For our girls who are wearing a relaxer you might be thinking about doing a little stretching. When getting relaxers, it’s recommended that you wait at least twelve weeks between touch-ups; that’s about three months. By that time most people have a significant amount of new growth to minimize the chances of the relaxer over-lapping, and therefore over processing the previously relaxed strands.
However, some ladies like to push the twelve week threshold. If you are one of these ladies, or perhaps considering trying a relaxer stretch for yourself, I’ve got some tips for you!
Don’t start off with insanely long stretches. This is a common mistake people make when first starting off with stretching relaxers. Jumping from twelve weeks to twenty four is just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, start off simple. If you normally wait twelve weeks then stretch to fourteen, then sixteen, and once you feel comfortable with that, go ahead and stretch to eighteen, and so on.
Do utilize low maintenance hairstyles. As you stretch your relaxer, the line of demarcation (that point where your relaxed hair meets your newgrowth) will become increasingly fragile which means doing your hair everyday or playing in it can lead to breakage. To remedy that, I suggest sticking to styles you can wear for days at a time, i.e. flat twist, buns, etc.
Don’t reach for the rat tooth comb. I’m not sure what people are trying to do with those things, but even with hair bone straight, they tend to snag hair. When you have coily new growth, you most definitely won’t succeed in doing anything besides pulling your hair out from the root. Instead, use a wide tooth comb or paddle brush. Both accomplish what a rat tooth comb does with less hair leaving your scalp.
Do play around with curly styles. Blending your new growth will get tedious and tiresome after so many months, so I recommend playing around with curly styles like Bantu Knot Outs, or Flexi Rods to blend the textures (you can also straighten your new growth to match your relaxed hair, but it’s not recommended you do that often, as it can lead to heat damage, and a ruined curl pattern.)