Healthy Hair Care, Stretching Relaxers, Tutorials

Quick Tips: New Growth

Relaxer Day (pre-relaxer, of course): 13 weeks post

Stretching relaxers may be easy for some, but just off of my most recent stretch (almost making it to 13 weeks), the struggles of dealing with my new growth are fresh on my mind.  Most people don’t let more than 6 or 8 weeks pass without getting a touch up for good reason — Breakage.  It takes patience and skill to get through a long stretch with minimal breakage.  For me, doing my hair up to 7 weeks, 6 days after the relaxer is no problem, but once I get to 8 weeks this internal alarm goes off in me and I know that it’s time to get into battle mode.  Below, you’ll find the issues I always encounter during a stretch and tips on how to get through them.

8 – 9 weeks post relaxer:
Issues: New growth is visible and is now a major player in my daily hair care routine.

My suggestion: It’s time to be extra careful when combing through the new growth.  Detangle your new growth once a week (during each wash–before and after) in small sections with a wide tooth comb only.  Never use a fine tooth comb on your new growth.  …Unless you’re flat ironing or rollersetting, which means you are only using the fine tooth comb on a very small section of hair.  And before you even get to that point: you’ve started to detangle with your fingers, then used a wide tooth comb and finally gently using the fine tooth comb to stretch your new growth for your rollerset or flat iron.

My wide tooth comb and moisturizer.

10 – 11 weeks post relaxer:
Issues: Not only are you dealing with two different hair textures, but now you’ve started to notice the unruliness and dryness of your new growth.  The hair products that work with your relaxed hair are doing nothing for your natural roots.

My suggestion: (1) Once a week – Moisturize new growth only with a heavy moisturizer (I like ones that contain glycerine).  Apply it to your roots in the same way that you would with a relaxer (Start with four large sections and make small horizontal parts applying a respectable amount of product to the new growth until you’ve gotten through your entire head of hair).  This makes certain that all of your new growth has been moisturized.  (2) Lay a scarf across your edges at night, so that your new growth lays flat the next day for you.  No product necessary.

The Result: New growth that is soft, smooth and under control.  And if it feel like it’s starting to dry up before it’s time for your next wash, simply refresh the moisturizer that’s already on your new growth with a few spritzes of water.

12 weeks post relaxer:
It’s time to prep the hair for relaxer:  use a clarifying shampoo, perform a protein treatment, deep condition, and minimize product usage.  Typically I’ll flat iron my hair to make the process of relaxing easier but because of the rollersetting challenge I am participating in, I did not this time around.  And it’s certainly possible to relax your new growth in it’s natural state just detangle properly (and gently) before proceeding to relax because you don’t want to be slowed down by surprise tangles.

For more tips on how to get through a long stretch, check out my previous post here.

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8 thoughts on “Quick Tips: New Growth

  1. Great tips! I have found that lightly flat ironing my NG the week before relaxing made the process SOO much easier!!

  2. I've become an avid 6 month stretcher of the years. Some tips I've learned is to start applying conditioner heavily towards to roots as well as ends while stretching, incorporating more protein in my weekly washing routine to strengthen the line of demarcation (I use Nexxus Aloxxi Polymedic Reconstructor every 2 weeks when stretching long term, and stretching the hair while wet or moisturized with lose twist and allowing them to dry like that to prevent tangles/knots from new growth.

  3. Just found your blog and already so inspired to take on the challenge 🙂
    Just wondering is it better to just avoid a stretch or are there any benefits to stretching relaxers?

  4. Thanks, kutekelly200! It depends on how long you currently wait in between relaxers. If you are already waiting 8 to 12 weeks between relaxers, then you don't need to stretch longer than that, especially if you are happy with your hair's current thickness.

    I used to relax my hair every 6 weeks on the dot AND my hair was getting thinner and thinner. When I started stretching at first there were no immediate results, but as I continued to stretch with each relaxer throughout my hair journey, I began to notice that my hair didn't break as often and it became thicker overall.

    I don't recommend very long stretches though (16+ weeks), especially if you are new to stretching because it can be very frustrating if you are not used to dealing with your relaxed hair and your natural new growth at the same time. If you are going to stretch I would suggest that you gradually add a week or two at a time with each relaxer stretch, that way you can end the stretch when you feel that your hair starts to get out of hand.

    One downside to stretching is that you might experience breakage where your relaxed hair meets your natural new growth(line of demarcation). So it is very important that you are patient and gentle with your hair as your new growth becomes more pronounced at the end of your stretch.

    Good luck with your new hair journey and definitely let me know how things go for you. Happy Hair Growing!

  5. This is my first time stretching( I'm currently at 14 weeks post) and this article was so helpful. Dealing with new growth is definitely been the hardest part of my hair journey so fair I will be trying so of your tips. Enjoyable blog as always

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