much better now and I won't be afraid to dust again during my next stretch to keep them looking good.

11.04.2010

MYHoneyChild Afrikoko Silky Hair Lotion to the Rescue

In my last post I chronicled my distress over my dry ends and my determination to find a solution. Well I did and I found it in a pretty unexpected place, my own hair shelf! Late last year I ordered several products from MYHoneyChild, I tested them out but found them to be just ok, which for me means they get shelved in case I run out of my favorites. I even tried my new found end-savior Afrikoko Silky Hair Lotion a few times and decided I didn't really like it. Even though this is a pretty light, almost watery product it seemed to make my hair very oily and weighed down no matter how little I used, which of course I didn't like, so I put it on the shelf and left it there. The last time I used this product was about 6 months ago. When I was at my wits end last week I decided I was going to try anything I thought might help my ends so I when to my product shelf this hair lotion was right in front. I think it was a sign, on the front of the bottle it even says, "Hair in need of rapid moisture treatment?" To which I could have screamed YES! I picked up the bottle, poured a quarter size amount in my hand (much more than I'd ever used before) and slathered my still dry ends. To my surprised they softened instantly, I was shocked, amazed and excited. I then grabbed my Hairveda Green Tea Hair Butter to seal in the wonderful moisture that just wrapped my strands but in my excitement I may have used a little too much because that pushed things a little over the top and started to venture into greasy territory. However, I knew my hair couldn't afford to lose what the Afrikoko hair lotion had just gifted me so I went with it. Not wanting to take the chance that my new found moisture would disappear into the night as it had the previous nights I decided to baggy my ends and really give that moisture a chance to sink in. This is where my laziness kicked in though because I didn't feel like going all the way downstairs to the kitchen to get a plastic baggy, luckily my Saran Wrap was also on my hair shelf so I grabbed it and wrapped a piece around my ponytail and secured the end with a hair tie. It worked quite well, so I was off to bed and the next morning I unwrapped my ponytail and I was so happy to find that my ends were soft as ever. MYHoneyChild Afrikoko Silky Hair Lotion came to the rescue of my over dry ends.

I think the reason the hair lotion seemed to weigh my hair down so easily when I used it before was that my hair just wasn't dry enough. I wish I hadn't had to get to the point of extremely dry ends to find out how much this product could work for me, but its a lesson learned and one that I will not soon forget. To prevent my hair from ever returning to the land of over-dryness, especially during the upcoming winter months I plan to use a small amount of this hair lotion in conjunction with the Darcy's Botanicals Shea Butter Hair Cream to increase moisture. I've already found this combination works well and with a good (but light) sealer it should keep dry ends far far away, which makes me very very happy!

This wasn't a product review as much as it was an endorsement, but here is the pertinent information anyway. MYHoneyChild Afrikoko Silky Hair Lotion is available at myhoneychild.com, a 6 oz. bottle is $12 plus shipping. Ingredients: Pure Unfiltered Shea Butther, Kokum Butter, Coconut Milk, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, White Truffle and Cherry Jubilee Essence Oil.

*Please note this post is 100% unpaid and unsponored by the company listed. This product review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience.
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