Hair: Trimming Your Hair Using the Search & Destroy Technique

HairCutting2As black women, we don’t like to deal with those pesky split ends because once they take control, you deal with hair that is splitting so far up the shaft that it is snapping out almost to nothing.

Taking care of your ends is important, especially for those of us who where color, color cellophanes and relaxers, and just relaxers.  Trimming our hair every time we are touching up the process is key because it is what helps our hair grow.  But it doesn’t stop at keeping our scalp oiled, trimming is a huge part of it.

HairCuttingSome of us like to trim our hair at home — just don’t seem to trust some of these stylists who are scissor demons because they don’t know the difference between a cut and a trim, or just don’t want to pay the cost to have our hair trimmed at $20 – $25 a pop on top of what it cost to have our hair touched up.  Why does it cost less for a man to have his hair trimmed up and cut than it does a woman?  I’ll never understand that, but I do know that a man with long hair going in for a trim or to have his hair cut and/or shaved off is likely to spend more than usual.

HairCutSo, when you are at home and you are in need of a trim, how do you trim your hair?  What is the technique you use?  I have read up on the recommended techniques and the one I mostly identify with is the “Search & Destroy Method” only because I  tend to wear my hair straight and it is easier to manage with trimming.  The only problem is with using this  technique, it can be tiresome and if you are not patient there is the risk of your hair being uneven.  I suggest doing this when you have had a good nights rest and you don’t have anything planned in order for you to take your time, not rush through it, and do a pretty decent job to have good looking

If you are like me and you have color and a relaxer — my color is a cellophane — you may have semi-permanent hair coloring and a relaxer or just a color, a trim is healthy to maintain the life and health of your hair.  For relaxer and cellophane touch up you can get away with trimming your hair every 6 to 8 weeks.  Even 9 weeks can work but it all depends on when you have your touch up done.  If you choose to do your trim at home after your touch up, that is fine, too, as long you are protecting your ends every step of the way.

The recommended length of hair to trim is a half inch to an inch.  Anymore than that and you are pretty much cutting your hair…probably more than you wanted. Do this all the way around during the Search & Destroy process and you just may come out with a successful trim.

Hair Journey: The Hair Journey Continues

2 Year ProgressWith working with another hairdresser comes another hair challenge. Nothing new, but one that is still effective now as it was the last time I tried it when I lived in Korea Town. I recently changed our environment — cleaner air, brighter, lots of natural light, pretty much free of the indoor hazards that put our health in jeopardy. It’s is a chance to get back to healthy hair.

I was on an Argan Oil routine, but had to ease up on it because it was leaving my hair heavy and flat. I still use it, but in very little moderations. It was a suggestion my previous hair dresser told me about. She is great. I still say if you’re looking for a hairdresser in Long Beach, go to Sky’s Oasis on Anaheim. She loves to give hugs, is very spiritual, You’ll love her.

So let’s talk about the new transition. The hairdresser I am seeing now is located in Lakewood. I actually stumbled across her by accident. I was looking for some information on the internet related to growing healthy hair at a faster rate and her facebook page came up. I started scrolling through her page and discovered that she does the relaxer and cellophane combo — with color. The last time I had that was years ago before the salon location I was going to closed. So as I scrolled through her Facebook page I saw how she gave hair styles a silky smooth finish, and prefers to do cellophanes with relaxers because the cellophane conditions the hair. I did not know there were still hairdressers who were still doing the combos because that is all I used to get. I called her right away. I am now on my 2nd relaxer and cellophane combo visit, and next week will be my follow up visit #4.

When we lived in Los Angeles and hair care was apart of the budget, I was averaging anywhere from $60 – $80 per month in hair salon expenses back then. And if I scheduled an appointment for my daughter, too, then was about $140 per month.

Times have changed and there are new species of hairdressers. Where I go now, she is pretty consistent. And I like consistent when it comes to my hair. She is not scissor demon and she has me on a regular schedule of every other week just to keep the color popping, and to help me protect my ends and to keep my hair conditioned. I actually wash my hair less during the month. Just once, to be exact. I am seeing a lot of progress in the short time I have been going to her salon. New growth where there had not been in two years. It’s like my scalp woke up with an attitude.

~~ I hope you’re still reading ~~

So now I am back on the 90-day Biotin challenge. Today is day #4. I will chart my progress using the picture from 2015 to as the starting point from the hair cut I had to where I am at the next progress report. I’ll be 50 in August so I am hoping that by then my hair will be much longer, healthier, and sexier. Fingers crossed.

Hair Education: Semi-Permanent Color vs. Permanent Color and Relaxers

Talking to a professional hair stylist, she made it clear that even though we like to color our hair with relaxers, most stylist prefer to go with cellophanes with relaxers over permanent colors and most semi-permanent colors. For one, cellophanes do not contain peroxides, and can be applied at the time the relaxer is being applied, and cellophanes have a conditioning element to them.  If you want to get a permanent color, you should not have a perm or relaxer because of the chemicals and the damage that can occur if not maintained properly, even though with some hair dying products are designed to let you use a permanent color with a perm or relaxer.

If you are going to go with a permanent color with your relaxer, you have to wait approximately two weeks and one – two shampoos after getting the relaxer otherwise you risk damaging your hair if you are not careful; unless you have a professional stylist do it then you can get the conditioning treatment necessary to prevent damage to your hair.

Clairol’s Relaxed Hair Solution provides answers to the questions about dying your hair with a relaxer.  Where they mention waiting one week and at least one shampoo, I say two weeks and at least two shampoos because you are giving yourself enough time before considering to dye it.  Their site exemplifies what I have been saying about the subject.  However, they touch on aspects I have not touched on such as neutralizing off tones after a relaxer and when relaxed, color treated hair appears dull and dry.  These are interesting facts you should

I have read articles that recommend relaxer touchups at 4 times a year — more or less, rather than the traditional 6-8 weeks up keep. And they recommend co-washing (using condition only). I have asked about these recommendations and what I’ve been told is they are not beneficial when you have a relaxer and/or color. In fact, co-washing can dry out the hair. Yep, that’s what I was told. Because with a relaxer, you have to keep your hair washed and conditioned, and treated with light oils, and you must wrap it every night. Same with having a permanent color or even a semi-permanent color. You have to use products to keep your hair healthy.

Cellophanes are considered treatments. As stated by my stylist and in some articles I read. It helps the relaxer look smooth and silky, an for me it protects against tough whether, and aids in the growth of my hair. But remember, regular appointments with your stylist are important to help maintain your hair. This includes, trims, any color touch up required, shampoo and conditioning, and any protein treatment your stylist may recommend.

Ideally you can color your hair the same day you relax it on the same day it is preferable that you do it with a semi-permanent color or a rinse.  The reason you should color your hair after a relaxer is that with a semi-permanent or a rinse, the color will wash out with the relaxer.  It is recommended have it professionally done if you are unsure about the process.

In closing, although you can use a permanent color on your hair with a relaxer, consult with a professional stylist before doing so in order to find out the pros and cons. Semi-permanent and rinses are best, and cellophanes are better with relaxers.

Updated March 5, 2017

Hair & Beauty: Color and Healthy Hair Makes You Look Youthful

hair-02-18-17-9I spent the last few weeks contemplating if whether or not I was going to get my hair done.  I’d been putting it off specifically because my husband’s been ill, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my hair up to this point.  My stylist is good, the one I’d been going to the last four months, but I was in need of something more and I grew frustrated with the way my hair had been looking, even though I was happy with the fact that it is showing signs of growing.

My gray hair was unruly and out of control and — to be honest — it was starting to get on my nerves.  I’d done everything I could to keep it under control and to keep it from looking scabby.  Argan oil is good but up to a point then it starts to weigh my hair down, it looks limp, and it builds up.  I don’t know if anyone else has had this problem or feels this way.

So after trying to decide if whether or not I was going to get my hair done, I decided that — with a relaxer — I had better not put it off any longer.  With a relaxer the up keep is important.  Once you go beyond the time period of needing to have it touched up, the hair starts to behave abnormally and unless you are transitioning from a relaxer to natural, you will experience some breakage, split ends, and other damaging affects.

One night I was looking for something else on the internet — something about a product a family friend told me about, and articles on how to grow black hair.  I stumbled across Tracy’s Blessed Hands Hair Salon, located in Lakewood, CA.  I gave her a call and she agreed to schedule me an appointment for a relaxer touch up and cellophane.  Initially I wanted a clear cellophane only because my husband likes my gray hair.

hair-02-18-17-11I met with her, and she did my hair.  Of course when she mentioned she had colors and started throwing out different colors, she mentioned she had a wine color, which I lit right up and before I realized it, I asked for the wine color, and before I knew it, the results afterwards were astonishing.  I had forgotten what it felt like to have a cellophane with my relaxer, and to sit under the dryer, have a chance to read through a hair magazine, talk to my daughter on instant messenger, and even catch a few Z’s.

While I was there, she reiterated the importance of keeping my hair up with the relaxer and cellophane.  The cellophane helps the hair look healthier with a relaxer, and recommended getting on a regular schedule so she could help me maintain it and to help my hair grow (look healthier by the time of my 50th birthday in August this year).

If you are going to wear a relaxer, a cellophane is the best choice — according to Tracy at the salon today.  It does not contain any peroxide, and it is semi-permanent, washes out over time, and it is  not harmful to your hair if you follow the instruction doing it at home, or if you have a stylist do it.  It is safe to do at the time of getting a relaxer.  I like them because they protect my hair against tough weather.

Back in the day I would get cinnamon, wine and clear cellophanes.  Since I can safely wear color with my relaxers, I think I am back to my colors.  And at $20 extra in addition to the cost of a relaxer, that is really not that bad.

hair-02-18-17-4So, the length of my hair is really getting there.  She cleaned up the edges at the sides of my hair, slipped my bangs just enough to even them up — nothing to where I became ragingly mad.  In fact, I had trimmed up my hair last weekend because I am still nervous about anyone trimming my hair again.  But after meeting Tracy today and hearing about how she feels about healthy hair, I think I can trust her to trim my hair.

I am on a regular schedule of every 2 weeks.  This is ideal because I will fully see the results of my hair getting back to being healthy.  However, I am not sure if I want to use Keranique on my hair now with the cellophane.  I read that clarifying shampoo can make semi-permanent colors and rinses wash out faster, so I will need to check and see if Keranique is a clarifying shampoo or not.

hair-02-18-17-13Already I feel like I am younger.  There is nothing like having color in your hair that takes off a few years.  My daughter says I look like I am 35, but that’s before I had the color put in.

I feel good about the decision to get my hair done by Tracy’s Blessed Hands Hair Salon.  She represents everything I look for in a stylist.  Don’t get me wrong, Sky’s Hair Salon is good, but after visiting Tray’s Facebook page, I was convinced that I was missing that one extra touch in healthy hair care.  It’s not just about Argan Oil.

My appointment was at 9:00 am…I was out by just after 11:00.  And like I said, the results were astonishing.  I can’t remember the last time I felt this good amazing about my hair.  What this means is, my hair will grow at a faster rate because Tracy added the elements I needed to really stimulate growth back into my hair.  She said something that really stuck out with me, “I like my clients’ hair to look good,” and “I like to do good work.”  She also said that there is something about healthy looking hair, it adds youth.  And she’s right.  Throw in some color, some makeup, some nice clothes, and you’ve got a whole new attitude.

I liked my gray, but I was starting to look washed out.  The color is a nice touch as I head down that road to being 50 in 6 months.

It was just my first visit.  So only time will tell if I will make her my permanent stylist going forward.  I need consistency.

Keranique: Week Six, Healthy Hair on the Horizon

Still using the Keranique shampoo and conditioner and so far it is what the testimonials have said.  To date I have not experienced any shedding, and the results were really noticeable within the first few weeks.  The key is you have to use it long enough in order to really get the full effects.  I wasn’t going to do a progress update but I wanted to report on how well my hair has been doing.

hair-01-15-17Here I am in week 3 of using the product. Now I normally wash my hair every 7 to 14 days, but since using Keranique, I wash it regularly to keep my scalp from getting dry and to avoid product building up from other oils like my Finisheen and argan oil.

I don’t use Keratin because for some reason, my hair just doesn’t like it.  Breaks it off and my bangs are really affected by it.

I tie my hair every night.  Using this product it is really recommended.  I use a satin scarf.  And styling time has not really changed that much, except I don’t flat iron my hair every day like I used to.  In fact, sometimes I can go without flat ironing it.  I don’t wrap my hair too often, only because it doesn’t fall like it should because m hair is not that long, but I am happy with the overall results so far.

hair-02-02-17Now, here, this is in my 6th week. The left side is really taking shape.  And I actually got a compliment the other day when I was at the gas station.  How cool is that.

A few weeks ago I trimmed up the ends to keep them from looking raggedy because my hair is growing so it’s important to not let the ends get out of control.  I use coconut oil lightly on the ends.

Since using the product my hair holds its shine a lot longer, has a really nice bounce and responds to a trim.

I came across a stylist located in Lakewood who does a relaxer and cellophane combination which is has been my favorite since I saw how well they helped my hair grow, maintain its shine.  I contacted the stylist to see how much she charges for the combination because I like the cellophane treatment because for me, they help protect against different types of weather conditions like hot and humid days, windy days, and cold and chilly days.

I was told that you can use the product with having a relaxer, and so far I have experienced no problems.  The key to using Keranique is you have to use it regularly for 16 weeks.  I have ten weeks left before I can really tell where I am with using it.  I want to stock up on and use in conjunction with getting my relaxer touch ups.  I use cocoa butter on my ends lightly and I try to protect them as much as possible.

Hair7-22-14This is my ultimate goal!!!  This is what the hard work is for. Getting back to this and having my husband rub his hands through my hair.

I miss having my hair this long and even longer.  When I meet with Tracy in a couple weeks.

I am a little nervous about her wanting to trim my hair only because of what I went through in the last couple of years and I don’t want it cut any shorter or my husband will have a conniption fit.  We are over the short hair thing.

In short, the progress is going well.  I am on the road to having healthy hair.  It’s been a lot of work, but with the most recent stylists I have come into contact with, I am fortunate that they listen and focus on what the clients concerns are and what the client wants.

I will report back after I have met with Tracy to give an update on the status of my meeting with Tracy.



Hair Sense: Hair Dying vs. Relaxers

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker after work about hair coloring.  She was debating if whether or not to change her hair color or stay with the same shade and just do her roots.  Her color options were nice and very complimenting, but what she told me afterwards let me know that she had more hair education than I realized.

It had been over a year since she relaxed her hair.  She chose to go with hair coloring over relaxers because she wanted to go with the more permanent coloring than semi, and did not want to pay the high salon price of $150.  My previous stylist wanted to charge me $180 to do my daughter’s whole head.

She tried the semi-permanent colors but I could tell she was not too happy with that.  And doing a permanent hair color with a relaxer left her feeling unsure about the whole idea.  So, she decided to forego getting relaxers to enjoy self-coloring her hair herself, leaving her to feel more comfortable and more free without the risk of damaging her hair, plus it saved her $110.

I think she made a good choice in her decision.  It shows she did her research, thought the process through and made an educated choice, one which not many choose to do.  Although there are products that allow you to color your hair while wearing a relaxer, the risks are far more greater, especially if you are new to the process. Too, there are not that many hair colors on the market that allow for a dual process of coloring and relaxers.  You have to take it step by step and really pay attention to the directions.  With a relaxer you have to wait 2 – 3 weeks.  Cellophanes allow you to color your hair immediately after having a relaxer performed — this is because it is a semi-color that washes out after 8 – 12  shampoos.

In the end, I found our conversation refreshing.  I am glad someone has made a good choice about coloring her hair vs. relaxers.

Hair Care: Cellophanes & Relaxers

It’s been several years since I had a cellophane.  I used to get the clear cellophane whenever I would get my relaxer touch up.  On occasion I would get a couple of colors like the Richa Amber and Bordeaux colors by Adore, which were my favorite, or Wine and Black Cherry by Jazzing.  But over the years of me getting them either financial situations changed that I couldn’t get them with my relaxer or I did it at home, or because hair stylists started charging extra when I used to get them included in the price at no additional charge.


Adore Color Swatch


Jazzing Color Swatch

Either way, you don’t hear about cellophanes as much nowadays with the many alternatives there are.  Even though they are much safer to use on the same day as getting a relaxer, and it is a treatment that many articles will tell you it is ammonia free and seals in the cuticles layers and can help counter the porosity caused by the relaxer.

The one thing you want to keep in mind is that if your hair is over saturated with chemicals you will want to consult a hair expert before considering to use a cellophane on your hair.  There is the risk of adding more damage to where damage is not needed.  A hair professional can guide you in whether or not a cellophane is the best route to go and may provide other suggestions.

Generally a cellophane can be applied after the relaxer treatment has been performed.  I like them because the are good protectants during harsh and warm weather.  They were considered a 2-in-1 service, but I am afraid it is almost impossible to get that type of service without an additional charge.  It deposits substance and shine for the hair that rinses out over time.  But if you use hard shampoos and conditioners, clarifying shampoos or other hard cleansers, it can make it wash out much sooner.

If you want a top of the line cellophane, Sebastian has quality colors, but not the colors that were my favorite.  They have the Cranberry Red, which I really like.


Sebastian Color Swatch

It is on the pricey side, but it pretty much provides the same elements as Adore and Jazzing.

The shine quality of cellophanes makes your hair look healthy and washes out after 8 – 12 shampoos. And because they are a semi-permanent (or demi-permanent as some are referred to), they are said to be better for your hair especially if you wear a relaxer.  But again, if you are unsure, you should ask a hair care professional rather than assume.  If you choose to use cellophanes, it is best to keep that regimen going.  If you choose another option, think about what the consequences can be going back and forth without getting professional consulting.

Keranique: Week Two, Seeing the Difference


Week two — there’s no shedding, the softness is nice.  I can’t use the lift spray because of the Keratin.  I don’t know what it is but my hair just does not like Keratin. So I just used the shampoo and conditioner.  I have been drinking plenty of water and taking my biotin.

Ok. This is my last progress report for the next two weeks.  I’ll report back then on where I and if I am going to continue using it.

Keranique: Week One, the Trial Begins

Hi all of my hairlistas out there.  So, I picked up my package today.  My Keranique . I admit I was a little excited to receive it. I didn’t know what to expect. All I know is I am tired of dealing with my hair like it is. The growth process has been so slow this time around that I was losing hope and needed to resort to drastic measures. So, after seeing the Keranique commercials I decided it was now or never.  This was my drastic decision.

Ok, so here is my first night trying out the Keranique system.  I took the first picture right after I washed my hair and blow dried it.  I wanted to give you an idea of what my hair looks like pre-straightened out.  The second picture I took shortly after I finished straightening out.


The shampoo, in my opinion, is a deep cleaning shampoo because I didn’t wash 4 times like I usually do with my Dove and a little does go a long way. The conditioner leaves your scalp with a tingly sensation. I left it on 5 minutes while I showered and my scalp tingled the whole time. I used the hair spray afterwards then partly blow dried it then spritzed my scalp with the minoxidil in the areas the had the most problems (i.e. all of my bangs area, the left side, the back, parts of the right side). This has to be done twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night.

I did not use any oil on my scalp. If I do it will only be coconut oil. I applied a light oil spray to my ends because one if the things they emphasize is protecting your ends. And you must wrap your hair regularly at night.

After I washed my hair right away I could tell it had a different texture and it defined all the areas I had new growth. And after I smoothed my hair out it had a really nice sheen, bounce, and volume and I could really see the length.


This is my goal.  To get back and go beyond where I was in April 2015.  It’s all about dedication to the cause and not give up.  Stick with the program. Eat right, drink plenty of water, take my biotin vitamin, exercise, and just keep working on getting my hair healthy.

My next appointment is on Jan. 14.  I plan on doing my usual…getting a wash, deep condition, and probably add a light trim to kick start my hair in to really growing while using the Keranique system.

Ok. This is just week one of 16 weeks. They recommend using the system for 16 weeks for best results. My trial ends 01/29/17. I will know in less than a few short weeks if I will continue the system or not. Stay tuned as I chart my progress.

If you are in the market for a hair system that works for your hair because you want your hair back, you want to fight hair loss, repair hair damage, there are different hair systems and programs out there.  The key is to find one that works for you.  Do all your research, ask questions, talk to your physician, and make sure you make the right decision.

Clubs may seem the route to go, but you have to take into consideration cost and time.  Whereas a system you can use at home may be more preferable.  Shop around before making a decision.  And if Keranique is right for you, then by all means go for it.

Hair Care: How to Make Black Hair Grow When It Is Permed

Growing hair when it is permed is not rocket science.  It comes with some know how, dedication, and determination to maintain healthy hair while wearing a relaxer.  Today I did some browsing around the internet to see if I could find some solid, concrete information on how to make black hair grow while wearing relaxer.  Come on, ladies, I know many of you have had this same question if you are new to relaxers and are concerned about the upkeep.

I found an article on Live Strong that provides simple and basic, but to the point information on how to keep hair growing through wearing a relaxer.  And it is nothing short of what professional and renowned stylists will tell you.

The article “How to Make Black Hair Grow When It Is Permed” should be considered as a guide to follow.  Although wearing permed hair is more management to many of us, there are major factors to consider.  I also read that is preferable to retouch relaxers 8 – 10 weeks rather than the 6 – 8 weeks that many have recommended, and I have lived by.  In fact, I agree with the recommendation of getting relaxer touch up every 8 – 10 weeks. Some professionals (or experts, if you will) will prefer you get them no more than 3 – 5 times a year.  NOT!!!  Come on, let’s be real here.  Keep in mind that between relaxer touch ups, this is a period where extreme and precise hair care is important to avoid split ends, hair breakage, and a dry scalp.  Protecting your ends when wrapping your hair is a big step in hair.  I prefer to use coconut oil.  And in extreme cases of dry scalp, I use my medicated Sulfur 8.

The best recommendation I received was about a year ago when a stylist told me to get protein treatments between touch ups.  Now, that is a recommendation I can keep in mind as I am back on this relaxer journey.  But how will a protein treatment work with using Keranique?  That is a question for my product specialist which I will contact to obtain advice.

In short, I recommend this article for everyone who is new to permed/relaxed hair and has questions about the upkeep.

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