Sunday, May 31, 2009
Hair Repair Journey
As you may remember from a couple posts ago, I completely and utterly obliterated my hair's healthy status by trying to bleach out henna. For those of you who don't know, henna is a vegetable dye that is beyond permanent. It took me 4 bleach sessions to get most of it out. Then I recolored. Bad news. My hair wouldn't dry, felt spongy (like cotton candy to the person who ultimately cut inches off in a bid to get it workable) and stretched for miles (okay inches). Hair that is healthy and has the right moisture/protein balance is supposed to stretch (I believe) 20% then return to normal. My hair, I'm not kidding, stretched 5 inches. I'm not even sure my hair is 5 inches long anymore!
I have to straighten, but that was another subject on another post, so we won't rehash my woes of destroying my curls along with my hair.
My sister has two friends who are cosmetologists and I figured I would talk to them to see what I might be able to do to rehabilitate my hair and/or return my curls to a semblance of their former glory. They recommended Joico KPak Reconstructor. I had already tried it. Little to no change. Then they suggested a reconstructor in a little glass vial from a beauty supply (I looked at the ingredients and didn't see any protein, but it promised to have it). It was obviously written in a different language first and had a poor translator. I instructed readers to apply the liquid (really thin like water, but kind of chemical smelling) to the double ends (took me a while, so I'll save you the pain...they meant split ends) first and friction (rub) the liquid in, then start applying up the hair. I did and just let it dry on my hair, though I think technically you're supposed to leave on for like 20 minutes then rinse out. When I next washed my hair, it was feeling better, but still not great.
So then I turned to my beloved people from www.naturallycurly.com. Seriously, I don't know why I bother elsewhere, though I admit the cosmetology consult was probably a good idea in theory. Too bad my hair is beyond the restorative properties of mainstream beauty lines. I posted a question on how to try and repair the hair until it grows out, stop the breakage and stop the horrendous dry time as well as the stretch factor. Wonderful people! I love you! It was suggested (I believe by RedCelticCurls) that I try the Aphogee protein treatment from Sally's.
There are a few of these treatments. There is the 2 minute protein treatment, and what I call the long-term protein treatment. I jumped. I purchased two packets of the treatment with following moisture treatment, washed my hair, conditioned, towel dried, then applied the protein treatment. The instructions tell you to use heat (I had my trusty soft bonnet dryer handy next to the computer) and warn you that your hair will dry hard. I sat with my soft bonnet on for approximately 45 minutes because I was so absorbed in what I was doing. My hair might have been dry at 30, I can't remember.
Taking the bonnet off was a challenge because my hair really was rock hard. Like someone had put epoxy glue in my hair. Usually when the hair is hard, you can work with the hair and break it up a little...not this stuff! I was afraid if I manipulated the hair, it would break off, that's how hard this stuff dried!
I'm a lazy person by nature lately, so I dinked around the house with my helmut head before heading up to shower, rinse off the helmut, etc. I got in the shower and spent a good 10 minutes working the treatment out of my hair. I used a mixture of a slight bit of shampoo and conditioner to "cleanse" the extra protein hardness out of my hair, then followed with the moisture treatment attached in the packet. I must say...I'm none too impressed with it. I would have preferred my Biolage Conditioning Balm. I washed, shaved my legs, rinsed, then rinsed out my hair. I squoze (probably not a word, but who cares?) out the excess water, put my hair up in a towel to soak up the extra water and dried off. I got dressed, took down my hair, applied some Redken Extreme Anti-Snap leave-in and combed through, then left it to air dry again.
It's still a long way from being okay, but the body seems to be coming back and hopefully in time the curls will, too. I gave up the protein for the next shower session in lieu of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner mixed with some Biolage Conditioning Balm. Again, I let it air dry because I'm not going anywhere and don't have anybody to impress. The ends are still frizzy and like cotton candy, but it's on it's way. Hopefully after a few more treatments and lots of TLC, the hair might recover a might!