Relaxed Hair Regimen & Staple Products

Roller set

Hi all! As you may have noticed, I've transitioned to natural so my regimen has changed a bit. I'll still be blogging about relaxed hair care so this page of course will remain right where it is. To make it easier to navigate, I have created separate regimen pages for relaxed and natural hair. The regimen + staples for my natural hair is posted here.



I used to self-relax my hair ever 10-12 weeks with ORS Relaxer, lye, normal strength. The video of how I self-relaxed my hair is posted here.

Click here to read and view pictures of all my relaxer touch ups

Wash Days

I washed my relaxed hair every weekend. I posted about every wash day, both products and process. You can find my wash day rcaps in my wash day posts. The video of my normal wash day can be found here.

Here are the steps I followed for my relaxer wash days:

[1] Pre-poo (pre-shampoo treatment) by doing a hot oil treatment or using conditioner for at least 30 minutes or use my homemade detangler.

[2] Co-wash or use a clarifying shampoo when necessary to remove product build up.

[3] Tea rinse/coffee rinse OR protein treatment.

[4] Deep condition with my heat cap or steamer for minimum 30 minutes.

[5] Apply leave in conditioner, then serum.

[6] Detangle.

9 times out of 10 I stretched my hair using the tension method and cold air, but I usually did a flexi rod set, roller set orΒ air dry with scarf.


Maintenance and Styling

I wore my relaxed hair in protective styles 90% of the time (i.e. buns, faux bob)

When wearing my hair down, I applied a little Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage to my ends to strengthen them against breakage (when rubbing against my clothing).

At night, I moisturized and sealed with grapseed oil. Then crossed wrap or loosely bunned my hair, and covered with silk or satin scarf.Β Click here for how I cross wrap my hair.

I did not comb through my hair during the week, and detangled with a comb only on wash days. When co-washing, I lightly detangled with my fingers.

I trimmed minimum .5" off after every touch up (or every time I straighten my hair ever 3-4 months)

To smooth my edges I used either aloe vera gel or Eco Styler Gel (Krystal) and a silk scarf to smooth out and tame my edges.

Staple Products

Serums & Heat Protectants

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
CHI 44 Iron Guard (heat protectant)
Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide (discontinued)

Co-washing Conditioners

Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle
As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner


Grapeseed oil (my numero uno sealing oil)
Safflower oil
Hempseed oil
Coconut oil
Essential oils: eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree


Coffee (normally Folgers Instant)
Green tea
Black tea
Peppermint tea
Marshmallow root
Burdock root


Aloe Vera Gel or Eco Styler Gel


famuyide ibukunoluwa June 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

hi Jen, ok so i have a ridculously soft hair. almost as soft as a cotton wool and i havent retouched my hair in 7 months and my hair has really cut off. how do u prupose i take care of it. do i retouch first or do i need to cut off the relaxed part of my hair. cos the hair looks really damaged, and also what can i apply to my edges they have cut of cos of fixing.

mademoiselleida1975 May 14, 2014 at 3:35 am

Hi Jen! Thanks for this wonderful blog. Love it. I have a question: do you do the LOCS method? Liquid,Oil, Cream, Seal.

From the Inside Out March 19, 2014 at 4:18 am

Hi Jen! I was just wondering how often you update your staple product listing. I want to order some of the products youve listed, but noticed in your recent wash posts that you have switched some products up a bit.

Gracita January 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm

one tiny question: when you bought the safari print croc clips was the price for 1 or all 4 clips?

Jen February 1, 2014 at 1:12 am

They were a gift but came in a pack, so most likely the price was for all four as one pack.

Anonymous January 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Jen, your blog is amazing and I am waiting eagerly for your paper version of journal to purchase it.

I have hair just a bit longer than an afro.
Very fine Kinky hair that tangles.
Still have not found a solution for single knot strands (enemy for life!).

2 Questions on your regimen:

-What difference you you make between 1- a MOISTURIZER, 2- a LEAVE IN, 3- And the SMOOTHING CONDITIONER.

I have not finished reading every page of your blog. That's my carrot at the end of the work day! Page by page.

But do you LAYER all of these products on top of each other?

I am ordering these products soon…but will not know how to use it without your advice.

Jen February 1, 2014 at 1:08 am

Hi there, no I don't layer them. I only use a smoothing conditioner and then rinse it out before or after deep conditioning. some moisturizers can be used as leave-ins and vice versa. The "when to use" depends on a couple factors: how much the leave-in weighs hair down, which would not make to deal as a moisturizer. Whether it's a protein leave-in, which takes it out of the running as a moisturizer. Check out my section for moisturizers under the "Product Review" tab. I list a couple moisturizers that can also be used as leave-ins.

Anonymous August 12, 2013 at 3:10 am

Thank you for the new update. I love your blog. It helped me a lot with my hair journey.

Jen February 1, 2014 at 1:10 am

Aw I'm glad!

Anonymous June 24, 2013 at 2:44 am

Hey jen love love your blog its so fun and informative ive learned so much so thanks!! I see tou are a fan of the paul Michael products i am thinking avout trying it! I didnt find any in walmart but they have Biolage by Matrix SmoothTherapie Deep Smoothing Conditioner have you ever heard of it or used it? Im not sure which to purxhase now haha

Jen February 1, 2014 at 1:10 am

No I'm sorry I haven't used it.

Jadesola Oshisanya June 14, 2013 at 12:24 am

Do you detangle before washing and more importantly do u wash ur hair back or forward. I fine washing it over the tub (forward) is easier than getting into the shower 2ce. The only problem is that it always leaves my hair with some knots.

Jen June 15, 2013 at 3:43 am

I wash my hair while standing in the shower. I finger comb my hair a bit before washing and detangling only after I've applied my leave ins and let my hair dry a bit.

Anonymous May 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

hey Jen! i was just wondering at night time do you wrap your hair everynight orr what do you do?? thanks!

Jen June 15, 2013 at 3:42 am

Hi there, I either cross wrap or bun my hair at night.

Denesha May 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

Hey.My neck used to be neck length but then ever since I opened my world up to Flat-Iron my hair became super damaged.Now I just started my hair regimen with ear length hair.I used to straighten hair single day but now I've stopped to only once a week or whenever I wash my hair which is less than 2 weeks. How often do you straighten your hair?

Jen June 15, 2013 at 3:41 am

I straighten 4-5 times a year.

Reina M April 29, 2013 at 6:02 am

Hi! i just started on my hair journey and i also just found out about your blog and i think it's amazing! so knowledgeable! I wanted to know just one thing and it's if you don't use normal conditioners after you shampoo or your protein treatment. Do you just deep condition?

Jen June 15, 2013 at 3:41 am

Hi there, thank you! The only non-deep conditioning conditioner I use after shampooing is Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment to smooth out my hair – apply for few mins, then rinse. And then I follow up with a deep conditioner.

Anonymous April 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Hello; thanks so much for this blog! One of my concerns is how to safely rinse out the relaxer without damaging my eyes or skin. Any suggestions for rinsing it out, and do you rinse in the sink or shower? Thanks for your help.

Jen June 15, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hi anon, I rinse out in the shower. When rinsing out the back, I arch backwards towards the showerhead. When rinsing out the sides I turn towards the side and arch again towards the showerhead. The water and relaxer runoff flows downwards, avoiding my body and face. Hope that makes sense. I hope to have a post with visuals up soon.

Anonymous April 12, 2013 at 12:15 am

Hello!!! Do you still use the GNC Ultra Nourish Hair vitamins….

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:40 am

Hi there, yes I do.

Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I enjoy that you have all this awesome information on your blog! What do you use for an itchy scalp. I can get the moisturize thing down okay, but even still with new growth or if I slack off, my head is sooo itchy. What oil/ leave in would you suggest to combat that?

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:41 am


Here I like to use a mix of coconut, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender and vitamin E oil on scalp. Here's the link a post on the oil mix:

Kiyahp March 13, 2013 at 1:21 am

Thanks for posting this information about grapeseed oil. I'm curious if you've used olive oil on your hair in the past how this oil compares. Thank you!

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

My pleasure. I used olive oil a few times in at the beginning of my HHJ in 2009 and haven't used it since. I didn't like how it made my hair feel so I stopped using it soon after I started and haven't revisited.

Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 2:31 am

Hi Jenni…im new to the online hair blog community. I just wanted to know what your hair type is? Thanx πŸ™‚ Love ur Blog. xoxo.

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:43 am

Hi there and thank you! My hair is 4a/b, fine strands.

Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Hey Hun! Your hair is gorgeous!! I was wondering if you wanted to wear your hair down for when week..what would be your regiment? Would you moisturize less? Only cross wrap?etc. thanks so much for your time:)

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:44 am

Thanks so much! I'd moisturize and seal every other day and either cross wrap my hair.

Sherese January 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hi Jenijen, is there any safe color to use besides Jazzy on our hair. I was doing so great and a stylist convinced me to get a color/Demi and it has set my progress back. Help!!!!!!!!! What can I do now to get back on track? I love the color, hate that it make my hair even more fragile. I know if anyone can help, its you!!

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:46 am

I've never colored my hair so I unfortunately do not know much about which hair color brands are better than others πŸ™ :(. Color treated hair does require more moisture though, so increasing moisture is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous December 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hello! Love the blog. Question: I'm in need of a good moisturizer. And I'm looking into the qhemets biologic root butter cream and organic root stimulators new cream , intense moisture. Have you tried any? Any tips on good moisturizers? Thanks

Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hi Jeni!
I absolutely love your blog! Very informative & your hair is beautiful!! My question is do you ever flat iron your hair? If so, how do you prep your hair before?

Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Sorry…I just read your response from October about using direct heat. I still would like to know how you prep your hair..thanks!

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

HI there, here's the link to my post on prepping my hair for direct heat:

Anonymous December 4, 2012 at 12:32 am

Hi Jenijen, great info! I'm currently starting my very own hair journey,however…

– what is a smoothing conditioner and why do you use it if you deep condition?

Jen April 12, 2013 at 12:51 am

A smoothing conditioner smoothes the hair and looses tangles. I detangle after using Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment because it doesn't deep condition so I still need to use something after it to adequately moisturize my hair.

Anonymous December 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Hi I just stumbled upon your site just grow already on Facebook and I clicked the link and have been hooked ever since. My hair texture is curly/wavy and thick, and I have been reaping the benefits of pre-natal vitamins. Now my baby is 2 and up until about a month ago when I last self relaxed I noticed my hair began to fall out. Now this is not new to me, when I am under alot of stress my hair tends to let me know first. And it wasn't breakage it was long strands from the scalp I noticed whenever I combed or brushed my hair. I also noticed my bun is smaller too as my hair is starting to thin. I am looking into a regimen otherwise I'm cutting it all off and going natural. Also I have never dyed my hair and I always wanted to try different colors. What is your take on hair dye?

theebestbisshh November 28, 2012 at 5:09 am

On wash days, do you detangle only after you apply your leave in? Do you detangle before you wash with shampoo? I have real problem with tangles so I find it difficult not to comb my hair and when I do, there's always breakage.

Anonymous November 20, 2012 at 4:47 am

Hi, I love your blog and you hair!
Thank you for sharing all of this with us, you are such an inspiration!
Also, i wanted to know more about the supplement you are taking: GNC Ultra-Nourish.
Is it really effective? Is there any side effects? Had you ever tried Hairfinity? If yes, do you thing GNC is better? Anyway, i just wanted more information about this product before buying it.

Thank You πŸ™‚

lorettaaa* November 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Also, don't you co wash? If no why not?

lorettaaa* November 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

What's the difference between pre pooing, deep conditioning and protein/moisture treatments?

Sabrina November 3, 2012 at 1:20 am

Hi! I love your hair & website, such an inspiration! Please, I'd love to know:

1) How do you personally texlax? By rinsing the relaxer out early or mixing with oil? if so, what's your ratio? I love the look of bone straight hair but I want thick hair so I'm thinking of transitioning to texlaxed and need all the info I can get! Lol

2) Do you have any extra tips for overcoming protein overload? I've upped my moisture(thru co-washing/occasional baggying) and eliminated protein from my regimen but I still have some breakage, I think it has improved slightly though.


Jen November 3, 2012 at 1:31 am

Hi Sabrina, thank you!

(1) I use ORS relaxer and it's not strong enough to straighten my hair so I don't have to do much. I apply and smooth for 11 minutes and don't smooth a lot. That's all. Here's the link to how I texlax my hair:

(2) Here's a link to a post I did on protein overload & how to fix it:

Hope this helps!

KiWi October 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hi Jeni,

The links to purchase your favorite products is a very nice addition to the blog :-).

Jen November 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thank you for the feedback!

KhiWhi October 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hi Jenijen,

Congrats on almost WL πŸ™‚ I'm now becoming interested (again) in decreasing shedding. Sometimes I even see the sebum on the shed strand and I want to decrease how much I shed even though it doesn't seem to drastically thin my hair out. It seems to be a summer-winter change too. I still use the Roux PC and the Organix anti-breakage serum so my breaking is under control.

Are you still doing black tea rinses and how often?

Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:46 am

Hi there! Thank youu! It's great to hear your breakage is under control! I still do them, admittedly not as often I had hoped. I've been doing them once every few weeks – I'd like to say once a month but I think it may be a bit longer in between rinses.

Anonymous October 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Hello Jenjen!

How often do you use direct heat?


Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:43 am

This year is a fluke, I've already flat ironed my hair from root to tip 5 times, and for a couple months I flat ironed my roots after roller sets. Prior to this year though, I'd use direct heat 2-3 times a year. I plan on going back to that for 2013

Anonymous October 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

can pure coconut oil be used as the only oil in the hair.

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:42 am

Sure could. Coconut oil is a great oil

Danni October 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm

What are some smoothing conditioners to use!?


Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hi Danni, I've used Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat (discontinued now), Redken Smooth Lock Butter Silk, and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Treatment — this one is the winner.

Anonymous October 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hi Jeni you said that you don't comb through your hair during the week???? I know that this may sound fuuny but how is that possible,lol and doesn't it tangle up more.

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:38 am

Hi there, nope I don't. I just finger comb. I cross wrap my hair at night and in the morning it doesn't take a comb to take it down. Other than doing my scalp massages and moisturizing my new growth, I pretty much leave my hair alone. When I moisturize my new growth, I work my fingers downwards to prevent shifting the hair around and tangling.

DeOndra Cato October 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Hi What producats would you reccomend or do you use to clean your scalp?

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:31 am

Hi DeOndra, do you mean I'm specifically trying to remove build up? For that I used a clarifying shampoo. My current one is Redken Hair Cleaning Cream

Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hi Jeni,

What do you mean by protective styles?

Thanks πŸ™‚

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

Hi anon! Styles that protect the hair (focused is placed on the ends) from breakage caused by exposure to clothes/elements.

lucy November 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

aRe corn rolls not also protective styles? as in corn rolls under a weave……if not please explain

I am struggling with the fact i cant wear a weave. i look so boring.
i recently had a wig made for me
help pls

Jen November 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hi Lucy, that would be a protective style, the hair would be protected and hidden under the weave

Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hi Jeni,
I recently stumbled accross your blog and I love it, it has made me belive that my hair can grow. I recently relaxed my hair and my stylist advised not to use shampoo on my hair until my next treatment in 3 weeks. Its contrary to everything that I have read in your blog i.e. wash /cowash once a week, I am confused, please help. Also is it ok to apply JBCO to recently relaxed hair.
Thank you

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:23 am

Hi there! Not to shampoo?! Why in the world not haha. A healthy clean scalp is a good thing!
Yup, it's ok to apply JBCO to recently relaxed hair.

Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 2:02 am

Hey jeni…
Love your blogs so much…But I need help. Im currently deployed in Afghanistan and I had shoulder length hair before I came now after being here for 4 months and dealing with the harsh water my hair is now to my neck. I dnt know if I should switch my shampoo that I am using or try something totally different to grow my hair back. Pls help!

Jen October 21, 2012 at 1:17 am

Hi there, is there water there high in minerals? If so I'd suggest may trying a chelating shampoo to remove mineral build up – over time mineral build up can make hair dull and cause breakage. Here are a few shampoos I know of that help remove mineral build up: Ion Hard Water Shampoo; Kenra Clarifying Shampoo; Elucence Clarifying Shampoo; Redken Hair Cleansing Cream… hope this helps, any other questions, let me know!

Anonymous September 16, 2012 at 12:46 am

I see that you've tweaked your staple products list. Good for you. lol I didn't like the Biolage conditioning balm as a deep conditioner, I was thinking about adding silk amino acids to it. I just don't want it the conditioning balm to go to waste. *sigh* I guess I can apply it to my daughter's hair and see how it goes.

Dazz August 21, 2012 at 7:12 am

Came across your blog today and so glad I did. I've found it so insightful – thank you. I've just started my HJ and was wondering what hair type you are. Your hair looks like a similar texture to mine although much much longer and healthier :-). Thank you so much for sharing your experience strength and hope. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels extremely grateful. Best Wishes Lorraine.

Jen August 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Awww, it's my pleasure! My hair is 4a/b, fine strands

Anonymous August 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Any recommendations on a good detangler? Thanks in advance.

Jen August 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I've heard good things about the Mane N Tail detangler

Anonymous July 29, 2012 at 5:37 am


How long did it take for your hair to grow that length?


Jen August 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Ive been caring for my hair since March 2009, I started out at shoulder length. The tab 'Progress Pics' has a better timeline

Sherese May 4, 2012 at 2:44 am

Can you save unused relaxer? I did not use all of mine this go round. If so how?

Jen May 4, 2012 at 3:52 am

Unused lye relaxer can be saved. I keep my jar in a cool location until the next touch up. It's not recommended to save no-lye relaxer after the activator has been mixed in.

Sherese May 4, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Are there any long term pros to using lye instead of no-lye, which is what they sell at the beauty supply stores mostly?

Jen May 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

It's person specific, for me, no-lye relaxers leave my hair limp and proceeded my hair faster so long term for me is that my hair has more body and isn't proceeded to the degree that no-lye does, which is especially important because I texlax now.

Here's a great link that I relied on when deciding between lye or no-lye:

Hope this helps!

Anonymous May 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I know you have heard this a lot but your hair is absolutely gorgeous. I want to start my hair regimen but I am not sure how to choose products. What should I look for in a daily moisturizer and in a deep conditioner? Can I use the same product for the two purposes? what should I look for in a protein treatment? does if have to say explicitly 'protein'?

I have a few more questions:
I've read that one should balance protein and moisture, right? So, if I do a protein treatment every other week and I moisturize and seal every night isn't that adding too much moisture and too little protein?
If I'm doing hot oil treatment, deep conditioning, and protein, how do I alternate. Is it ok to do hot oil and deep conditioning one week and protein and deep conditioning the other week?
Why do you damp your hair before hot oil treatment? can it be done on dry hair?

How do you do to go through the week without combing? do you just unwrap and that's it? what about at night? or when you have new growth? My hair is really, really, really kinky and if I don't comb it for several days then the comb just wont go through and it hurts. I have to comb it everyday to avoid that. By moisturizing and sealing every night do you think I will avoid that? will that soften my new growth?

I am sorry for all the questions but I am new to this and really ignorant about these topics.

Thanks a lot.

Jen May 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Hi there,
Unfortunately the truth about finding great staple products is that it's a matter of trial and error. What may work for one may not work for someone else, it's really about testing out products and finding which one fits the best. Sometimes trying out staple products of women who have the same hair type is a great way to go about it because it may help you get a feel on what products could potentially work for your hair.

I wouldn't recommend using a deep conditioner as a moisturizer, you could experience product build up fairly quickly and then that would just decrease the effectiveness because when hair is coated with product, moisture doesn't penetrate into the hair shaft.

A protein treatment will help strength and repair your hair.
Yes, protein/moisture is something to shoot for, it's really about getting a feel for your hair and just learning to when it needs moisture or protein. Doing a protein treatment works for some but not for others because some women are protein sensitive while some art. I'm hesitant to say give yourself a set protein moisture schedule because it may not work that for you. How does your hair respond to protein???? For example, I moisturize and seal every night but throw in a protein treatment when my hair tells me it's feeling over moisturized and needs protein. It's ok to alternate while determining what protein/moisture balance your hair likes.

Hot oil treatments can be done on dry hair, I do them on dry hair now because I don't feel like dampening my hair before anymore. It was a tipped I picked up from the hair boards but I can't remember why or if I see a difference so I stopped months ago.

I finger comb during the week. Just unwrap, run my fingers through and go. At night I moisturize and seal, and finger comb my hair into a bun or into a cross wrap. I never comb through my new growth, except when detangling on wash day. To keep my new growth manageable and soft, I moisturize it a few days during the week. If I left my new growth alone and didn't moisturize it, it coils and coils and because I'm extremely tenderheaded it just hurts and causes breakage and tangles when I go to detangle so keeping it moisturized it my new growth's best friend.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous May 9, 2012 at 4:58 am

You are great.
Thanks a lot for your responses. They were very helpful. I am also learning a lot from your blog. I am just starting my hair journey and the most difficult thing for me is discipline, so whenever I fell lazy or tired I look at your blog and it encourages me to keep on πŸ™‚

Jen May 17, 2012 at 4:12 am

Aww, it's my pleasure! πŸ™‚

Sherese May 1, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I saw a young lady recently who had an amazing curly twist out with natural hair. I stopped her to ask how long she had been natural and she said since 2009. She stopped her relaxer cold turkey. She mentioned she uses Shea Moisture Souffle and Smoothie in her hair. Even though, im not going natural, just stretching, I wanted to try it out. I must say I used the smoothie with my twist out and I have no breakage at all. And this is days later. Im geting ready for my relaxer at 10weeks and my hair is really strong and soft as if I could go longer, but im not. Just sharing some product info. Have a Great Day!

Jen May 4, 2012 at 3:48 am

Thanks for sharing! Finding a product that works well and helps manage hair during a stretch is great. I've heard a lot of good things about he Shea Moisture line.

Sherese April 26, 2012 at 1:26 am

Jenijen, how often are you stretching your hair now? I went 9 weeks last relaxer, and I'm going for 10weeks next weekend. Is this the way to stretch? To add a week everytime?

Jen April 26, 2012 at 1:41 am

This stretch will be 10 weeks.
Adding 1 week or 2 is definitely how I would suggest extending your stretch when getting the feel for/getting the hang of stretching.

Sherese April 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Hi Jenijen, I was just wondering how the Redkens Butter Creme worked out? it sounds like a good product. I have also found that my pre-poo works better if I add a conditioner and leave-in instead of just a hot-oil. The conditioners soften and detangles much better before my shampoo, decreasing tangles and breakage.

Jen April 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Hi Sherese, it worked pretty well. It softened, smoothed, and helped detangle my hair.I liked the results. I'm going to keep it in my list of conditioner pre-poos.

KiWi April 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I know have about 80% of your staple products! I just ordered:

hempseed oil
safflower oil
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing shampoo
and waiting on Ulta to restock the Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie balm

I am trying to follow your reggie to a 'T'! You must be doing a lot of things RIGHT!

Sherese April 10, 2012 at 12:47 am

That last message is from Sherese about daughter in college!

Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 12:45 am

Hi Jenijen, my daughter came home from college and she was telling me how thick my hair looks now. She said it was looking thin before. She also teased me on how long it took to pre-poo, shampoo,conditioner and rod set. It feels good when people notice the difference. Thanks a million!

Jen April 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

That's wonderful! I agree, it feels so rewarding when people notice your hard work paying off!

Anonymous March 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Hi Jen,

I love your blog and have inspired me to take better care of my hair too. I was wondering if all the products listed under your staples page are you staples or just the ones that are highlighted?

Jen March 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

HI there, they're all staples that I rotate. The one's highlighted have links to product reviews that I've done.

KhiWhi March 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Hey Jenijen, I started reading your blog about a month ago and always lurked. Thank you so much for your posts… they are awesome!

I added the Organixs Coconut Milk anti-breakage serum to my daily moisturizing and sealing regimen and the Roux PC Corrector to my wash regimen and my shedding has decreased almost 90% ;o ;o… I am in hair heaven… Thanks! Considering I was 11+ weeks post relaxer with coarse thick 4c hair and shedding like crazy, this was a major breakthrough… You've also encouraged me to be more diligent about my daily moisturizing schedule….

I just relaxed yesterday (no-lye) at 13wks post and it came out great because my hair pre-relaxer was in great condition due to the Roux and the Organix serum. I will try the PM Super Skinny treatment deeper into my stretch and look forward to keeping up and being inspired by your blog.

Happy Hair Journey! You deserve it :).

Jen March 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Your comment made my day!! I love success stories! I'm happy to hear that the Organix and Roux are working well for you. Wishing all the best in your hair journey! HHJ! πŸ˜€

Carla March 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I notice that you don't use a conditioner (just a regular one) after you do the shampoo in step 2. Does the Paul Mitchell Wild Ginger Awapuhi Moisturizing Lather Shampoo detangle?

Jen March 15, 2012 at 1:44 am

Hi Cara, I use a deep conditioner after a shampoo. I don't find the PM Moisturizing Lather Shampoo detangles, I've found it softens and strengths my hair.

Sabine March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hi Jen.
When you wash you part your hair into four sections. Have you always done this or just as your hair got longer

Jen March 15, 2012 at 1:45 am

Hi Sabine, I haven't always washed in four sections, I started nearly a year ago. My hair was APL when I started washing in sections, but I do wish I had started doing it sooner.

Sherese March 6, 2012 at 1:59 am

Hi Jen, what is Chi Silk Infusion and why do you add it to your hair before relaxing and also you mentioned starting castor oil in your regimen. How does castor oil help thicken the hair and where would you get this castor oil from? oh and your hair looks great!

Jen March 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

Hi Sherese, I haven't forgotten your question about using CHI Silk Infusion! I've gotten emails from others about it as well so I'm going to write a post on it.

As for the castor oil: from my understanding, castor oil possibly has the same effect as henna, where it coats hair to thicken it. I'll have a definite answer once I start using it. I'll be purchasing it from but it can also be found in WholeFoods Market, Vitamin Shoppe, Those are just the places I know of.

And thank you! πŸ™‚

dee.o February 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Hi Jen, can you go through how to do a hot oil treatment please thank you

Jen February 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi there. here's the link to the vid I made on how I do one πŸ™‚

Jen February 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

for another look, I also show I do one during my wash day process from start to end in this vid:

Sherese January 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Hi Jenijen, thanks for always replying with good info. I have a question about rinses. I love this rinse by Jazzy, gold bold. My question is can I rinse before my texlax or should it always be after. Or is a rinse safe regardless how you do it? I know you dont rinse since you never mentioned it, however just thought you might know since you know alot about hair.

Jen January 28, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hey Sherese, my pleasure. I would say always after you texlax. I know for color applications, you always color after a relaxer, I assume a rinse would follow the same rules.

Here are a few threads I found on LHCF about women applying the rinse after they neutralize the relaxer.

Hope this this.

Sherese January 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hi Jenijen, I was wondering have you ever done a rod or flexirod set? I just recently did a rod and followed all your suggestions and Im getting ton of compliments. I went into Ultas to purchase the Organix anti-breakage serum and they did not sell it, where can I get that from? Also do you think me doing the rod sets are ok for this challenge because I see you mainly do the larger rollers and cross wrap?

Jen January 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

You can also find it at CVS and Walgreens. I can't remember if I've ever seen it at Target.

Here's the link to ECPrincess' Official Rules to the Challenge.

Rod sets are definitely ok for the challenge. I don't do them because my skills in that area are lacking lol. I'm plaining on eventually buying more rods and getting the hang of it.

Anonymous January 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm

hello, what moisturize do you use before you seal with oil at night ?

Jen January 19, 2012 at 12:04 am

I'm currently moisturizing with Darcy's Botanicals Transitioning Creme

Sherese January 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Ok Jenijen, last thing for now, Lol and I will be well on my way. Do you have a video of you dusting because I didn't see one so far? Also I want to say Im so excited I am telling other ladies about your blog that I happened to come across and Lord knows I am so grateful for you. God Bless again!

Jen January 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Here's a link to a video I made showing how I dust in terms of sectioning and holding my hair, but I didn't actually physically cut any hair off because I had recently already dusted: link

It's my pleasure! Be blessed!!

Sherese January 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Hey Jenijen, I watched the dusting demonstration and was wondering how do you get to dust the hair in the middle, I pretty much just saw you dust the bottom length and bangs only.

Jen January 18, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hey there. I part my hair down the middle. Since my hair is all one length, excluding my bangs, the hair in the middle gets pulled to each side and trimmed with the rest of my hair.

Sherese January 16, 2012 at 4:36 am

Wow, thanks I will go get them.Do you have a video of you dusting because that will help me out alot. Also, what is pre-poo and tex-laxed? Im always reading it on your blog but not understanding.

Jen January 16, 2012 at 5:26 am

My pleasure.

Pre-poo means pre-shampoo; it can mean doing a hot oil treatment before shampooing, applying a conditioning or protein treatment before shampooing.

Texlaxing means purposefully underprocessing hair when relaxing it for the purpose of leaving texture.

Sherese January 16, 2012 at 1:32 am

Thank you girl, now about the dusting, do you do that or a professional? And if you do are there paticular scissors to use?

Jen January 16, 2012 at 1:42 am

I dust my own hair (I've had to many stylist cut off too much hair). Any pair of quality hair shears will work. Here's the link to the one I use. It only cost me $13.00 (Conair Professional Barber Shears). I only use it on my hair.

Sherese January 16, 2012 at 5:03 am

I just read you mentioned all the benefits of vitamin e oil, however when I read your maintence I don't see it mentioned as a vitamin that you take or in the hot oil treatments. So where does the vitamin E come into play?

Jen January 16, 2012 at 5:22 am

I use vitamin E oil in my oil mix that I massage my scalp with during the week and on wash days to control itchy scalp and dandruff.

Here is the link to the post I did on the oil mix:

I also add vitamin E oil to my sulfur mix, here's the post on that one:

Sherese January 16, 2012 at 1:00 am

Hi Jenijen, can you tell me why do you wet the rollers first?

Jen January 16, 2012 at 1:02 am

Hi Sherese, it helps my hair stick to the roller so that the hair rolls on smoothly.

Sherese January 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

I am so excited to start the six month roller set challenge. I love all your suggestions. Let me tell you a little bit about my hair story. Back in November of 2010, I did my own hair which was always about BSL, meaning I tried heat appliances a couple times. The only reason I did this is my daughter kept telling me, it doesn't look like the shop and I burned out some of the top of the crown. I can cover it up, but its not growing like I thought. I also swithched stylists due to the fact of relocation. One application i received my scalp was burning even after the wash out from this stylist and caused scalbs, which of course is gone. What relaxer are you using or is being applied for you? This particular stylist likes to blow me out, I think it is just quicker than a set.But after reading your blog, I am not accepting this anymore, I want my thick,bouncy,long hair back. I am also taking vitamins and drinking lots of water.

Jen January 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I'd vote for roller sets over a blow out any day πŸ™‚

I currently use Organic Root Stimulator, lye formula, normal strength to relax my hair (I self relax now). In the past, my stylist would use Paul Mitchell Relaxer (lye formula) and my hair responded really well to it.

Sherese January 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Hi I was wondering how often do you get a trim and touch up with a relaxer?

Jen January 13, 2012 at 2:50 am

Hi Sherese, I dust my ends (not as much as trim, I take of half an inch or less) about every 10 weeks. I was previously touching up every 10 weeks, but after my last stretch of 16 weeks, I'll be shooting for 16 weeks from now on (both for touch ups and dusting).

Sherese January 14, 2012 at 3:36 am

Thanks Jenijen, I made up an oil today of grapeseed,peppermint and lavender cause thats all I already had, and I applied it to my scalp. It feels great, just a little on the oily side. After your sets,do you wrap your hair in a circular motion then use a silk scarf?

Sherese January 14, 2012 at 3:38 am

I also want to say to you God Bless you for starting this, it is Heaven sent!

Jen January 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I wrap my hair in a circular motion only if I'm going to do a saran wrap right after; in general I don't wrap in a circular method often, I'd say once every few months. 99% of the time, I cross wrap my hair after my sets.

My pleasure, be blessed!!!

just trying to make it December 7, 2011 at 6:15 am

just found this blog and i'm loving it and your hair :). i wanted to know, do you have any tips for gaining and retaining length for natural hair? i want to try some of what you said, but i don't know if it will be good for my hair too. also, what does vitamin e do? and do you have tips for fine hair? i noticed yours is long and thick! mine's is good at tricking people lol, but it's really not so thick and it's a challenge to maintain thickness and length. any suggestions?? thanks! πŸ™‚

Jen January 16, 2012 at 1:20 am

Here are 5 things that have helped me retain length the most. They're not really "relaxed specific things" so they could benefit.

I'd say the biggest two are (1) keeping my ends moisturized and a combo of (2) keep my hair off my shoulders and (3) protective styling.

(1) Keep your ends moisturized. Our ends are the oldest part of our hair and thus require the most moisture.
(2) Keep your ends off your shoulders. Our clothing can snag the hair, causing breakage as well as dry out our hair. I've gotten so used to wearing my hair up that sometimes when my hair is down it bothers me to feel it rubbing against my shoulders and back. I never go the entire day with my hair down. To keep my hair up and away from my clothing, I wear it in a faux bob, bun, or held up in a claw clip.
(3) Protective styles. This reinforces the bullet point above but protective styling also help me cut down on manipulation and helped me to just leave my hair alone. Decrease in manipulation = decrease in breakage = length retention. I personally prefer to bun my hair because its easy
(4) Decreased use of direct heat. Using direct heat (blow drying, hot combs, flat irons) on your hair isn't a bad thing, but should be done in moderation. Frequent use of heat can dry out and damages hair.
(5) Weekly deep conditioning to restore moisture and elasticity to my hair. Steaming or using a heat cap while deep conditioning boosts the effectiveness of the deep conditioner.

Here's a blurb I've posted on vitamin E oil: Consuming vitamin E oil helps in increasing oxygen uptake, which improves blood circulation to your scalp. Ultimately, that results in healthy hair growth. As hair is associated to the immune health, vitamin E oil for hair is considered as the best hair growth stimulator, which enhances the immune function. Vitamin E oil acts as an antioxidant, which helps in preventing cells and tissues from oxidation, that can cause pre-mature aging. Vitamin E oil for hair, it helps in preventing gray hair and nourishes your scalp, resulting in healthy hair growth and hair repair. Vitamin E has a massaging effect on your scalp all the time. Vitamin E oil contains antioxidants which help in keeping the immune system improved and helps in circulation of blood to all parts of your body and that includes the scalp.

Reply December 7, 2011 at 4:56 am

Hi Thanks for the tips and practical steps for success.

Carla September 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Hey lady…first let me say, your blog is great and I am so loving your hair. I will definitely be using some of your tips for the regimen I use (when I finally post it). I will stay tuned in.

Jen August 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Thank you! I'm using Jason's vitamin e oil and it doesn't really have a smell. When I mix with my tea tree essential oil, I only use 8 or 9 drops of it so that the smell isn't too overwhelming.

KiWi August 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I love your blog; i book marked on both my iPad and iPhone. One question; I use Jason's tea tree oil and the smell is awful! The other night I put a few drops with JBCO on my hairline and the smell is overwhelming. My husband actually sniffed me to see where the smell was coming from, lol! How do you use it so often, does the smell not bother you? Are you doing something to mask the heavy smell? I really want to keep it in my regimen but the odor can be too much.

Jen July 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

@Aaliyah: Hi there! Glad you like the blog! I just posted a couple links on regimen building and a few of them are how to build a regimen on a college budget – I hope that helps! Good luck on your goals as well!

@ACG: Yes I do use a heating cap – Gold N' Hot Conditioning Heat Cap –>,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH

ACG July 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Hi, do you use a heat cap? If so, what brand? Thanks.

Aaliyah July 28, 2011 at 1:35 am

Hi πŸ™‚ i just started my hair journey and im stretching to 12 or 13 weeks do you have any advice for people just starting out?? oh and I'm 16 (by the way) i kinda live by my moms' rules so yeah i have no money to buy those products (hopefully i can get her to join and support me also on the hair journey). i never found out about moisturizing and sealing until now. I am soooo happy that i stumbled upon you blog! you go girl! i really hope you reach you goals. you have my support! x

Jen July 23, 2011 at 2:59 am

^^^ I usually roller set my hair every week and sit under my dryer to dry and haven't seen any ill effects to the health of my hair, but because my hair is in rollers, that decreases the amount of direct heat my hair is actually receiving.

Anonymous July 22, 2011 at 2:14 am

using an over head dyer twice a month, can it damage your hair

Jen June 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I apply the oil, leave it in for 30mins-1hr, rinse with warm water, shampoo, deep condition, and the roller set my hair.

Anonymous June 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

when you are applying the oil treatment to your hair bi-weekly, do you rinse it out and let it air dry or rinse it out and shampoo and roller set? or what?

Ashley May 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I'm just getting into stretching. This is my first time and I'm aiming for 12 weeks. By far your blog has been the most useful..just simple as in what I need to do

Jen May 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm

@ stelise: Hi there! No, I don't use setting lotion.

stelise May 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm

thanks for sharing you regimen! do you use any setting lotion at all?

Jen May 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Hi Tonya,

Thank you!!!! I'm actually not sure. I've never read up on hair types or tried to type my own hair. I'll try and google hair types and compare to the photos I have of my new growth.

Tonya May 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Hi, Your hair is beautiful and I am inspired by your progress. I was just curious to know what type your hair is?

Jen April 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Thanks Grace. You can try roller setting your hair, that helps maintain a sleek look.

Grace April 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi, love your blog very inspiring. Do you have any tips for me becasue my hair is relaxed but everytime i wash it it doesn't look relaxed and i have to flat iron it so it looks some-what straight.

Jen April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I'm currently using pure grapeseed oil, heritage brand.

ACG April 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

ONE more question, do you use pure grapeseed oil or is it mixed with vitamin E? I found a grapeseed/E mix at Whole Foods. Thanks.

Jen April 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Yes, that's correct!

ACG April 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thanks. Just so I'm clear about your regimen, you use a hot oil treatment as your prepoo, right?

Jen April 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

@ACG: Hi there, I've cowashed only 3 or 4 times -3 of those times I didn't like how my hair felt. It just felt coated. I've cowashed with a cheapie Suave conditioner and Paul Mitchell The Detangler conditioner. I had a bit more success with PM The Detangler but overall I still didn't like it.

Anonymous August 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Hi Jeni, how often do you deep conditon?

Jen August 23, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I deep condition every week

Trish December 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I concur, co-washing definitely did not work for me or my hair either. That is until I started using AS I AM -coconut co-wash. It actually cleans the hair and makes it feel amazingly soft and light. I've kind of been frightened away from shampooing.

ACG April 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Hi. Do you co-wash at all? If so, how often?

Anonymous August 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Hi Jeni πŸ™‚ Love your blog. Am I understanding correctly that you don't co-wash? And how often do you deep conditon?

Jen August 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi there, you're correct, I don't co-wash. I deep conditioner every week

Jen April 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thanks! Not often, once every 3 or 4 months, sometimes longer.

Anonymous April 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Heyy, I really love your hair and your blog!!
I was wondering, how often do you straighten your hair with a flat iron? x


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