I am not in the 4's catergory (at least I don't think so--haven't seen a really good amount of my natural hair in so long) but I wanted to join in on this post because in the last few years my hair started to retain curl after a relaxer. At first I was in a panic about this but now it's cute and I want to embrace it.

My biggest challenge is getting my hair to grow longer---I want long curly hair!

My hair seems to grow quick, especially on the front and the sides (I am always complaining that my haircuts lose shape cause of this), but I am the type who's ends always seems to split no matter what so I am going to see if I can retain length by not flat-ironing.

Anyway, right now my one stylist (I go to two diff. hair salon--one for chemical treatments one for cuts) has used Mizani Butter Blend for my last three relaxers. She says I am less red and irritated than before when she had Vitale Tender Head. She said the two chemicals are very similar.

She doesn't leave it on that long at all, and I only do new growth, but now I'm worried I can't remember if she rubs some kind of protector on the rest of my hair. I think so. It just begins to sting (really only in places I've scratched) when we wash it out. She basically puts it on, maybe smooths a bit, and then we condition,shampoo, etc.

AfroQueen, I'm also going to try to get her to do the part that gets the straightest at the end so we can even it out (left side-front and side section). But I am always afraid to be too demanding of anyone who is putting chemicals on my hair--I'm afraid of them being vindictive Sometimes I feel like the other women in that salon look at me funny

I also only go about 4 or so times a year (Feb/March, June, Sept, Thanksgiving) If I wait just a LITTLE TOO LONG (usually cause I don't have the money the week I need one) my hair is a nightmare. I hope I can recognize when it is time to go since I won't be flat-ironing. I should be able to tell if shower combing is difficult.

Whoa, I really went on and on!