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Hairstyling/Afro Hair - Loosening Curls and Dyeing

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Hi Hairman

Could I please ask for help:
I wanted to loosen my afro-kinky tough major shrinkage but airy/fine (4d) hair, not go straight but still have a natural-looking looser curl or wave but not have that very processed silky jheri curl look so much. I had tried going to a salon and explaining what I wanted. Whatever they used (don't know) left my hair frizzy-straight. For 18 months, I let it grow out ('long' enough to just tie up in one). I decided to do things myself since I understand my hair better and know what lm trying to achieve. In 2012, I tried all sorts of 'natural' loosening products e.g. bentonite clay, new options alkaline, Curlaway Chemical Free Relaxer. They loosened but not enough; hair was still stiff and curl undefined, no Ďhangí. New options seller explained that what I wanted could only be achieved on my hair type with a chemical. In Jan 2013, I gave in and got some texturiser (Just for Me). I was frightened of what happened at the salon happening and left product in for a fraction of recommended time (canít remember Ė 5 minutes maybe). It didnít have the effect I wanted so I got another kit, re-did it & left it for another 5 mins. Still not quite there. Now I felt comfortable that it wasnít going to straighten my hair I ended up re-doing this over 2 or 3 months gradually with 5/6 kits (Just for Me, Botanicals, Soft n Beautiful....) probably leaving product in for 1 hour in total at least. Did it again end of Dec 2013 leaving in for even 30 minutes. Each time product throughout whole hair. In the end I stopped as hair didnít seem to be getting any looser BUT was incredibly PARCHED. All of 2014, done no re-touching and donít seem to have any thick roots at all. I do get lots of shedding and itís crazy dry but Iím managing it with leave-in conditioners etc. Still good to have hair I can do a bit more with, more stretched permanently and that still looks pretty natural. Only when I put some curl defining stuff on it, it shows up some still very natural-looking (& not all over) curl definition (not silky all over). Iím fine with it. Itís just easier to manage.
Question is Ė to get bit more looseness & hang, dare I apply a relaxer maybe & leave for a very short time? After all the crazy stuff Iíve already done, is this just foolish; will it get even drier and all fall out? And which relaxer/how much time? And dryness, can I do anything? And for future Ė if roots eventually grow out, can I just use a relaxer straight off and leave for short time to get that looser curl going forward Ė is that just to re-growth? Thanks!

Answer
Emma,
 Firstly, and I am not dissing you at all, but although you know what you want better than the stylist, you obviously don't understand your hair any than they, otherwise you wouldn't have had to do it so many times and still not have what you want. And again, no disrespect, just a statement based on the content of your letter.
 That said, since your hair was not sufficiently relaxed with the timing used, the new growth needs more time. As for application, you can't keep applying to the processed ends each time or they will become damaged. As for which relaxer and how much time, that I can't tell you. I never recommend specific products, as each person has their preferences. For instance, Some popular relaxers that other stylists I know use, I don't like on my clients and vice versa.  It's a very personal and subjective thing. As for timing, that is based solely on the hair itself and must be gauged as it's being done. All I can tell you is if 10 minutes wasn't enough, for example, try 13 or 14 next time, testing for adequate processing.
 Ideally, I would suggest going back to a salon, if not the one you went to before and explain just what you want and your entire hair history for the past year. That way they will have a better understanding of how to proceed to achieve what you want. Even then they may need a second time to get it right, the first being an opportunity to learn how your hair reacts and processes and how well their understanding of what you want actually matches your desires. The second time they can then make any needed adjustments for a mroe accurate result.
This is what they are trained and licensed to do.
All the best to you.
Stephe (hairman)

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I have been a Licensed cosmetologist in New York state for over 26 years, and am well versed in many areas of the cosmetology and appearance enhancement profession.Specialties however, are hair colour, corrective colour and permanent waving,including the chemical and technical aspects of these services and their effects on the hair.I`m glad to consult on any problems you are having concerning your hair.If I don`t have the answer, I`ll try to get it for you.

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I've been licensed for cosmetology in New York State since 1974.I am a salon owner, and very active with the National Cosmetology Association and New York State Cosmetology Associaiton.I am one of only a few hundred people in the United States to be certi

For the field of cosmetology, to become acredited as a state educator for the New York State Education Committee or HairAmerica, you must submit to a full day exam, encompassing written exam, practical segments, lesson plans and presentations to prove our knowledge and teaching skills.The same applies for HAirAmerica.I also becam board certified as a coulourist in the same way, by submitting to a full day exam process.I am also antionally certified for cosmetology by the National Cosmetology Ass

I have received several educational awards from New York State for my educational work on a state and national level.
My web site, still under construction, in www.hairman.net

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