Here’s the second part of the interview with our own, Dena! Enjoy!
I always rave about the versatility that naturals have, do you feel that your style choices are limited since you have a relaxer?
I guess that I jumped ahead and answered this earlier, but I actually feel the exact same way you do about the versatility! LOL Of course there are some limits, I can’t rock the fro or stretched bantu knots, but as I said before, most of the styles that I wear, having a relaxer makes it super easy to achieve them! I could wear a wrap most days of the week and be perfectly content, when I get tired of that style, I may decide to a rollerset to add a little curl to my look. I do love the look of the wash n gos when naturals sport them, so I feel a little envious when I see you natural ladies rock that…but since I have not made that decision to go au natural, that’s one little heartache that I’ll have to endure.
What products do you use (highlight your favorites)?
I have three favorite brands. KeraCare, Organic Root Stimulator,and Creme of Nature. The ORS Hair Products have kept my hair strong and moisturized! My absolute favorite of the ORS products are the Replinshing Pak and Incredibly Rich Moisturizing lotion. I don’t know where my hair would be without the help of these two products. I moisturize and seal with the lotion daily and DC with the Pak weekly. The Creme of Nature has been a lifetime fave mine. I love the Original Creme of Nature Detangling Conditioning Shampoo for my washes. It’s actually been discontinued, but sometimes I get lucky and find some. The new formula doesn’t even compare. The KeraCare Humecto Creme Conditioner is my absolute favorite conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling like silk and helps a lot when I am stretching relaxers. These products combined keeps my relaxed hair in tip top condition!
Have you ever had overprocessed hair? If yes, how did your hair recover from it?
Oh, yes, I have been a victim of the dreaded overprocessing. I can remember after my grandmother passed away, my mother took me to a friend of the family and she cooked my poor strands to death! I was about fifteen. My beautiful hair was so limp and was breaking all over the place. I had these big huge chemical burns in my head and it was just a tragedy to say the least. I actually cried for days.Thank goodnes that my mom inherited my grandmother’s hair grooming skills; she nursed my hair back to health. She deep conditioned it and actually, she put good ole petroleum jelly (Vaseline, yea, it’s good for chemical burns) on the burns themselves. She even oiled my scalp with it each night. My hair stopped breaking eventually after weeks of repeating this. Since then, I have not experienced chemical overprocessing, because I don’t play that anymore! I make sure that the chemicals are washed out before the recommended time, and I always require extra washings beyond what is suggested.
Do you prefer going to the salon to maintain your hair or do you prefer the DIY approach?
Well, actually a little bit of both. Since I refuse to self-relax or allow a non-professional to relax my hair, I visit the salons for my relaxers Only licensed cosmetologists, please! I have no reservations about that! I also go to Super Cuts for trims. Now, for weekly maintenance and styling, I am a DIYer. I love taking care of my own hair. I relish int the fact that I do not rely on a hair stylists to keep my hair looking great and maintained. I used to be such a Salon frequenter. Now, I can actually save money and enjoy the benefits of healthy hair.
How do you maintain healthy hair while relaxed?
To maintain healthy relaxed hair, I deep condition on a regular, weekly to be exact. Deep conditioning keeps my hair strong and healthy. I also use Castor Oil and EVOO to keep my hair and scalp in optimum condition. I moisturize and seal regularly to keep my ends free of splits. Another important thing for my hair’s maintenance is to keep those split ends away by getting my ends trimmed regularly. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a stickler for neat ends. I also have learned to stretch my relaxers for longer periods of time, thanks to BHP! I avoid direct heat! It is a rare occasion that I use direct heat, and that keeps my hair from unnecessary damage. And last but not least, my protective styles are my favorite! They keep my ends protected and allow my hair to rest.
What advice would you give to other relaxed ladies who are having difficulties maintaining healthy relaxed hair?
My best advice would be to make sure that they moisturize regularly. Dry and brittle relaxed hair is what causes many ladies to have breakage. If the hair is in a weakened state, due to overprocessing, of course, I recommend, deep conditioning with a protein based conditioner. It is also important to stay away from heat. Oftentimes, relaxed ladies are killing their hair with flat irons and curling irons.
What is your favorite style?
That’s a tough one for sure! My favorite style changes periodically,but right now it is the Ponytail Rollerset. I like this style the most because it doesn’t take as long to dry as your typical rollerset, plus the curls hang better.
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