Monday, 22 April 2013

Dealing with setbacks

In the course of my hair journey, I have had no less than 5 setbacks. Ranging from bad relaxers to heat damage to bad products. Unfortunately, experiencing setbacks while on a healthy hair journey is very common. It is in fact the norm because a healthy hair journey is a learning process where a bit of trial and error is often required. Sometimes you learn from other people's mistakes and sometimes you have to experience it yourself to realize the lesson. When you have a setback, the important thing is to learn from it. What caused it? Was it a bad relaxer? A product that you used? Something you did or something you failed to do? Once you have figured out what caused it, determine how to prevent it from happening again. Then decide on how to address the current situation.

Several years ago, I had my roots relaxed by a random hair dresser in Lagos. When she was combing the relaxer through my new growth, she kept pulling so hard on my hair with her fine toothed rattail comb, I am convinced that she obliterated some of my hair follicles. Anyway, the result was a massive headache and enormous damage to the back of my head. I didn't want to cut all my hair off so I grew it out for several months before trimming it.


First trim

Second trim

Needless to say, that was the last time I ever went to that hair dresser. Other causes of setbacks for me include heat damage from weekly flat ironing, knotting from washing tangled hair and thinning from overlapping relaxers. 

While we are doing everything we can to avoid a setback, if you do find yourself in a situation where you have sustained damage to your hair, I suggest you take the following steps:

- Remain calm, try not to be frustrated, anxious or overly emotional
- If you are emotional, leave your hair alone. Wear a scarf, a wig, hold your hair up in a bun and take a break. Go to the movies, cook something, read a book... anything to keep you from having to deal with your hair.
- When you feel less agitated, inspect your hair to assess the damage
- Do not reach for the scissors! 
- Put your hair in a protective style for a week or two to give your hair time to recover  before making a decision on trimming. This is because sometimes your hair will recover on it's own and the trim may not be necessary or may still be necessary but not in the magnitude you thought.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no one suffers a setback but if you do let us know your experience in the comments below so we don't suffer the same fate!

Peace, love and light!


  1. You mentioned you use Macadamia Deep Repair masque. I would be super grateful if you could please do a review on it

    Also in comparison to Joico moisture recovery balm, which of the 2 do you believe gives more moisture?

    1. Hi Yinka,

      Sure, expect a review soon.

      I can't comment on the recovery balm because I have never used it. However, I find joico recovery conditioner to be very moisturizing.

  2. I'm glad you did a post on setbacks, it is most needed by me. At times I get fed up about my hair because it turns to sponge once it is wet. As in it tangles once it wet and this makes my hair break/cut in the process of combing it, even when it is fully conditioned/moisturized. The fact that my hair was thick and it got tangled easily, lead me to be relaxing it every four months with Organic Root Stimulator Relaxer. But this didn't solve the problem of tangling. Washing my kind of hair is hell for me, because when it comes to combing, there is a problem. Please kindly suggest what I can use to reduce tangling or probably a regimen to prevent my hair from tangling. At the moment I use Motions Lavish Conditioning Shampoo and VO5
    Conditioner, Organics Hair Mayonnaise Treatment
    for Damaged Hair to deep condition,
    water to moisturize, coconut oil to seal.

    1. I have problems with tangling as well. What has worked for me is to finger detangle my hair dry rather than wet. I condition my hair, wait till it is about 90% dry and then detangle in sections. Because it is freshly conditioned, it should be soft and easy to detangle. If your conditioner doesn't soften your hair then it isn't doing it's job and you should probably change it.

  3. Hi, pls help me wiv some tips to cope wiv receedin hairlines. I like it wen i see gurls wiv nice front hair

  4. Hi dear, just got to know abt ur blog today and I've read thru ur postings and am very impressed. I ve big problem with my hair ranging frm receeding front hair line, to breakages , to too soft hair. I ve used Organic Olive oil kit, but no changes. A friend said I shld use profective relaxer kit. Is profective a gud product for me. I ve decided to go on wigs now at least for 2mth or more , pls advice me I need to ve a good hair like urs

    1. Having same issues, pls help a sister. I even resorted to relaxing my hair once in 6 months..d hair don tire me really, evn planning on cutting it soon n going natural..

  5. Please I need help, my hair is a disgrace, it doesn't grow, for the past 5yrs I'v just been able to pack it a bit, everytime I relax it goes back to bein strong and rough one week later. I'v used diferent kits, same thing. What should I do. I want my hair to grow.

  6. Hi,Just found out about your Blog, I did a Big Boy complete chop in Sep,My hair is now about 2-3" long,But still natural,I decided to jazz up my look and decided to color it to Red then Blonde in the process hair bleach and permanent color has bn used,I have decided to go back to black hair to avoid futher need for color touchups, But my big issue now is My hair is soooo tough and feels frizzy, I have done all sorts of hair treament,doesn't seem to work, Pls what do u recommend cos I don't want to have to scrape it again

  7. Lush, great job! I don't intend to grow my hair pass d level it is now but please how can I keep it healthy. I'm wearing low-cut. Very low dat u can see thru my scalp. And it's coloured. I like it but it doesn't look so healthy. Pls just recommend shampoo and hair cream. Possibly do-it-self treatment at home. Thx. I await ur kind response. NB: my hair is naturally stubborn!

  8. Great post. I had a setback due to incorrect bunning and I had to cut my WL hair back to MBL. The best thing to do is learn from the mistake, fix it and move on.

  9. Luv yur hair, its sooooo beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I enjoyed reading this post as it gave me some great knowledge into a few things. Actually, I don’t even know what im talking about, just thanks for the post.

    Brazilian hair



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