*I thought about breaking this post up since it’s on the long and pic-heavy side but it made more sense to keep this recap one piece so I apologize for the huge post! I’ve included jump links in case they make it easier to scroll and jump through the post.
Part 1 – Henna Gloss
It’s been 2 weeks since my last henna application and I fully intended to wait a month before using up the rest of my henna but I took the fact that it’s “Hair Color and Care” week for the #washdayexperience AND how annoyed I’d get when the frozen bowl of henna would fall out of my freezer every time I opened the door as a sign from the universe to henna my hair this week.
Applying henna to damp hair makes for a smoother, faster application so I started off by sectioning (4) and dampening my old twist out hair with water. The first time I applied henna to my hair I did it on dry hair and it felt like it took fooorrreeevveerrr. By the time I was done, the henna had already started to dry and flake. Applying henna to damp hair is really the only way I can go about it to cut down the time.
Working in small sections, I smoothed the henna down my hair (with gloves), pinned it all up, and left it in for 4 hours.
Part 2 – Shampoo & Deep Condition
I hoped in the shower and rinsed out the henna until the water started to run clear, then I shampooed with Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Mirrorsmooth Shampoo. Next I squeezed out excess from my hair with a towel and deep conditioned with Thank God It’s Natural Honey Miracle Hair Mask for an hour. I really like how well this deep conditioner detangles and sinks into my hair. Below is my hair with the hair mask still in.
After rinsing it out, my hair felt so nice, soft, and moisturized (which I needed since I really hated/basically freaked out a little over how the henna made my feel a bit stiff).
Part 3 – Blow drying
Before hopping out of the shower I twisted my hair into 7 chunky twists under running water to really stretch it out as I let it air dry for about 2 hours before sitting down to blow dry my hair. To blow dry, I used my Red by Kiss 2200 Ceramic Tourmaline Handle-less Dryer and I FINALLY used my Red by Kiss Universal Detangling Pik attachment.
I LOOOVVVVEEEEE the detangling pik. It’s so much gentler than the comb attachment the dryer ships with. I lightly fingercombed and detangled my hair before drying but true to its name, it detangled my hair even further while I dried and its smooth teeth did not snag my hair.
Oh, and I recorded how I detangle my hair but that vid is still hanging out on my memory card so I’ll get that up and posted by Friday.
Anywho, this dryer? Love it! For leave-ins, I used Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Smooth High Gloss Primer (heat protectant) and OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Anti-Breakage Serum. Working in 1 inch sections, I started on the low heat setting and finished off my hair on the cold setting
Part 4 – Flat ironing
With my fluffy cloud swaying about, I flat ironed my hair using Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth+ flat iron.
To ensure my ends weren’t crimped or bent, I used a modified Denman brush (this one) for the “brush chase method.”
And here are the fully straightened results. I also recorded how I flat ironed my hair and hope to upload the vid by the end of the week as well.
Best part? Seeing my henna highlights pop. I was over the moon y’all. I used up the last of the jamila henna this time so I think I’ll switch to Red Raj henna for my next henna application.
This wash day felt like it went on forever but I’m really happy with the results and I finally feel comfortable straightening my hair. Even though my hair is completely natural now, I don’t plan on deviating from my direct heat rule from my relaxed hair days of only flat ironing my hair 3-4 times a year due to the fact that the process takes longer than I’m willing to frequently spend on my hair, and frequent use of direct heat is counterproductive to my healthy hair goals. Since this gal is shooting for w/hip length (between waist and hip length) hair, the last thing I need is heat damage, dry ends, split ends, and breakage.
Last but not least – A Trim
I wish this part was pic heavy too, showing you how I go about trimming my hair but my camera died mid-record and I went ahead and just finishing it up without snapping any pics. Sorry y’all. If you remember how I used to cut my when it was relaxed, then no worries, I still use the same method.
I ended up taking off half an inch after straightening my hair (after going through and snipping off any single strand knots I spotted/felt after flat ironing each section). I’ve been cutting my hair a lot more than I share in my posts. On wash days after twisting my hair I’ve gotten into the habit of snipping off any thin looking ends . . . something I think I need to cut back on. I remember when I avoid trims like the plague, now I’m borderline scissor happy. My frequent trims help keep my ends split and SSK free but I did end up with a few pieces that were noticeably longer than others so yesterday’s trim helped even out those ends.
And the wrap up: a length check. Kinda. I forgot to throw on my length check shirt for a proper length check, but here’s a comparison of my hair from December 9, 2015 to yesterday.