I was recently asked why it seems to be taking me a long time to reach my hair length goals. A very valid question since I have been on my hair journey since 2009. Shouldn’t I be further along (lengthwise) by now? I also receive several emails per week asking why I don’t stretch my relaxers beyond 12 weeks, why I don’t texlax and if I think those things are necessary. I am not at all offended by your asking, that’s why I’m here right? To share my hair experiences and things I have learned along the way.
In many ways I follow a lot of the hair “rules” – I don’t use direct heat frequently, I use a sulfate free shampoo and deep condition weekly and I moisturize and seal my hair. That is my basic regimen and it has proven to work, not just for me, but for others as well. I’ve actually received emails from women who started their hair journey after discovering L4L and their hair is now longer than mine! However, that is about where my compliance stops. In many other ways, I am a healthy hair rebel.
First of all, I don’t want to texlax right now. Texlaxing for those who are unfamiliar with the term refers to when a person uses a relaxer to only mildly loosen their natural texture, either by applying it for less than the normal suggested time, or preventing it from penetrating your hair by mixing oils or conditioner into either the relaxer creme itself or your hair. The result is hair that is straighter than your natural texture – the hair is still relaxed – but more texture than if the relaxer was allowed to process normally for the full time. Now that we all understand the term – it is often suggested that texlaxing is a means to retain more length because it is gentler on the hair. There is no evidence of this though, there are as many ladies who relaxed bone straight and grew their hair long as those who texlax. However, a more compelling reason ladies choose to texlax is to give their hair more thickness. I have yet to see one woman who texlaxes their hair NOT state this as a reason – if not the primary one. So, with these benefits, why on earth don’t I want to texlax? Because everyone I see who texlaxes uses direct heat more frequently than I do. On their roots after rollersetting, blow drying to smooth, flat ironing for straightness. I do not LIKE to use direct heat. Not just because of its potentially damaging effects but because I prefer my hair rollerset. I am better at setting my hair than I am flat ironing it. Blow drying takes WAY longer than my faux-air drying method takes. I hate pin straight flat ironed hair. Blame it on my Jersey roots where rollerwraps, aka doobies, reign supreme but I just prefer rollersetting. Now, to see some awesome texlaxed hair check out Jeni of JustGrowAlready.com and Traycee of KISS.
Secondly, I refuse to protective style for the sake of length retention. More than most healthy hair bloggers, I change my style up. There are some You Tubers who change their styles often as well, but many of them are not concerned about their hair’s health or growing their hair long. If you’ve been following L4L for any period of time, or even just clicked around a bit – you know I like to do it all with my hair. Wigs, weaves, clip-ins, phony ponys, bantu knots, twist outs, braid outs, updos, down-dos, buns, bangs, slicked up, fluffed out…hair truly is MY ultimate accessory. Now again, with that being said, whenever I do feel like protective styling (like now), I run with it. But only because that’s how I want to wear my hair, not because I’m in an imaginary race against time to grow my hair long as quickly as possible. Actually wearing, styling and ENJOYING my hair is what makes me happiest! Now, if I had protective styled nonstop, I’m sure I would have reached my goal already. But…the sacrifice wasn’t worth it FOR ME. Everyone is different though!
Third, I don’t like total DIY. I fought against becoming a self-relaxer tooth and nail. I still don’t trim (only dust) my own hair and I enjoy going to the salon! I like everything about it. Having my head massaged by someone else. Chatting it up with the stylist and other patrons. Being pleased when he or she spins my chair around to the mirror for the final reveal. I LIKE the salon. But yet again, with that being said…honey child….the salon doesn’t like me! I’ve had THREE HORRIBLE setbacks on my hair journey at the hands of hair dressers. So, now I do everything myself for the most part unless I’m sitting in the chair of my New Jersey trusted stylist. But I still refuse to install my own sew ins…even though I can. Ain’t nobody got time for alladat!
So, just in case you have been silently wondering…with all of this so called “hair knowledge” I seem all so willing to share with others, where are the fruits of my labor? Oh, its there. You may not remember that I started with chin and neck length hair and a horribly damaged scalp. Some may have missed my thin end escapade during which I had to chop off all of my retention in order to regain my hair’s thickness and health. And Lord knows I whined enough about the trim-turned-cut debacle from February of this year where a few inches of hair was “trimmed” taking away all my lil progress! The entire purpose of L4L is not to brag about how long, healthy or beautiful my hair is – it is to document my JOURNEY to long, healthy hair. Although I haven’t enjoyed going through the setbacks, I am so happy that I had this platform to share it with you. You have had the opportunity to experience my hair journey with me, I’ve never claimed to have all the answers. I simply have a love for hair and a small set of researching skills, and if anything I share ehlps you – I’ve done a great job!
Now, if I wanted to concentrate on JUST gaining length (which I actually do for the next 6 months) then I can certainly do that and I’m sure I’ll see the results I anticipate, but most of the time for me, although I do long 4 length…I also want to enjoy my hair too.