Throwback Thursday: My First Self-Relaxer(s).

I thought it would be fun to take you guys back to my first (second, third and fourth) attempt at relaxing my myself.  When I first started my hair journey, I spent hours on Long Hair Care Forum reading the archives.  I was mesmerized by the beautifully luscious and long relaxed heads of hair on there.  My favorite threads to read were the challenge threads because there the members shared their regimen AND showed their growth over a period of time.  And I have to admit I was completely overwhelmed with the hair regimens.  But I was willing to learn and do more, because I had been stuck at neck length for years.  I took on things that were in my comfort zone but refused to do a lot of it.  And one of those things that I was adamant that I would NOT do was relax my own hair.  I just wasn't willing to risk it all--my hair that is--especially when people are trained in school to do this.  But as the months weeks went by and I got deeper and deeper into my hair obsession journey the idea of relaxing my hair for myself seemed more and more appealing.  

Why I was interested (Pros):
- I could make sure that my scalp and previously relaxed hair was properly protected with grease.
- I could stretch as long as I wanted and patiently detangle my hair avoiding breakage.
- It is significantly cheaper.
- I'd have total control! lol.

Why I was afraid (Cons):
-burning my scalp/chemical burns.
-over processing my hair.
-under processing my hair.
-hair loss.

Some how with my scary Cons list outweighing my Pros list, I ultimately decided to give it a try.  I researched online for weeks.  I feel like I read/watched every person who had relaxed their hair themselves on Long Hair Care Forum, youtube, google, blogs...everywhere.  Ultimately it took me four relaxers (almost 7 months) to get it right.  Below you'll find the details (and pictures) showcasing my early attempts at self-relaxing:

My First Self-Relaxer: October 2009
I parted hair into 4 sections. Started at the back applying the relaxer to the crown first. Then I finished the front two sections starting with the crown again.  After 18 minutes I rinsed the back sections. Then I rinsed the front sections at the 21 minute mark.  Unfortunately because it took me longer than expected to apply the relaxer to the back sections the front half of my head only had relaxer on it for 10 minutes .:sadface:.  Even though was under processed, I successfully completed my first self-relaxer without damage and was left with straighter hair.  I was very happy with my results.  To finish it all off, I blow dried and flat ironed.  I used my Motions leave-in conditioner and Nexxus Heat Protexx.

My Second Self-Relaxer: December 2009
I don't remember what I did wrong here, but I do know that it was very under processed.  I thought I could deal with under processed roots, but after a few weeks I knew that I'd be doing a corrective once I hit 6 weeks post relaxer.

These are all "after" shots.

My Third Self-Relaxer 
(and Corrective after 6 weeks): February 2010
I did my corrective (and a happy dance) because my hair came out perfectly.  I was so ecstatic with the results that I decided I would attempt my first 16 week stretch.

These are all "after" shots.

May 2010 - My Fourth Self-Relaxer 
(after my first 16 week stretch).
I'm finally starting to get the hang of it and I'm excited about my decision to relax my own hair.  It took work (and time -- over 6 months), but I finally found my sweet spot.

How long was it before you felt comfortable self-relaxing?

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