Sometimes, you have to go back to go forward.
As many of you know, I have worn my hair natural, then “texlaxed” it using the mildest PhytoSpecific formula. Many of you may be wondering why I went back to chemicals? I have one word – Convenience. Natural hair takes time unless you’re wearing an afro or not following a solid hair care regimen. So, I went back to what I knew – relaxing and wrapping my hair each night. I still maintained my hair with natural and high quality products like henna, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, aloe vera juice, coconut milk, and apple cider vinegar. My hair grew beautifully for a few months and then IT happened. That dreadful line of demarcation caused breakage. Since I was rocking a short cut and I believed in stretching a texlaxer, I actually had more new growth than texlaxed hair. The breakage was a result of the line of demarcation issue where the natural hair was heavier than the texlaxed hair. Y’all know the deal. So what did I do? I cut the texlaxed hair out.
So, I was back to my natural hair yet I still wanted a straight look with low manipulation so I started using a temporary thermal straightening system. With my natural hair food regimen, this option worked well until the summer heat came along. Plus, I refused to use the shampoo and conditioner that came with the kit. It was supposed to help with reversion but I was dedicated to my coconut milk and aloe vera option for regular washes and apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay for clarifying washes. After two weeks, my hair was back to being poofy and I was unable to wrap it so that’s when I did the most heinous thing ever. I started straightening it with my blow dryer on a cool setting and my flat iron on 325 degrees. Of course, my hair didn’t stay straight.
At that point, I decided to wash my hair with a clarifying shampoo to reverse the temporary straightening system and wear my hair in a flat twist roller set. Then I discovered that all the straightening had resulted in heat damage and straightening fatigue. Warning – Even if your flat iron is set on a low setting, it can adversely impact your curl pattern. I’m sure the temporary straightening system contributed to this as well. So, I decided to do a big chop and start all over. Regarding the thermal straightening system, I will go on the record with this statement. I really liked this system and in fact, I’d do it again with one caveat. I would skip the part of the process that requires you to blow dry and flat iron your hair and simply go with the more defined curl pattern and less shrinkage to rock my twist outs, roller sets, braid outs, wash and gos, and all that. And of course, I still wouldn’t use their shampoo or conditioner. You have to know what works for you and how far you’re willing to go.
For this time in my life, I’m rocking a TWA. I went back to the TWA to go forward and I am loving every minute of it. I’ve learned my lesson about heat styling though. I broke up with my blow dryer and flat iron and will only allow them to pay me a visit once or twice per year if that. The beauty of it all is that I’ve been making my Hair Swag again and my hair just loves it. Plus, my hair loves moisture so I keep a spray bottle of water, aloe vera juice, and lavender essential oil in the fridge so that I can mist my hair at night when I twist it and in the AM just for some extra love when I take the twists out.
Have you ever had to go back to go forward? I’d love to hear your story.