I have been living in Canada for some time now and taking care of my hair has been a journey, to say the least. It is very expensive to get your hair done at a salon here, so very early on I started doing my hair at home. In the beginning, a friend of mine would relax my hair and I would relax hers. But with time I got more comfortable and started relaxing my own hair. It was a huge learning curve and it took a few missteps and a lot of trial and error before I figured it out and had my desired results.
But then I started my hair journey and decided that I should texlax my hair and space out my relaxers to have healthier hair. And once again, the learning had to start again since as my hair grew longer and longer, it got more matted. My natural hair already gets matted easily, but it got to a point that it actually was turning into locs!!
With time, I realized what was causing it, and I am embarrassed to admit that it is all my doing. I need you guys to promise not to judge me as this is a “judgment-free zone” and we all make mistakes!
First of all, I was not consistent with my hair journey, so I didn’t moisturize and seal on a daily basis. So I would only moisture my hair when it was parched and try to make up for it with lots of product. Then, at night, I did not braid it or put it in a protective style. I have to admit that on days that I would wear a bun (which was 90% of the time), sometimes I would just sleep with that bun! (just a quick reminder for you not to judge me). Also, I hated detangling my hair!!!
To make matters worse, this lack of routine resulted in a lot of product buildup. But because my hair would feel dry, I had the wonderful idea (sarcasm) of skipping shampooing and I would only use conditioners and deep conditioners. Product buildup really increases matting!
I think this is something that until today I am working on as it is difficult to control. Texlaxing involves relaxing your hair but leaving some texture, but because my hair has a mind of its own even when I do the same routine, at times it gets more relaxed than others. That results in hair strands having different curl patterns. Even more, my hair naturally has different textures in different parts. It has a loose pattern at the front and sides, and really tight in the middle and back. This results in matted areas where those patterns meet.
So if you are going to take anything away from my mistakes I think that it should be that you have to remain consistent. If you don’t do things appropriately, you can actually get your hair very tangled which in turn can result in hair breakage. We’ve said previously that you don’t have to follow every single one of our recommended steps, but anything that you decide to incorporate you have to commit to it. So make sure that you moisturize and seal but avoid product buildup by shampooing your hair at least once a month.
My detangling method:
Most importantly make sure to detangle your hair at least weekly. Something that I noticed that helps is to coat my hair with coconut oil before shampooing it when it is still dry. I then proceed to go to the shower and wet it and only then shampoo it. I notice that my hair feels easier to finger detangle. Di prefers to detangle her hair after the coconut oil had time to sink into her hair, but before getting her hair wet for shampooing. Elle detangles while in the shower with some conditioner to increase slip and a wide tooth comb. I prefer to detangle it after deep conditioning and air drying my hair, but I do finger detangle in the shower while there’s conditioner. So you can choose whichever works best for you.
This journey is a long one and it is best to not be a part of what may derail it, so stay consistent and when possible ask for help. I have started getting my hair relaxed by someone else (my sisters or my mom) when I can, since they can see things I obviously can’t when I do it myself. I hope that you guys can see the mistakes I made and identify it, if you are making them as well.
Have you made any of the mistakes I mentioned? If you did, let us know about it in the comments.