Q&A | Picking Your Brain Responses


Britnee G. asks: 

I know this blog is about your hair journey but I’m curious. What type of workouts do you do?

I normally start out by warming up on the bike for 15 minutes (level 3 or 4). Then I stretch for 20 minutes to relieve any soreness from my workout the day before and help improve my flexibility. I alternate between working abs + back, legs, or chest + arms after stretching.  Most days I finish up my work out by running on the treadmill, speed interval between 4 (jog speed) and 7-8 (run speed) for 30 minutes. On days I don’t feel like running, I’ll either work out on the elliptical for 40 minutes or stair master.

On days I run on the track I jog a mile then I stretch. Then I’ll usually stride the turns, walk the straightaways (3 times/whole track).

At home I do quick circuit work outs for legs and core. Example: 20 squats, 30 lunges, 40 calf raises, 50 second wall squat, 100 pelvic thrusts, 50 second wall squat, 30 leg raises, 20 squats… repeat 3 times.

Or example: 25 bicycle crunches, 1 minute plank, 50 side crunches (each side), 25 lower ab crunches, 25 leg kick outs (I’m probably not describing this one correctly but it’s the one where you lean back with kicking both legs out to work abs), 25 ab twists with kettle ball, 1 minute plank…. repeat 3 times.

Laurel Jackson asks:

Hi Jen….I’m wondering are you using BaByliss Pro Thermal Ionic 1600 watt rollabout hair dryer…..is it still working for you? I’m asking because where I’m from you’re lucky to find such a good dryer like this. Thank you for your response 🙂 .

Hi Laurel, I no longer roller set my hair frequently… which is actually crazy because I used to do it weekly… so I no rarely use my BaByliss now. The last time I used it was last year to help dry a flexi rod set that didn’t dry completely through the night and it worked just as well as it’s always worked.

Esther asks:

Jen! Am so glad I found you!I switched out my products to try the ones you use. All I can say is yess honey!! But this cash isn’t growing in my yard! Do u know of a dc, moisturizer, leave in(all staples really) that will do the job but cheaper?

Hi Esther! I’m happy to hear they’re working well for you!  I try to only recommend products that I have tried firsthand. Very sorry but if there isn’t a review posted of a product that cost less, I can’t really provide a recommendation :/ It would be like recommending a car because it drives well without ever actually driving the car. It wouldn’t be a recommendation based on experience and really wouldn’t be worth much.


Hi. I am on a HHJ for a year now, first it was post-partum shedding, then it stopped, I do tea rinses but now when i comb my hair and try smoothing it from root to the end, a few strands of hair still come off, I want to know what is really wrong.

Hi there, shedding is natural and while tea rinses help reduce shedding, some strands will still shed. If your shedding is every excessive (apart from post-partum shedding) I definitely recommend seeing your doctor in case there’s an underlying issue/cause for your shedding.

Marie asks:

Hi Jen, how do you keep your new growth soft in between wash days? I actually made it to 24 weeks post and I have to say the last two weeks was a major struggle. On wash days it was soft and manageable, by day 4 my hair became very matted and hard to deal with.

Hi Marie, I’ve gone about moisturizing my new growth a couple different ways:

What I currently do is simply deep condition with a moisturizing deep conditioner on wash day, use a moisturizing leave-in conditioner, and then moisturize and seal during the week. Thankfully I’ve found staple conditioners, leave-in, and moisturizer that provide long lasting moisture.
As for matting, keeping my new growth stretched helps me avoid matting and tangles.

Sophia asks:

Hi Jen! I really love your blog. It is helping me a lot. There is one thing I want to find out. Have you ever mixed a protein conditioner with a moisturising conditioner nd then deep conditioned with the mixture?

Hi Sophia, I’m happy to hear you love JGA! No I’ve never tried mixing a protein and moisturizing deep conditioner. My MO is to keep them separate, i.e. protein treatment, rinse out, and then deep condition with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

Rosalyn asks:

Hi Jen! I’m interested in trying the tension method on my transitioning hair. However, I only have about 1-1/2″ to 2″ of new growth. Should I wait until I have more new growth to use the tension method? What do you recommend? Thanks! 

Hi Rosalyn, you’re free to use the tension method with 1 to 1.5″ of new growth.

Hannah asks:

Hi Jen, your blog has been great for learning about hair health. I was just wondering, is there a way to keep my hair routine simple and keep hair as healthy as possible? Do you ever put a limit on products that you use each category (like oils)?

Hi Hannah, I’ve never actively placed a limit but aside from oils, on any given wash day I’ll use just one product per category. It’s definitely possible to have a simple regimen and maintain healthy hair. The goal is to always do what works for your hair.

Adriana asks:

Is it necessary to use a protein leave-in after using a moisturizing deep conditioner and a moisturizing leave-in after using a protein deep conditioner?

No it’s not necessary… but can be done if your hair prefers it/responds well to it. My hair loves moisture so I like to go the moisture route (deep conditioner and leave-in) until my hair needs a protein treatment or leave-in to keep my moisture/protein balance in check.

Alana asks:

Hey Jen, I’ve had natural hair virtually all my life. At age 30 I’m changing countries, careers and have decided to relax. Is it better to go bone straight then texlax thereafter or texlax on virgin hair? thanks

Hi Alana, if texlaxing is your goal it’s better to texlax virgin hair. Going bone straight and switching to texlaxing is a headache not worth subjecting yourself to if don’t plan on continuing to relax your hair bone straight.

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  1. Hi Rosie, By the time i plan to try it myself at the end of this month, it would have been nine weeks since the first session which i think is relatively safe. Normally, my hair state would not be a big problem for me but I'll be making a fresh start with new people, first impressions count and I want to be as slick as possible at the beginning of September. After that, I dont plan to texlax until the end of December, excited to see how that four month stretch would go.

    I do plan on doing a conditioner run at least twice before the real thing so that i get a feel for doing it myself. No i wont be reapplying the relaxer all over, just mainly on the front sections that were grossly under processed and none on the straighter ends. Thanks again for the feedback, I love it here at JGA!

  2. Hi Alana

    I have been a longtime lurker/fan of Jens page for ages now and I believe that many of us on here (Jen included?) have taken embarked on this HHJ after being fed up with stylists not paying due attention to our hair and/or our wishes and having to deal with the results of that. It was experiences such as yours that lead me in the opposite direction – first to relax my hair myself and then transition to natural. But, l am not saying I will never relax again but am just saying it is a very long stretch (currrently 35 weeks post)!

    Anyway, I know you asked Jen but I would recommend the following:

    1. If you can manage PLEASE it try to wait longer period of time (much longer than the end of this month)before applying chemicals again. Also:

    2) if you are going to attempt to relax yourself try practice runs of applications with conditioners first of all, timing yourself as you go to see how you get along.

    I would also recommend not applying any relaxer to the bone straight ends.

    Anyway best wishes with your hair and good luck!

    Rosie x

  3. Hey jen, thanks for getting to my question. Well I did texlax my virgin hair six weeks ago but needless to say the experience did not go as planned. I proceeded with a stylist and explained to her that I didn't want my hair completely straight and she agreed that was the way to go.

    Haven read up on texturizing dos and donts on my favourite blogs, I completely saturated my hair with olive oil before hand, plus I mixed in some grapeseed oil with ORS Lye normal strength relaxer. The stylist sectioned my hair into four quadrants and I also asked that she do the edges last. As she proceeded however, she was moving a bit too slow my taste. Haven started at the back, 15 mins into it, she was just getting to the last quadrant at the front. Meanwhile I was freaking out that this thing was going to be on my hair longer than I wanted., Needless to say I was trying to just calm myself and trust her. Another 5 mins, she finished up the front and the edges then I was ready to wash it all out.

    Long story short, the back of my head ended up being almost bone straight while the front is seriously underprocessed. After taking care of my natural hair for the last three years, I realize I prefer handling my hair myself so I plan to take on the next texlaxing session myself. As most of my hair is still grossly underprocessed, I plan to do a 'corrective texlaxer' next time around, I'm thinking maybe 5 mins of relaxer on the previously processed hair, at the end of this month. Hopefully,I'll be able to get a texture closer to what I was initially looking for.

    I know you're going natural but thanks for all the great info that has got me started on my texlaxing journey!

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