Picking Your Brain Responses

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Picking Your Brain Responses

Jane asks:

Hey Jen! What advice would you give to someone who is transitioning from (Mid Back Length) relaxed hair to natural? Should trimming be done every month? What are your recommendations for a smooth transitioning journey?

Hi Jane, my general suggestion to really monitor protein/moisture balance to prevent excessive breakage at the line of demarcation. It’s difficult to say “focus on moisture more” or “focus on protein more” because each head of hair is different. For me – it’s moisture. Deep conditioning, co-washing, moisturizing and sealing, with a little bit of protein to keep my hair from tipping over the edge towards moisture overload have been keeping my hair happy during these last 28 weeks. Here some helpful links I have saved in my “transitioning help” folder:

It’s not necessary to trim every month. There’s no written rule. Feel free to trim whenever you’d like.

Hmmm, my recommendations:

  1. As mentioned above: keep an eye on protein/moisture balance.
  2. Reduce use of direct heat.
  3. Choose styles that blend the two textures.
  4. Keep new growth stretched when possible.
  5. Avoid over-manipulating your hair.
  6. Do everything in sections. Working in sections will help keep the creation of new tangles (from manipulation) to a minimum.
  7. Use conditioners that provide a decent amount of slip.
I hope this helps!

Ann asks:

Hello Jen! I started my transitioning journey in September 2013 and have been experiencing very dry hair ever since. What should be done in this case? Is it okay to wash my hair only once during the week? What would you recommend?

Hi Ann, it’s perfectly fine to wash your hair once during the week. To combat dry hair there are a few things you want to try incorporating into your regimen:

  • Deep conditioning with a moisturizing deep conditioner once a week.
  • Moisturizing and sealing a couple days during the week.
  • If your ends are particularly dry, try “baggying” your ends once during the week to give them an extra boost of moisture. Moisturize and seal as your normally would gently wrap your ends (putting your hair in a bun makes this easier) with a plastic cap for 30 minutes to an hour.

Temmy asks:

Happy new year Temmy! Want to ask is ORS Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion a water-based moisturizer? Also if a product’s ingredients contains “AQUA” as one of its ingredient does it mean its water-based? Thanks

Happy New Year! Yes ORS Olive Oil MHL is a water-based. Yes again – if a moisturizer lists water as an ingredient (it’ll almost always be the first ingredient) it is a water-based moisturizer.

Jude asks:

Hi there Jen! Ever since I’ve been on my transitioning to natural journey, I’ve been having constant headaches as the tugging and pulling of the hard natural hair verses the relaxed hair hurts my head. What do you recommend because I can’t handle the headaches anymore.

Hi Jude, when you’re detangling use a conditioner that provides slip when detangling. If you have marshmallow root, you can also try making a detangling spray with it as marshmallow root is a mucilage that provides slip. Work in small sections and hold the section you’re working on securely in your hand as detangle as well. I’m very tender-headed and when I detangle, I hold the length of my hair to prevent any tugging while I comb.

Anon asks:

When you stretch your new growth with your croc clips, how long do you keep them in before you put your hair into a bun? I tried it and the croc clips left indents in my hair. In your photos, you don’t seem to have a problem with that.

I don’t have a set time, I leave them in while I detangle (on average about 45 minutes) and them take them out once I’m done.

Stacy asks:

What product(s) do you recommend as a cream for twist/braid outs for relaxed hair?

I go with whatever moisturizer I’m currently using. For more definition, I dampen my hair before applying my moisturizer, then seal with a light oil (grapeseed oil). Three of my favorite moisturizers are Pura Body Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, Silk Dreams Hair Care Mocha Silk Hair Milk, and Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme.

Theresa asks:

My hair is growing uneven, i’m currently bsl, should i cut even now or wait until my desired length, mbl, then cut evenly?

Since it’s the start of the year, give yourself cut (it doesn’t have a be a huge one) and start off with a nice, even ends. Your ends will look better and a cut will help reduce potential breakage as even ends withstand the force manipulate much better than uneven ends.

Lance asks:

I recently started texlaxing and have been using ORS no lye but it seems to leave my hair severely underprocessed and I want to try the lye version. Could you talk about your experience with the two? since the lye comes in a tub ready to use is it alright to scoop some out n use the rest later? thnx

ORS no-lye processed my hair more than ORS lye does. It also left my hair very limp. In general, no-lye relaxers are more likely to produce straighter results (which means the hair is processed more = more bond breakage in the hair to achieve straighter hair) than lye relaxers, but no-lye relaxers are gentler on the scalp. ORS lye doesn’t process my hair (less bond breakage) as much as ORS no-lye did, so it’s perfect for me because I choose to texlax my hair.

Oh yes, it’s okay not to use the whole tub of lye relaxer in one go. Use what you need to use and save the rest for another application. No-lye relaxers are the mix-and-use-once relaxers.

Vanessa writes:

First of all, Happy New Year! So happy to have found your blog. Very much enjoy your tips. I especially love how you stress ‘protect before proceeding’…. be it washing, detangling, styling. I am a faithful reader so keep the awesome tips coming! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Happy New Years! Thank you for your readership and support!!!!

Tasia J. asks:

Hi Jen, 2 things 1) I used the Organix Deep Penetrating Morrocan Oil for my heat protectant on each part I straightend and my hair was LAID to the HEAVENS!! Thanks for introducing it here! 2) I have fine hair strands similar to yours so I have to ask if you have tried pure Avocado Oil as a sealer?

Lol! I’m happy to hear you had great results with it. Suprisingly I haven’t tried avocado oil, but it’s on my HHJ bucket list 🙂

Ashley asks:

I started a healthy hair journey in June. I broke my hair off all around my edges. My stylist said it was from wearing my hair up in too many protective styles and using bobby pins. How many days in a row do you have your hair up? What advice do you have to prevent this type of breakage?

Normally 7 days in a row. Even if I wear my hair down during the day, at someone point my hair is thrown up into a bun. I LIVE in buns lol. To prevent breakage at my edges, when I pull my hair back into a ponytail (and then bun) I avoid securing the ponytail holder too tight. If my hair is flat ironed, I skip using a ponytail holder altogether and just wrap my hair around itself for my bun.

To achieve sleek edges without having to pull your hair back too lightly, use little bit of gel (like aloe vera gel or ecostyler) and tie your edges down with a scarf. You can skip the gel if you’d like and use moisturizer instead if flyaways aren’t an issue for you. Tying your hair with a scarf will help smooth out your edges, giving your buns a sleeker look without the tension.

Shauna asks:

Hi lovely! I am ridiculously sick with a cold. Do you wash your hair when you’re sick? Also, would you still air dry or do you think it’ll make my cold worse?

Hi Shauna, I hope you feel better. Yes I still wash my hair when I’m sick but I’d blow dry my hair to avoid having damp hair/cold head for hours while my hair dries.

Sana asks:

What is color rises?

Hi Sana, check out this post by Longin4Length. Ebony does a great job explaining what clear rinses are and their benefits. A color rinse has the same benefits, except it will temporarily add a bit of color to your hair.

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