Featured Members Relaxed Hair Care Relaxed Hair Journey

Featured Member: Sdestra’s Hair Journey

Check out Thirsty Roots Member Sdestra’s relaxed hair journey and interview. Sdestra shows how with proper care, relaxed hair can be healthy, long, and beautiful. We asked her about relaxed hair care, styling, and must have products based on her personal experience and regimen. Sdestra is loving her thirsty roots by caring for them and keeping them healthy in its current relaxed state. Also, she has documented her journey through great pictures to help her along the way and to share with others.

sock bun and french braid

Sock Bun with Flower (2009) and French Braid (2011)

relaxed hair care

After a fresh relaxer and after a wrapped hair take down (January 2012)

TR: Tell us about your hair journey. How it started? What are your goals?

Sdestra: Prior to starting my hair journey, I was Arm Pit Length (APL); at the time I was not familiar with the hair terms. I was bored with my hair and decided to get a short hair cut that was considered Ear Length (EL). A while later, my sister in law told me about a photo sharing site where so many women documented their hair journeys. I was immediately interested, familiarized myself with information that would be vital to my hair journey and set realistic hair goals for myself.  My goal from the beginning was to have long hair “again”.  Seeing women with beautiful long hair in all different textures also made me wish I had never cut my hair in the first place because I knew my hair would have reached a particular length in less time.  But over time, I decided that healthy hair is more important than anything else which I found to be very true.  Noticing the generous compliments I’ve seen people received with hair in all lengths, I noticed that the common thing with all of the women were that their hair were all HEALTHY.  So that became my goal, to have healthy hair throughout my hair journey.

TR: How long have you’ve been relaxed?

Sdestra: I have been relaxed since I was much, much younger.  I can say when I was about to graduated middle school and ready to start high school.  I never asked my mother to relax my hair,  but she decided to do it to make it “easier” for her to deal with my hair.  She cared for my hair for many years even during my pre-relaxed days. I don’t recall experiencing much damage under her care.

TR: How long is your current hair length?

Sdestra: My hair length is currently at Bra Strap Length (BSL).  I have kept it that way for the past year to rid of the colored hair I did about two years ago.  I felt as though I had to give my hair extra care because of it, so again, health was more important to me.  To keep my hair healthy as possible,  I decided to clip my ends from time to time and maintain it at BSL for now.  I may continue it into this year also since I have a few inches of color to rid of.

TR: How long did it take you to grow your hair?

Sdestra: I started my hair journey at the end of 2007.    My hair is not at the length it would be now had I never cut it, trimmed it, colored, and experienced postpartum hair shedding throughout the years.  If I never did do these things, my hair may or may not be in it’s healthy state right now. Otherwise, for the time I have been taking care of my hair myself, I can say that it is healthy.

TR: What is your current hair regimen and the products you use?


  • Relax 12-16 weeks – Fabulaxer No Lye Mild Relaxer
  • Shampoo every other week –  Crème of Nature Conditioning Shampoo
  • Deep Conditioning once a week – Creme of Nature Nourishing Conditioner & 100% Organic Extra virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO)
  • Cowashes are done 1-2 times a week – VO5 Moisture Milks Moisturizing Conditioner, Suave Conditioner or Aussie Moist Conditioner & 100% Organic EVCO
  • Protein treatments are done as needed – Eggs and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Leave Ins afterwash: Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave In Conditioner, ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer
  • Moisturizers – Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Leave In conditioner, Shea butter mix (100% Shea Butter, EVCO and Haitian Black Castor Oil
  • Air dry 90% of the time and a lot of protective styling (Sock bun, Braid outs, French braids, ponytail, rod sets)
  • Flat iron is done rarely.  Sometimes the hair is air dried to 90% and then blow dried before styling.

TR: What tips can you give to other women who relax their hair?

Sdestra: Be sure to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize!  Try to use heat as less as often, especially direct heat such as a flat iron.  Stay with what works for you, you may already have wonderful products.  Give products time to show you what it can do for your hair.  That would help you avoiding becoming a product junkie.  Use your hair hair regimen as a guide, don’t let it enslave you.  Building your regimen starting with the basic items such as a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in and moisturizer will help you get started.  From there, you can build your regimen with additional products as needed.  Set realistic goals for yourself when it comes to where you want your hair to be.  Do your research too, sometimes what works for someone who has beautiful hair may not work for you at all.

TR: How do you deal with new growth in between relaxer applications?

Sdestra: Between relaxer applications, I stretch my hair between 12-16 weeks.  What has helped me deal with the new growth (NG) is to moisturize my scalp with oils and cowash often.  I section my hair into six sections and detangle each of those sections using conditioner.  I wash my hair, air dry, and sometimes blow dry it that way too.  It helps so my hair does not get re-tangled as much.

TR: What are your go to styles?

Sdestra: My go to styles are the french braid, flexi rod set and bun.  So easy and simple.  Benefits of those styles are that I can moisturize my ends and have them tucked in.  Once in a while when I do a flexi rod set, I can manipulate it to pizzazz it up and style it in various ways.

TR: What are your must have hair products, accessories, and styling tools?

Sdestra: My must have hair products: EVCO, Shea butter, and any moisturizing conditioner
Accessories: Hair pins, flowers, sock bun and hair bands
Styling tools: Denman brush, Flexi- rods, Caruso rollers, flat iron, hair dryer (hooded and blow dry)

TR: What do you love most about your “thirsty roots”?

Sdestra: What I love most about my thirsty roots is that I can be simple or extravagant with it.

TR: Anything else you may want to add?

Sdestra: Everything does not work for everyone, that is why it is important to do your own research when it comes to your hair care needs.  Worry about the health of your hair first and the rest will follow.  It is not the length of the hair that makes it beautiful, it is the over all health.  Healthy hair will always turn heads at any length.

You can find Sdestra on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr:




Facebook (profile page):http://www.facebook.com/SdestraHairJourney

Facebook (fan page):http://www.facebook.com/HairJourneySdestra(New)

Website:http://sdestrahairjourney.blogspot.com(Blog – New)

To see more of Sdestra’s hair journey pictures, hair talk with her, and meet other members, join the Thirsty Roots Community.

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About the author

thirsty roots®

Our goal is to share the beauty of Afro-textured hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair it's still black hair and it's beautiful.


  • Very inspirational vid. Beautiful hair. I really like at the end how it says healthy hair first. That’s so true. That’s what I been saying for a long time. Now if you can do it, I know I can. With my arm pit length, I’m trying to reach bra strap. So keep doing your thing.

  • Just read through your hair journey & I agree: very inspirational! Sometimes I want go Natural, as is the trend around me, but I REALLY love the beauty in straight hair (so I usually relax my hair). This info will definitely help me decide on a hair type & to treat my hair accordingly. I, too, hope to reach the health/length/beauty that your hair has!

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