What To Do When Your Hair Gets F*cked Up

As a product reviewer, there have been a few times where Izzy has straight up cussed me out and protested to what I’ve put on her. Well, this past Friday was one of those times. I used a product (which will remain nameless at the moment), that made her feel funny from the jump. I should have stopped right then, but I was trying to follow the instructions that were given to me. However, my hair felt rough and weird, tangled easily, and it seemed like products were just sitting on top of my head. It was like she was limp and poofy at the same time. I didn’t know what was wrong, and I almost began to cry because my hair very rarely acts like this. To be totally honest, I even considered giving it up and relaxing my hair, because I don’t remember my relaxed hair having such a strong reaction to a shift in products. I have my holy grails, and I know how to care for my hair. We have an understanding, so I became upset when I rinsed my hair and applied an HG, and my hair was still looking like shit. I think she is still stabilizing, but I wanted to share with you all how I “fixed” her, in case you find yourself in this position.

1. Go over your routine and most recent products used before your hair started acting up. What did you change? If you added more than one new product to your routine, like I did, go over all of the ingredients, and think back to the step where your hair started to go awry. I pH tested all of the new products I used and I think I found the culprit. For me, I thought my hair started to feel a bit weird when I conditioned my hair. Lo and behold, the pH of this conditioner is around 3! I looked at my pH strip in disbelief, and did two more tests to make sure I was being accurate. I got the same result every time. Admittedly, I am not a chemist, but I feel as if a pH of 3 is too low to use on the hair, especially if your hair is not damaged and you have not recently used a very basic solution. Like a high base product, a product that is too acidic can lift your cuticle and make your hair feel rough and more prone to tangles (ding ding).

2. GENTLY clarify your hair. Since it seems (honestly, I can’t say 100%, but this step is when I was like hmmmm when I was doing my hair) that an acidic product made Izzy mad, I clarified in the shower using Curl Junkie Daily Fix, because I did not want to use a shampoo, to potentially tangle her even more, but I did want to ensure she was getting cleaned and the products I had used were being removed – the conditioner also contained silicones, so I needed the coco betaine. P.S. I love that damn conditioner.

3. Depending on your issue, do the proper treatment to normalize your hair. With my situation, I used a strong acid on my hair, so I needed to do a treatment with a higher pH in order to stabilize my hair. I decided on a bentonite clay treatment, as the pH of the clay is around 9, and it further clarifies your hair. I added ACV to my mix (as well as honey and oils), but the pH was still around 7. I left it on for about 40 minutes, and after that, my hair already felt better – Izzy was shinier and smoother.

4. Deep condition your hair. I usually DC after a bentonite clay treatment anyway, so I broke out my trusty Curl Junkie Curl Rehab and DC’ed for 20 minutes. My hair still felt better, but I really wanted to DC for longer, but I didn’t want to spend the day doing my hair.

5. Use products you are FAMILIAR with to do your hair. This is not the time to experiment!! I used one of my HG combos to do my hair. Izzy felt and looked a lot better, but I still am very paranoid about my love!

If you are like me, and you are still not satisfied (being that my treatments were a bit hasty due to time constraints), repeat the process. Yes, bentonite clay can be drying, but if you mix it correctly and DC after, it should be fine. This time, I mixed it with my oils, honey, water (no ACV), hibiscus powder (for extra conditioning) and conditioner, and am leaving it on for a few hours. I don’t think it will dry my hair out because I added so many nourishing ingredients to it, and when I rinsed it off my hands they were soft (to me, this is a sign of how a conditioner will be on your hair). After I rinse this out, I plan to DC overnight with my KBB Luscious Locks Hair Mask.

Tomorrow I will give an update and let you know how Izzy is doing. I hope this post has been helpful to you guys, because I was really upset earlier. If you ever find yourself in this situation, CALM DOWN. Breathe. It can be fixed!!

Updated March 6, 2011

If you have seen the post I did after this one, you’ll see that my hair looks fairly normal again. However, it still feels a little funky. Also, Joe suggested using protein in order to help with any damage that may have incurred as a result of this little ordeal, so I have a couple more things to add to the list –

6. Do a Protein Treatment. However, be careful if you are doing a protein treatment that makes your hair hard, like Aphogee. It’s better to do a treatment that is also nourishing. I used my favorite protein treatment, Curl Junkie Repair Me! Also, because my hair was tangly yesterday, I detangled with the Repair Me! in, and my brush went through my hair like buttah. Yes, it also detangles. I love this treatment.

My hair feels better (and looks better), but now that I’ve done all these treatments on my hair (clarify, DC, protein…), I need a break, Which brings me to my final point…7. Leave Your Hair Alone. After I rinsed the Repair Me! I was scared to do anything that might make my hair tangle, and of course, after detangling my curl pattern was messed up. So, Izzy is back in twists, and I’m going to moisturize with my refresher sprays while she is twisted up. I just don’t feel like being scared or dealing with it right now. Sigh.


13 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Hair Gets F*cked Up

  1. Jacky says:

    ahhhh! i know exactly how you feel, cos this is the same problem i have been having since last week. I used Ohm Sweet Hair Pudding 3 times (despite feeling something was wrong after the first time) and my hair has been feeling like your Izzy. I have done 2 Repair Me treatments, 2 Deep Fix treatments and one other moisturising treatment.
    I kept my hair in twists for a couple of days, and then DCed again when i took the twists out. My hair is still feeling a bit weird so i might do the bento clay you suggested.
    Thanks for your detailed post!

    • HB says:

      Really?! Interesting that you would get that result from the Ohm SHP. 😦 I took my twists down today and Izzy seems better (moisturized and soft), but when I wash I’m definitely going to stick to products I have used before.

  2. D.Rene. says:

    I hate that you had this experience but I love that you are sharing it because we can all learn from it. I’d like to know how you’re testing the pH levels on your products?

    • HB says:

      You use pH strips to test the pH levels of products…you know, like the kind you used in chemistry. I have some in my apt.

  3. Christy says:

    Thanks girl. I just got mini two-strand twists put in so I could give my hair a break for a couple weeks. Been experimenting too much with lots of products. I really appreciate your honesty. I think we all feel this way sometimes.


  4. Bounette says:

    Hey Elle,

    You must tell who this acidic culprit was. I’m sooo curious. Hopefully I will not run into this problem but knowing me and my PJ issues it’s bound to happen. Ya know what, your the only one I have run unto that I think may be as obsessed or more with their hair as I am .Lol, loving the blog, very entertaining.’

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wait, did you REALLY think about relaxing? Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, it just shows that iy must have been bad 😦

  6. Devin says:

    I have to thank you for posting this. It made my evening. When I change just one thing in my hair routine, everything goes haywire. Which leaves me doubting this whole natural thing. But I stick it out and it flow nicely.
    So thankx for the encouragement, very helpful.

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