Healthy Hair Care, My Relaxed Hair, Stretching Relaxers

Making it through a long stretch.

13 weeks post relaxer
Relaxer is Ready and Waiting

Stretching your relaxer touchups is not for the faint of heart.  It will try your patience but it is worth the reward –> Thicker, Stronger, Longer, Healthier hair.

What do you mean “stretching your relaxer touchups?” Rather than getting your touchups every 6/7 weeks, extend the time in between touchups to 8 to 16 weeks.

Why would you stretch? Mainly it’s to prevent overprocessing your hair.  Typically when you get a touchup, you’ll only want to apply the relaxer to your unprocessed new growth/roots and avoid the portions of your hair that were processed with your previous relaxer.  Overprocessed hair is weak and more prone to breakage = thinner hair.   Another incentive to stretch your relaxer touchups: Cost! Think about it, if your relax your hair every 12 weeks that’s just 4 relaxers a year!   I don’t care who you are that’s money in the bank. Summary: THICKER hair, Lower Costs.

I typically relax my hair every 12 weeks.  Right now, I’m 15 weeks post relaxer with 2 more weeks until my next touchup.  When stretching my relaxers I have to pay very close attention to my hair so that I don’t experience breakage at the demarcation line (where natural hair meets the relaxed hair).  After about six weeks is when I start to notice your new growth showing and that’s when the real work begins.  Below are some tips that have helped me get through this and my previous stretches.

Helpful Tips:

  • Deep Condition (i.e. apply conditioner and let it sit on my hair for an extended period of time) at least once a week with a moisturizing conditioner.
  • Hot Oil Treatments are great for softening/detangling the new growth.  Sometimes I’ll just add the oil to my conditioner if I don’t want to go through the extra step.
  • Detangle your new growth with a wide tooth comb at least once a week.  Never use a fine tooth comb because you’ll lose enough hair to make you cry. I promise.
  • Gently detangle your hair. Be patient. 
  • Roller Setting is a great way to stretch/straighten your new growth without using too much heat on it.  (This is what I do most weeks).
  • Try hair styles that blend your new growth, like twist outs and braid outs.
  • If you’re going to wear your hair in a ponytail or bun and want your hair to lay flat in the front, do your hair the night before and wrap it in a scarf for bed.  You’ll be amazed at how effective this is.
  • If you are going to blow dry/flat iron your hair do it in small sections.  Especially when flat ironing, working with 1/4 to 1/2 inch sections will give you straighter roots. 
  • If you are going to blow dry/flat iron your hair apply tension to your roots to ensure that they straighten appropriately.  Similar to ironing clothes, you want it to be wrinkle free before you iron it straight. 
If you stretch your relaxers too, let me know what helps to get you through the stretch?
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2 thoughts on “Making it through a long stretch.

  1. Braid outs are a great way to delay relaxing. I relax 4-6 times a year and I must admit that the braid out process can be tiring but the results are always amazing, I get loads of compliments, and I don't have to tend to my hair for a week. I'll sleep in a silk bonnet to maintain the style. It's the ONLY time in my hair grooming process when I rely on hair spray.

  2. You are so right. I haven't done a braid out in a long time. I'm a few weeks away from completing my 16 week stretch and I may bring back the braid out to help me get through it. Appreciate the reminder. 🙂

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