Doing the 'do, hair

Adventures in hair straightening

I went to the salon this past weekend and I got my hair trimmed and blow dried. It was supposed to be trimmed, blow dried and coloured, but when my stylist told me that in order to colour my lawless grey hairs, I have to use a demi-permanent colour with peroxide, I put the breaks on that.

Peroxide and I no longer mix. Earlier in the week, I was contemplating whether or not I was going to colour it because I’m really, really, really interested in trying henna. I haven’t done a henna treatment because of the amount of time it takes. My weekends are normally really busy, so doing it on a Saturday or Sunday wasn’t going to work. But now that I’m working at home permanently (yay!), I can apply the henna to my hair before I start working and leave it in for seven and a half or eight hours on a weekday before I wash it out. I’m excited about the number of things that I can do that require many hours, like deep conditioning on, lets say, a Wednesday!

Anyhow, I handed her my Country Rose Soap shampoo and headed to the back of the salon to get my hair washed. I must say, getting your scalp professionally scrubbed is heavenly. The last time I got it professionally washed was in October 2009. I forgot about how wonderful it feels to have someone work out your scalp and get it really nice and clean. I won’t wait that long again.

My scalp is in  a much better condition than it was in just a few weeks ago. That is thanks to no longer co-washing. I love co-washing – but my scalp doesn’t. I haven’t co-washed my hair in about six weeks and I haven’t had to combat any flakes or an itchy scalp. Now that the weather is warming up, I may reintroduce co-washing mid-week, but I will definitely be shampooing each week to make sure there is no build up on my scalp.

Once I was washed, my stylist sprayed my hair with Revlon Equave 2 Phase Hydro Nutritive Leave-in Conditioner. Now, I’m not a fan of liquid leave-ins, but the salon has been using this leave-in for as long as it’s been around. So, I rolled with it — I didn’t have my Giovanni leave-in with me anyway. She detangled my hair and put it into about six big twists while she started working on my mom and my sister.

Just after the wash. I think Stacey is surprised by the length of my hair. Shrinkage is serious.

About 20 minutes later, she got started again. The blow dryer came out.

I was scared.

I mean, I’ve read so much about heat damage online, I was frightened that my hair would never be the same again! What would happen if my coils and kinks never came back? I don’t think she used a heat protectant… My hands began to sweat — no lie. Thankfully, I noticed that she was using a very cool setting to dry my hair. I started to relax a little. Once she finished with the low blow dry, she turned it up. Now, I’ve had a super hot blow dry — you know the blow dry you get that scalds your ears and forehead? It wasn’t like that. It was hot, but not ridiculously hot where I was yelping.

My hair was finally straight… well, straight-ish. My hair has been loving the no-heat, low manipulation regimen that I’ve had it on, so all of this heat and manipulation had it — and me — a bit stressed. She started to trim. Now, last week, I was fretting about being in hair purgatory, so I was grateful for the trim. Not to mention, I’m still dealing with those blasted fairy knots. I’m hoping that this will help my hair look better in some of my protective styles. She didn’t take off much — maybe a half an inch or so. I was told afterward to come in every two months to get a trim.

Half way through the blow dry process...

Now, I’ve read a lot about not trimming. Some people online say if you’re not damaging your hair, you shouldn’t need to get a trim. For my head, I think I disagree. I think just by combing, brushing and styling my hair, I could be damaging my ends. So, unless I wear protective styles every day for the rest of my days, I’m going to need to cut off some ends. After the trim (my stylist cut her finger when I moved my head chitchatting with my mom, sister and sister-in-law. Sorry girl!), it was time for the flat iron.

Gasp! Heat for days! I knew what to expect — I was going to need some heat in order to straighten this hair (yes, I know there are other ways to straighten hair without heat, but honestly? That’s just a lot of manipulation without getting the really straight look I wanted), but I was fearful. At this time, I noticed how long my hair is now and guess what? I’m fully shoulder length! Woo hoo! My first hair goal reached as of May 1, 2010! She worked out the flat iron and look at what I look like:

Cut up finger and all -- but doesn't my hair look great? It's a different look for me.

All was good until my sister-in-law sent me out into the downpour which was downtown Toronto on Saturday for a shawarma. Chupse. I felt for her because she was getting micro-braids and her belly would be empty in a few hours when I was long since gone. So, because of my good heart, I ran across Yonge St. with my umbrella clasped tightly in my hands and got the darned shawarma.

When I got back, my stylist had to re-curl me. Sigh. I had to pick the rainiest Saturday of the spring to get blown out. Alas. By the time I left, it had stopped raining, but it was quite damp and humid out. I can say, I miss the ability to walk outside in the rain and not feel stressed. I stressed about the rain, the humidity, the heat (I didn’t want to sweat), the shower, washing my face, etc.

This, my friends, is too much stress, but my hair looks cute!

I have some more updates, but as you can read, this blog is getting too darned long and 24 is about to start. I gotta see what Jack Bauer is up to! I’ll tell you about the other stuff on another day!

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9 thoughts on “Adventures in hair straightening”

  1. @ Relaxed Chick – Blowouts are great, but I’m still stressed about my curl pattern still being there. What happens when I wash my hair on Friday — I think that will be henna day!!! — and the curls are gone? Lawd, I would bawl!
    @ une autre naturelle – Thanks! I’m still getting used to it. The heat thing is scary, but it is nice to see where your hair is in terms of length. Working at home is great! I’m at the office today, but I’ll be back in my home office as of tomorrow and for the rest of the week. I can’t lie, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

  2. it’s really fun to do this once in awhile, after you’ve gone natural. i find that i soon miss my curly texture though, and not having the anxiety of maintenance 🙂

    shrinkage really is amazing. someone at work on monday asked if i had cut my hair. i explained to her that it looked shorter cause of how i’d ‘styled’ it. Really it was because i had just washed it on sunday night and bumped it quickly – no setting with aloe gel. No bantu knots – and not doing that, there’s a big difference in how much your hair stretches.

  3. It’s so true — there is a HUGE difference in how much your hair stretches.

    Sigh. I have some heat damage. I’m very sad. It’s right by my left ear. That’s were my 4b (zig zag pattered) hair is and it’s extra delicate. As of an hour ago — although my hair was soaking wet, it was straight. Straighter than it was when it was relaxed. I take comfort in two things: it’s not a huge patch, so it’s easily hidden and I were a lot of twist outs, so I can hide that patch.

    It’s a lesson learned. I was worried about heat damage and I should have followed my mind about not putting any heat in my hair.

    I’m going to have to figure out a way to trim without straightening from now on. Or find a no-heat way of straightening my hair 😦

  4. Hello! I really enjoy reading your blog, it’s very helpful and it based in Toronto (I thank the Lord for that)!
    I just wanted to ask you where you got your hair done because I’ve been looking around but am still really hesitant about where I go. Last year I went to a hairdresser so I could look good for my first week of second year and wouldn’t you know I got some heat damage. I rarely use heat but I find it very helpful for trimming my hair (which I sadly very rarely do because I can’t find a hairdresser that isn’t scissor happy and won’t cut my already short hair). So yeah, if you could please tell me where you got your hair did that would be a great help!
    p.s. Your hair looked really nice.

  5. Hello, thank you for sharing your experience. I guess we all share the same anxieties when it comes to blow dryers. We’ll just have to be sure we don’t use them that often.

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