Thursday, September 27, 2007

Straighten It Out

Ms. New Beauty puts a lot of effort into the writing process of reviewing and raving about beauty products here. It typically starts with her trying the product thoroughly, deciding whether she loves it or not, and then figuring out the best way to present that information here. Naturally, the first two steps come rather easily to MNB, but sometimes it's the last one that requires the most effort. Sometimes, the words just flow right through her fingertips to the keyboard and then onto the screen. And, other times, when something is just so wonderful, it works so well, and the results are so fabulous that it completely knocks Ms. New Beauty flat on her ass and she just has to get to the review. Guess which time it is today? MNB was going to start this post with a reference to Steel Magnolias, then a quote from Dolly Parton about not trusting women who do their own hair, and then segue into the product review. But not today. No pop culture references. No anecdotes. No witty repartee. Ms. New Beauty is just diving right into this one because she's so high in love with this product she doesn't want to come down and think of an appropriate blog post intro. So, she won't.


I normally have my relaxer touched up by a professional stylist whom I completely trust. It normally takes me at least five visits getting a basic wash and curl and intently observing the stylist doing other clients' heads before I get to the point where I trust him or her to apply chemicals to my own. But since I spent most of this summer being too lazy to lazy to really look for a new stylist and chose to go to the local Dominican shop for a $20 wash and curl, I haven't found a new person I trust enough to do my touch up. I'd heard a lot about the PhytoSpecific relaxer before and since I love Phyto products, I figured I'd try this one out on myself. After all, I've been getting regular touch ups since I was 13 so I know how it's done pretty well. And, I figured, if I messed up and lost all my hair, I'd have nobody to blame but myself, so I went for it.

Ladies, trust me when I tell you, this relaxer is AMAZING!!!!! It truly is! The formula contains no harsh or irritating chemicals and is based in an egg and soya complex instead of lye. Now, I never went to "hair school" so I don't know all about the ingredients, and pH, and the rest of that. I do know that it straightened my hair gently and actually left it feeling healthier and better than before, which usually doesn't happen with chemical procedures. The best part of this relaxer is that it doesn't burn your natural curl pattern into limp and lifeless submission. It just gently eases it out a bit leaving you with soft, shiny, and bouncy hair that still has some texture. I love it because it still allows me to wear my hair wash n' go curly when I want and also roller set straight.

If you've done your own relaxer before or are familiar with the process, this kit is pretty easy to use and comes with everything you need. The basic process is the same - base your scalp, mix the relaxer, smooth it on, rinse it out. It's the after care that comes in this kit that truly stand out. Neutralizing is the most important part of relaxing because it stops the chemical from continuing to process. This Neutralizing and Cleansing shampoo has a color changing effect that makes this part so easy. When the lather is pink, there is still perm in the hair. Once it turns white, you know you've gotten everything out. The last step is to apply the Milky Restructurer conditioning cream. I don't know what's in this stuff but I am completely in love with it. I applied it and combed it through and there was barely any hair on the comb. Seriously. There were about 10 strands of hair in the comb. I lost less hair after a relaxer than I normally lose in just a regular shampooing. I already checked and Phyto doesn't sell the Milky Restructurer separate from the relaxing kit and I really wish they did. I would use this conditioner all the time because it left my hair so soft and strong.

PHYTORELAXER comes in two strengths. Index 1 is for delicate hair but works on all but the thickest, coarsest, most relaxer resistant hair. If a normal strength relaxer isn't strong enough for you, try Index 2. But, even then, I'd suggest starting with the lower strength and moving up only after you see the results.

$60, available where ever PhytoSpecific is sold.

Straighten your own hair, or bring it in and have your stylist apply it for you, but please don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!

P.S. MNB understands that relaxers and straight hair can be a hot button issue for women of color, but Ms. New Beauty is a proud graduate of the "It's Just Hair" School of Thought. So, she's not going to entertain any personal attacks or cantankerous debate about the benefits and burdens of our hair. Wear your hair the way you love it and tell anyone who wants to questions you on it, "Thank you, but I've already been raised."


Johnica said...

I've always said if I ever decided to relax I would go for the Phyto!!! Glad it worked so well. Although I probably won't make the relaxer jump anytime soon, I have adopted their conditioner and the vitamin supplements. I love them both. Thanks MNB for introducing Urban Girl to the world of Phyto :)

Anonymous said...

I have been gorwing my hair out for a yr and am about to try and start again with a texturizer as keeping the ability to wear my natural texture is important to me as it is very unique, as is my hair texture. It is very hard for me to find a stylist who truly understands my hair so this is a relief and I think i am going to definitely try it....any tips on where it might be sold?

Ms. New Beauty said...

You can definitely get PhytoSpecific at Sephora and C.O. Bigelow.

Traci said...

After nine years of my hair thinning and breaking off, I've been debating whether to start perming it again and was wondering about Phyto's system. Natural hair has been difficult for me to maintain and style. Also, it is much more expensive to have a professional in a salon take care of every two weeks. Thank you so much for this review. When I'm ready, I will definitely use this product.

Beauty Marked! said...

Thanks for this informative post. I absolutely know what you mean and appreciate all the guinea pigging that is involved.

Anonymous said...

This relaxer isn't that great. I've tried it and it's no different any other relaxer I've tried. I don't see what the big deal is...maybe the price tag and name? said...

It's a no-lye relaxer so it wont straighten the hair as well as lye but it will also be much easier on the scalp.

Have you tried Affirm's FiberGuard relaxer?

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