Normally when stretching your relaxer for 12 weeks or less, we can follow a pretty standard hair regimen: Shampoo, DC and style with minimal breakage. But for most of us when we hit 12 to 16 weeks, that’s when things start to go awry. Between the dryness, tangles and issues with styling two different hair textures, one or more of these things come in and start to cause breakage and/or end our relaxer stretch attempts. In this video I am collaborating with Jay from Relaxed Thairapy to give you tips for stretching your relaxer beyond 12 weeks. When I decided to attempt my six month stretch I kept three goals in mind when caring for my hair:
1. Keep Your Hair Moisturized
- Bi-weekly and weekly DCs may not be enough to keep your new growth moisturized. Deep condition, Steam, Conditioner Wash or Baggy more often. I aimed for intense moisturizing every 3 to 5 days. And overnight deep conditioning is a great option as well.
- Weekly shampoos are drying, do a pre-shampoo treatment to minimize dryness. Hot Oil Treatments or Deep conditioning are great options. Also, consider using a cleansing conditioner instead of a shampoo.
2. Style Your Hair to Minimize Manipulation and Blend Textures
- Opt for styles that stretch your new growth once you get a lot of new growth: roller sets, blow drying and flat ironing roots. PRO: New Growth is stretched, which makes it easy to remove shed hairs, detangle and makes your hair more manageable. CON: These style require a lot of manipulation and heat. Therefore limit how often you use these styling options. I kept this to a minimum.
- Opt for styles that add texture to the length of your hair: twist outs, braid outs, flexi rod sets, perm rod sets. PRO: These styles minimize manipulation because they can keep for days at a time. CON: They need to be redone every 3 to 5 days, which can be a difficult schedule to keep up with.
- Opt for protective styles: weaves, wigs, braids, and buns. PRO: They eliminate manipulation. They last for days or weeks at a time. CON: Protective Styles are rough on your edges, so be careful installing them.
3. Keep new growth detangled
- Finger detangle before shampooing.
- Wash Hair in loose braids or twists. 2-6 depending on the thickness of your hair. I do 3 or 4 sections.
- Don’t detangle on dry hair. Only on damp or wet hair under running water.
- Use a seamless wide tooth comb to detangle.
- Use a detangling product to help your wide tooth comb slide through your hair.
- Use your fingers to get through the tough tangles/knots.
What helps you get through a long relaxer stretch?