Week 14 of My 24 Week Stretch Attempt | Avoiding Matting

I want to do my best to document this 24 week stretch attempt so that (1) if it is successful, I'll know what to do next time or (2) if it is a failure I'll be able to pin point where things went wrong.  Since I usually get stressed with my stretch around 15-17 weeks (see: this and that), I feel like now (at 14 weeks) would be a good time to start keeping track of what I am doing and to start taking steps to avoid the stress that often comes.  Up until this point I have been washing or cowashing my hair 1-2 times a week depending on whether there is buildup on my scalp.  What products I use change, but I always do some variation of a pre-poo, cleanse/co-wash, deep condition, add a leave-in and air dry.

Air drying has been great, but the reality for me is that when air drying I don't get rid of all of my shed hairs, which is why I always have trouble around weeks 15-17.  The trapped shed hairs plus all that curly/coily new growth leads me down the path to matting.  Typically the most effective way for me to get rid of all my shed hairs is to straighten my hair, but I really didn't want to do that right now.  Instead I opted for an in between option and choose to blow dry my hair.  I thought it was a nice compromise.  My hair won't get all the heat and manipulation of a blow dry/flat iron or a regular roller set, but my new growth will be stretched, my hair will be thoroughly detangled and I will get rid of a lot more shed hairs.  

This week, I used Aphogee 2-minute Reconstructor and my olive oil/castor oil mix as my pre-poo/DC for 2 hours.  I shampooed with Mizani Phormula-7 Shampoo (because I ran out of my GVP Tea Tree Shampoo), then I applied Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Treatment.  I followed the instructions on the back for "leave-in treatment," which said to apply to hair, cover with plastic cap overnight for maximum absorption.  The next morning, I created six section to work through for blow drying.  Before I detangled and blow dried each section, I sprayed the section Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Restructurizer and applied Redken Smooth Down Serum to my ends.  I blow dried on high heat using the tension method to stretch my new growth.  

(P.S. I'm in the market for a new blow dryer,  I think I've outgrown this Conair one.  Plus, for all the heat that it blows it doesn't straighten/smooth my hair as much as I would like.  Any suggestions?  I'm thinking of getting one that has a concentrator and/or a comb attachment.)

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